A Brief History of ARC in Wales
The first time ARC undertook any significant work in Wales was when it secured Lottery funding for a UK wide Training project. The project surveyed training activity and training need across three ‘zones’ of England (North, Midland and South) and Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, and Claire Nissel was appointed to cover Wales.
Claire soon established a South Wales Branch of ARC members, and others who were interested in meeting to discuss current issues and concerns. Meanwhile a Branch was also being established in North Wales, to support members and other providers there. This was followed, early in the new millennium, by a couple of successful North Wales Conference events.
When the National Training project came to an end, support for the South Wales Branch was passed to Iraina Clarke, who had taken up a role as Branch Development Officer, based in Bristol.
Mencap Cymru provided the first Welsh Chair for ARC, followed by Cartrefi Cymru, and in 2004 we were able to appoint an ARC Manager for Wales, in the form of a shared role on a part time basis. A small office was opened in Bangor, and a Welsh speaking administrator was recruited.
Having dedicated workers in Wales started to have an impact, and Ann and Mandy were able to secure funding from Welsh sources, for Welsh activity.