Carmarthenshire Youth and Children’s association (CYCA) have been successful in obtaining from BIG Lottery. CYCA ROOTS (Resilience Offers Opportunities To Succeed) project will improve the wellbeing and resilience of families with low level mental ill-health through a family support programme working with both parents and children, providing accredited training and one to one support and mentoring The funding will support over 200 families in Llanelli over the next 3 years as well as accredited training in resilience for professionals.
Previous funding from BIG ended in April 2017 meaning the charity has really struggled to continue with vital services in the community but they have seen their luck change in 2018.
CYCA were firstly awarded the Flying Start contract to deliver a bi lingual nursery in Ysgol Pen Rhos which opens its doors after Easter providing the newest and most creative outdoor and indoor play in the County.

Gestamp a multinational company based in Felinfoel has adopted CYCA as its Charity to support in 2018. Many events planned throughout the year including many employees donating over 250 Easter eggs for children who use CYCA services as well as a cheque for £313.

And now in April CYCA has received 3 year funding from the BIG Lottery for £486,572

CEO Tracy Pike stated ‘we are overwhelmed with our successes this year after really struggling in 2017 to retain staff and vital services. It is getting harder and harder to gain financial support as competition is strong with more and more 3rd sector relying on the Lottery for funding. The awards are a testimony to the loyal and hardworking staff at CYCA who have gone above and beyond to receive the new funding and services. CYCA is now being recognised as leading Charity in emotional wellbeing in the County delivering services to families in their communities. The support from Gestamp is vital to our day to day operating costs meaning we can address the increasing demands for services for those children experiencing trauma and emotional distress.

Our training , which delivers accredited units with Agored Cymru has been recognised as a centre of excellence, capturing the individual needs of learners, some who are gaining qualifications for the first time in their 30’s and above, our oldest learner being 62 !

All new posts are advertised in the job vacancies in the Star this week as well as on CYCA website

Our New Project

The new project will be a new approach which will focus on workshops and family learning to develop new skills and help all family members move in to college, work or volunteering.

CYCA ROOTS is different from our previous programmes where CYCA provided 1-1 services in the home through mentoring and therapy for up to 9 months.

CYCA ROOTS will be delivered in the community through workshops...

The families accessing the services will have demonstrated a willingness to engage in systemic learning

The parents will be amenable to engage in learning that will focus on improving aspirations for themselves and children, moving into volunteering or work.


Promote developing peer support and self-help groups.

Provide a scaffold of support when learners are quickly moved into the community from the isolation of their homes and access community initiatives.

Provide a cohesive pathway by introducing learners to key personnel in the local family centres/community centres – creating sustainable long term community engagement for learners/families.

Providing volunteering opportunities through our “Family Mentoring” approach, which in essence will become CYCA ROOTS' lasting legacy. In essence the new project begins where previous projects ended.

Specifically, it will focus on providing a range of support interventions that support

Emotional Health; Cognitive Skills; Social Skills; Self Esteem & Confidence; Behavioural Management; Life Skills; positive thinking .


These will be addressed through a Tri-Focused range of interventions incorporating:

Psychological & Cognitive Support, which will be achieved through:

Relaxations techniques

Managing damaging emotions such as guilt, anger, fear and abandonment

Coping with change

Challenging the negative automatic thoughts. (NAT; s)

Physical changes such as exercise and healthy eating

Self-regulation exercises


Creative & Pro-active Interventions, which will be achieved through:

Mentoring Support; Creative Media(s); Peer Support; Self Help Programmes; Holistic Therapies. Eating healthily on a budget.

Practical Support, which will address issues such as:

Financial Management; Life Skills Development; Employability Skills Development


The project will further seek to enable families, children & young people to:

Live healthy, productive and independent lives with appropriate and responsive treatment and support to develop their maximum potential;

Be individuals and decide everyday issues and life-defining matters for themselves joining in all decision-making which affects their lives, with appropriate and responsive advice and support where necessary;

Live their lives within their community, maintaining the social and family ties and connections which are important to them;

Have the support of the communities of which they are a part and have access to general and specialist services that are responsive to their individual needs, circumstances and preferences.


The support that this programme will provide would enable families to develop secure attachment(s) during times of crisis, and will provide fast, early intervention support for issues, particularly:  


Focusing on the ACES strategy will enable our project to identify possible triggers link to home life and lack of secure attachments.

Self-defeating Strong Emotions (Such as Anxiety & Fear)


The project will further provide much needed support for vulnerable individuals, with low self-worth, and will address issues such as:

Relaxation Tools to address Stress

Resiliency tools to self-regulate

Employability skills

Nurturing Relationships with Parent & Child.

Dealing with Difficult People

Creating Healthier Lifestyles

Support Networks


The project will additionally establish localised support networks that are able to respond as soon as help is required. The support process(s) will incorporate:

Establishment of a referral network for other services especially family centres and ICCs;

Communities First/ Communities for work/ PACE and Workways employment schemes applications to higher or further education

Work placements in the community  

Identification of best agencies for supported signposting should issues be identified that existing support agencies are able to support.

Provide ongoing support within the community for individuals even after they are engaged with other agencies.

Establishment of a self-support/mentor network within communities

High Sheriff's Reception

CYCA recently recieved the Hig Sheriff's award for the contribution to the community through charity and voluntary work.



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Carmarthenshire Youth & Children's Association
The Palms,
96 Queen Victoria Road,
SA15 2TH

01554 776178

Registered Charity Number - 512720