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Home is Where the Heart Is

the Upper Rhondda Story Board

Create Your Space

THE LISTENING PROJECT collects thoughts and experiences from people in the community, who give them give a Ɵtle. The Project goes onto train local people to collect these community experiences and turn them into staƟsƟcal data that evaluates how people’s thoughts and experiences change over Ɵme to evaluate changes in percepƟons of the community. This is the just the start of a story in the Upper Rhondda as part of the Create Your Space programme. This Story Board tells the story of the Upper Rhondda . . . in people’s own words and drawings collected when talking to the community by a local arƟst.

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS – the Upper Rhondda Story Board

FORGOTTEN COMMUNITIES When most people think of the South Wales Valleys and the Rhondda, they think about of the mining industry; the hard work and strong idenƟty that it brought to the area, but also the lasƟng environmental damage, and long-term negaƟve social and economic impact on ‘forgoƩen communiƟes’ that it leŌ behind. ‘We are a backwater; forgotten about.’ The backwater ‘The village is a Skelton of what it was… The young people are all moving out and don’t care for our heritage.’ Little Joe ‘There is no doubt that something has been lost since the pit closed, the colliery closure, in my view has polarised the community and we have lost the intergenerational aspect so evident in the past.’ Bring us to life

‘My community has changed and continues do change. It's not as friendly as it once was.’ Changes

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS But the people of the Rhondda, the people who have stayed and those that have come to live here, have a passion for ‘their’ communiƟes and a strong sense of place, of beauty, of landscape. ‘The mountains are beautiful and steeped in history.’ One man and his pub ‘The valley is unique; we have a community that is full of energy, in the community and in the wind.’ Energy: People and wind

‘The people of Rhondda have so much to give.’ Home is where the heart is

‘I’m from London but I have lived here for 31 years and would never go back. The mountains are incredible and the air is clean, you’d never get anything like this in London.’ Life in Rhondda

‘The valleys people are friendlier than other people in Wales.’ Home is where the heart is

‘I have lived here for 40 years and love the views and heritage.’ Changes

‘The mountains are beautiful! I moved here from England because I could afford to live here without a big mortgage and the views are fantastic. I spend a lot of time walking the mountains and cycling.’ A story of Pitbulls and Poodles

A STORY OF PITBULLS AND POODLES But, there are some hurdles in the way . . . ‘The thing about people around here though is that they’re either ‘pitbulls’ or 'poodles’. The poodles are the people who care about where they live, they appreciate the environment and they care for it; the pit bulls may as well be living right in the middle of the city, they don’t care for the environment, they litter and that bring the whole area down and leads to general antisocial behaviour.’ A story of Pitbulls and Poodles

‘I feel lonely most nights.’ Changes ‘It’s boring the only good place to go is McDonalds.’ Untitled ‘There are no toilet and nowhere to go.’ Untitled ‘Mountains, I know the mountains like the back of my hand from when I was a child; buildings dens, it’s not the same any more though with kids now.’ Home is where the heart is

THE WEATHER IS SHOCKING As for somethings, we might just have to learn to live with them, we are in Wales aŌer all! ‘The weather is shocking!’

‘I walk my dogs up the mountain and it’s fantastic, except the weather!’

‘It is always raining!’ Untitled

I WANT FOR MY GRANDCHILDREN TO GROW UP BEING ABLE TO PLAY OUTDOORS People understand the challenges but value what they have got and want to make things beƩer in the future, especially for their children. Despite ‘the demise of the swimming pool, library and youth centre we don't have many facilities left, but the people look out for each other.’ ‘I want for my grandchildren to grow up being able to play outdoors.’ Life in Rhondda ‘I would like to see better for my grandchildren.’ A future for our children

‘It would be nice to see the land scape how it was before the coal industry.’ One man and his pub

‘It’s a close knit community, it’s a friendly place and the people are helpful. When my children were growing up here there was nothing for them to do, I would like to see better for my grandchildren.’ A future for our children

HAPPIEST IN THE HILLS When the people of the Rhondda think about what their community and environment could look like, they know what great things they have, and have ideas on how they can make them even beƩer. ‘More should be made of the natural scenery and walking routes to encourage outdoor activities and visitors here because we could and should have a thriving tourist industry here. It would also encourage the locals to see and appreciate the beauty and to be more enthusiastic ambassadors and promoters of the valley.’ Happiest in the hills

And ‘the only real difference between ‘Pitbulls’ and ‘Poodles’ is education, understanding and appreciating their environment.’ A story of Pitbulls and Poodles

WE HAVE A COMMUNITY THAT IS FULL OF ENERGY, IN THE COMMUNITY AND IN THE WIND The great thing is the ability of the community to want to work with what they have got and to build on it – people are interested in being posiƟve and working together to make these things beƩer. ‘The people of Rhondda have so much to give.’ Untitled

‘We have a community that is full of energy, in the community and in the wind.’ Untitled

Create Your Space TheUpper Rhondda Storyboard Thank you to all the wonderful people who gave their thoughts and experiences

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