Exciting news! We are one of 11 Welsh organisations joining the Community Anchor Development Programme

We are extremely proud to share the news with you that we have been successful in applying for Railway Gardens to become part of a brand new programme from the Building Communities Trust.

The new Community Anchor Development Programme is supporting eleven organisations across Wales who are based in areas of socio-economic deprivation to help them respond to local challenges.

We began the process of applying to be part of this programme back in July 2023, and it’s been a really helpful experience in terms of helping us firm up the vision for the role of Railway Gardens in the community over the coming years. We couldn’t have done this without you! Whether you took part in our surveys, joined our community mapping, filled in a feedback form or responded to our consultation in any other way – thank you so much. This has given us a really clear, positive, and galvanising picture of how we can best support our community and boost the incredible grassroots work taking place in Splott and Adamsdown. 

So what does it mean in practice to be a Community Anchor Organisation? All the projects taking part in this programme are…

  • community-led or controlled with strong local networks
  • multi-purpose – focused on delivering a range of local actions in the
    community – or looking to expand to become multi-purpose
  • committed to the local community and responsive to issues that arise locally
  • committed to equal opportunities and to providing support and activities to all
    parts of the local community.
Closer working with other local organisations: We loved co-hosting this slower cooker workshop and meal with Splo-Down last year!

For Railway Gardens this means…

  • Four years of funding to help us focus on strengthening volunteering, widening participation, and making the project more financially sustainable;
  • Over the coming months we’ll be transforming the current site office into a volunteers’ room, creating a dedicated space for volunteers to get more involved in running and leadership of the project (and have a well deserved cuppa).
  • We’ll be able to offer all our volunteers more training and skills opportunities, and we’ll be working to gain our ‘Investing in Volunteers’ award.
  • We’ll be working closely with Oasis Refugee Centre, and working towards becoming a ‘Garden of Sanctuary’. This will mean some great local opportunities, including community events led by people seeking sanctuary, and training for local people who are keen to offer a warm welcome in our community.
Our journey began with an event at Oasis back in 2017, and Oasis One World Choir have been the soundtrack to Railway Gardens! We're really looking forward to working more closely with Oasis over the coming years.

Chris Johnes, Chief Executive of BCT, said:

“We know that communities want local assets that they can control and that these assets are the source of both enjoyable social interaction for communities as well as places which provide critical support…The new programme will help these anchor organisations to become stronger and better placed to face future challenges, through the provision of flexible funding and access to a learning programme where they can share knowledge and experience with similar organisations across Wales.”

As part of the project we also get to learn from and alongside the ten other organisations, we can’t wait to meet them!


They are:

  • V2 Gallery (supporting work in Pembroke Dock)
  • Lee Gardens Pool (Penrhiwceiber, Cynon Valley)
  • Brighter Futures (Rhyl)
  • Blaenymaes Drop In (Swansea)
  • FAN Community (Neath)
  • Cornelly Development Trust (North Cornelly)
  • Home Start Conwy ( Old Colwyn)
  • Llanhilleth Miners’ Institute (Blaenau Gwent)
  • Cwmni Bro (Blaenau Ffestiniog)
  • Gwynfi Miners’ Hall (Afan Valley)

If you have questions, feedback, or ideas around the Community Anchor Development Programme we would love to hear from you! Please don’t hesitate to contact us here or on hannah@greensquirrel.co.uk

Railway Gardens could not exist without volunteers, and we're looking forward to building a better experience for everyone who gives their time, and great leadership opportunities for those who want them.

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