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Happy Mothers Day from Glyncoch

26th Mar 2014

Young mums in South Wales are lifting their lives for good with Oxfam Cymru's backing.

Four friends with small children decided their estate badly needed a mother and toddler group and decided to start one themselves. Eighteen months on, Tiny Tiddlers in Glyncoch is thriving - regularly getting 25 mums and their tots together for friendship and play every week.

"It's a long day when you're home with toddlers," says Rebecca, mum to Ruby, 5, and Connor, 1. "Mums and little ones badly need something like this and there didn't use to be anything."

Claire, Kayleigh, Jemma and Debbie convinced Communities First to help them buy equipment, and  Glyncoch Community Regeneration provided a venue but the group is kept afloat by voluntary effort, week in week out. For over a year now, Oxfam's local Livelihoods worker, Rhian Anderson has supported the Tiddlers as they formed a committee and started applying for funding.

Glyncoch is a modern village below the forested slopes of Coed-y-Cwm in the South Wales valleys. It was built as a council estate in the 1950s and the descendants of many families who first moved in 60 years ago are still living there. It's a vibrant, close community but faces many challenges. Almost half the working age population are on benefits and 27% have limiting lifelong health problems.

Word soon got round the estate about the Tiddlers, helped by leaflets and a Facebook page and now every Monday sees a stream of pushchairs at Glyncoch's community centre.

Now the challenge for the group is to get funding to carry on. They only charge £1 per child, but the rent for hall hire is £30 and they need to cover the cost of tea and toast.

"We want to meet twice a week, buy equipment and run trips," says co-founder Claire (28) whose son Patton, 1, is a Tiny Tiddler, " But Rhian has helped us apply for money, so it's fingers crossed!" 

Oxfam Cymru's Livelihoods Projects are funded by The Big Lottery Fund Wales.