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Game changing social enterprise recognised with Powys Business Award

Sian Roberts and Andrew Evans from The Game Change Project receive the Social Enterprise/ Charity Award from Nick Jones, representing Myrick Training Services, sponsor. Picture by Phil Blagg Photography.

The work of a social enterprise, which aims to become a flagship centre of excellence dedicated to developing the life skills of young people, was recognised at the Powys Business Awards 2022.

The Game Change Project (TGCP) CIC, based at Aberhafesp, near Newtown, received the Social Enterprise/ Charity Award, sponsored by Myrick Training Services, at the annual awards ceremony held at Dering Lines, Brecon on Friday night.

Showcasing the diverse range of successful enterprises in the county, Powys Business Awards are organised by Mid Wales Manufacturing Group (MWMG) with support from sponsors.

TGCP was established in 2019 by directors Andrew Evans and Sian Roberts to provide opportunities to help disengaged young people gain practical life skills and confidence.

More than 130 young people have completed courses with TGCP, gaining employability skills, youth achievement awards, Welsh Baccalaureate and other qualifications to improve their employment prospects. Many of them have progressed to college, apprenticeships and self-employment.

A qualified engineer, Andrew diversified the family farm business in 1994 to launch Mid Wales Off Road, a rally carting track and outdoor activity centre. He has provided work experience and employment opportunities to unlock the potential of young people disengaged from traditional education.

With a professional background in community development and health coaching, Sian gained a diploma in Equine Facilitated Learning in 2019. She says caring for horses and ponies is therapeutic for young people who also learn important life skills.

Andrew and Sian are now combining skills, experience and resources with three more directors – Anna Hemingsley, Sorrel Crompton and Carol Thomas – to make a real difference to young people’s lives.

With its strapline “bringing learning to life”, the company gives young people the chance to try all sorts of practical, hands on activities including digger driving, mechanics and traditional rural skills which introduce them to problem solving and teamwork.

Collaboration has been a key to the success of the enterprise, as strong links have been forged with local businesses, third sector organisations and education.

TGCP involves young people in shared activities with veterans and teaching digital skills to the elderly. Grant funding will help expand the team and develop corporate team building events in the next year

Sian Roberts said: “It’s absolutely amazing to win this award and we are very proud of the team we work with and the young people we support. I would like to thank the organisers and sponsors for recognising third sector organisations in Powys.”

Andrew thanked the National Lottery Community Fund in Wales and PAVO for their funding and support, without which, he said, the company could not have achieved such success.

Powys Business Award judges said: “The Game Change Project undoubtedly makes a huge contribution to the participants who attend activities at the farm.

“The project has massive scope for sustainable growth if the funds and resources could be secured. In the future, we feel that this project model could be duplicated to additional sites if there is a desire to do so.”