Llantwit Major Community Wellbeing and Enterprise Hub
Llantwit Major Community Wellbeing and Enterprise Hub comprises two buildings next to St Illtyd’s Primary School in the centre of the town. Most of the capital grant has gone towards refurbishing Ty Illtyd building at the Hub.
Having been empty for five years, Glamorgan Voluntary Services (GVS) has taken out a 99-year lease on the building.
CF61 has been transformed into a space with a wide range of support and services for the community including regular food sharing opportunities, a clothing bank and a range of activities like tai chi, parent and child groups, children’s drama and a chatty cafe. There is on onsite nursery and sensory room and it is available for use by the school and community groups.
Illtud House is now a base for Glamorgan Voluntary Services and office space can be hired by self-employed lone workers, third sector organisations needing a base or health professionals needing a space to practice. The rentals from workspaces provide valuable income for the Third Sector.
“The Wellbeing Hub will provide a central location for a wide range of community services in health, social care and wellbeing. There is nothing similar currently operating in Llantwit Major.
“The workspaces for around 40 to 50 people will be a real asset for Llantwit Major and improve work/life balance whereby people could drop their children off at the school nearby before working remotely at the hub avoiding the need to travel into work. Shops are nearby and they could also attend a class on site before returning home. This will reduce their carbon footprint and improve their well-being.”
Rachel Connor, Director Glamorgan Voluntary Services
The Llantwit Hub works with nearly two dozen organisations that provide a service to the Vale community at any given time. Vale People First is a local charity that supports adults with learning difficulties to run a café. Llantwit Dementia Friends organise coffee mornings and Age Connect put on dance and exercise classes for the elderly. Motion Control lead dementia-friendly activities.
Llantwit Major has significant areas of social and economic deprivation making the hub a prime site for wellbeing and specialist activities. Food Share is a successful intervention.
It meets a community need exacerbated by the pandemic, tackling food poverty and avoiding food waste.
A ten-week programme of events for young people with mental health difficulties included gardening, creative sessions and mentoring and group skills with State of Mind.
They opened a weekly drop-in Wellbeing café run by volunteers using Fareshare Go produce. The Wellbeing Café is an effective mechanism to draw in a wide range of people from the community.
Reduced levels of engagement when the Wellbeing Café moved online highlighted:
- People feeling isolated typically wanted in-person engagement beyond their homes
- Some people did not feel comfortable with technology regardless of training being offered
- Conversely, there were a minority of participants for whom an online community represented an attractive option when in-person engagement was not possible.
Benefits of the project:
- People access services seamlessly without repeated referrals, interfaces and hand offs between services
- A more complete approach to healthy living
- People are healthy and active
- People have a sense of belonging and of being part of a family and community
- Reduction in people reporting overall, emotional and social isolation and loneliness
- Reduction in attendance at GP surgeries
Carol suffered from debilitating anxiety and described herself as having low confidence, low self-esteem and being so extremely isolated as she almost never left the house. After being told about the Wellbeing Café by a relative, she began attending sessions.
“I suffer with anxiety so leaving and going through a doorway can trigger me, but I knew that I needed to go because I have younger children and I chose [the Wellbeing Café] rather than anything else because people said it would be alright.”
The Café provided Carol with a space where she could spend time with other people and get involved in art and craft activities, which held a strong appeal. Although she felt the need for a relative to accompany her for the first two weeks, by the third week she was confident enough to go alone.
“It was like being at home but with people who could understand, who didn’t have questions, who just accepted me for who I am, but also wanted to get on with art.”
Despite the challenges of lockdown, she continued intermittently to attend the online Wellbeing Café sessions and the Time for You art sessions. “I make more of an effort now. I communicate with my best friend and we see each other a lot more now and that is due to Wellbeing.”
Ben was involved in leading a voluntary sector organisation but was in a high-risk category and considered clinically vulnerable. Consequently, Ben began isolating before the national lockdown was introduced in March 2020. Due to the risks of transmission, his grandson had to move out and Ben had to live on his own. His health condition meant that he could no longer drive. Moreover, he found it a helpful release of pressure to have someone else lead a group, which was typically his role in his organisation.
Despite the isolation,
Ben described the online activities via Zoom as having helped to get him through the situation.
Anna volunteered in the past but had to stop due to poor physical health. She suffered a breakdown in recent years and when lockdown began, Anna felt very isolated, spending much of her time in bed. She joined the Time For You sessions and later joined the Wellbeing Café activities.
“It’s the greatest find of lockdown and it’s been so nice to have these interactions with other people. Due to severe pain, I have sometimes been unable to move from the sofa. The online groups were helpful as a source of enjoyment and connection during these times. The sessions gave structure to my week and helped me keep track of the days, giving me a reason to get up in the morning.
“If I had not had the groups to focus on maybe I would have been at risk of a second breakdown from being at home and not having contact with people other than my husband, and the friends I speak to on the phone.”
View some more of our Transforming spaces in Cardiff and Vale
The former Chapel at CRI is being refurbished into a vibrant community hub for the residents in the south and east of Cardiff.
Ty Gwyn Project
This project improved an existing building (formerly known as Trelai Youth Centre) and created five classrooms for Ty Gwyn School, part of the Western Learning Federation in West Cardiff.
Trysor O Le
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We want every child in Cardiff and Vale to have the opportunity to thrive. Our work focuses on children in vulnerable situations and the services that support them.
We know how hard it can be to find help when people need it the most. We want to make sure there is community support to help people stay as healthy as possible so they can carry on doing the things that matter most to them.
As a Partnership we have worked together with people with a learning disability, their families, carers and the third and independent sector to produce a clear direction for the planning and delivery of adult learning disability services across the region over the next five years.