History

Penwith Community Development Trust was formally set up in 1999 as a charitable and not-for-profit organisation. It was established after the need for an ‘umbrella organisation’ was identified through the work of the Penwith Volunteer Bureau which was established in 1996. Since then the Trust’s achievements have included:

  • Interlink - a networking forum of over 3,500 voluntary and statutory organisations, social enterprises and individuals in Cornwall working together to improve people’s lives. Interlink quickly gained recognition as an excellent way of multi-agency working and was held up as an example of good practice.
  • Penwith Healthy Living Network - initiated by a group of local people and led by PCDT, it was the first healthy living centre in Cornwall. This multi-agency project successfully supported a portfolio of 20 health-related projects delivered by a range of local voluntary organisations and community groups.
  • In-STEP (Information, Support and Training to Empower Penwith) - a project to support local individuals and community groups through empowerment, training and capacity building. 
  • Carry On Learning - a project which provided training courses including Workforce Development, Skills for Life and Community Capacity Building programmes for individuals and voluntary and community groups in Cornwall. PCDT was approved as a City & Guilds Centre and as an ASDAN (awards and accreditation) centre and started offering nationally recognised qualifications to local people.
  • West Cornwall Community Network - provided infrastructure support for voluntary and community groups/organisations.
  • The Cornwall Council Freestyle programme - youth workers from PCDT worked with young people 14-19 who were not in education, employment or training and supported them into one of these areas.
  • Wellbeing Facilitators - a project aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of patients with a variety of conditions. A facilitator based at a GP’s surgery supported patients to take part in health and wellbeing related activities in order to overcome their barriers to participation, thus improving their health and wellbeing in a more holistic and proactive way.
  • Community Organisers - in partnership with Locality, PCDT hosted three Community Organisers to listen to communities in Penzance, Newlyn and Hayle and to encourage empowerment and creation of new projects and initiatives in those areas.
  • Take Part Pathfinder - a programme of active learning that enabled people to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to become empowered citizens able to make an active contribution to their communities and influence public policies and services.

From 2011 PCDT became more focused on its infrastructure services, training provision and volunteer led projects, for example:

  • Training provision has included delivery of a variety of courses such as ICT, Youth Work and Volunteer Management benefiting individuals and Voluntary and Community Sector groups.
  • Employment advice and support has enabled unemployed individuals to start their own business, generating income for the local economy.
  • The Communities Department continues to successfully deliver support to grass root, community and voluntary groups across West Cornwall and to deliver a range of services for young people.
  • The PEaT Project continues to enable people to participate in well-being activities in a supportive way through its community garden site.

In July 2015 PVB and PCDT merged to become one organisation.

Additional information