£1.1m boost for com­mu­nity hub

Grant set to trans­form day cen­tre:

Cynon Valley - - FRONT PAGE - TOM HOUGHTON tom.houghton@waleson­line.co.uk

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

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