Dynamic Young Communities

Dynamic Young Communities, originally funded by Comic Relief and now supported by the Rank Foundation, is based in the two Rhondda Valleys and is led by Mark Hutton.

Mark worked for Bosch Automotive for 19 years before coming to People and Work. He’s also a trained fitness and healthy living coach with several years’ experience working with groups and individuals.

Dynamic Young Communities is a project in which we are hoping to learn how best to use sport and physical activity as a means of encouraging individuals and families to engage with the development of their own communities. We want to find out how to create an environment which encourages community members to organise community activities and to sustain them, helping people from some of South Wales’ most disadvantaged areas to take ownership of local events, clubs and activities.

50 young people have been trained to Level 2 in Sports Leadership (a qualification from Sports Leaders UK) and are now volunteering in their local communities, delivering sport, health and fitness activities to other young people. Another group of 15 young people from across Rhondda are taking the Level 2 qualification (started March 2017). We are grateful for the partnership with the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of Wales which enabled the delivery of this training in collaboration with Mark Hutton.

One of the most exciting aspects of the project has been the sudden uptake of rugby in Rhondda! Several new teams have formed since the summer of 2013 involving approximately 80 new players from across the area. There’s now a hub club for girls in the area aged 9-16 during the summer months and opportunities to play in local teams in the autumn and winter season. Alongside all the new action on the pitch, there’s been an explosion of volunteering and community activities off the pitch. There are at least 30 new volunteers helping with events and managing club activities and several local businesses are assisting with sponsorship. People and Work is currently exploring how to extend this model of sports and community development with several partners. The rugby revival in Rhondda has attracted attention from a number of key sporting bodies, including the Welsh Rugby Union and Sport Wales.

Some of the rugby girls have worked with other projects (Community Voice and Glyncoch Regeneration) to produce an armchair exercise video which is available online and as a DVD. Part one can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/OU8CiiC-VHk

Like an Egg Productions, the company commissioned to make the armchair exercise video, has also made a free video in partnership with Dynamic Young Communities and Cardiff Arms Park promoting girls’ and women’s rugby: https://youtu.be/duaQdDfkQ70

The DVD below is available from Mark Hutton or from Too Good To Waste in Ynyshir (on our Play It Again Sport stand) for £2.

Dynamic Young Communities offers work experience and volunteering placements and has supported young people to organise several local events and a residential. One of the main aims of the project is to help young people become leaders in their own communities and beyond. Several have gone on to lead others in sporting activities.

We are extremely grateful to the Rank Foundation, the Big Lottery (Awards for All), and many other partners for their support with Dynamic Young Communities.

Contact: Mark Hutton, 07929 504525, mark.hutton@peopleandwork.org.uk