Glantawe Riverside Park
1338. Robert Clapham
Robert Clapham, from Neath Port Talbot, has transformed a previously derelict 25-acre country park in the area into a community green space hosting over 10,000 visitors a year.
Robert continues to single-handedly maintain the site and support the ‘Riverside Centre’, which now hosts programmes for over 1,000 local young people to increase their wellbeing and engagement at school.
In a personal letter to Robert, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I know you do this with no thought of praise or reward, but allow me to offer my own recognition of how you have single-handedly transformed a derelict country park into a thriving community space that is now a hive of activity, giving new opportunities to hundreds of local children.”
“So many thanks for this valuable recognition. Volunteering must mean many things to so many different people – for me it means a golden opportunity to create positive change and make lives richer than they otherwise could have been. Opportunities like this also allow showcasing of the work being done. In this case I have developed programmes for local primary schools that reduce disengagement and increase positive behavioural attitudes in the classroom. I am also actively campaigning for change in the educational system in order to recognise (and take action on) positive early intervention at primary school level through contact with the natural environment. This has the potential to reduce adverse behavioural traits and reduce disengagement in later life – leading to real increase in wellbeing.”