Donna visits Trelya to learn more about the impressive support they provide to the community

Grants Officer, Donna Wheadon, paid a visit to Trelya in Penzance where she learned all about the incredible project they have launched to support the local communities and how CCF’s funding has been a lifeline.

Embedded into all Trelya’s core services are: crisis support, wraparound whole family support and partnership working. They currently work in partnership with 30 community organisations who also benefit from the building. Some groups are charged a fee whilst others exchange their skills which allows them to use the venue FOC for clinics that enrich the community connections.

Smile Together Dental CIC lease a section of the building, which ties in nicely by reducing health inequalities. They offer free toothbrushes and provide educational provision within schools. Sharon said she had to send a 2 year old boy there as all his young teeth were black, they made time to see him the same day and treated him. Another long-term lease has been agreed with Primary Care Mental Health Support who commenced their services in July this year. They enable adults’ swift access to mental health support.

Trelya’s Community Café and training kitchen was launched in January this year. Users and staff of Trelya can eat for free at the café and all children can eat for free even with a paying adult. They work with children to prepare meals and come up with menus that they like to eat and provide cooking sessions with the parents to teach them how to cook the food their children like to eat. Some menus are then put on the specials board. Those that do not pay for their food can ‘pay it forward’ making a donation for another person to eat for free. The Café attracts people from across Penwith and is a fantastic base for friendships to be made. Trelya’s food larder is run every Thursday within the café and leftovers stay in the fridge and storage containers for their beneficiaries during the rest of the week. They also have personal hygiene products for vulnerable people to benefit from.


Trelya’s ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted registered specialist nursery provides individualised support to pregnant women and children aged 0 to 4 and their parents. They only take referrals to offer targeted support, often through Health Visitors and social workers etc. The majority of families are at risk of separation, the people referred have experienced childhood trauma and have complex family dynamics. Support takes a ‘360-degree holistic approach’ considering and working within all areas of each child’s life – home, nursery and community – providing continuity and serving as a link between the different aspects. Each child engages in 15 hours a week of individualised support across the EYFS curriculum and additional services include family support, partnership work and home visiting. One of Skylar’s key aims is to address the high levels of educational disenfranchisement and structural inequalities experienced by the local community. For example only 31% of 5 year olds from this community achieve expected levels in EYFS prime areas compared to 70% nationally (Department for Education 2019). In contrast, to date, most children have been assessed as ‘school ready’ when they leave Skylar to begin primary school, in line with the national figures. Skylar runs Tue, Wed and Thur 8.30am to 1.30pm.

Skylar Transition

Ensuring a successful transition from Trelya’s Skylar nursery to and through primary is critical to children’s continued success. Through Skylar Transition, each child aged 5 to 8 years old is provided with weekly, face to face support on both a one to one and small group basis. Sessions take place in class, on the playground, at home and out in the community and are tailored to meet the needs of each individual child. Workers cover a range of issues and activities for example ensuring children have school uniforms, supporting homework, removing barriers to attending extra curricular activities, self-management, consistent attendance and academic achievement, making friends, enjoying school and meeting their full potential. They work closely with parents, carers and schools, particularly class teachers, to provide specific, intensive support that meets the individual needs of each child.

Gul Skills Development Project

Gul is a 6 month, 3 days a week programme which enables those aged 18+ who are impacted by long term and intergenerational unemployment to progress towards further education, employment and training. The programme’s holistic approach includes a wide range of activities including financial management, housing, parenting, physical wellbeing support, Level 3 Paediatric First Aid, child development, outdoor education, access to Maths and English qualifications, healthy eating, counselling and healthy relationship workshops. They offer lots of trips to places people have never been before, they then give them vouchers to go again with their family. On completion of Gul, participants are supported into training, further education and employment with a C.V. full of tangible achievements and awards in locally relevant activities that they are interested in and motivated towards. Since the start of Gul 87% of people on the project have moved into further education, employment or training, breaking the cycle of intergenerational long-term unemployment. 10% of people accessing Gul cannot read or write coming out of School. This service was funded by CLLD for 2 ½ years and hey now have a new funder.

Gallos (the Cornish word for power and ability) is Trelya’s award winning youth work programme.

The project delivers a range of workshops, drop-ins, support sessions and access to mainstream activities. They are relationship focussed, hands-on and creative: they are on the school run, in classrooms, running after school clubs and groups, hosting breakfast clubs, 1-1 sessions and spending valuable time listening to and talking with parents. They are always advocating and striving to ensure children and families are supported to overcome that systemic barriers and inequalities that trap so many people in challenging circumstances. Activities are varied and inclusive, for example creative arts sessions, music, dance, drama, residential trips, advice, practical support, work, training and educational support. They work to help integrate young people into their community, whilst also broadening their horizons beyond expectation. Gallos strives to show young people that they are full of incredible potential and can shape their own future. Gallos works alongside all family members to ensure that there is a holistic and dynamic intervention which leaves a positive legacy.

Trelya was very appreciative of all CCFs support over the years, 1/3rd of their grant funding received from CCF in 2022 was grants to individuals from the Worval Foundation, Emily Bolitho Fund, Crisis Fund and Surviving Winter funding (Trelya acting as the third party organisation). They commented all this funding has been a lifeline for their families.

They are an exemplar organisation that have the community’s needs, and in particular families, at the heart of every aspect of their delivery. I have a lot of admiration for Trelya, they have developed truly outstanding projects that is now their core activities. From what I see and have heard Sharon is a fantastic leader and has created an amazing core team of staff that feel very supported and passionate about Trelya. It was incredible to witness! They are the heart and soul of the community with many young parents commenting they have been attending Trelya since they were children.


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