Each year community projects that contribute to the promotion of healthy lifestyles and prevention of ill health throughout Cwm Taf are invited to apply for the Crystal Trophy Award. The award funded by Cwm Taf Health Board in partnership with Interlink and Voluntary Action Merthyr Tydfil recognizes the valuable contribution that local projects make to increase the well-being of those they support including individuals, groups and families living in Cwm Taf.

Active Families is a family engagement initiative that has been created through our partnership with Street Games. Its focus was to work with families living in our homes and to establish barriers that they face in being active together as a family and building their skills and confidence so that we can empower them to break down these barriers.

Street Games has identified that by 2021, 48,000 more children and young people aged seven-years to 24 years-of age will be living in poverty. With low income families having just £2.55 a week to spend on leisure and physical activities, the challenge to get children and young people active is increasing. This is exacerbated by the general population becoming more sedentary, whether through poor health, work or personal choice, where the norm has become to sit around all day. Through this, Street Games has identified a need to work with families to establish sustainable ways that can encourage families to active together.

As a result of the focus on families we are committed to the projects because of the links and focus that it has upon issues that reported in the Adverse Childhood Effect Report in Wales. The links to childhood experiences and poor health in the short and long term, as well as the cycle of childhood adversity in locking successive generations of families into poor health and anti-social behaviour for future generations is something that we keen to prevent. Creating preventative measures that look to build healthier, happier and more resilient families in invaluable in supporting the national aim of creating a more prosperous, resilient, healthier and more equal Wales.

We are proud to announce that our Active Families project received third place in this year’s Crystal Trophy Award. With this comes a £500 award that will help secure the delivery of the project for another cycle. We would like to give a special mention to Women’s Aid RCT and Merthyr and the Valleys Mind who took first and second place. Both projects highlighted the hard work and commitment that the third sector is showing in tackling health and wellbeing within the community.