Civic Mission and Community Engagement

In light of the changing political landscape, universities in Wales are being encouraged to consider the ways they interact with, support and develop the communities in which they are situated.

USW is shaping its own Civic Mission by working alongside community leaders, cultural organisations, the Government, and the third sector to identify ways in which we can promote social cohesion in the area, develop the health and well-being of its people, and represent South Wales in both national and international discourses.

USW staff are enthusiastic about undertaking activities relating to the Civic Mission and as means of facilitating this, our colleagues are able to apply for up to 5 days of civic leave. If your organisation could benefit from USW volunteers, please get in touch.


CIVIC VOLUNTEER CASE STUDIES

ART Walk Port Talbot

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ARTwalk Port Talbot is a Heritage Lottery-funded project to create an urban walking trail around the murals and street art highlights of Port Talbot town center, Taibach, and Sandfields areas. . After downloading a smartphone app, participants will be guided from artwork to artwork from Ty’r Orsaf along Commercial Road and back into the town centre.

A USW staff multimedia volunteer said “For the last 12 months I’ve been volunteering to look after the App that supports the ARTwalk and curate a list of all the pieces/murals that appear. We specifically want to encourage locals and tourists to walk from their homes, from mural to mural, ultimately increasing footfall around Taibach and into the town center.

Sustrans

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Sustrans is a UK charity that helps look after their local communities by engaging with schools, supporting wildlife conservation, caring for the National Cycle Network, and much more.

Volunteer Tim Morris, Senior Software Developer at USW, said “I’ve been a Creative Media volunteer for Sustrans for a year. One of my first tasks was to photograph/document the millennium signposts that can be found on the various National Cycle Network routes in the South Wales area. This work will help to determine their condition and what, if any maintenance, they require. Toward the end of 2022, I was asked to help test a new App (Assemble) that was being launched in early 2023.”

Meadow Street Community Garden

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Meadow Street Community Garden is a safe and welcoming place where people from all walks of life can come and enjoy the benefits of nature, and homegrown produce and have opportunities to share and learn new skills.

Volunteer Matthew Evans, Careers Team Manager, said “The volunteering was a great way to build team spirit and do something good for the local community. The time given to us by the University to help the local community was very well used by the team, who carried out some strenuous work on a very hot day. As a Community Partnership, we know that the team behind the Meadow Street Garden really appreciates the support, and we look forward to exploring volunteer opportunities in the future.”

The River Restoration Centre (RRC)

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The aim of The River Restoration Centre (RRC) project is to have citizen scientists survey rivers and, with the help of more experienced surveyors, produce assessments of habitat quality and develop river restoration projects to improve river habitats.

Volunteer Donna Szarun, Knowledge Exchange and Impact Officer, said: “I’ve always had a deep personal interest in the environment having grown up in Brecon, just a stone's throw from the beautiful Brecon Beacons. My experience of working with grassroots community groups on a pan-Wales community engagement project, with a strong focus on sustainable development, really sparked my interest in community and civic activism.”


Contact USW Exchange: 

With USW Exchange hubs in both Pontypridd and Newport Campuses and a comprehensive virtual engagement offering, we're never far away.  

Pontypridd

USW Exchange, 
University of South Wales, 
Llantwit Road, 
Treforest, 
Pontypridd CF37 1DL  

Newport

USW Exchange, 
University of South Wales. 
Usk Way, 
Newport, 
NP20 2BP