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Wrexham Pioneer Area - case study

Improving adult life skills

The Wrexham Pioneer Area has been convened by Wrexham County Borough Council; partners include national cultural bodies such as Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and Literature Wales, local authority and third sector cultural bodies, and social enterprises. 

Caia Park is a CF cluster and large housing state in central Wrexham with very few cultural services. As a direct outcome of the Wrexham Fusion partnership, several partners are redesigning services to meet the needs of CF residents. The partnership has identified culture as a key engagement tool on a progression route for adults to move them from being economically and socially inactive through to training and potentially employment, and activities have focussed on providing ‘soft’ engagement to increase motivation, confidence and life skills. 

With no library in Caia Park, Wrexham’s Library Service has developed a ‘pop-up library’ serving the estate, and is enabling support to access e-library services, through a targeted approach for socially isolated adults, to boost literacy and digital inclusion. 


Detail of artwork created as part of Oriel Wrecsam’s ‘Make Trips’ project for residents of the Wrexham Pioneer Area.





Detail of artwork created as part of Oriel Wrecsam’s ‘Make Trips’ project for residents of the Wrexham Pioneer Area

During summer 2015, Oriel Wrecsam delivered drawing courses for unemployed and socially isolated adults. This led to the participants forming their own group. Members are responsible for generating projects and for coordinating and leading each session, leading to an increase in self-confidence and motivation. Cultural bodies support the group by offering trips and activities designed to inspire the group. 

Other cultural bodies support the group by offering trips and activities designed to inspire the group, allowing them to apply and develop their skills beyond their usual familiar community surroundings of Caia Park. Many participants had never visited these sites before despite only living a few miles away. The group prepared a bid for funding to cover the transportation costs and received contributions from both CF and the Destination Management team at Wrexham Council. An accredited floristry course has also been introduced in Caia Park. 

The partner responsible for coordinating the drawing and craft workshops referred to the impact on two particular individuals, with changes observed across multiple areas of their confidence, personal and social skills. In particular, the partner emphasised that feelings of self-worth amongst both these individuals were noticeably higher as a result of continued engagement with the project, which had a significant positive influence on their mental health and wellbeing.