Community Project News
Canton Rangers boosted by Taff sponsorship
by Coach Mike Alexander
Canton Rangers FC Under 11 (Blues) would like to thank Taff Housing Association for their continued support during the 2012-2013 football season.
As the pictures show, Taff has kindly provided an excellent training kit that all the boys proudly wear at the Gol Centre, Lawrenny Avenue, Leckwith, on Tuesday nights.
In addition to this, we are also grateful for our winter weather sports jackets that keep the boys and the coaches warm on the sidelines at matches, on these increasingly cold Saturday mornings.
Taff has really got the team looking and feeling 'Premier League.'
New team coach, Michael Alexander believes this has certainly helped the boys’ performances so far.
“The improvement in performances from last season has been dramatic,” said Mike.
“There is a real team spirit and positive attitude amongst the squad of 14 lads that has impressed parents and coaches alike.
“The season has been blighted by the wet weather so far and there have been weekends where all matches have been cancelled.”
Mike said the team has already recorded more wins this season than for the whole of last year, which has really boosted team confidence.
“This gives an real indication of how hard they have worked and how much they continue to improve. Our ethic is to win, lose or draw as a team, and even in defeat, the boys have been competitive, proving a match for any of the teams we have played.
“We have been extremely unlucky in many cases to have not turned a 1-0 defeat into a victory. Led by the ever hard-working captain, Sion Blythe, the team already has 10 goals from James Hartland, six from Dewi Townley and a 'rock' in central defence, Oliver McGree.”
The future looks bright for Canton Rangers Under 11 (Blues) and hopefully, there will be many more successes to report as the season rolls on.
Follow the team at www.cantonrangersfc.co.uk 'Under 11s Blues 2012-13' on the 'Teams' tab for regular match reports, results and much more.
For their part, we once again thank would like to thank Taff Housing Association for their kindness, generosity and community spirit in supporting us.
The Corner Shop gets scary makeover
Taff’s community events Facebook page, The Corner Shop, was given a Halloween-style makeover in October.
Media Communications Assistant Leon Williams produced a stylish new look for The Corner Shop page, which pulls together all the interesting and fun events taking place during the school holidays.
Leon was busy promoting the Halloween theme to tenants and local community venues that Taff Housing works with regularly. The result was a big jump in the number of children and parents reading the page to find out what events were taking place over October half-term.
In the build-up to Halloween, 129 people had logged on to read information on the page.
Leon said: “The Corner Shop is a new venture for us, which young tenants had asked for.
“Facebook is a simply great outlet for us to provide information to young people and what is going on in their area – and for parents to find out about free and cheap places to take children.”
Youngsters show their crafty side
October half-term featured an action-packed week of fun activities, attended by dozens of children.
The ever popular Doctor Bike team was out and about running sessions across half-term, with the busiest repair spots on ‘Bike Wednesday’ being Horle Close, Verallo Drive and Bartley Wilson Way.
Despite the poor weather, young people turned out in good numbers to get their bikes repaired for free, which means young tenants can get out and about and see their friends and play.
“The sessions went well, particularly the street-based sessions, even though we had rain,” said Andrew Burns, from Cycle Training Wales, which runs the Doctor Bike scheme.
Elsewhere during half-term, artist Caroline Richards proved a hit in Grangetown and Riverside with colourful art and craft sessions.
Caroline said: “There's always plenty of energy buzzing round at Riverside and Grangetown Play Centres - the trick is to harness it! You get children who are full of enthusiasm to make something and others who just hint at interest later in the afternoon.
“The more positive interaction we have with our young people, the more it grows and extends into our communities. It's that feeling of having shared a creative and social time that makes my work so fulfilling.”
Potter Matt Jones was also kept busy with sessions creating mini works of art with tenants and residents.
The Two Step Dance team were also in action, putting on street dance sessions for young people, giving them confidence to learn routines and get fit at the same time.
There was also time for a basketball master class from Tribal Basketball coach, Manny Idowu, who ran a session at Riverside Play Centre.
Youth panels provide fresh ideas
Taff Housing's Youth Panels in Grangetown, Riverside and Canton continue to yield great information about how children and young people feel about the communities they live in.
During the autumn sessions held at local venues, Taff challenged those attending to come up with ideas to improve the safety and facilities in their local areas - and also asked the all important question 'why?'
They rose to the challenge and came up with some interesting information - and justification why they felt their ideas were best.
