Cardiff Third Sector Council enables organisations across Cardiff and the Vale to Move More and Eat Well.

As strategic partners within the Move More Eat Well partnership plan, Cardiff Third Sector Council (C3SC) sought to enable organisations across the city to access healthier and more active alternatives.

C3SC exists to support and develop Cardiff’s third sector by assisting groups and organisations in making themselves more sustainable and with recruiting volunteers, meeting the needs of their communities.  They work to achieve this by connecting local groups with key decision makers and providing guidance on how they can build new partnerships and achieve their co-production and social responsibility goals.

Utilising local Prevention and Early Years funding, provided by Welsh Government, C3SC facilitated the Move More Eat Well grant scheme to support community activity, increase physical activity and promote healthier eating for individuals and organisations across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. Since 2020, C3SC has been instrumental in delivering upon the Move More Eat Well Grant, having successfully allocated over £45,000 of funding to 11 life-changing projects across the region.

In their selection of those who received the grant, C3SC focused on proposals which demonstrated innovative ways in which they could meet the needs of those who experienced barriers to physical exercise and healthy eating; with the scheme welcoming bids of up to £5000 from any initiative which felt they met such criteria. The groups who benefited from the grant include housing associations, arts programmes, School Parent Teachers Friends Associations (PFTA), groups supporting people living with disabilities and local community voluntary organisations.

With the scheme launched just before the pandemic, many of the groups supported faced unprecedented challenges. C3SC helped the groups navigate through the uncertain times, making sure support was available by taking a flexible approach and introducing additional virtual engagement and participation activities. They provided volunteers and community groups with online training and workshops, including some around COVID-19 safety, and offered tailored advice helping groups to adapt their projects to the new circumstances. As restrictions lifted, , the grant provided the groups with the means to fund various new face to face activities, ranging from accessible sports teams and facilities, cooking and exercise classes, physical activity programmes, creative workshops and community gardens.

Individuals involved in MMEW projects were offered more accessible physical activity solutions that better suited their needs, as well as the opportunity to improve skills for maintaining healthy eating habits independently and affordably. The projects also provided an improved sense of community across groups with similar needs; enabling regular access to weekly meetings and workshops and the opportunity to develop social skills, build confidence and in many cases, form new friendships.

Anna Ros-Woudstra, Participation and Engagement Coordinator for Cardiff Third Sector Council, explained: “Thanks to the Move More Eat Well grant we were able to make much needed funds available to help community and voluntary groups make physical activity and healthy eating more accessible to the diverse communities in Cardiff.

“With the lockdown hitting right at the start of the project and the emerging realisation that the pandemic would be with us for a long time, not only were the projects at risk, but some of the groups were as well. With our support and taking a flexible approach, we supported groups to be more resilient, with the funding providing extra capacity to meet additional needs in the community. We have worked alongside the groups to find solutions – to staff and volunteer shortages, venue closures and bereavement and, in turn, helped to make healthy living more accessible to more people.”

Many individuals who benefited from the Grant have been successfully encouraged to Move More and Eat well in a number of exciting and inventive ways. You can read more about some of their stories here.

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