The winners of the Love Where You Live (LWYL) Awards 2019, which is now in its eleventh year have been crowned in a special ceremony.
This year's prestigious awards, which were held in Coleg Y Cymoedd, Nantgarw saw a high number of entries across all categories, making it a very tough decision for the judges.
The LWYL awards aim to celebrate and congratulate the people in Rhondda Cynon Taf who go above and beyond, just like the Rhondda Fundraisers, to ensure that our County Borough is a clean, green place to live, work and visit.
From sprucing up their streets, to picking up litter, a number of people were rewarded for a wide range of environmental projects and inspiring activities.
One winner, who scooped the Most Innovative Environmental Project, decided to sort out dog mess in the village Brynna - Rose North and Brynna Community Council came up with a unique idea on how to tackle dog fouling on the village's streets, by ensuring that dog mess bags were readily available, making sure there was no excuse not to clean up after your pet.
Rose designed and produced 'bones' which are bone shaped containers that house dog mess bags. These are then placed in key locations e.g. lamp posts in 25 locations. This innovative idea is funded by Rose and has led to a reduction of dog mess on the streets. Rose is also working with the local football clubs to ensure the children who use the community facilities do not have to worry about stepping in dog mess and have a safe place to play.
A further six environmental heroes were rewarded for their exceptional hard work and dedication in keeping our County Borough clean and green for everyone to enjoy - this includes a fantastic project by Treorchy Primary School who has worked with Matthew Williams, who owns the award winning local business - Crispy Cod Fish Bar.
The children were keen to look at ways they could improve the environment in their local area and with Matthew's help they headed to Rest Bay, Porthcawl to carry out a litter pick. In the depths of winter the children trawled the beach and removed four large bags of rubbish off the beach.
The passion the children showed resulted in them being nominated in two categories and winning Best School Environmental Initiative.
Another exceptional entry came from Lee Gardens Pool in Penrhiwceiber -
The facility is so much more than a pool and has become an oasis for young and old to enjoy all year around. This is thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Lee Gardens Pool Committee, which was formed in 2015 and is made up of 101 amazing volunteers.
The colourful oasis in the centre of the village, has a picnic area so visitors can enjoy the surroundings and a tuck shop has been set up which provides affordable refreshments. The pool opens for the school holidays in the summer and is free to be enjoyed by the young - and the young at heart. The pool provides all year round activities for the village to bring the community together, in December the pool is transformed into a Winter Wonderland with a synthetic ice rink where the Church and local schools can come to sing carols. The committee also works in partnership with St Winifred’s Church and the local Co-op to run a Fit and Fed project during school holidays. This is an initiative to combat holiday hunger and it is one that truly benefits the local community by providing free activities and lunch to children. A free Christmas Meal is also provided for the elderly which helps combat loneliness and isolation.
This project encompasses everything that Love Where You Live is about and it is for this reason that this initiative secured the award for Best Kept Community/Best Community Project. The judges were so impressed with the impact that this project had on the Penrhiwceiber community that it was also crowned overall winner of the Love Where You Live Awards 2019.
Councillor Ann Crimmings, Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure & Heritage Services, said: “The Love Where You Live Awards shine the spotlight on all the fantastic work that is going on within our communities, focusing on the people and projects that truly are making a difference to all of our lives.
“This year's overall winner, Lee Gardens Pool, are a great example of the heroes we have in our community who work tirelessly to improve our County Borough, for the benefit of the whole community - well done! All the winners, and those short-listed today, are people who are committed to improving the local environment and the Love Where You Live Awards provide the perfect opportunity to reward each and every one of them.
“This is our opportunity to not only congratulate these remarkable people on their achievements, but also to encourage others to follow suit by ensuring that residents understand the importance of improving the environment.
“By working together, we can make Rhondda Cynon Taf an even cleaner and greener place to live, work and visit.”
The 2019 Love Where You Live Awards winners are as follows:
- Community Environmental Champion - Carys Romney & Julie Barton
- Most Innovative Environmental Project - Rose North & Brynna Community Council
- Best School Environmental Initiative - Treorchy Primary School
- Best Kept Community/Best Community Project - Lee Gardens Pool, Penrhiwceiber
- School Environmental Champion (Pupil) - Penygawsi Primary School
- School Environmental Champion (Teacher ) Aled Hughes – Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Tonyrefail
- Local Authority Team of the Year - Street Cleansing Supervisory Team
- Overall 2019 Winner - Lee Gardens Pool, Penrhiwceiber
Loving where you live is made easy in Rhondda Cynon Taf, thanks to the Council providing a weekly dry, food, nappy and green recycling collection service to over 110,000 properties.
In addition to the Council’s kerbside recycling services the Council also boasts a number of dedicated Community Recycling Centres - find your nearest at www.rctcbc.gov.uk/crcs