Communities First

Cardiff West (Ely, Caerau, Fairwater & Pentrebane)


ACE – Moving Forward:
our response to the end of Communities First.

On the 14th February this year, the Welsh Government announced the closure of the Communities First programme – an anti-poverty programme which ran across Wales over the past 16 years.  The Welsh Government are taking measures to lessen the impact, phasing it out over the coming financial year (end March 2018).  At the same time a new approach to building resilient communities Is being developed with a proposed focus on ‘employment’, ‘early years’ and ‘empowerment’.

Whilst we are sad to see the closure of Communities First ACE’s position is one of optimism fuelled by careful planning over the past 6 years; ACE was set up to provide a lasting legacy for Communities First and we along with the support of the local community intend to provide one!  ACE will be phasing out Communities First work over the coming months and will be continuing to transition into other work areas, activities which will respond to the new Welsh Government’s focus of ‘helping people into work, supporting children and listening to communities on improving local services’. Work includes:

• ACE Training – a dedicated training service enabling people to gain qualifications in Health & Safety, CSCS Card qualifications and Food Safety qualifications

• Communities For Work – the Welsh Government initiative which is enabling people to find work, which is supported by the European Social Fund

• ACE Community Support – which will continue our work in supporting people to manage their finances, tackle debt and benefit problems, and help with saving money on energy and utilities.

• CAER Hidden Hillfort project – Heritage Lottery funded activities which will continue to explore Caerau’s Hillfort whilst developing proposals for a community heritage centre, improved footpath and signage on the monument.

• ACE Community Enterprises – a range of community based enterprises

Throughout our time delivering the Communities First work, we have been proud of the vital input, changes, and progress we have made to the lives of people in the community areas of Cardiff West, in supporting needs around health, learning and employment opportunities and activities.

For more details about ACE – Action in Caerau and Ely please contact or give us a call 02920 003132.

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Communities First aims to contribute, in partnership with other organisations, to narrowing the education/skills, economic and health gaps between Wales’s most deprived and more affluent areas.

Following realignment in April 2012, Communities First is a Community Focussed Programme that supports the Welsh Government’s Tackling Poverty agenda.  The programme builds on the achievements of Communities First since its launch in 2001.  With the aim of contributing to alleviating persistent poverty it supports the people in communities facing the most challenge and hardship.

ACE is funded by the Welsh Government to employ a Communities First staff team to work with residents, community organisations, business and other key agencies across the Cardiff West Cluster (Ely, Caerau, Fairwater and Pentrebane).  The programme will focus on actions leading to the long term sustainability and wellbeing of communities. Involving local people in all aspects of this work is an essential feature of the programme.

To ensure the programme is successful our work has been broken down into three outcomes:


To reduce inequalities in income and opportunity, ensuring people have access to the resources needed to provide for themselves and their families and to improve their life chances.

  • Outcomes
  • Staff
  1. Help people to develop employment skills and find work
  2. Promote digital inclusion
  3. Improve financial capability, managing debt and raising income.
  4. Support Enterprise and Timebanking building social capital
  5. Reduce Youth Unemployment and disengagement

Michelle Powell

Deputy Cluster Manager / Prosperous Coordinator / CfW Manager

07702 211058

Simon Murray

Community Training Officer

07773 849147

Carey Davies

Community Enterprise Officer

07873 524099

Sam Froud-Powell

Community Support Coordinator

07872 149352

Nerys Sheehan

Community Support Officer

07702 211056

Maisey Andrews

Employment Mentor

07714 744377


To promote a culture of learning within our communities where everyone regardless of age or ability is encouraged to recognise their own potential and is supported to reach it.

  • Outcomes
  • Staff
  1. Support young people to do well at school
  2. Support families to be engaged in their children’s education
  3. Deliver Lifelong Learning in Communities
  4. Improve Adult Life Skills

Ruth McDonald

Project Lead – Children First

07710 022027

Becki Miller

Family Learning Officer

07702 211057


Improved health and wellbeing for all, with the pace of improvement increasing in proportion to the level of disadvantage.

  • Outcomes
  • Staff
  1. Promote Physical Wellbeing
  2. Encourage Healthy Eating
  3. Promote Mental Wellbeing
  4. Support a Flying Start in the Early Years

Hazel Cryer

Health and Wellbeing Coordinator

07976 954109

Carly Whelpley

Community Mental Wellbeing Officer

07885 914073


To enhance the lives of people living in the Community First area by encouraging them to participate in a range of activities to develop themselves and and community they live in.

  • Outcomes
  • Staff
  1. To support young people with activities of learning and skills development
  2. To create volunteer and participation opportunities for people in the wider community
  3. Support people’s understanding and the opportunities available from the Communities First programme of improving their lives around Prosperous, Learning and Health needs.
  4. To seek and develop partnerships to support community and participation development.

George Keane

Communications Officer

02920 003710

Kimberley Jones

Community Engagement Officer / CAER Young Peoples’ Opportunities Project

07703 495790

Caroline Barr

Community Engagement Officer

02920 003132

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