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Fferm Moelyci, Lôn Felin Hen, Tregarth, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 4BB.

Moelyci : Urgent Appeal Moelyci was the first place in the UK where a community came together and bought a whole hill-farm and mountain. Together our 750 members have made the farm a place where people have a real connection to the land. Through 10 remarkable years of hard work we have quietly made our own history, establishing a centre for nature conservation and providing opportunities for land-based learning, training and employment. Over those 10 years Moelyci has:  Created jobs, established allotments, set up a market garden, supported crafts, heritage and wildlife projects  Attracted 750 shareholding members – people like you  Cared for the land and wildlife of the farm, turning it into a more diverse landscape rich in wildlife  Taken special care of the rare wildlife and habitats of the ffridd and mountain land, including species which are nationally threatened  Provided paid work placements for almost 100 local long-term unemployed people  Established a range of projects which provides income, volunteering and training opportunities for large numbers of people every year.  Been a social hub and melting pot for ideas and projects.  Developed plans for a green burial site  Almost completed the first phase of refurbishing one of the barns as our education centre and community meeting space Moelyci needs the help, today, of people like you who care about wildlife, the countryside and rural communities.

The Problem At a time when funds are stretched and councils and central organisations are slashing budgets and centralising operations, small, independent operations like Moelyci are left struggling to survive. Our reserves are badly stretched, and we urgently need capital to finish off the first phase of the community barn re-building project. This will give us a great new resource, generating hard cash income through field study activities, courses, events and hire fees. These problems are far from unusual at the moment for businesses, charities and social enterprises, and we have been saddened to learn that other important conservation organisations are also struggling, at a time when we absolutely need those independent voices. 01248 602793 office@moelyci.org www.moelyci.org

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Fferm Moelyci, Lôn Felin Hen, Tregarth, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 4BB.

How did we get here? Money has always been tight at Moelyci and much of what we have achieved has been done on a shoestring and by the heroic efforts of volunteers at every level. Whilst we are used to ‘making do’, a recent combination of setbacks has nudged us a bit too close to the edge for comfort.  Contracts for services such as green waste composting and ‘back-to-work’ programmes have become scarcer and do not pay enough to cover their costs.  The barn refurbishment project has had a drastic and negative impact on cash flow.  We are owed some substantial sums of money which may not be paid in the near future.  Over 10 years we have filled the holes in our finances using grant funding. Grant funding is like artificial fertiliser; it produces weak top growth without a sturdy set of roots to support it. We need to become self-sustaining without a reliance on grants.

What do we need? 1. Survival Right now we need to replace our 3-month buffer of working capital to give the time to put the emergency rescue package into action. Cost: £25,000. Needed: now. 2. Community barn – a big step forward We are completing rebuilding work on one of our old stone barns as a new education/field study room and community meeting facility. The funding we have will not be enough to finish it off. Most of the work is done, the building is starting to look good, and when it is ready we can generate sustainable income from it. Cost: £75,000. Needed: by Christmas. 3. A sustainable future without grant dependency The Moelyci team recognises that grants alone do not help move towards sustainability in the long term. We have to learn to survive and develop without them, and we have to start that process immediately. A sustainable future requires a serious re-examination of our operations, and we need your input to decide how a sustainable future for Moelyci can be achieved. You can help us to make the transition so that Moelyci can continue to change and grow for the next 10 years. Cost: some sleepless nights, and a lot of determination. Needed: to start immediately

01248 602793 office@moelyci.org www.moelyci.org

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Fferm Moelyci, Lôn Felin Hen, Tregarth, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 4BB.

An example of our work The Conservation Gateway Project: helping volunteers to develop. In 2011 we tendered for two Engagement Gateway contracts with Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA). Engagement Gateway is about helping people make progress towards employment through volunteering. Between October 2011 and June 2012 we worked with nine individuals, who were keen to find work in conservation and were either unemployed or working less than 16 hours a week. These nine people carried out an amazing range of activities over several months, in different places, and in all kinds of weather. The efforts of these people resulted in conservation work of a high standard:  Hundreds of metres of firebreaks created on our precious heathland  1 new pond created and several ponds maintained  Lots of bracken and scrub controlled around the flower-rich grassland  Habitat restoration work on superb (and extremely wet) bog and wet heath habitats  Major improvements carried out (under licence) to a Lesser Horseshoe Bat roost  Volunteers gained a lot of experience and developed their skills  Lots of networking, mutual support, and social activities  With such a strong team we were able to take on a contract for conservation work, generating much-needed income for Moelyci. And what were the outcomes for the volunteers? 2 people gained accredited qualifications, 2 went on to further learning, 1 entered an employability programme, at least 3 went on to further volunteering, 1 took a supported employment position, 4 got jobs (some individuals had more than one outcome). All 9 recorded ‘positive outcomes’, which means that aspects of their confidence, knowledge, or skill improved significantly during the time they were enrolled on the project. WCVA carried out an end-of-project audit, and concluded that:“The supplier [Moelyci] has demonstrated that they have taken the opportunity to engage with participants very seriously. The supplier has applied specialist knowledge and experience of the staff to assist participants to move towards self-actualisation in a unique and highly beneficial manner.” The final word though has to go to one of the volunteers, Huw, who sent this message to the project organiser;“Just to say I finally got myself a job! Got a contract as conservation officer with CCW [Countryside Council for Wales]. Just want to say big thanks for your help, it played a big part in my development over the past year. Cheers, Huw.”

01248 602793 office@moelyci.org www.moelyci.org

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Fferm Moelyci, Lôn Felin Hen, Tregarth, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 4BB.

How you can help Today  Make a donation  Buy shares  Subscribe to ‘Friends of Moelyci’ You can do it online at www.moelyci.org , by contacting office@moelyci.org or by telephone on 01248 602793. Tomorrow  Send the www.moelyci.org link to all your contacts, asking them to support us too.  Spread the appeal to your friends and social networks.  Generate publicity and appeal opportunities with colleagues, workplaces, clubs and societies. This week  Contact the Appeal Action Group at office@moelyci.org to register your willingness to help.  Organise a fundraising event on behalf of Moelyci.  Get in touch and get involved in shaping the vision - what do you want Moelyci to be in ten years' time?  Offer your help to finish the community barn building project and other practical work – this could be fundraising or practical help such as finishing touches, furnishings, outside paths and preparatory work for the opening.  Offer to support the green burial project as it develops.  Help us generate appeal publicity using conventional media .  Generate a wave of social media interest.

01248 602793 office@moelyci.org www.moelyci.org

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Moelyci Appeal