“I find the area gets slated quite a bit, because it is deprived. But if you take the time to come into the community, it’s so close, anybody will help anybody.”

The Blaen-y-maes area of Swansea is in Penderry, in the hills four km from the city centre. The result of post-war expansion, the area is the third most deprived area in Swansea – the 19th in Wales.

Access to shops and other amenities is very limited; yet the estate is open and bright, with large areas of grassland on which large numbers of ponies live, either tethered or roaming freely.

St Teilo’s Parish Church sees itself as a church which is, ‘all about hope’; reflected in this ethos are the projects around the estate that care for residents affected by poverty, domestic abuse, social isolation, neglect and low achievement.

Faith in Families, an initiative of the Swansea and Brecon diocese, runs three local family centres.

They provide parent and toddler groups, healthy family lunch sessions, and a huge array of learning and development opportunities for parents and carers.

The Blaen-y-maes, Portmead, and Penplas Development Trust brings community development and regeneration work together to give people the skills and knowledge to get back into meaningful work.

And in Christchurch Primary School, children of all faiths and none receive an education based on values of respect and love. With a quarter of children entitled to free school meals, many Christchurch children face multiple challenges.

But the school has become a pioneer of  innovative methods of restorative justice to manage discipline and behaviour, resulting a high standards and a demand for places.

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