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Local foodbank finds a new home at former day centre

Written by on 8th November 2021

Pontypridd Foodbank has found a new permanent home, with the help of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, from which it can continue its invaluable work helping people in need – making available a former day centre building which was no longer in use.

The registered charity, which is part of the Trussell Trust Foodbank Network, aims to provide three days of food for people who find themselves in a crisis situation. It is supported locally by a number of groups – including churches, chapels, schools and businesses – as well as donations from individuals.

Pontypridd Foodbank had been operating from the Ilan Community Centre in Rhydyfelin on a temporary basis during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the facility was required by the community once again when restrictions allowed.

Working with Deputy Council Leader, Councillor Maureen Webber, and Cabinet Member, Councillor Rhys Lewis, the Council sought to find a new home for the group based locally. Following a recent change in the Council’s service, the Riverside Day Centre at Nile Street in Treforest became available.

The Council has acted quickly to arrange a temporary license for Pontypridd Foodbank to accommodate the building, with a view acquiring it in the future. The group was handed the keys to the building on October 22, and has been cleaning and decorating in order to prepare for the building to be opened.

Councillor Webber and Councillor Lewis visited the foodbank at its new home on November 1, where they met representatives of the group – including the foodbank manager Amanda Haydon-Hall.

Councillor Maureen Webber, Deputy Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member for Council Business, said: “I’m very pleased the Council has been able to help Pontypridd Foodbank find a ‘forever home’ locally. The group does such excellent work in the community, helping people who find themselves in difficult personal circumstances for what could be a number of reasons – providing them with food when they need it most.

“It is also great news that we’ve been able to put the former Riverside Day Centre building back into very good use. The building will once again be an excellent asset to the community in its new future with Pontypridd Foodbank.”

Councillor Rhys Lewis, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Well-being and Cultural Services, added: “The building is in a fantastic location for the foodbank to be based centrally, located just off Broadway. It also has parking facilities available and is suitable for the group to receive its food deliveries. It’s been great to see the Council act so quickly to allow the group to gain initial access on a temporary license.

“It’s also great news that this asset, while no longer used by the Council, has been put to good use – as has been our aim over a number of years in cases like this through the RCT Together approach. I’d like to wish Pontypridd Foodbank the very best with their future in their new home.”

Amanda Haydon-Hall, project manager for Pontypridd Foodbank, added: “This has been a wonderful opportunity for us to work alongside RCT Council to not only continue supporting local people in crisis, but also move towards ending the need for foodbanks and the provision of free food for those in crisis.  With the continued increase in need, the extra space will prove to be of great help to myself and our volunteers.”