Published by the Ministerial Taskforce for the South Wales Valleys in July 2017, ‘Our Valleys, Our Future’ was an ambitious, high-level plan setting out a range of actions to transform communities across the Valleys. Working in partnership with the Welsh Government, our primary aim was to help promote the work of the Valleys Ministerial Taskforce while instilling pride within the community – uniting local communities with their local Government, so they work together toward a more prosperous future for the Valleys region.
Our aims and our purpose were clear – to engage with the people of the Valleys regardless of age, education and class. With this in mind, we identified just one value which we believed to be the key to unlocking the Valleys’ potential. That one key value, was pride.
We developed the ‘Our Valleys, Our Future’ brand identity to connect with the local people, families and businesses, to engage, inspire and get involved with improvement projects led by the Taskforce. To reach everybody in the region, we used an integrated approach to communications, combining advertising channels (such as radio and digital) with engagement events and an active social media presence.
To mark the official launch of ‘Our Valleys, Our Future’ action plan, we united the talents of Community Music Wales, Welsh singer-songwriter Kizzy Crawford and children from across the Valleys region to create and record an uplifting song which would inspire and engage the local community. Click here to listen to our song ‘Ein Cymoedd, Our Valleys’.
Following the launch, we organised a community engagement activity with the ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ street pianos. We worked in partnership with Artist Luke Jerram, who has been touring with street pianos since 2008, in over 60 cities across the world. We positioned 10 pianos in public and community places across the Valleys, for everyone to play and enjoy. Decorated by local community groups, businesses, schools and charities, the pianos were a great opportunity for people to connect and express their pride for living in the Valleys.
The launch event took place at Gwyn Hall in Neath. Open to the public, we invited all participating schools and parents of the children along to share in the pride of this initiative. The Valleys Taskforce Chair – Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services, Alun Davies – gave a report on the Taskforce delivery plan and the school children performed the song live. We also welcomed the BBC and S4C who came along to cover the event.
We also promoted local businesses and personal success stories through social media to further inspire pride in the Valley’s community.