The children and young people attending feel they are being given a platform to say how they feel while we are gaining a clearer understanding of how they can express themselves.
The next step will be to try and channel the comments and ideas and find out ways of the youth panels getting involved in the wider debate about facilities in the city.
Community venues enjoy Taff harvest
Bags of vegetables and fruit grown at the Taff Housing Community Allotment have proved a real hit with three local projects.
Taff decided to set aside a section of the allotment space at the Leckwith and Droves site for growing produce for Taff's own Ty Enfys mother and baby hostel, the Riverside Play Centre and the City Temple Homeless Project in Lower Cathedral Road.
The area of raised beds and vegetable growing space has been productive, despite this summer's poor weather. Bags of potatoes, onions, shallots and courgettes have been delivered to the three
“We are thrilled that Taff Housing have begun to support City Temple Church as we reach out to the homeless population," said Nigel James, one of the Pastors at City Temple Church.
"The vegetables that you provided help us prepare a wholesome meal for many men on a Saturday Evening. On behalf of all our volunteers and those homeless who have come along. I send you a big thank-you!”
The Riverside Play Centre staff have been busy in the kitchen cooking up potato wedges and other tasty treats, while over at Ty Enfys, they have been enjoying strawberries, potato and cheese pie and other creations cooked up with the mothers.
For more about the Taff Housing Community Allotment Project, check out the allotment blog at:
Festival beats downpours
Heavy rain showers didn’t deter people from attending the Riverside Festival in August, with Taff putting on a range of activities to entertain the crowds.
Taff staff were busy all afternoon running a fun ‘hook-a-duck’ game, with dozens of children and young people trying their luck to catch five or more ducks within a minute to win a prize. One young contestant caught all 10 in 56 seconds, which was quite an achievement!
Taff Tenants and Residents Association joined the Taff stall this year to promote their own activities, which included the recent successful tenant trip to Tenby.
By popular demand, Taff also sponsored the Cycle Training Wales Doctor Bike team, who were on hand to fix bikes brought along by festival goers to the Machen Place play area.
We also sponsored potter Matt Jones from ‘Ave a go Ceramics, who ran a very busy session outside the Riverside Warehouse, helping young people to create pots and dishes to take home. This was the last stall to finish at the festival!
Despite the very changeable weather, many tenants and residents said they had enjoyed the festival, which has been running in Riverside for more than 30 years.
Basketball camp proves a success
A summer basketball camp for young people in Canton proved a big hit, thanks to a partnership between Tribal Basketball and Taff Housing.
The week-long camp at Fitzalan High School was run by coach Manny Idowu, who is working with Taff to set up a community-based basketball team.
"The camp was a great success," said coach Manny. "The Primary Times advert which Taff Housing paid for was really good and we had lots of enquiries as a direct result of that.
"The children worked extremely hard throughout the week and I am very proud of the improvements they made. Each child was able to show their parents a new skill or explain a newly learned rule at the end of the day.
"The children were enticed by the Olympics and each day would start by recounting their viewing from the night before. Unsurprisingly, most had watched some basketball and could tell me a country or player or move from the night before.
"It was a very enjoyable week and I hope the players are able to return to the next camp and also to continue playing regularly to add to the skill they picked up during the week." August 2012
Forest School a hit with young people
Dozens of young people in Riverside took part in a series of 'survival' sessions to discover what it would be like to live in the wild.
The Cwm Tawel Forest School team visited the Riverside Play Centre over two weeks to put on sessions in creating fires using traditional flints, taught the young people how to safely cook over an open fire and to build survival shelters.
The team combine fun with a responsible message about safety, giving young people all the information about making safe camp fires and how to extinguish them.
Teamwork was the key to the shelter building, with the participants being taught the building skills to make a waterproof shelter.
Sasha Ufnowska from Cwm Tawel, said: "The sessions were mainly led by the children, as we need to see that they have recognition of risk and danger and how to keep themselves and others safe. Following this we introduced wood cookies and got each group member to decorate it with their name and a design.
"We set up the fire circle, lit the fire and talked about what fires need to keep going and why we don’t light fires on windy days and why we have a contained fire area.
"We worked on a small ratio to let the children make marshmallow toasting sticks. We then spent time taking turns at toasting marshmallows, some of the group needed reminders that we were toasting, not cremating!"
"The den building part of the session really highlighted some great team work and some very creative thinking and engineering skills. The group made a large den rather than being competitive and making small dens."
