ACE Welcomes New Team Members – Part 2

At the beginning of January, thanks to funding provided by The National Lottery Community Fund Wales, ACE was able to take on two Community Development Officers – Noward Omar and Sabina Islam – to help us better connect with and support the communities of Butetown and Grangetown. In the second part of a series of regular blogs from our new team we hear from Sabina about her first few weeks in post. You can contact her at

Since starting my new role as a Community Development Officer in January 2023, I have been given the opportunity of meeting and liaising with various partners and other community organisations.  I have also been interacting with parents and the community as a whole.  There is so much knowledge we can attain by interaction and networking.  Coming from a  teaching and interpreting profession, I have adapted my communication style to different audiences and scenarios during my career.  

Working with people from a diverse background exposes one to different customs, cultures and practices. I love mingling with people, whether it’s on an individual basis or in a crowd.  I am excited to know people, their cultural norms and values, and also learning about the many organisations out there to help communities. Every culture sees the world and society differently from their own perspective, seeing things in a certain frame, but somehow we all need to be in one frame, respecting each other’s culture and reaching out to them.  By doing so we are better positioned to show and bring awareness to people of services and facilities they probably would not have otherwise known about that are available to them in the community.  Being able to reach out to them and  celebrating that happiness when they become aware of such services is a rewarding role. With ACE Cardiff I have been attending many events alongside supporting ESOL classes and the TLC (The Learning Club) sessions for children. I’m amazed to see the learning sessions incorporate a structured curriculum for children making it very enjoyable in a relaxed fun environment.  Some parents whom I met at the ESOL sessions have no knowledge that these TLC sessions existed and are free of charge. I remember one parent’s eyes rolled up with joy when she heard it’s free for her children to participate.

My role also requires me to work with Adults of English learners in Grangetown and Butetown and regularly take part in Cardiff volunteer coordinators network meetings by the Cardiff Third Sector Council (C3SC).  I am also active within the community projects and activities. Amongst many organisations I have a good connection with a organiser of South Riverside Community Development Centre (SRCDC), an organisation helping communities improve their quality of life, alleviating hardship and promoting inclusion.   I remember when I first spoke to the organiser she was so impressed by what ACE Cardiff does that she said if future opportunities arise ‘we could work together and have a strength based approach’.

It’s wonderful to know working together brings many benefits to the community.  This new role is a diverse experience, making me a better employee in executive support. I myself have a young family and over the half term they too took part in the children’s activities offered by ACE Cardiff at Butetown Pavilion and Grangetown Hub which we worked hard to advertise by giving out leaflets in organisations, door to door and through social media. 

The turnout was surprisingly popular. It was a successful series of events. I was pleased to see so many of the English learners I work with came along with their family.  My children who also took part expressed how much they enjoyed the sessions and that they couldn’t wait for another session. So from a personal and a professional level, getting this response is pleasing as you know you and your organisation have made a difference.

I’m delighted with the opportunities available to me in my new role, it is rewarding and there is nothing more satisfying in life than helping others. I am grateful to the supportive management team for giving me this role and looking forward to many more explorations. 

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