Cwm Arian (Silver Valley) is a rural area located where North Pembrokeshire, South Ceredigion and West Carmarthenshire meet and is characterised by small settlements and a dispersed population with a relatively high percentage of Welsh speakers. The name Cwm Arian was adopted to represent the area when
local development organisation PLANED carried out community action planning to find out what local peoples' 10 year vision was of their neighbourhood, taking into account human resources, natural assets, culture, language and heritage (there are old silver mines in the village of Llanfyrnach, hence the name!).
The action planning process created a community association, Cymdeithas Cwm Arian, which represented all the active community groups in the area. Amongst other things, the need for support for groups wishing to develop community energy projects was identified, and so Cwm Arian Renewable Energy was founded. We subsequently constituted CARE as a community co-operative in 2011, registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, with the support of the Welsh Government Ynni'r Fro programme.
All of CARE's assets are subject to a restriction on their use (an asset lock) ‘for the purpose that is for the benefit of the community’. CARE operates a democratic committee of volunteers who make shared decisions, and we are driven by our constitution to:
establish a low carbon economy within Cwm Arian and its surrounding area
invest benefits within the locality
prevent or relieve poverty
subject our processes to evaluation so that our developments can be replicated elsewhere
We are working in and beyond the Cwm Arian area to achieve those aims through education, awareness raising, renewable energy generation, provision of advice and support, and by establishing examples of villages, community groups, buildings and activities which show how healthy, happy and inclusive a low carbon lifestyle can be.
MEET THE TEAM...
Has worked within the environmental sector for many years and has considerable experience managing volunteers in community, arts and environmental projects as well as experience of self-build and alternative building materials and methods. She has managed a community hall project in the local community including steering it through its construction phase. She was a project coordinator for CARE’s Supporting Resilient Renewable Communities project and is currently co-managing CARE's wind turbine and community studio projects. She has extensive experience in administration and finances, and is a trustee with a designated financial role for another local community benefit organisation with a large and complex operation. She is clerk to Clydau Ward Community Council and so is part of the network of democratic community activity in the local area.
Has considerable experience supporting environmental, community benefit projects both locally and overseas for two decades. He has run his own UK leading, innovative business delivering carbon reductions in transport for the last 13 years, right up to the present. He has been a Renew Wales Coordinator and was also a project coordinator on the Supporting Resilient Renewable Communities project. He is currently the other co-manager for CARE's wind turbine and community studio projects. He, too, has experience in self-build property having built domestic and non-domestic buildings on his own property, and is also a committee member for Bwlchygroes community hall.
Has expertise in renewable energy technologies, industrial building
development and is a committee member for local Bwlchygroes community hall, which is undergoing refurbishment. He has received a doctoral qualification in renewable energy engineering and has worked for many years in this field.
Has moved to Wales in 2017 following an interest in living in a rural environment. Previous experience includes environmental campaigning, working with NGOs and local groups, and pursing an ongoing interest in renewable energy. He has spent time in different community environments including involvement with collaborative self-organising groups, and has an interest in supporting community initiatives.
Has moved to Wales from Australia in 2016. Her journey in environmentalism started when she volunteered on an organic farm in Bwlchygroes. She has since been learning more about the environment, sustainability and ways she can work towards a greener future through her personal and professional actions. She is ever inspired by the people around her and is always looking to learn and better herself and her surroundings. Currently working as CARE's administrator she's enjoying the opportunity to be involved with positive community and environmental projects.
Has worked in the third sector locally for over 2 decades and has considerable expertise in managing large grant budgets for community development projects and building projects including the multi-million pound project to refurbish Cardigan Castle. He has been involved in a huge number of projects but has particular experience in helping initiate and manage many local, innovative, successful community share offers.
He was a director of the West Wales Credit Union for many years which gives him additional unique experience in community finance. He is a community (Crymych Ward) and county councillor who has been appointed to the management cabinet of Pembrokeshire County Council, with special responsibility for the environment and Welsh language.