Three new benches have been installed in Pwll Y Waun, Porthcawl, facilitated by Valleys to Coast, as part of the community benefits commitments in their contract with United Living. United Living won the contract to carry out structural repairs on our balconies and walkways, plus make improvements to drainage.
The benches, two of which are facing onto Pwll y Waun Lake and one near the bus stop on Woodland Avenue, had previously been in a bad state of disrepair. The new benches will give residents a space where they can enjoy local nature spots.
Jonathan Philips, Project Manager with United Living commented how "United Living are happy to give something back to the community that has been very helpful during the difficult past year due to the pandemic."
Rachel Lovell, Communities and Commercial Business Partner added how crucial access to usable open spaces was. “The lake at Pwll Y Waun is a popular landmark in Porthcawl that offers tranquility in a natural setting.
“One of our thriving communities' strategy intentions is to provide external spaces that make a positive contribution to the environment and the well being of our communities. The replacement of the benches complements the other recently refurbished local authority owned benches around the rest of the lake."
Bridgend Foodbank has recently relocated from their former base in Nolton Street to Hope Baptist Church, with the help of Valleys to Coast and SERS.
As the head lease was due to expire on the former Bridgend Foodbank premises in Nolton Street, discussions commenced to move it to Hope Church in conjunction with plans to open a community café aimed at providing a relaxed environment for clients, and to give members of the church and the local community a space to engage with each other on a regular basis.
The foodbank moved into a refurbished part of Hope Church earlier this year, with works primarily undertaken by SERS, a cladding contractor, through Valley to Coast’s community benefits programme. Valleys to Coast assisted by providing support and equipment during the relocation. Support was also provided by Spring Consult and City Electrical Factors.
Speaking about the relocation process, Steve Tucker of Steve Tucker and Associates who supported the relocation commented how it would not have been possible without the support of Valleys to Coast and SERS. “To have seen the relocation through during such a challenging period demonstrates the commitment of both companies to benefitting the communities in which they work.”
Steve explained how the Foodbank has helped those in crisis over the last year totalling 5,669 individuals - 3,789 adults and 1,880 children. “The new premises will allow us to help our clients by having referral agents to hand to help with any other issues that may arise.”
The pandemic presented a number of financial challenges for families and individuals across the country during the past year, making foodbanks more important than ever. However, they have had to keep up with these demands whilst ensuring people could access their services safely, in line with government guidelines. The increased demands for Bridgend Foodbank means they are now seeking larger storage premises, and hope to relocate from its main depot during this year.
Mike Roberts, Managing Director of SERS, said they were delighted to be involved in the Bridgend Foodbank project when approached by Valleys to Coast who SERS have been working with for a number of years.
“Facilities like this are even more important to local communities due to the uncertain times we are all faced with, and it was particularly humbling to be involved when approached by Valleys to Coast and Steve Tucker, who was leading the project to relocate the foodbank to its new location, the well known Hope Church in Bridgend.”
Rachel Lovell, Communities and Commercial Business Partner at Valleys To Coast explained how Valleys To Coast has a communities strategy which sets out the organisation’s intentions to support its communities in areas such as our external estates and environment, foundational economy, health and wellbeing, wealth and employability and community resilience.
“We are delighted to have supported and facilitated the relocation of Bridgend Foodbank, during very difficult times. This new and more central and accessible location of the foodbank within Bridgend town centre, combined with the cafe area, will enable a number of agencies to offer a range of support to our communities.”
We acknowledge at Valleys to Coast that we have not bounced back from COVID as fast as we wanted and needed to when it comes to our immediate priorities, like repairs and dealing with complaints.
And because repairs and maintenance is our core service as an organisation, and our customers are at the heart of everything we do, we have decided to dedicate the resource needed to prioritising and amplifying our safe and happy homes project immediately.
This is in the shape of a Turnaround Team, led by our Corporate Director of Development and Growth Darrin Davies, and made up of experts brought together from across the business to get things up to speed. As a One Team organisation, all Valleys to Coast colleagues are committed to coming together to get what work needs to be done, done. As swiftly, and to the highest standards possible.