The visit was organised by Joyce Watson AM, who had commissioned research carried out by The Bevan Foundation, titled “Hope in the Face of Austerity: Women and Work in Ystradgynlais”.
As part the research members of our Communities First Team had helped organise a focus group of local women, which provided the researcher the opportunity to hear the real stories behind the statistics. A copy of the report can be found on The Bevan Foundation’s website, and acts as a powerful message about the damage of austerity and welfare reform, and of the specific impact on women and job opportunities in Ystradgynlais.
Joyce Watson AM is determined to make the research paper a living document that directly influences the Welsh Government’s policies that have a bearing on Ystradgynlais and similar communities. The purpose of the visit was to draw together the findings of the research and the organisations and projects such as Communities First that are attempting to offer people opportunities to gain skills, seek good quality paid employment, and improve their health.
The visit was a resounding success, both Joyce Watson AM and the Deputy Minister taking the time to chat with and listen to the people that had been involved in the research, hearing about their experiences living in Ystradgynlais and getting involved in Communities First.
We would like to thank them both for taking the time to visit the Cluster, and we very much hope to keep working with them to tackle local issues, and alleviate the impact of austerity, local job losses and welfare reform.