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The People's Library - The Decade Starts Here

Cwmbwrla has united to launch the Wales People’s Library, bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds to share their life experiences.

On Saturday September 11th the People’s Library was launched at the Cwmbwrla community hub at St John’s Day Centre. The goals of the project were discussed by guests including local politicians, community police, and business, charity and community leaders. The event also included the 2021 Community Awards, honouring local people whose resilience and support for others has helped Swansea meet the challenges of pandemic and lockdown. And as a final flourish, the event celebrated Cwmbwrla’s locally grown food initiative, with a cookery challenge using fresh fruit and vegetables grown in the St John’s garden.


St John’s Day Centre Manager Amanda Gallivan sees the People’s Library as a platform for the community to move forward in the 2020s.

“New decades are a time of excitement and possibilities. For the past year and a half, Coronavirus has held us back. During that time we’ve seen local groups step up admirably, with an emergency food resource putting meals on the tables of families who needed support, care provision that’s treated people with respect and consideration, and leadership through Local Area Coordination that’s shown us we truly are one community. The 2020s might have had a difficult start, but here in Cwmbwrla, we’re ready to put that behind us. The decade starts here.”


Among the 2021 Community Award winners were:

Young community leaders Jordan Williams and Kyle Coleman, whose commitment and enthusiasm as volunteers and now as apprentices has improved the lives of countless users of social services.

Asylum seeker Nazife Asllani, whose integration into her local community is a source of happiness and pride for all those who know her.

Delivery hero Steve Mackrill, whose willingness to go the extra mile ensures greetings and packages always reach their destination.

Men’s Shed Project Leader Steve Pearson, whose initiative is behind the growth of fresh fruit and vegetables in the heart of Cwmbwrla.


Guest speaker Emma Lewis, founding member and chairperson of the Roots Foundation Wales, offered an insight into the value that can be added to young lives by people of compassion and purpose. The founders of the People’s Library could ask for no better role model, and we look forward to working with the Roots Foundation in the months and years ahead.

Friends of St John’s Day Centre, Richard and Deb Harding provided words and music. Richard’s poem, “St John’s, the kind place” and Deb’s rendition of “Perfect Day” reminded us of the values that make St John’s Day Centre the heart of Cwmbwrla.


Fruit and vegetables from the St John’s communal garden were used to make starters, main courses and desserts for guests. Check out the recipes here.

People’s Library initiatives in 2021-22 will include the following:

· Monthly meetings bringing together people of all ages to share their views on history, the arts and sciences.

· Training days offering practical skills sessions in customer service, sales and marketing, leadership and job searching.

· Cookery challenges, sharing different recipes using home-grown ingredients.

· A short film festival in December, sharing filmed accounts of the ways in which local people are coming together to share their stories and enrich each other’s lives.

· A community book, to be published in the Spring of 2022, featuring inspiring stories of cooperation and shared learning.

The next meeting of the People’s Library takes place at St John’s Day Centre on October 16th. Join us at 11am for a discussion of local history and culture.

People are our greatest resource. When we share our life experiences, we educate each other, we enrich each other and we build bridges between generations and cultures.

The People’s Library is officially open.

Contact us at hello@connectedsa5 to find out more.

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