The Forest School sessions were part of Taff Housings Back2Basics summer holiday activity programme, which feature 50 activities across Riverside, Canton and Grangetown. August 2012
Taff backs Canton Rangers for new season
Taff is delighted to announce it will again be sponsoring Canton Rangers mini football this season.
The deal will mean the new look Under-11 Blues team will have bench coats and a training kit, featuring the distinctive red and green Taff Housing logo.
Coach Mike Alexander said he was delighted with the sponsorship deal: "I would like to thank you for your generosity in agreeing to sponsor coats and a training kit. I can't wait for the season to start now.
"We have everything we could possibly want, and more, for the coming seasons. The kit will last at least a couple of years."
Taff Housing began its involvement with Canton Rangers mini football during the 2011-12 season, when tenant Tony Edwards approached us to set up a new team of players.
The team benefited from new bench coats, which they wore to games, training and event the Wales v Costa Rica football match, where they received admiring comments. August 2012
Allotment produce turned into tasty treats
Vegetables from Taff's Community Allotment Project have been harvested and served up at three local projects.
Free holidays programme brings ray of sunshine
The Summer holidays kicked off with a great activity programme put together by Taff Housing running at local venues.
Rangers sport new Taff jackets
Answering a plea for help to sponsor a newly formed children’s football team, Taff Housing Association is now the proud supporter of Canton Rangers Under 10 Blues.
The team was formed from players within the club – but they had no kit, balls or anything to play with!
Team coach and Taff tenant Tony Edwards, from Bartley Wilson Way, asked what we could do and a sponsorship deal to pay for the team’s new coats was signed.
The black coats feature the Canton Rangers badge on the front and the bright red and green Taff logo on the back.
Mr Edwards said the players and parents were delighted with the coats.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all at Taff Housing for the help you have given,” he said.
“Added to this the weather was atrocious and the coats kept us all warm and dry! “Most of the boys and parents wore their coats to watch Wales play against Costa Rica, the memorial game for former manager Gary Speed. “Thanks again, Taff Housing.” April 2012
Spring Youth Panels well attended
Half-term activities bring out creative talents
Good ideas spring from youth sessions
Free computers for Taff tenants a great success
Fun and games at the Riverside Festival!
Holiday activities keep young people busy!
Tenants and residents enjoyed an action-packed holiday activity programmes, full of creative and sporting sessions.
Taff Housing sponsored 45 holiday activities during the summer and another dozen ran during October half-term, ranging from street dance and a two-week basketball camp at Canton Community Hall, to jewellery-making projects in Riverside and Grangetown.
The Aveagoceramics pottery team ran three weeks of sessions at the Riverside and Grangetown Play Centres during the summer and more during half-term, giving children the confidence and skills to make their own works of art.
The Doctor Bike team of mechanics were busy repairing bicycles in Verallo Drive, Horle Close, Riverside Warehouse and other venues across the city.
Manny Idowu from Tribal Basketball ran a successful series of training sessions, starting with a Taff-sponsored camp in Canton, teaching young people the rules of the game and basic skills.
He also took this programme to the streets, with basketball sessions on The Marl and at Riverside Play Centre.
The Cadbury’s Spots and Stripes team visited the play area next to Verallo Drive on one of the sunniest afternoons of the summer. Local tenants, residents and children from Riverside Play Centre enjoyed the games and puzzles.
• The community events followed the success of last year’s Riverside Back2Basics programme, which saw hundreds of young people involved in dozens of sessions across six venues.
• We’re now looking for young people to get involved in a Taff ‘youth board’, so if you’re son or daughter is aged 8-15 years and would like to have their say about the activities we run in the holidays, let us know on 029 20 259126. August 2011
Bank staff join Taff team at allotments
The Barclays Allotment Action Day in mid-May turned out to be a very sociable and productive afternoon. Even the sun managed to turn up for most of the time!
Thirty people, five from Barclays Bank, five Tenants and around 20 Taff Housing staff, including the Chief Executive, Elaine Ballard, turned up to do various tasks.
The tasks set for the day were threefold – to build a shed, paint pallets for a composting area and to construct raised beds to plant vegetables.
Everyone enjoyed the tasks and there were enough people to help with extra tasks, including weeding the potato beds and shifting rubble and rubbish.
We should say a huge thank you to Barclays for contributing towards the much needed potting shed, to the tune of £500. The bank’s staff were also extremely helpful on the day.
