Case study: Antur Waunfawr, Bryn Pistyll, Waunfawr, Caernarfon
Antur Waunfawr was established in 1984 by R Gwynn Davies, with support from the local people in the Waunfawr area. It is now a leading social enterprise providing employment and training opportunities for over 65 adults with learning disabilities in their own community, and employs over 100 staff. Antur’s main objectives are: to create work and training opportunities for adults with learning disabilities; to be a sustainable employer and to protect and promote the local economy, environment, culture and language. The Wolfson Foundation awarded them £27,000 in 2016 to build an inclusive playground in the village of Waunfawr, allowing children, young people and adults of all abilities to socialise and play together.
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram: @AnturWaunfawr
How difficult do you think it is to seek funding for capital projects in Wales?
The current economic climate is challenging, especially so in North Wales. As a charity and social enterprise, we are fortunate that we are eligible to apply for a variety of grants. However, as a social enterprise we are focused on sustainability and additionality and seek grants for developing specific new projects. Applying for funding for capital projects is competitive, however, the process of reviewing needs, goals and creating a Business Plan that meets funder requirements often leads to improved business planning, even if funding isn’t awarded.
How did you find out about the Wolfson Foundation?
We found out about the Wolfson Foundation when researching possible funding opportunities on the internet. We had a project in mind, and had a clear idea of the aims and objectives of the project and how the service users would benefit. There were very few grants awarded in Wales. Wolfson’s funding guidelines on their website met our project proposal, and after a chat with their advisors we went ahead with an application.
How easy did you find it to apply to the Foundation/get additional help if required, etc?
We found the whole application process simple and effective. Staff in the Wolfson office were friendly and knowledgeable, and provided support when required throughout the two-stage application process and beyond.
Can you describe a little bit about how your funding has helped your organisation?
The funding has been a huge benefit to Antur Waunfawr and the local community. Antur’s vision has always been to create a place that is truly inclusive, and the funding from Wolfson enabled us to build an accessible play area which individuals of all abilities can enjoy. The company that provided the playground equipment was a local firm, GL Jones Playgrounds, which was useful in terms of project planning and implementation, and also meant that the money was injected into the local economy.
The play area has been a valuable asset for those who receive a service from Antur Waunfawr, and has been especially beneficial to those with complex needs, providing a sensory and safe environment to play and enjoy the outdoors. The park is also open to the public seven days a week, and many families from the local area enjoy making use of the play area.
If you were trying to encourage more organisations in Wales to look for funders, how would you go about this?
We would encourage more organisations to look for funding by stressing that the application process may not be as complicated as they imagine! Funders often have a strong support team to help with your application, and are often happy to have an informal discussion before any application is made, to offer guidance. We would also stress that even if an application is unsuccessful, the process itself can generate a strong project proposal and increased partnership opportunities for the organisation.