Make a Big DIFFerence

Social workers and those who work within the field of social care are often our hidden heroes.

There are very few other professions which allow you to have such a positive impact on the lives of other people – be it helping to protect the vulnerable from harm or abuse or supporting people to live independent lives.

It’s an area of high pressure and responsibility and requires total commitment, with no room for complacency.

I want to take time out to commend the amazing work done by social workers in my own organisation and across the city every day.  We need more people like you.

That’s why this week we have launched the ‘Cardiff Cares’ campaign to promote the city as a great place for social care professionals to work and live.  In addition to the Capital Times and City Council website, we will also be using street advertising, radio and other effective channels to promote our key messages more widely.  You can follow the campaign on Twitter #CardiffCares

Cardiff has a number of exciting career opportunities within our busy and dedicated Children’s Services team, which offers vital services for those most vulnerable and most in need across the city.

So, if you are (or know) a qualified social care professional or someone who can make a positive difference to Cardiff’s vulnerable children and young people then we want to hear from you!

Get in touch with the City of Cardiff’s Children Services team on 02920 873622 to find out how you could make all the DIFFerence.

Continuing the theme of people making a difference, on Sunday I attended the launch of Volunteers Week in Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan.

There is something quite brilliant about people willingly giving their time to help others, or to improve their communities. It reflects incredibly well on Cardiff that we have so many volunteers in the city and it is only right that their contribution is recognised.

And the city has a long tradition of volunteering. In 1964 a Volunteering Centre opened its doors for the first time in Cardiff, the first volunteering bureau in Britain!  50 years on, Voluntary Community Services Cardiff are still welcoming volunteers and supporting volunteering right across the city.

It is a remarkable achievement, and reflects one of the city’s greatest strengths – its people.

Children and Young people are an important part of our city. There are over 130,000 people aged under 25 living in Cardiff – over a third of the population – so it’s important that we understand what matters to them.

That’s why I was pleased to meet representatives from the Cardiff Youth Council this week to discuss their priorities for the city. As part of being a Co-operative Council, we need to engage people more in decision making, ensuring that people and communities have a clearer voice and are enabled to do more

Meeting Cardiff Youth Council Reps

Meeting Cardiff Youth Council Reps

One way our co-operative approach is working can be seen through the Council’s process for training young people to act as ‘young commissioners’.  This will enable them to be part of a new £5m commissioning exercise, helping to decide how we shape future training provision for 14-19 year olds in Cardiff.  This shows how seriously the City of Cardiff is about trying to get more people involved in shaping the services they receive.

To get involved with the Cardiff Youth Council, click here, or alternatively you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter: @CardiffYC

Another important aspect of our co-operative approach involves empowering local communities to achieve their ambitions for their area.

That is why we have recently made a new Neighbourhood Partnership Fund available to the six Neighbourhood Partnership areas across the City. The community based aim of the fund is to encourage solutions to local priorities.

When we talk of using the energy and creativity of communities, I understand that the City of Cardiff and our partners have an important role to play. The purpose of the fund is to help you get your ideas off the ground, because we know that, with a little bit of support, we can all make a significant difference.

We want to encourage and support communities to develop innovative projects or services that support early intervention and prevention, community engagement or that trial new ways of delivering services. The fund may also be able to help unlock other funding opportunities or could be part of a wider fundraising effort, perhaps as part of a “crowd funding” project.  Internet sites such as Spacehive  (, the world’s first internet funding platform for civic projects, have opened up new opportunities for communities and entrepreneurs to raise funding for project ideas.

Bids can be made for between £250 and £2,500 though, in exceptional circumstances, consideration will be given to applications of up to £5,000. Any application will need to be ‘sponsored’ by a local Councillor in the area where you want to deliver your project.

Our Neighbourhood Partnership Fund offers a chance for communities to bring forward ideas which help to make a positive difference in our city.  For more information on how to apply, please visit

The closing date for the next bidding round is 14 / 7 / 2014.

Pob Lwc!

Good Luck!