Action days don’t just happen and staff and tenants alike worked hard behind the scenes organising and publicising the event.
Fanwell Tandi, chair of the Allotment Group, spends 2-3 afternoons a week at the site and he said he was delighted with the big boost the allotment action day had given tenants using the site.
“I was impressed with all the work done on the Allotment Action Day. It has motivated us to do better!”
Chief Executive Elaine Ballard said: “Everyone involved in the allotment is so enthusiastic, and having an extra band of volunteers helped enormously. We’re all looking forward to harvesting the first vegetables!”
* For the latest on the Taff Housing allotments, click on the link to the Allotment blog
New Taff allotments up and running
The new Taff Housing allotments at Leckwith are beginning to look like an exciting place to grow fruit and vegetables!
Originally covered in eight-foot tall marsh grass and rubbish, after years of not being used, the plots on Bessemer Road are now getting ready for action.
Following many months of talks with Cardiff Council, Taff Housing signed for five large plots in December.
Work to clear up the overgrown site began in February when Taff contractors Macob supplied a digger and driver for a morning and then Landcraft kindly ran a tractor and plough over the soil to turn it.
Sixteen Taff Housing staff and tenants then joined forces for a day to clear up the site and begin to dig over the front of the plots.
They were supported on the day with tools borrowed from the Growing Green Project, a therapeutic gardening scheme on the Bessemer Road allotment site.
Some of the main tasks for year one at the allotments will be to get a water supply up and running, sort out fencing and some basic amenities, such as a shared tool store and sheds.
Ideas are being looked at to make space accessible for wheelchair users and also for keeping a patch available for Taff tenants who would like to “have a try” at gardening and growing vegetables, fruit, flowers and herbs.
The project is also gaining support from other organisations, including the Riverside Community Market Association, who hosted a visit by the allotment group to their growing project in Pontcanna during March.
“We’re starting to make progress after a long winter and the Allotment Action Day was good fun, with lots of people enjoying a day out in the sunshine and getting some exercise,” said Steve Dixon, Taff Housing’s Community Development Officer.
• If you would like to have some space to grow your own vegetables and fruit or maybe you would like to make use of your practical skills or interest in gardening to help make the project a success? Please contact Steve Dixon on 029 20 259126 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
For the latest on the Taff Housing allotments, click on the link to the Allotment blog
Riverside Back2Basics ends with party celebration
Dozens of young people enjoyed an action-packed finale to the Riverside Back2Basics community programme.
Year three of the project, featured more than 140 activities throughout Riverside, aimed at providing local young people with stimulating and fun activities, with the chance to learn new skills and try out exciting and challenging sports.
Riverside Back2Basics was run by Taff Housing using a Welsh Assembly grant, to give local young people the opportunity to enjoy a diverse range of sessions, from street dance to jewellery-making, rock climbing, archery and belly dancing.
The end of project party began with more than 80 children attending a colourful party at the Riverside Play Centre, with activities including street dance, circus skills, 5x60 sports and the Doctor Bike team.
And at the Riverside Warehouse, youth workers pulled out all the stops to provide a memorable night of fun and games, which had local young people queuing at the doors before they opened!
More than 65 young people enjoyed a night of competitions, arts and crafts, music and the premiere of the Back2Basics project DVD.
Each person was given a score card and marked on the activities they took part in, with the overall total of points being used to help the centre win a special prize of a computer game.
• Back2Basics was a three-year programme, funded through the Welsh Assembly’s Social Housing Management Grant. Years 1 and 2 of the programme featured activity schemes in Leckwith and Grangetown. October 2010
Play Centre receives welcome makeover
One of Riverside’s landmark buildings has received a welcome makeover, thanks to volunteers from Taff Housing and the local community.
The Riverside Play Centre is a thriving venue, with dozens of children taking part in fun activities each day – but it badly needed a few coats of paint to brighten up the outside of the building, on Ninian Park Road.
Taff staff pitched in with local volunteers to re-decorate the centre’s security shutters by painting colourful flags, representing the nationalities of the children who attend the venue.
The event was all part of Make A Difference Day, a UK-wide campaign to “give something back” to local communities.
The centre had been waiting years for the shutters to be painted and not had the money, so Taff helped to organise the day to make the difference.
Taff’s maintenance contractors SMK pitched in by helping prepare the shutters and supplying pots of metal paint and brushes.
Centre play worker Marielle Hogg researched the painting project, spending time with the children learning about their heritage and designing the flag project.
Natalia Dias and Jess from the Riverside Arts and Media Project joined in, lending their artistic talents on the day.
They were joined on the day by Taff staff Randolph Stone and Trevor Fletcher and centre volunteer Michael Anson.
Children at the centre were kept busy all day guessing which flags were being painted onto the shutters.
Taff’s Community Development Officer Steve Dixon said: “Taff has worked really closely with the centre this summer on the Riverside Back2Basics project, running more than 60 play and learning activities.
“All the volunteers had a great time. The shutters look terrific now with the flags painted on them and they really catch the eye as you pass the centre,” said Steve.
• Riverside Play Centre hosts different activities from adventure play, to gardening, arts and craft, various sports and trips out in the school holidays. It provides a safe place for children to play and learn.
Cardiff Devils Hockey proves a smash hit
The Cardiff Devils community team was kept busy during October half-term teaching young new skaters some great skills.
Working in Partnership with Taff Housing and the Neighbourhood Policing Team, the free sessions were held at Channel View Leisure Centre. The 2 day workshop attracted young people from across Grangetown, eager to learn how to skate and play roller hockey.
Brent Pope Head of the Devils Community Foundation said: “It was great seeing all the young people enjoying how to put together all the skills of skating, dribbling, passing and shooting. We had a really great time at Channel View.”
At the end of the workshop, the young people were invited to watch the Devils’ Saturday night home game against Hull Racers at Planet Ice. October 2010
Taff supports Healthy Living Week
Grangetown and Butetown were buzzing with healthy living ideas during September, with hundreds of people attending a series of drop-in events.
Healthy Living Week featured a mix of awareness raising activities, including information about diabetes, glaucoma and other health issues, together with hands-on activities, including massage, henna hand painting and a fruit smoothie bike!
The week featured a Women’s Well Being Day at Channel View Leisure Centre, focusing on health checks, information and treatments, Tai Chi, healthy eating advice and a Healthy Family Day.
Taff Housing sponsored a salsa dance workshop and clinic with the Doctor Bike mechanics at Channel View Leisure Centre, which went down well with tenants and residents attending the event.
Healthy Living Week was supported by the Communities First teams in Butetown and Grangetown, Cardiff Council and Voluntary Action Cardiff.
Riverside Festival a colourful triumph
Hundreds of people attended the Riverside Festival 2010, enjoying a feast of great music, entertainment and food.
Taff Housing was one of the main event sponsors this year, contributing towards the cost of staging and fun activities including Doctor Bike, the Aveagoceramics pottery sessions, while staff manned a busy Taff stall.
The event began with the colourful and noisy festival parade, featuring fantastic costumes and work by children, staff and parents from the Riverside Play Centre, led around Riverside's streets by the Circus Funkster stilt walkers!
The rainy forecast meant de-camping some activities from Despenser Gardens to the Riverside Warehouse and Wyndham Street Centre - but this did not deter the crowds, who turned out in force.
The Warehouse played host to stalls and the music stage while the Wyndham Street Centre became a thriving cafe and arts venue for the day.
Meanwhile, undeterred by the showery weather, Clare Gardens hosted the horticultural and animal show, with displays of live animals, snakes and a story-telling tent. August 2010
Heatherton trip hits the bullseye!
One of the highlights of an action-packed summer was a fantastic day trip to Heatherton, near Tenby. As part of the back to basics project, tenants and residents enjoyed an amazing range of sporting activities.
The trip brought together a mix of Taff tenants and parties from the Riverside Play Centre, Shiloh Pentecostal Church and Riverside Warehouse.
The group enjoyed activities including archery, pistol shooting, softball, go-karting, bumper boats, zorbing (giant inflatable balls on water!).
The trip was about trying new fun sporting activities that are not normally available in and around Riverside. As a follow up to the day, young people from the Riverside Play Centre have been able to continue to practice archery at sessions held at the nearby Canton Community Hall.
Fun Friday sessions liven up holidays
Community focus for sports team
Taff Housing has struck up a successful working partnership with the 5x60 team at Fitzalan High School, Canton.
Street sessions brighten half-term
Work skills event boosts confidence
Technology day enlightens digital users
Apprentice campaign a big success
Global Grangetown proves a hit
Young tenants tidy up park
Group enjoys tour of Cardiff City stadium
Party marks end of Ramadan
Riverside Festival hailed a success