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Global community programme, TEDx, heads to the Valleys

The internationally renowned TEDx programme arrived at The Mem Community Centre in Nantymoel on Sunday (19 November) — with inspiring speakers from across the South Wales Valleys invited to share short talks under the theme: ‘The Heart of the Community’.

First held in Nantymoel in 2020, TEDx is a programme of locally organised events that bring the community together to share a TED-like experience — sparking discussions and facilitating meaningful connections.

Dan Lock, Landscape, Culture and Identity convenor for Valleys Regional Park, was one of the nine speakers taking part in yesterday’s TEDx event, hosted by Awen Cultural Trust.

Highlighting the broader value of the parks and green spaces in the Valleys, beyond just recreation and leisure, Dan said: “I’ve been advocating the potential of our local parks for many years through my work with Valleys Regional Park — a partnership of Welsh organisations working with nature to help the South Wales Valleys thrive. So, it was a privilege to be invited to share my views on such a prestigious public platform. 

“We’re extremely fortunate in the South Wales Valleys to have such an abundance of nature and accessible parks right on our doorsteps — and with each of these locations comes opportunities to educate, engage, upskill, and inspire.

“In the context of the Climate and Nature Emergency, we need to mobilise large numbers of people from all backgrounds — empowering them with the tools, knowledge and understanding to be part of the solution. And I, and the wider Valleys Regional Park team, wholeheartedly believe that our local green spaces are the perfect launchpads for allowing us to do just that.”

Paul Stepczak (Community Development Practitioner), Amanda Powell (Writer and Journalist), Martin Griffiths (Astronomer), Rob Jones (Education Behaviour Specialist), Cerys Keneally (Children’s Activity Industry Expert), Kate Wood (Community Arts Practitioner), Esther Thompson (Café Owner) and Corin Morgan-Armstrong (Head of ‘Invisible Walls’ Family Services) also took to the stage — sharing their takes on the definition of ‘community’. 

Andy Caress, TEDxNantymoel curator, added: “The first TEDxNantymoel event in 2020 demonstrated a clear appetite for engaging with high level ideas at a local community level in the Valleys — with recordings of the talks from the first event garnering over 120,000 views on the global TEDx YouTube channel.

“From personal stories to thought leadership — the theme of ‘community’ has sparked even more opportunities to uncover new ideas and to share the latest research from the local area. I’m excited to see what the future holds for this event.” 

To find out more about the TEDxNantymoel event, please visit: https://www.ted.com/tedx/events/55615

To find out more about Valleys Regional Park, please visit: valleysregionalpark.wales/

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