News

Top Rated Ideas of Bro Garw – April Update posted on 6 May 2015

Our ultimate goal for and the reason we started Bro Garw Heritage Regeneration Trust is to generate good ideas for creating change that will benefit the community and its local residents. In order to do this, we want to start off with changing one vital thing that the majority of locals think is most important to benefit our area, and allow this to lead the way for further change.

What truly matters is the top rated and most engaged with idea ultimately, as this will be the idea we take steps to make happen. We will take the top backed idea and take action to make it work, whether that idea is small or big, as long as it is beneficial to the Garw Valley and our local residents.

So, here is a list of the top rated and most engaged with ideas currently. If you agree with any of these, and believe one should be more highly rated than the other, simply join our group and vote!


1.     A Micro-Hydro Scheme – let’s set up a community-owned micro-hydro scheme. It would make money for the community and be good for the environment.

 

2.      A Coworking Retail Space – create a space where small retail spaces can work together, and rent parts and space.

 

3.     Bring Back the Carnival – the carnival was a fantastic event that brought the community together. It should return or become a regular, yearly event, such as in other parts of Bridgend.

 

4.     Promote Current Attractions – we need to focus on promoting the attractions already existing. For example: mountain biking, rambling, horse racing, railway, and the history.

 

5.     Restore the Railway – there’s not enough money or volunteers to help restore the mining railway system. We need to encourage people to take part and improve this. (Check out the Garw Valley Railway on Facebook here, they would love your support as a volunteer or help with any possible donations!)

 

6.     Storyboards on Buildings – we could add interesting storyboards on buildings, exploring the local, quirky stories. This would be fun for both locals and visitors.

 

7.     Don’t Allow Places to be Bought and Stripped! – If places are bought on Oxford Street, we need to ensure that they haven’t been bought to be stripped of the assets and left there. Every place needs to be of use and bring something to the area.

 

8.     Wildlife Appreciation – we need to encourage people to be more aware of the wildlife living in the area, which would also bring a greater awareness to the environment and climate. This could be done through wildlife walks, as well as activities such as bird watching and other ways of observing nature.

 

Do you agree that any of these ideas should be put into place? Simply click on the suggestions above for a link to each idea, and rate them!

Generating Change in the Garw: Turning Scepticism into Positivity! posted on 6 May 2015

Bro Garw Heritage Regeneration Trust has been using VocalEyes to generate good ideas for the improvement of the Garw Valley for just over one month – and what a month that’s been!

In the beginning, we knew it would be tough trying to reach and engage local people of the valleys who want to help and be a part of the changes needed. There is always an amount of scepticism at the start of any new project – in any community – including people who really want change, but just don’t think it’s achievable. This means it can be difficult to break through that mindset, and make local people acknowledge the fact that they can help make a difference to their local area and community.

  

So, we started off by using Facebook as our initial platform for getting the word out and reaching local people. We asked one question: “what do you think would improve the Bro Garw area?” We weren’t exactly sure what response we would generate, but we wanted to start the discussion. 

However, what started off with a small bit of negativity and scepticism soon transformed into something entirely different. Local residents from the Bro Garw were soon commenting fantastic ideas and suggestions for the improvement of the area, as well as debating other people’s comments.

One question turned into an entire discussion amongst the residents of Bro Garw – creating far more reaction than we ever anticipated! This one question was generating comments and ideas for days, and we were delighted to have gained the engagement of local residents.

We were amazed at the sudden turn around, from apathy and scepticism to some truly positive thinking. We knew we had achieved success when people, who were previously commenting that no changes would ever occur, started posting their ideas for creating some essential changes in the valley.

  

We soon collected all of their good comments and suggestions, and added them to the Bro Garw Heritage Regeneration Trust VocalEyes, and kept trying to encourage the discussion to move from Facebook onto VocalEyes. But the main problem was that people seemed to prefer to stay on Facebook and add their ideas there instead.

On one hand, this was a positive thing, as at least locals wanted to keep the conversation going and keep bouncing ideas off one another. On the other hand, Facebook is not the ideal platform to have that discussion. On VocalEyes, locals can read through other people’s suggestions, rate them, comment, and add their own ideas. It’s easy to collect the essential data needed from VocalEyes, and to prove an idea is supported fully by the people of the Garw Valley.

