Caldicot residents are being invited to get involved in helping to shape and develop ideas for a new community wellbeing centre, work on which started last month.
The new centre – expected to be open this summer – will transform the Monmouthshire County Council’s existing ‘One Stop Shop’ Community Hub at Woodstock Way into a state-of-the-art space for community collaboration around recycling, art, making and wellbeing.
It will be run by the community for the community, offering a wide range of opportunities for volunteering and to exchange skills and talents. The centre will also provide the chance for residents to meet wellbeing organisations that provide support services, as well as provide a place to catch up over a coffee and access a wide range of activities.
Monmouthshire County Council has been awarded capital funding for the new centre through the Welsh Government’s Circular Economy Fund, which invests in projects that reduce waste, encourage recycling and support green enterprise. Initiatives that promote the reduce, reuse and recycle message will be at the heart of the Caldicot centre, which will include a Library of Things, a Repair Café, a Community Fridge and a Makers’ Space.
Library of Things: Working in partnership with Benthyg Cymru, whose message is ‘Borrow Don’t Buy’, the Library of Things will allow residents to borrow things that they don’t need to own, donate things they own but don’t need and meet people to share knowledge and skills with the community. The library will include toys and games, gardening equipment, power tools, entertainment equipment, kitchen essentials and camping equipment.
Repair Café: In association with Repair Café Wales, Caldicot’s Repair Café will take place regularly in the main activity area at the centre and will be a place where the local community can bring their broken household items to be repaired for free by volunteers. The types of things that can be fixed includes clothes, household electrics, technology, woodwork, children’s toys, furniture and bikes.
Community Fridge: The project, in partnership with Wye Gymnastics, is designed to cut down on food waste by giving away free food from supermarkets and other food outlets that is past its sell by date, but is still fresh and within its use by date.
Makers’ Space: Located in a wooden clad shipping container, the Makers’ Space – in association with charity organisation Men’s Shed and recycling organisation Precious Plastics – is a place where people can come together make a range of new products from wood, recycled plastic and a variety of other materials. It will be a chance to learn new making skills, share talents and gain inspiration by creating a community of makers. The space will feature a fully kitted out carpentry workshop and will also host a state-of-the-art laser cutter and plastic recycling machinery that granulates single use plastic and turns it into material that can be shaped into new products.
Older residents and those with mobility difficulties will also be able to enjoy trishaw bike trips later in the year, a great way to get out the house and explore the area. The project will be run in partnership with Bridges Community Centre and Cycling Without Age. More information can be gained by contacting Marianne Piper at the Volunteering for Wellbeing Project (firstname.lastname@example.org or via 07980 941946).
Over the next couple of months, the council will be running a competition to name the new centre and are keen to hear residents’ ideas about what other things they would like to see at the centre. If you would like to get involved contact Fred Weston (email@example.com; 07890 559 566). Closing date for suggestions for the new centre’s name should be sent by4pm on Monday 31st May.
Updates on Caldicot’s wellbeing centre will be shared on the council’s website as the work progresses – Monmouthshire.gov.uk
For more information about Men’s Sheds https://menssheds.org.uk/
Library of Things: https://borrow.benthyg.org/
Precious Plastics: https://preciousplastic.com/
Bridges Community Centre http://www.bridgescentre.org.uk/