£1.1m boost for community hub
Grant set to transform day centre:
PLANS for a new community hub which will be used by people of all ages have been awarded a £1.1m grant from the Big Lottery fund.
The proposals mean St Mair’s Day Centre in Aberdare will soon be transformed into the Cynon Linc Hub, housing services from a day nursery to a dementia cafe to arts and crafts classes.
It comes after the building was transferred from Rhondda Cynon Taf council to older people’s charity Age Connects Morgannwg (ACM) in September.
Speaking after the grant was announced, Rachel Rowlands, CEO of ACM, said: “The current St Mair’s Centre plays a really important part in the lives of the people who use it.
“They find friendship there, they can eat a meal with company and they get involved in groups and activities which keep their mind and body active.
“Our Cynon Linc proposal will retain the valued services that current users enjoy while introducing new, sustainable activities that the community has said they would welcome.”
It means services at the centre will soon include activities throughout the day and evening.
It will have a sensory room that can be used by people with dementia, alongside a dementia café.
There will be a social enterprise bistro providing affordable, healthy meals and snacks. There will also be space for groups to hire and a hall which can be used for events.
The building will house ACM’s head office, so the public can access its services, including an advice team offering help on issues affecting older people and specialist advice.
Once complete, the new hub will house a day nursery for toddlers and children up to five years old, which will be run by the Fern Partnership – a local social enterprise and registered charity.
Finally, the Maindy General Practice will relocate from its current surgery across the road.
Work has been ongoing since 2015, when ACM, the council and Cwm Taf University Health Board said they wanted to design a place everyone could use regardless of their age.
Councillor Geraint Hopkins, the council’s cabinet member for adult and children’s community services, said: “This project could completely transform St Mair’s Day Centre, by wholly expanding the offer and support for older people who use this important service.
“This is an incredibly ambitious proposal, the first of its kind in Wales, which could transform the provision offered from this location to the wider Cynon Valley.”
Volunteers put on a carnivalthemed show for residents at St Mair’s Day Centre in Aberdare, last year