 

Our goal ultimately is to find that one top idea that is most highly rated and engaged with, and take steps to make that happen. We will take action, whether the idea is something small or something wider: we want to make a beneficial change for Bro Garw, which will allow more good changes to follow.

It’s only been one month, and we already have many people contributing great ideas and rating others. We just need this online community to keep expanding and ultimately find the best, top rated idea to initiate the change needed.

 

So, if you want to be a part of the discussion to put the ideas in motion and really generate change, join us on the Bro Garw Heritage Regeneration Trust VocalEyes! It’s easy to join, all you need is an email address and a password, and you can vote for the change you want to see happen in the Garw Valley.

38 Degrees Hustings Event - not enough seats to go round! posted on 28 Apr 2015
The Hustings event held at the Volcano Building on 27th April went really well and was very well attended. Extra chairs had to be shipped in from all corners of the building to accommodate everyone. The atmosphere was friendly but with genuine interest and concern for the policies being put forward.
Lots of people commented on how smoothly the event went and how professional the compere conducted himself.
There were over 40 questions suggested by 38 Degrees members onto VocalEyes that were prioritised prior to the event and this set the running order for the proceedings.




Class Rep refresher training posted on 23 Apr 2015
Calling all Class Reps! NUS Wales (National Union of Students, Wales) is putting on a refresher training event, open for all Class Reps. The training will be covering: - A re-cap of course rep activities (as outlined in the training back in October) - How to campaign - How to time manage/manage stress - The results of the Welsh Government Learner Voice survey - What were the main positives/concerns that people students Coleg Gwent have, and what to do about them! The sessions are taking place next week: Tuesday 28th April, 9.15am-11.15am in the Hall, City of Newport Campus Tuesday 28th April, 12.30pm-2.30pm in B103, Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone (Ebbw Vale) If you are based at another campus but would like to attend one of these sessions, please let me know asap and we can put on minibuses to transport you. This training will particularly help any Class Rep who is coming back next year, or who didn’t attend the training session in October, but is open to all reps, and will be informative and useful for everyone. Any questions, and if you would definitely like to attend, please get back to me. Jennie - jennie.dowsell@coleggwent.ac.uk
Now a part of VocalEyes posted on 7 Apr 2015
Bro Garw Heritage Regeneration Trust are the first ‘bro’ to be a part of Vocaleyes digital democracy. People from the area are already sharing their great ideas on how to improve their community.  
Adding group 'logos and 'headers' posted on 1 Apr 2015

VocalEyes are happy to introduce a great new tool which allows administrators to upload a Logo and Header to their group page. This allows you to personalise your group page in 2 easy steps. The logo will be shown in the small left hand side box and the header will be spread out alongside the top of the page.

{Preferred sizes}
Logo: 110px x 110px
Header: 1140px x 205px

Could you be President? posted on 26 Mar 2015

Could you be President?

Nominations for Sabbatical President of Coleg Gwent Students’ Union are still open!

You will need to commit to a one year Sabbatical (which means you will be paid to work full time for the year), and this could be an extremely beneficial year out before college or before going onto Uni or employment. You will gain invaluable skills of the workplace that will set you up for life, such as communication and presentation skills, confidence building, managing projects, managing people, dealing with people at all levels (from 1:2:1 personal issues, to Corporate meetings), and you will be amazed at what you achieve. If you would like to pursue this you will need to be enthusiastic and hard-working, and we can help you with the rest.

To read the basic job description for President, or have a look at the outline of how the nominations, elections and hustings will work, please look here: http://www.coleggwentsu.com/index.php?cat=downloads. If you feel that you could be the next President, then please apply! http://www.coleggwentsu.com/index.php?cat=jobs&page=Apply

The nomination deadline is 4pm on Monday 27th April.

If you would like to ask for more information, please email our Learner Voice Coordinator on jennie.dowsell@coleggwent.ac.uk

Jennie

Do you know how to defend yourself? posted on 23 Mar 2015

Self defence is a very important for women of all ages and we suggested as an idea on Gower College’s VocalEyes students group. VocalEyes has assisted with idea by putting it up for the students to add their comments and for them to rate. Though the idea has been brought forward that perhaps boys should also be able to participate in a self defence class too? Or perhaps there could be a self defence class for boys as well? As gender equality is just as important for boys as well as girls therefore there should be a class for each or a mixed male and females class.




