It’s On – The Big MaDCaff Project launches its first Event in Cardiff

It’s really happening and I can’t quite believe it

When we first talked about MaDCaff, back in 2013 we would say that one day we will take it across the whole of Wales and then who knows where from there. It’s been a long time coming for lots of reasons. Partly we had settled into a bit of a groove, after being funded by Time to Change Wales to launch it and then by various smaller pots of easy funding, we had carried on MaDCaffing and gradually found a venue that worked well and was cheap, a great local bakery who were donating a tray of organic brownies and flapjacks and all the lovely volunteers that had joined us over the years donating their time and we had achieved self-sustainability and become free of the need for funding. But we still had that desire to take it bigger and bigger.

This rather genteel act was part of the very first MaDCaff, held in Aberystwyth University’s Student Union

So Volunteering in Wales funding has come along at just the right time, we’ve got a successful model, it’s based on volunteering and we can draw in volunteers by offering an amazing package of training opportunities and just being part of setting up and running of something amazing, something that people love to go to. It’s going to be a hard-working year for us at Disability Arts Cymru because there’s no extra staff to do this, we are all doing it on top of our usual work-load. Not only that but my colleagues are finding out exactly how detail focused I can be at times [sorry, can’t help it].

Good News and Thank Yous

Notwithstanding all the extra work and stress we are doing an incredible job of making things happen. Whilst I’ve been at my desk writing endless documents everyone else has been out there organising events.  I’m about to tell you that the very first event is on really quite soon, but first to pay credit to my colleagues. Alan Whitfield, our Regional Officer in North West Wales, has booked in all 8 of his events, 4 will be in Tape, Old Colwyn and 4 in Llanfairfechan Town Hall, those dates will soon be advertised, keep a look out for them. He wins for getting all his events booked first. Lowri-Mair Owen our Regional Officer for North East Wales has also found 2 venues, one in Ty Pawb, Wrexham and the other in The Carriageworks in Denbigh. So far 2 events are booked in each of those and more will be booked if they work out as good venues. Next, Sara Beer, Regional Officer for South Wales, despite being away in Ireland acting in another amazing Kaite O’Reilly production, is a winner for getting the first event on. To my shame, I am the only one who hasn’t managed to define a venue and attract a group of volunteers to create events in Powys (or failing that in some other part of West Wales, perhaps Pembrokeshire, we’ll see…) but I’ll get there too. I must also give mentions to Sue Pound for managing things at the level of first contact with volunteers and helping me with the budget and with staying on track in so many ways (she’s my work Auntie) and Kate Hampton for being a calm presence when things get fraught. It really is a blessing to have this team around the Big MaDCaff Project.

The Big MaDCaff Project – Event 001

Date: Saturday 27th July
Time: 15:00 – 17:00
Venue: Sbectrwm Community Centre, Cardiff

As usual, we have absolutely no idea who will be playing at this event and even if we did, we wouldn’t say because that’s the whole point of MaDCaff.

You just never know who is going to get up and do what at MaDCaff – but it’s always entertaining.

Keep sending your love towards Miranda please. Mental Health is no joke, getting help on time is not a trivial issue, having some way to step-down out of hospital care is really needed in all our communities. We need to do better in caring for people who are mentally unwell. We are all about this just as much as we are all about the music and dance.

Finding Sbectrwm

by Rachel

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