Raising over £11,000 for local venue
Before the Coronavirus pandemic affected our lives, other disasters hit areas across Wales thanks to Ciara and Dennis. Both storms caused severe flooding which effected the South East Valleys in particular, and Menter Iaith Rhondda Cynon Taf responded quickly.
One building that was severely damaged was Clwb y Bont, in Pontypridd, which has gained its place as a popular venue for live Welsh music in the Rhondda valley. Einir Sion, Chief Officer of the local menter told us:
Organising a fundraising event
“Following the flooding of Clwb y Bont on the weekend of the 15th and 16th of February, Emyr Afan offered to create an event to raise money for the Club. At the same time, Menter Iaith undertook to take action to assist the Club in times of crisis. These actions included ensuring that Prosiect 5 Mil were still set to come to the Club, that we assist them in sourcing external funding and working with Emyr Afan to create a major fundraising event.
— Menter Iaith Rh.C.T (@MenterIaithRhCT) March 14, 2020
After that, we teamed up with Emyr to lead and liaise with countless artists and technicians and helped with advising, assisting and securing collaboration between local partners, including the Pop Factory, Valleys Kids, Young Champions and local organisations. Marketing and promotion was a constant task for us all in trying to create an event in such a short time. The Avanti team were great and more and more people than expected came in to offer their time and expertise for free. A website and marketing material were created, and set building company, a security company and merchandise company joined in to give up all their free time to add to the multitude of technicians and performers. It became apparent early in the process that big names from Wales wanted to contribute to raising money for people and businesses beyond Clwb y Bont through local fundraising campaigns, and decided that it would also be good to showcase local bands and to support the Green Rooms and Twt Lol Brewery that had suffered in the flood. That was the birth of Valley Aid, a whole weekend of fundraising for individuals and businesses in the Valleys who were flooded.”
Raising £41,000 to aide the valley
“Emyr Afan came up with the idea, used all his contacts and expertise and made this weekend a huge success. Nearly £41,000 has been raised so far. £11,739 of that to Clwb y Bont. These funds, along with the Club’s Just Giving campaign money, will enable the club to reopen. There is more work to do and more money to raise and we will continue to support that. Menter Iaith RCT is the charity that processes all the money for the whole weekend. It’s been a privilege to work with Emyr and his team and see so much of the work created, of the highest quality, all for free.”
Increasing the profile of the Welsh language
“The Welsh language has had a very high profile throughout the weekend with Friday night being a completely Welsh language evening, Sunday being bilingual, all marketing and website fully bilingual. Our volunteers have assisted throughout the events. In the wake of the flood disaster, it has been very encouraging to see so many coming together for a common cause, to help others, and we are pleased to announce that we will be building on the close relationships that have create with Valleys Kids, The Pop Factory and Avanti. I’m sure the spirit of doing great work, raising the profile and money for good causes and promoting the Welsh language will continue.”
For some years now the Menter Iaith youth project, TIM (Timau Ieuenctid Menter), has revitalised Welsh language activity at Clwb y Bont and have worked with Pyst to develope the young peoples’ event organising skills.
Here’s a video explaining the collaboration that took place to organize Parti Ponty in 2019.
You can watch the videos of some TIM members who are self-isolating on the AM channel here.