On to the Next Pasture posted on 23 Mar 2015

Yoga has been suggested as one of Gower College’s VocalEyes idea. Yoga is a great exercise for relaxation and deep breathing. It also would work really well for stress release. With the ever present deadlines and exams looming. It would be a really effective way for the students at Gower College to take a time out!

  It could be run at a lunch time or as an after college activity or both! By posting it on VocalEyes it allows the students to express their thoughts on when the classes should be held. Should the classes be mixed between boys and girls? Or should they be separate? This is all up to ideas and speculation in the VocalEyes Gower College group.



Do you like to Code? posted on 23 Mar 2015

It is the age of computer programming and people are crying out for candidates in the field of computer science. PHP, HTML, Java and Python are only a few of the computer languages needed to build websites, computer games. Computer coding is even used in robotics.

 This idea is currently being discussed on Gower Colleges Ideas To Rate Page. So far it has been well received by the students. The class will provide the students with the necessary coding skills that will enable to go on to study the subject at university and to get employment in that sector.


Lets Talk About You posted on 23 Mar 2015

Counselling is very important when it comes to student engagement in colleges. It’s a safe place where a student can go if they are having problems or to simply talk to someone. The upside of having a counsellor full time would be that there may be more time for drop in sessions and would allow the students to fit a counselling session comfortably around their college timetable.





College FM posted on 23 Mar 2015

An idea suggested by the Gower College students group. Having a radio station is a brilliant way to engage students as well as letting students know what is happening in the college and around campus.  It also lets the students have an input in regards to shows and interviews as well as being able to enjoy the songs they like. This idea is currently being voted on




 

 



SGGP Begin Actively reviewing VocalEyes posted on 4 Mar 2015
We have set up http://vocaleyes.org/swansea-and-gower-green-party/? We need your feedback and interactions on the site so we can evaluate the usefulness of the tool. It has opportunities to improve engagement with all our members and administration within our local party.

Please sign up, with your Swansea postcode. We will receive an approval request. Request to follow and to join "Swansea and Gower Green Party". By default you will be added to the public groups for your Ward, Area/Constituency and Region/Country - but as they are public we are *not* using those at the moment.

I added some "Topics" and "Ideas" under them in no particular order. You can Rate Ideas from Dislike 1* to 5* Fully Support. You can make anon-comments with for and against flag.  If you could have a look around and see what you think of the tool.

Hopefully if there is time at the Environment Centre next week, we be able to demo it and try to answer your questions, and I can help in signing you up after the meeting. In the mean time message me via facebook if I can help in the meantime.

Mike Whittall 
mike@mikewhittall.co.uk 
Swansea and Gower Green Party - Welcome posted on 4 Mar 2015

Swansea & Gower Green Party is a lively branch with strong voices from across the age spectrum. Comprising of the constituencies of Gower, Swansea West and Swansea East, the party will be standing General Election candidates in all constituencies in the General Election.

Swansea  Gower Green Party Officers

We will also be contesting every council by-election to give everyone in Swansea & Gower the chance to vote Green. Our first elected community Councillor, Mark Griffiths, represents the ward of Southgate in the Gower village of Southgate. We hold meetings every two weeks, rotating the location around the constituencies to ensure that everyone has the chance to attend. We have an excellent team of officers, comprising of 18 officials in every field of running the party. 

http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/swansea-bay-green-party/


Arian a godir am Ambiwlans Awyr Cymru / Money raised for Wales Air Ambulance posted on 29 Jan 2015

Cerdyn Nadolig Electronig / Electronic Christmas Card - £55.50

Apêl Cardiau Nadolig / Christmas Card Appeal - £490.00

Sialens Bwced Iâ / Ice Bucket Challenge - £108.62

Sialens Bwced Iâ - Cyfraniad cyflog staff / Ice Bucket Challenge - Salary Donations - £873.00

Diwrnod Siwmper Nadolig / Christmas Jumper Day - £52.90

Digwyddiad Diwrnod Santes Dwynwen / St. Dwynwen Day - £88.56

Ffair Nadolig / Christmas Fayre - £631.08

Cacennau'r grŵp Teithio a Thwristiaeth / Travel and Tourism students Bake Sale - £29.30

Cyfanswm hyd hyn / Current total: £2,328.96

Diweddariadau i ddilyn...  / Updates to follow...

