I recently chaired the fourth meeting of the Oversight Board for the University’s Flagship Engagement Projects, also known as the Transforming Communities programme. The Board meets three times a year and consists of internal and external members, chosen with particular emphasis on personal standing in the community, project management skills and representation of different sectors. The external members include: Maria Battle, Chair of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board; Carys Evans, Deputy Director, Constitutional Affairs and Inter-governmental Relations, Welsh Government; David Hughes, Head of Office of the European Commission in Wales; and Sara Moseley, Director, Mind Cymru.
All projects provided an update on their progress, highlighting their recent achievements and delivery against their objectives. The Board also received an update on the evaluation framework for the programme which is being developed as a partnership between Cardiff University and the Wales Audit Office, which we informally call ‘the Carwyn Test’ to ensure that the projects are delivering for Wales.
I was particularly pleased to hear of the increasing connections between the individual projects, including examples such as the Community Gateway and Phoenix Project developing a link between primary schools in Namibia and Grangetown, and a potential geocaching heritage activity organised by City Region Exchange and Strong Communities, Healthier People.
Also of note was the recent success of Community Journalism in winning the ‘outstanding contribution to the community’ award at the University’s Celebrating Excellence Awards – congratulations to all those involved.
Board members were very happy with the University’s approach to engaging with its local communities and options for showcasing the work at both the local and European level were suggested – these discussions will be taken forward over the coming months.
I encourage all staff to find out more about the projects and to get involved where possible.