The Cynnal Llanddewi Brefi project, supported by the Cynnal y Cardi LEADER grant scheme, has brought new facilities and activities to the village hall and community centre. This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
A SMART Board interactive whiteboard system, together with video conferencing camera/ microphone/ speaker system has been installed to provide a standalone touchscreen computing/ hybrid meeting facility, with the option for users to connect their own devices to share and access content.
The system includes an integrated PC, with Microsoft Office installed, and individual user accounts set up for groups, who are able to access their own documents via One Drive or other remote storage, and create/ save content during meetings/ sessions – including interactive whiteboard content, suggestions etc.
An electrically adjustable mobile stand allows desk level use for meetings, low level for younger participants or high-level display for group audiences. The display can be moved between rooms to maximise the flexibility of use for different activities.
A separate waterproof wide-angle video camera and mast system is available for groups to use for mentoring, training, and recording content for meetings and presentations.
A pilot scheme to provide access to an informal youth social space at the Community Centre has attracted new users and re-engaged young people.
The Youth ‘Drop in’ sessions have run twice a week from August to the end of October, with up to 18 regularly attending. A survey questionnaire completed by all attendees indicates a high level of satisfaction with the facilities, session times, and volunteer supervisors. Suggestions for improvement included requests for more outdoor and sports activities, in addition to more cooking activities, following a successful initial demonstration by volunteers.
A total of 17 volunteers took part in the youth project, with representatives from most of the community groups that took part in the initial consultation held in the spring. Volunteers commented that the sessions have been good and productive, with young people learning new skills and enjoying games and socialising. The interactive smart board has been available and used in all sessions for drawing, browsing internet and playing music.
After discussion with those regularly attending, volunteers have proposed that the scheme should continue with 2 ½ hour sessions once a week.
A Halloween party with free food and refreshments was planned with members of the youth group and open to volunteers, parents/ guardians, and children of all ages to raise awareness of the youth club and new facilities, with more than 80 enjoying music, dancing, and celebrations. A Halloween trail was organised in collaboration with a local family centre, and a ‘guess the weight’ competition was held, with a giant pumpkin being donated by a Local One Planet enterprise and carved by one of the youth club volunteers. Questionnaires from all youth club participants were collected, and a games tournament has been planned for the 16th December, based on feedback from the survey, supported by the Hall Committee with trophies sponsored by a local business. As a result of the project’s success, a meeting is planned in the next few weeks to decide how the sessions will run going forward.
Volunteers from several local organisations received training on using the new technology from Pugh Computers in July, and a further session was held by members of the hall committee in October, to raise awareness of the new facilities.
Since its installation in June, the digital technology equipment has been widely used for a variety of functions, including providing music and images as a backdrop to the jubilee celebrations held in the hall, with the video camera being used to record performances at the annual carnival and a site survey for a wildlife garden project as well as footage of football matches and training sessions.
During weekly sessions of the Art/Craft club on Friday afternoons at the Community Centre the multi-media digital whiteboard has been used both to create artwork and to catalogue images of work by members
Cylch Ti a Fi Cywion Caron also meet on a weekly basis and have used the new technology for interactive painting, games, singing and dancing sessions. The whiteboard allows children to use the pens to play with shape, colour, and number games.
Sêr Dewi football club have used the Go-Pro video camera and high-level mast to film training sessions and home games. The camera can record footage of the entire field of play which they are then are able to review and analyse using the interactive whiteboard.
Llanddewi Brefi Young Farmers Club have used the technology to display agendas during meetings, and during the Eisteddfod it has been used for some of the homework competitions – e.g TikTok videos and learning dance moves for the creative dance competition. It has also been used to look for information and jot ideas down on the white board, and the club hope to be able to host film nights and guest speakers from across the world.
Ladis Pinc Tug of War group have been able to use the technology towards the end of the season by watching videos of pulling in training and in competitions. In the new year they will be using the Smart Screen to hold hybrid fitness sessions to allow all members to be involved and to improve teamwork.
The Llanddewi Brefi Show committee plan to use the video camera to film livestock on farms next year, and display this using the interactive screen on show day. The equipment will also be used for hybrid meetings.
Llanddewi Brefi Nature Reserve group held two planning sessions with community councillors to develop proposals for creating a wildlife garden adjacent to the existing playground, and to train members in the use of the new equipment. The video camera was used to record a virtual tour of the grounds, and the interactive whiteboard was used to overlay satellite imagery and plans to develop schematics for garden planning.
Ras Gŵyl Dewi running race committee also held a meeting to train members to use the digital interactive screen, docking their own devices to allow information sharing and planning at meetings.
At their recent AGM, the chair of Llanddewi Brefi WI commented “The introduction of the new technology to the community hall now enables us to access a wider world and become involved in ways that we were unable to before. We can share at home courses.
We can invite speakers from anywhere in the world, and we can access the web, and look up any subject, issues, skills, and entertainment, that we choose.”
This project has been successful in bringing groups and individuals together to collaborate as volunteers and encouraging them to explore innovative ways of working using the new digital technology equipment. All participants have submitted feedback and ideas to demonstrate these benefits. There has been much interest in the project, and the Hall committee very much believe that it will encourage more groups to use our facilities moving forward to ensure that we remain sustainable as a community resource.
Mae'r dudalen hon hefyd ar gael yn: Cymraeg