Our Successes

I missed the library a lot when it was closed. I felt a bit down and lost without it. I find coming in and talking to staff encouraging and uplifting. The library has improved my life a lot.

Case study


Bridgend Library

Anthony lives alone and has a significant learning disability. He lost his mother a few years ago and is now supported by a close relative who visits him weekly to provide food shopping and basic household assistance.

When the library closed during both lockdowns, Anthony told us that he felt “lost” without the library and without the company of the staff to chat to.

The reopening of the library has provided Anthony with a place to go every day. He has developed relationships with members of staff who are mindful of Anthony’s wellbeing and enjoy chatting to him.

He has booked a computer every day since the library reopened and also enjoys borrowing DVD’s and books. He then likes to discuss them with the staff , ask questions and tell them his thoughts.

Anthony has told us that he looks forward to coming in every day. He has said that life can be lonely sometimes and that the interaction with the staff is sometimes the only human interaction he has in a day. Coming to the library every day gives him hope and makes him feel happier.

Libraries Customer Feedback

“Books on Wheels makes all the difference. I can’t get out. It’s a lifeline.”

“I can’t manage without a book! A book helps my mental health.”

“Helps with feeling isolated.”

“Without the library I would go down very quickly, be miserable.”

“Without the library I would feel cut off. There are days that i feel lonely and the books are helping me”.

I like coming to the library because I like organizing the books, I like the staff that help me and I enjoy learning, especially on the computer

Case study


B-Leaf And Wood-B

Stuart is one of our learning disability trainees based at B-Leaf/Wood-B. Following an assessment with our Training & Employability Co-ordinator, Stuart decided that he’d like to indulge his passion for books by taking-up the offer of a volunteer placement in Bridgend Library. Stuart is a capable individual who we felt, with the right support and training, could move towards a paid employment position. This is something that he has never previously been able to achieve.

Stuart has shown great commitment during this placement, attending every week without fail and working hard to achieve the g oals he set with his support team. He has developed his skills in computers and customer service m astering the Dewey decimal system used to organise books as well as the IT system used to log them in and out. He is very confident in the location of each g enre and is able to assist customers to find what they’re looking for as well as assisting with book transfers in and out of the library.

Stuart has done so well that he is now able to undertake all library assistant duties competently and has reached the stage where he will be able to undertake paid employment within our library service. This is the first ti me the Awen has facilitated the employment of one of its own trainees and will be Stuart’s first
experience of paid emploment.

Bryngarw Country Park Customer Feedback

“Thank you so much Rangers Beth and Keith for leading our visit to Bryngarw last week. The children thoroughly enjoyed the experiences you provided for them. “

“It was a brilliant way to begin our topic this term and the children are full of ideas and enthusiasm to learn more about Minibeasts and their habitats. “

“We will definitely be back when we do this topic in the future.”

It was a lovely event and we felt privileged to be there, my daughter squealed with delight from the moment it started. When they realised she was non-verbal they got the sign language interpreter to do the princess oath in sign with her which was so special.

Case study

Emma Louise

Fairytale Ball, Grand Pavilion

Emma has a range of complex needs and is often unable to attend
mainstream events in theatres. She loves princesses but often struggles to
engage with storytelling because of her disability.

This event brought a lot of people together and, by creating an exclusive event, helped attendees to feel special and considered. It was also very important for the family to be in a safe and organised environment so that they could relax and also spend time with other carers. Feeling special and connected was a big part of creating this event.

Theatres & Community Centres Customer Feedback

“A beautiful venue in a fantastic location with a good range of events on offer. Venue staff are all helpful.”

“Very professional and helpful support from the staff throughout our visit… including a great breakfast at the theatre cafe in the morning.”

“The lighting arrangement and the music immediately put us in a fantastic mood. When the show started, we couldn’t take our eyes of the stage – the artists were so professional and entertaining.”

I am over the moon. I have never had anything like this happen to me before.

Case study


Creative Wellbeing Programme

Gordon is a self-taught pencil portrait artist who started to draw, in his own words, to get through the pain. He lives in the Garw Valley with his wife Moira, he is wheelchair bound and blind in one eye.

Gordon has felt his talents have previously been over-looked because of his
disability and has suffered with his confidence. He has felt very isolated at times.

Working with Phil Cope we put together a book of some of Gordon’s best work and then hosted a book launch at Blaengarw Workmen’s Hall. We also arranged for Gordon to meet one of his heroes, Max Boyce. On seeing his work, Max gave Gordon the nickname the “Picasso of the Valleys”.

Gordon has enjoyed being part of this project, he feels his talents have been recognised and it has given him a huge lift. He feels that his legacy is now recorded for future generations and his voice is finally being heard.