Grace Lockhart and Llyr Gruffydd MS
A North Wales MS has praised a community venture based in Rhosllannerchrugog that has been able to expand its activities thanks to a Lottery grant.
Rhos Community Cafe, which is managed by Grace Lockhart, won the grant to support wellbeing in the community. This includes Meditation and Mindfulness sessions, craft sessions for wellbeing and Mental Health Awareness sessions.
The venture, works with the local community and other minority groups/charities and had already expanded into providing a food bank based at Capel Mawr across the road during the pandemic. Volunteers now deliver surplus food from supermarkets to about 150 families in the local area each week. They have received grants from
Avow and Jane Welby from the Rotary Club provides six recipe boxes for our clients each week.
The café, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary operating from Berlin House in the village's main road, provides work experience for youngsters, confidence and skill development for all ages and learning abilities and a social hub in the village. The work also partners with Communities for Work, Race Equality First, Cohesive
Communities, to name a few, and has also worked with Syrian refugees who want to start up their own business.
Grace Lockhart, who runs the organisation, said: "The café has been able to take on a staff member under the Kickstart scheme and is a community hub for all sorts of local activities - including wellbeing meditation sessions, cooking classes, crafts, a newly formed She-shed and more.
"The pandemic meant a change of direction as the café had to close and we started the foodbank. The fantastic volunteers there are doing a great job of helping hundreds of people each week. We're now looking forward to the next challenge, which is to refurbish and re-open the former charity shop next door. Capel Mawr's vestry is already full of goods that have been donated and we can't wait to get the shop open. It will mean more volunteering opportunities and help bring the community together."
Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru's North Wales MS, commented after visiting the three sites: "There's an impressive amount of work going on in Rhos. This lottery funding will help develop the shop and that will complement the fantastic work that's already happening in the café and the food bank.
"It was good to meet the team who are working with Grace to deliver a much-needed service for people in the Rhos, Penycae and Johnstown area. I wish them all well for the future."
Cafe - from left, Jason Parry, Sharon Hutton, Lisa Williams, Grace Lockhart and Llyr Gruffydd MS
Foodbank deliveries - from left, Claudia Parr, Leanne Douglas, Grace Lockhart and Llyr Gruffydd MS
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