Cardiff Chronicle #4: The History of Cardiff’s Hospitals

The story of Cardiff’s Hospitals is the topic for this weeks’ edition of Radio Cardiff’s local history programme presented by Alice Campion from the VCS Chronicle project. Gwawr Faulconbridge, Vice Chair of Whitchurch Hospital Historical Society tells Alice about Cardiff’s main psychiatric hospital; Rhian Phillips from Glamorgan Archives discusses the work to chart the history of Ely Hospital which accommodated people wit a learning disability; and two former Hospital Managers – Keith Moger and Keith Botcher reminisce about their careers including work in the Hamadryad Hospital, St Davids and the building of the University Hospital of Wales at the Heath in the early 1970s.

This is an edited version of a programme broadcast on Radio Cardiff on Tuesday 31st January 2016
Produced by VCS Cymru.

Why I do what I do

This project often leaves you with a lot of sadness when you hear people’s stories and come to understand more about their circumstances. However, this week, we have received some lovely news which has strengthened our resolve to keep on keeping on.

A client who has suffered homelessness and ill health for much of his life and has never really had a penny to his name has finally been awarded his Personal Independence Payment. Thanks to our friends at Rainbow of Hope, he won his tribunal and is now in a much more secure position than he has ever been in before.

And what’s the first thing he’s going to do with his back payment, you say? Book a holiday to Torremolinos? Some new clothes?  No. He is going to finally buy headstones for his parents’ graves. How lovely.


Cardiff Chronicle #3: The Story of Charles Street & digitising history

The fascinating story of community action in Charles Street, and VCS Chronicle’s work in digitizing photographs & documents are the 2 themes the second edition of Radio Cardiff’s new local history programme, Alice Campion from the VCS Cymru Chronicle team meets volunteers Mike Hawkins and Kayleigh Williams; and Antionette Lorraine talks about her days volunteering at R.I.B.(Rights Information Bureau) which operated from 58 Charles Street in the late 60’s and early 1970s.

This is an edited version of a programme broadcast on Radio Cardiff on Tuesday 24th January 2016

Produced by VCS Cymru.

Blocked drains, stinky toilets and trampolines

The Release Project volunteers have been working hard for weeks painting and decorating and generally sprucing up our new premises. Their progress has been hindered slightly by blocked drains which have been causing issues here since Christmas.

Last week, two of the Release crew finally decided to take action. The biggest problem was the location of the manholes which are situated in a locked yard next door. So, after finally tracking down someone who had a key for the site, Dave made his way down from the Valleys by train and bus carrying a large length of pipe, caustic soda and other bits and pieces and with help from Phil, began the task of clearing away ten years’ worth of blockages. We won’t go into detail!

Two hours later and, after hearing several screams and hysterical laughter from the yard next door, Laura went to investigate to find poor Dave in a sorry state and covered in….um…. Suffice it to say, clearing the blockage resulted in a geyser effect between the manholes and poor Dave needing hosing down!

The good news is the drains are now very clean and thanks to Go Air in Llanishen, Dave and Phil were treated to a free trampolining session with their boys on Saturday for working so hard. The bad news is Phil got a toe trapped in one of the trampolining nets and has injured himself!

Get well soon Phil (we need the painting finished!)

Cardiff Chronicle #2: Entertainment

Entertainment is the theme for the second edition of our new local history programme, Radio Cardiff Chronicle. Alice Campion from the VCS Cymru Chronicle team meets Geoff Lake from amateur dramatics society The Cardiff Players Theatre which this year celebrates its 90th year; and meets two local writers – Nicky Delgado and Viv Wellington – to talk about the pubs, clubs and nightlife of Tiger Bay.

This is an edited version of a programme broadcast live on Radio Cardiff on Tuesday 17th January 2016.
Produced by VCS Cymru.

Cardiff Chronicle #1: the First Word War

The First World War is the theme for the first edition of Radio Cardiff’s new local history programme,

Alice Campion from the VCS Cymru Chronicle team meets Grangetown resident Helen Joy who has researched her own family history during the period; Paul McDonald, musician and Cardiff-born academic talks about how the war affected ordinary people and tells Alice about his album, ‘1914’; and Rachel Silverson, Curator of the Firing Line Museum at Cardiff Castle talks about what they do to inform people about the experiences of Cardiffians who served in the trenches.

This is an edited version of a programme broadcast live on Radio Cardiff on Tuesday 10th January 2017.

Dipping into 2017

At midday on New Year’s Day 2017 our Volunteering Officer, Jo Harry and her colleague in the Vale of Glamorgan, Clare Humphreys went for an unseasonal dip at Barry Island Beach.  Jo and Clare joined hundreds of others to run into the sea, braving the wind, rain and cold temperatures. The weather did not dampen the amazing spirit of the event with dippers joined by hundreds more spectators.  Clare, dressed as Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, and Jo in her VCS t-shirt (and cheating wetsuit) joined daleks, superheroes and butlers amongst others. Volunteers from the local RNLI station manned the sea as people ran in three times and dipped underwater. There were smiles and laughs everywhere.

Jo said:
Having so much fun in the rain was an invigorating way to welcome in 2017 and paves the way for a positive year ahead.