Agile Working – Active People: Dafydd Meurig

If you follow us on social media, you’ll know that the workplace design specialists at Paramount are an active bunch!

We recently looked at the impressive feats of endurance performed by our Commercial Manager Gary Hobbs but this blog will focus on the very different (and no less impressive) activities of our Finance Assistant, Dafydd Meurig.

It’s a dirty job!

For the past 10 years, I’ve been spending a day or two a month waist-high in filth.

No, I’m not a bog snorkeler or a sewage worker, I’m a founding member of ‘Cardiff Rivers Group’; a voluntary environmental group set up to tackle Cardiff’s polluted waterways.

We’ve come a long way since 2009 and now have a 4x4, a boat and a Queen’s award!

Over the years, one constant has been the fun factor of our events.

I got into volunteering while studying in Bristol, and soon got in touch with Keep Wales Tidy when I relocated to Cardiff in about 2007.

With their help, myself and five others set up our own group to clean up the River Taff and its banks. We soon attracted local residents, rowers, fishermen and people from all walks of life to our events.

After a year or two at the Taff and the Bay, we moved on to the Ely, the Rhymney, and the feeder canals and streams of Cardiff.

We have found cars, motorbikes, bicycles, building materials, shopping trollies, guns, knives and all sorts, some of which had been there decades.

My favourite finds have to be a pair of safes that we found in the Taff and lots of old beer bottles in the Ely (which I’ve since sold on eBay).

I find volunteering really rewarding. It’s a great feeling to know you’re making a difference to the appearance of where you live.

As the events are in a different location each time, you get to know the suburbs, the locals and also the local pubs for a quick beer after events!

There’s quite an active social side to the group too, including barbecues, days out rafting down the Wye, taking part in Llandaff Rowing Club regatta, a homebrew competition and Christmas events.

Since getting a boat last year, I’ve had the chance to complete a ‘Power Boat 2’ course out in the Bristol Channel – scary stuff in January!

A couple of the committee members are exceptional at filling in grant applications, so we receive a lot of our funding from the lottery, Tesco, YMCA and Viridor.

We also take all the metal we find in the rivers to a local scrapyard. This equated to approximately 18 tonnes in 2018/19 and helped fund our 4x4. 

We now have a great relationship with Cardiff Council, who see our work as essential to the upkeep of the city as their own resources are under more and more pressure.

They’ve also awarded us with a tiny piece of land in Lamby Way for us to establish an HQ.

We celebrated our 10th anniversary and our 200th event this summer and the group’s future is looking brighter than ever.

Anyone is welcome to our events, you can check out our upcoming events at the Cardiff Rivers Group website.

You can also check out more fab photos on Flickr.

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