Over the last two years we have worked with Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, Cwm Taf University Health Board, partners from the third sector and the local community on plans to develop St Mair’s Day Centre in Aberdare into an innovative, inclusive community hub.
In February 2018 we received the news that our £1.1million bid to the Big Lottery to redevelop the centre had been successful.
We will refurbish the building, adding a small extensions and give it a new identity as Cynon Linc, a Community Hub for the whole community in the Cynon Valley and featuring specific activities and resources for older people. There will be activities throughout the day and evening from arts and crafts, storytelling, reminiscing, music, education classes, gardening to concerts and films. We will have a sensory room that can be used with people suffering from dementia alongside a dementia café. There will be a social enterprise bistro providing affordable, healthy meals and snacks for the whole community. There will be space for local groups to hire, alongside a hall which can be used for events. There will be a nail cutting clinic and a therapy room for hire. The building will also house Age Connects Morgannwg’s head office, so that the public can access our services, including our Community Outreach Service, our Befriending project, and our Information and Advice team who offer general advice on issues affecting older people and specialist advice and casework for Welfare Benefit claim forms, reconsiderations and appeals, including support and representation at Tribunals.
The introduction of the day-nursery and the GP Practice will mean that people of all ages from the whole community will get to know more about what the hub can offer and they can get involved in shaping what services, activities and products are available at the hub.
Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council have agreed to transfer the building and site to ACM through their successful capital asset transfer process, RCT Together.
Rachel Rowlands, CEO of Age Connect Morgannwg, says
We are absolutely delighted to have been successful in our bid for Community Asset Transfer Programme funding from the Big Lottery to support our Cynon Linc Project proposal. 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 whilst introducing new, sustainable activities that the community has said they would welcome. This new and exciting project is the result of real partnership working between the community, the third sector, the local authority and local NHS Trust and we look forward to continuing that good work for many years to come.
Speaking in September 2017, before we had received the Big Lottery’s decision, Councillor Geraint Hopkins, Rhondda Cynon Taf 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.”
You can see our plans for the building below. If you would like any further information please contact us.
We hope that the building and refurbishment work will start in the summer of 2018, and finish by the end of 2019. The building will remain open throughout this period, offering community meals and continued activities.