Since November 2021 Tir Coed has been delivering a feasibility pilot for the AnTir project; a 12-month pilot.
Tir Coed developed and delivered 2 brand new courses – wildlife gardening and organic food growing, and developed accredited learning units for them. We also trialled a garden-based volunteer programme.
As part of Tir Coed’s developing land and labour bank (linking unemployed trainees with land managers in need of help) Tir Coed recruited rural adviser to carry out a consultation with farmers and land managers speaking to 100 people to find out what future skill will be needed, and therefore, what to train people in under the AnTir project.
The volunteering has been really successful in getting people involved in local community growing projects; offering continuity and sparking new interests and friendships. This hasn’t worked so well with employability outcomes but has certainly made a marked improvement to peoples wellbeing.
The training courses however, have been so successful in getting people trained up and employable that we actually lost several people over the duration of the courses to paid work.
A number of sites have been visited all over Ceredigion, bringing exciting connections for the future. Some of the sites delivered regular activities and some were just a one off event.
Tir Coed has worked closely with a host of family centres-taking the activities to the people, which has enabled us to engage with lots of people and try out what works best.
The pilot has also enabled us to further develop the training and wellbeing site at Gardd Ty Llwyd Garden following on from the successful groundwork enabled by an Awards for All and Keep Wales Tidy grant.
Over the pilot AnTir feasibility project has delivered shorter ‘ready for work’ courses which has impacted the way we plan to deliver courses in the future; they will now be shorter and more focused on immediate work readiness.
Tir Coed has also spent the last year developing the advisory group and forming partnerships with a variety of organisations and projects, one such example is Aberystwyth Town Council and the Go & Grow Festival.
All in all the pilot has been a huge success in shaping the AnTir project and in preparing Tir Coed as an organisation to transition from our current work to the broader programmes of the AnTir project- an exciting time ahead.
This project is funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.
The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fund-prospectus