VocalEyes January Updates posted on 23 Jan 2015
New features
  • The long awaited idea carousel is complete and will be introduced this patch. 
  • A rather nifty news feed has been implemented to the Dashboard. 
Functionality Updates
  • Topics can now be categorised. 
  • Greek translations are now available [Beta]. 
Visual Updates
  • A new video has been filmed and added to the homepage, you can check it out here:
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBaB_YPQfHc
  • Resources have received a stylish facelift. 
  • Topics can now be opened/closed individually. 
  • Numerous mobile enhancements were completed. 
Miscellaneous Changes and Bug Fixes
  • Much of the site was cleaned up, including the removal of some redundant buttons. 
  • The limitation on Username length has been increased to 25. 
  • A multitude of bugs have been resolved this patch, based on both in house testing, and user feedback. 

If you would rather watch a video highlighting the latest changes, you can check that out here: 

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MhhFVkgM2w
Group Kilmuckridge
Look at this pinapple posted on 9 Jan 2015
Whats it for


ANyone?
Canteen "You Said, We Did" posted on 23 Dec 2014
There have been a number of changes/improvements agreed with Aramark (our catering provider) based on your feedback in forums, and on here!

As a result of our recent meeting with Aramark, here are some actions they have agreed on:

- There will now be an 'Extra Value' Menu all for only £1 called Quid Go! (starting from January 12th 2015)

Quid Go

Breakfast
Fried egg on toast served with a Hot Drink £1
Beans on toast served with a Hot Drink £1
Tomatoes on toast served with a Hot drink £1

Lunch
½ Jacket served with beans & a juice cup £1
½ Jacket served with cheese & a juice cup £1

Other improvements include:

- The Costa on your campus will now open at 8am, so all of you early risers who are sat around, you can now order some hot food or a hot beverage while you wait for your lessons to start.

- Also, to put an end to food running out, there will be a list of items that can be made to order towards the end of lunch time every day (1.15-1.30)

- There will be a bowl of fresh fruit available every day, with a variety of fruit.

- The Staff are now required to wear hairnets.

- Due to new laws, all allergy information for every item of food will now be available on request

-
If you need hot water for your food bought elsewhere, you can pay 10p in the hot drinks vending machines and get a cup of hot water

- There is now a feedback system on the 'Learner Portal'
where you can let the canteen know your suggestions, compliments or complaints. Access it here: http://ace.coleggwent.ac.uk/canteen/ 

- There are now sandwich meal deals available (selected sandwiches with a drink of Oasis or a soft drink, and crisps, kitkat, aero or fruit)

We hope you enjoy these changes, and we try and make things better for you as much as we can.

Coleg Gwent Students' Union (any questions, please contact us)
Student ID lanyards posted on 17 Dec 2014

Bydd myfyrwyr yn cael derbyn lanyards adnabod (ID) o fis Ionawr 2015, diolch i syniad a rennir a phleidleisiwyd gan staff y Coleg gan ddefnyddio VocalEyes.


Students will be issued with ID lanyards from January 2015, thanks to an idea shared and voted for by staff at the College using VocalEyes.

Recent updates to the VocalEyes platform. posted on 16 Dec 2014

Mobile Enhancements
Numerous areas of the website have received a mobile facelift, these include actions, topics, projects, budgets and blogs!
Each of these should now reactively respond to page widths, which will effectively deliver a smoother mobile experience.

Quality of life improvements

  • Upon rating an idea, the browser should now scroll to the newly opened comments tab, emphasising this to users.
  • Improvements have been made to the group search, wherein an additional search bar is available above the results post search.
  • One of the most exciting new features for group admins is the changes to topic selection when creating an idea. Users will now be forced to consciously select a topic, which will hopefully minimise misplaced content creation.  
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at the VocalEyes Team.