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Guest blog: Urdd Gobaith Cymru introduce Canolfan Pentre Ifan

  • Heritage and Conservation

The Fund supports a wide range of causes across the world, and it is always wonderful to share grantee stories and the impact our support can have. Below, please enjoy a guest blog from Delun Gibby, Head of Pentre Ifan at Urdd Gobaith Cymru. We supported Urdd Gobaith Cymru with a major grant to restore Pentre Ifan in 2019.

Canolfan Pentre Ifan was opened in 1992 as an educational centre with the emphasis on environmental education. Thanks to the contribution of The King Charles III Charitable Fund, in combination with other funders including the Welsh Government, in recent years the centre has received an investment of almost £1 million to develop the site with work including refurbishing, conserving, and transforming existing listed heritage buildings on site,   including a Tudor gatehouse, into high standard, modern accommodation; as well as the addition of a new accommodation block; indoor learning area; as well as creating an outdoor kitchen; outdoor learning area and mindfulness areas.

It has been wonderful to see this place being transformed under the masterful hands of the builders. My professional background is in heritage so for me it has been particularly exciting to see the stonemasons restoring the old cowshed and milking parlour with such care and attention to detail. It is just fantastic to see this ancient craft in action as well as being preserved through being passed on to the stone masons’ apprentice. It has also been lovely to see the additions to these buildings to help conserve and encourage the site’s wildlife including nesting swallows and bats.

It is truly an honour to be working on a project that has the potential to not only make a difference to the young people who will visit and utilise the centre, but also make a difference to our planet and society.

To protect our environment and ensure a healthy future for the next generation it is necessary to empower the current generation with the knowledge and skills to transition to a low carbon lifestyle. The effect of climate change is constantly being discussed throughout the media which although raises awareness of these issues, it has caused more and more young people to experience climate anxiety. Gwersyll Pentre Ifan can offer hope to young people and help them cope and face this anxiety by learning and participating in proactive environmental actions and activities.

We also live in an increasingly digital world and while there are benefits to this digital life it can also be overwhelming for young people’s health and wellbeing. At our centre, we would like to offer them the chance to escape from the digital world; to turn off their mobile phones, enjoy a taste of the simple life and reconnect with each other and the land.

It is our aim to encourage young people to reconnect with their environmental and cultural landscape and experience a more sustainable lifestyle as well as being a safe space for young people to share experiences, develop resilience, trust, and relationships, focus on their wellbeing and to practice mindfulness.

Our range of activities and experiences will empower young people to work together, prioritise their wellbeing, learn how to look after our environment and contribute to a greener future. These sessions will be delivered through the medium of Welsh and bilingually which will also encourage and foster a deeper appreciation of the Welsh language and culture allowing participants to learn, practice and utilise their Welsh language skills or simply be able to enjoy sessions in their mother tongue.

We are very grateful for the contribution of this organisation to this project and as a result we are now looking forward to welcoming our first residents shortly and helping them on their journey to a greener and more mindful future.