Sylfaen Cymunedol began in 2001 when the Children’s Society withdrew funding from its community development project in Wales.

The three staff members, Brian Thirsk, Siân Thomas and Val Williams, wanted to carry on with the work with children, young people and families in North West Wales. With support from Cymdeithas Tai Eryri and Cymdeithas Tai Clwyd, they set up Sylfaen as a social enterprise and charity in order to ensure that the community development work carried on.

With the advent of the Welsh Government's Anti-Poverty Programme, Sylfaen concentrated on offering training and support to tenants, residents and young people, and facilitated the establishment of Communities First Partnerships.

In Ynys Môn, Gwynedd and Conwy, Sylfaen supported groups to understand community development by concentrating on research, consultation and implementation. Each project made a difference to its community.

Examples include:

  • a brand-new nursery in Morawelon, Holyhead;
  • conversion of a chapel into a community centre in London Road, Holyhead;
  • conversion of a church hall into a community centre in Newborough, Anglesey;
  • extension of a Credit Union to Ynys Môn;
  • a construction apprenticeship project for young people in Holyhead;
  • an apprenticeship in outdoor pursuits for women in Dyffryn Nantlle;
  • the conversion of a car park into a play area outside the Gwelfor Community Centre, Holyhead.

Sylfaen worked with Conwy Council, the Communities First Support Network, and tenants and residents from the Tudno/Mostyn and Kinmel Bay wards, to develop a learning programme to maximise positive impacts on social inclusion.

The Social Inclusion Learning Programme won a Welsh Local Government Association Award.

Sylfaen always encouraged groups in the experience of praxis - action, reflection, learning and action again.

With the demise of Communities First and as funding streams altered, Sylfaen had to evolve and seek other ways to express its values.

Sîan left to work as a teaching assistant in secondary and primary schools in Ynys Môn. Brian stayed with Sylfaen until his short illness and death in February 2017. He wanted Sylfaen to continue as part of his legacy.

Morawelon, Holyhead

London Road, Holyhead

Newborough, Anglesey

Gwelfor Community Centre, Holyhead

Contact Us

Sylfaen Cymunedol Limited, 14 Stryd y Porth Fawr, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, LL55 1AG

Phone: 01286 677117 | Email: info@sylfaencymunedol.org