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Caryl Griffiths was one of the students in the first year of the Community Leadership Academy during 2016 - 2017.
Caryl applied for a place on the course with a view to making a difference to her community by giving the children of the area an opportunity to develop their talents. In June 2017, the 'Plant y Bryn' choir was formed with weekly rehearsals at Ysgol T Llew Jones, Brynhoffnant.
Reflecting on her time with the Community Leadership Academy, Caryl said:
'Having returned home to Llangrannog after spending three years as a music student and a teaching assistant in London, the thing that stood out most for me while I was there was the incredible opportunities that the children and youths had on their doorstep.
Though I had a great education and opportunities throughout my early childhood in the parish of Penbryn, I had to travel at least half an hour for my extra-curricular lessons, e.g. harp at Aberystwyth, choir at Newcastle Emlyn and singing lessons in Pembrokeshire.
So this was the main reason for my application to be a student on the AAG course - I wanted to make a difference to the community and give our children the opportunity to develop themselves.
In receiving the support and valuable information from the many experienced mentors who helped us along our journey on the AAG course, I was extremely excited to say that I reached my goal - the Bryn Children's Choir started on June 20, 2017.
Being a student on the Community Leadership Academy course had really been an invaluable experience in that I learned so much in making my project. But the thing I learned most from the experience was not to wait for anyone else to make the difference you want to see in your community - never think you're too young."
"Make the difference yourself – GO FOR IT!"
Steffan Rees was one of the students in the first year of the Community Leadership Academy during 2016 - 2017.
Steffan applied for a place on the course in the hope of introducing and promoting Welsh music in Aberystwyth. As part of his course, he organized and held a Sunday afternoon concert at the Bandstand on the Prom in Aberystwyth.
This event was a success with a good audience and talented performers.
As we approach the end of 2018, this is what Steffan had to say about his time as a student with the Community Leadership Academy:
"I'm glad to say that Gigs Cantre'r Gwaelod is still going and goes from strength to strength. A Sunday afternoon concert at the Bandstand was organized in May 2017 and was very successful and this was really the pilot test for starting a series of three gigs this summer.
A grant application was made to Aberystwyth Town Council and had I been unable to pilot the idea through the Academi, Gigs Cantre'r Gwaelod probably would not have received their support.
Almost all tickets were sold for our Summer events this year and there is now a call for us to run another summer series. In addition to this we have several further gigs organized before the end of the year and our successes mean that local organizations are contacting us to work together to stage gigs or musical entertainment for them.
The future is looking bright for Gigs Cantre'r Gwaelod!
I still have a close relationship with Owain Schiavone, my mentor on the project and he continues to be a trustee of the organization. Had it not been for the Academi, the funding and the support of people like Owain, Gigs Cantre'r Gwaelod would not have been as successful. Thanks to Academi!"