The Ark Youth and Community Project

About the archive

Established in 2002, The Ark Youth and Community Project is a registered charity which provides a wide range of community development and support services, focusing particularly on the needs of local young people in the Tonypandy area.

Two archival projects grew out of the work of the Ark Project – Home Front Recall and Our Mining Heritage. They were both designed to create a historical record of life in the Rhondda Valleys in the 20th century through an inter-generational project.

The project is not collection-based – it comprises two DVDs, a play and resource pack and photographs (both historic ones from the period being studied and a library of new photographs recording the development of the project.)

The Ark Project is run by an elected voluntary Board of Management and relies on a team of 25 volunteers.

Aims and objectives

Home Front Recall: Bridging the Generation Gap in the Rhondda Valleys:

  • Improve relations and reduce negative perceptions between the generations
  • Increase young people’s awareness of, and empathy with, what the older generation lived through
  • Assist the elderly to gain new skills in IT through the transfer of skills
  • Produce a valuable educational and historical resource for future generations

Our Mining Heritage: Coal Mining in the Rhondda and the South Wales Valleys:

  • Break down perceived barriers between the generations
  • Preserve and increase knowledge about what had been a crucial industry
  • Increase young people’s understanding of, and empathy for, what the older generation involved in the mining industry lived through
  • Produce a valuable educational and historical resource for future generations
  • Enable young people to gain skills production skills


Appreciation has grown of the historical/ archival value of the resources produced. The projects provide a record of memories and experience that had not been well documented before. It is also continuing to have impacts and fulfil objectives concerned with increasing awareness of the area’s mining past and of the experiences of those involved in mining, and of breaking down barriers between generations.

Increased social interaction has resulted from the Home Front project and both the elderly and the young people gained self confidence and self esteem.

This archive entry was last updated on 12/11/2018. Information incorrect or out-of-date?
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