Torrential rain would normally stop anyone from venturing outside but if we stopped every time it rained here in Wales then we’d never go outdoors. The Gower gets more than its fair share of wet stuff and it doesn’t matter what the season is, the weather on this west coast of Britain can change so quickly that you might as well plan for the worst.
So today when the heavens opened out at CHAPS near Gowerton we made the most of it and found out what the Gower had to offer in the wet. Participants for today’s Bringing Gower Home workshop were affiliated to ASDES who work at assisting those on the autistic spectrum. I’ve worked with this service before and I’m always really impressed with what participants have to offer. My workshops encourage people to think out of the box with what they’re seeing and experiencing so this can be very beneficial for those on the autistic spectrum. The social aspects of a workshop in an unfamiliar setting can be a real challenge for ASDES participants so it was great to see everybody chatting confidently about the photographs they created and the positive feelings they felt the Gower gave them.
Although the weather put off some people from turning up, those who did had a great time. CHAPS is a social enterprise providing a range of rural and equine based activities and training. They also work on an outreach basis, promoting good horse welfare, best practice and provide a range of educational and aspirational opportunities. Horses and ponies at CHAPS have been rescued from traumatic situations and now enjoy the wonderful life at a 26 acre site near Gowerton. CHAPS are a wonderful organisation who believe in working closely with the community so it’s always a pleasure to borrow the learning room for a bit and get people involved. They’re always after suitable volunteers who are interested in learning more about horse welfare and also improving their own quality of life through this amazing enterprise.
Joining up the dots when it comes to community, self-expression, and the Gower is what Bringing Gower Home is all about. The Gower is a wonderful place to bring people together and learn about nature, history, and the people who work and live here. This isn’t just somewhere to visit on holiday, it’s a thriving and welcoming peninsula which encourages anyone and everyone to get involved.
Soon we’ll be meeting up again for a celebration with the ASDES participants from today. They’ll be sharing their experience with friends and family, and also reflecting on the impact that today’s workshop has had on their well-being. It will also be great to find out if any ASDES participants have returned to CHAPS to volunteer their time and learn more about this part of Gower.
I am organising, delivering, and supporting this project in collaboration with Gower Landscape Partnership (GLP) which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Natural Resources Wales, City and County of Swansea, and National Trust.