This month’s blog comes from LlyG network member Mark Gillette, who gives his insight as a long term volunteer into the highlights of working with TTEG, a community action group based in Aberdare, R.C.T, over the last eight years (members pictured above).
Who are TTEG?
TTEG was formed on March 2007 and has evolved into a vibrant community action group, with a focus on urban regeneration. Their work is wide ranging from epic litter picks, brand new bins and collaborative recycling, to gardening, tree planting, beautiful woodland trails and bird/bat boxes.
Overtime, and with invaluable support from partners, there have been quite a few highlights to celebrate!
Positive partnerships are key to a productive community group, and TTEG has been lucky to have grown a number of supporter overtime that has brought invaluable funding, equipment and advice.
This has included two key organisations that have been with us since the outset – RCT Homes who fund all of TTEG’s admin costs on a yearly basis. In addition to this were other grants including an EEIP grant (estate improvement funding of £10K) for urban generation which has made a huge difference to our work such as Bro Deg Woodland, and Keep Wales Tidy, a long term relationship of like minds, collaborating on many activities and projects.
Other partners have included PACT (speed awareness project), Cynon Taff Housing (funding), Interlink (funding), Red Dragon FM (Now Capital Radio for litter pickers and gardening tools), Cornerstone Church (advice on grants and project management), Probation Service (volunteering), WCVA (Community First events), Grow Wild (seeds and wildflowers). Also RCTCBC’s, Waste Busters, Street Care and the Enforcement Team.
We have also run two environmental/fun days in partnership with Communities First its a great meeting point for all to celebrate collaborative achievements. We are also regulars at the yearly event put on by Rhondda Cynon Taff Council, ‘Love Where You Live Awards’ – TTEG has been voted Best Kept Community 3 years in a row to date, as well as runner up in number of categories since 2009.
Litter picks and recycling
This activity has been a consistent and well supported activity from the outset, with TTEGer’s beginning in earnest by crushing thousands of aluminium cans to recycle and sell as scrap in 2008. Litter pickers, can crusher bins and garden tools were bought in this year.
By 2010 we estimated we had cleared 2sq miles! This increased further in 2013 as 3 tonnes of waste were removed in partnership with others – with this commitment continuing up to the present day.
Woodland Walk – Community Garden
In 2011 -12 the creation of new Woodland Walk improved a 48 metre long stretch of waste ground in the area. Keen to get the schools involved we ventured into dissuasions gaining the support of 3 local schools, with 200 children growing and planting flowers in May.
A big milestone in the TTEG timeline, the Woodland Walk was formally opened in July, celebrated by the 30 residents and 60 school children attending from the new Cwmbach Community Primary, they agreed it’s a most productive activity for their children.
Bro Deg Woodland Trail
The site was full of fly tipping at the end of 2013, through 2014 over tonnes 5 of waste was removed and 250 metres of stream is now free flowing. Paths were built and benches installed alongside a wild flower planting program. This year interpretation board are been added, it continues to be the focus of TTEG’s efforts, as we continue to restore this lovely area of the village, with events planned throughout the year. This year RCTCBC’s Tidy Towns (green team) will also return to deal with a small amount fly tipping in the lower woodland, to complete the project.
To find out more about TTEG, visit here, or contact Mark – firstname.lastname@example.org.