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A small group of people laughing sat outside by the Eisteddfod's Cadair Sgwrs.

Cartrefi Conwy & Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru

The Challenge

  • To bring the Eisteddfod to the Social Housing provider’s tenants, engaging them in new, creative activity
  • To provide enriching experiences for tenants – increasing confidence, combating loneliness and benefiting mental health
  • To establish a central focal point in the community which will bring people together, stimulate conversation and provide a sustainable legacy

The Solution

Cartrefi Conwy sponsored the 2019 Eisteddfod in Llanrwst, providing free tickets to tenants and staging various community activities. The sponsorship levered additional funding from A&B Cymru’s CultureStep, which enabled Cadair Sgwrs, an intergenerational visual arts project for local groups.

The Results

For Cadair Sgwrs, artist Catrin Williams delivered two-hour creative workshops over a six week period. 18 participants from diverse backgrounds shared what was important to them through the medium of visual art. The sessions tackled themes such as social exclusion and rural isolation, but also promoted happiness and friendship. The project included elderly people with dementia, members of the local Men’s Shed, and pupils from Ysgol Bro Gwydir, bringing Cartrefi Conwy into direct contact with a range of groups.

The workshops culminated in a decorative chair that was displayed at the Eisteddfod. Visitors were invited to sit, reminisce and discuss ‘What Matters’ to them. Several hundred people engaged with the project at the festival, enabling Cartrefi Conwy to establish new contacts in the area. A BBC Wales interview provided a platform to talk about the arts, community engagement and the importance of social inclusion.

Footage of the project has been shared widely, and the chair has featured at other community events. At an Older Persons’ Day, the chair helped Cartrefi Conwy consult with tenants on a new business plan.

The partnership won the Arts, Business & the Community category at the 2020 A&B Cymru Awards.

The Endorsement

Cartrefi Conwy’s underpinning ethos is to ‘create communities to be proud of’. We believe that Cadair Sgwrs has strengthened communities by building social networks and enabling people from different backgrounds and ages, who may not otherwise meet, to come together and form connections and friendships.

Nerys Veldhuizen, Older Persons’ Engagement Officer, Cartrefi Conwy

Collaborating with a partner such as Cartrefi Conwy demonstrates that resources and expertise can be shared to benefit communities within the festival area. As a peripatetic event, completion of such projects enhance the reputation of the Eisteddfod as a professional partner to deliver on both a local and national level.

Alwyn Roberts, Head of Community Delivery, Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru