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About Blaenau Gwent REACH

Updated Wednesday, 7 July 2021

BG REACH is a creative arts project supporting the people of Blaenau Gwent to make art, music, creative writing and film that reflects on the rich and fascinating history of their local area.

Watch and listen to the short clip below to learn more about the BG REACH project and what it has meant to the people participating in it.

BG REACH was a partnership between the Open University, Linc Cymru Housing Association and the Aberbeeg Community Group. The project was funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), with additional funds supplied by the Open University and Linc Cymru. The project has also been reviewed by, and received a favourable opinion from, The Open University Human Research Ethics Committee.

Blog posts

These blog posts were written by members of the BG REACH team. They were produced at different points in time, together forming a kind of chronicle of the project. They show what it was like to work with the inspiring communities of Blaenau Gwent.

Huge thanks to everyone involved in or contributing to BG REACH.

Project team Suzanne Bowers, Richard Marsden, Sarah Roberts, Elizabeth Ford, Shabina McGhan, Dean George, Stacey Pring
Workshop Facilitators

Elizabeth Ford, Liz Lane, Robert Matthews, Veronica Davies, Andy O’Rourke, Kate Verity, Hannah Roberts, Natasha James

Exhibition text Elizabeth Ford and Richard Marsden
Visual art

Annie May Penny; Barbara Candlish; Jacqui Bowditch; Connor Goode; Barry Simkiss; Emily Clatworthy; Hilary Davie; Hazel Clatworthy; Mark Burns; Alison Tippings; Raymond Mason; Katharine Marquis; Marcy Noakes; Valerie Ashdown; Yvonne Thomas; Anne Williams; Hazel Robinson; Margaret Edwards; Angharad Jones; Linda Stemp; Gladys Phillips.

All artworks curated by Kate Verity and Andy O’Rourke – Malarky Arts


Jacqui Bowditch, Hilary Davie, Pat Tovey.

All films produced and edited by Breaking Barriers.

Digital stories

All films produced and edited by pupils from Ebbw Fawr Learning Community, supported by Breaking Barriers.

Residents: Anne Williams; Mike Pescod; Fred Pettican; Hazel Robinson and Norma Williams

Pupils: Katie Hopes; Mica Preece; Emily Grace Rowland; Billy Smith; Oliwia Sipa; Guan Yan Fan; Jack Neil Morris; Kayleigh Howells; Aneira Mai Dickinson and Lowri Davies. With thanks to lead teacher John Hillier.


Barbara Candlish; Anna McVeigh-Snowden; Susan Davies; Katharine Marquis; Mark Burns; Michael McCann; Kate Collins.

Video and audio produced and edited by Liz Lane

History timeline

Based on discussions between workshop participants and put together by Suzanne Bowers, Linc-Cymru.

Images: Museum Wales (c. Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales) and Out Of The Blue Artifacts (c. Out Of The Blue Artifacts).

Design: Finley Neilens, Head4Arts

Pit Ponies

Katharine Marquis

Images: Museum Wales (c. Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales); Oak Tree Animals’ Charity (© National Equine Defence League); ©; © National Coal Mining Museum for England; Torfaen Museum © Deborah Wudgust; Beamish Museum - NEG 183832 & NEG 183833

Creative writing Barbara Candlish; Stephen Davies; Katharine Marquis; Susan Davies; Hedley McCarthy; Lacey Smith
Photography Linda Stemp
Lockdown Creativity ‘Rainbows’ was created by and features the community of Cwrt Bracty in Aberbeeg.
BG REACH film Produced and edited by Breaking Barriers.

BG REACH exhibition logo / Logo arddangosfa BG REACH

This page is part of the Blaenau Gwent REACH online exhibition.

Film and audio | Creative writing | Visual art

Digital stories | The history of Blaenau Gwent | About this project


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