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Neath Port Talbot

Tairgwaith community hub gets makeover thanks to a Neath Port Talbot housing association

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The grounds of a vital community hub in a remote village in the Amman Valley have had a makeover thanks to housing association, Tai Tarian. 

Established in 2009, Canolfan Maerdy in Tairgwaith plays a pivotal role in the village, providing many services for local people including a day nursery, café, transport service, adult learning courses, youth clubs and a food bank. 

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Thanks to a grant from the Welsh Procurement Fund, Tai Tarian were able to landscape the centre’s grounds, cutting back overgrowth, creating raised beds and planters, installing bug hotels as well as planting trees and hedgerows. 

They also created a small allotment which will allow the centre to grow their own fruit and veg which they intend to use in their food bank, café and nursery. 

Workers from Tai Tarian transforming the grounds of Canolfan Maerdy (Image: Tai Tarian)

Samara Davies-Page co-ordinated the project on behalf of Tai Tarian. She said: “We were approached late last year by Canolfan Maerdy to see if we could help in any way to improve their grounds and help them become more sustainable. Luckily, we were able to secure a grant from the Welsh Procurement Fund and so we set about planning the project and enlisting the help of our specialist teams to carry out the work. 

“At Tai Tarian, we are committed to ensuring that our residents have thriving and sustainable communities in which to live and working with facilities such as Canolfan Maerdy helps us to achieve this. As someone who lives locally, I know how important this centre is to the community and I’m really pleased that we have been able to help them with this project.” 

The ‘bug hotels’ that will encourage more wildlife to the garden (Image: Tai Taran)

Kristian Church led the Tai Tarian team in carrying out the work. He said: “It’s been great working on this project and helping Tai Tarian give something back to the community. 

“When we arrived, the grounds were overgrown, so we cut it all back, installed a woodchip path, did some fencing and created a mini allotment. We also had our arborist team here who carved chairs out of some fallen trees.  

“We faced some challenging conditions thanks to the heavy rain, but we got through it and it’s now looking great. As a team, we’re really proud of the work we’ve done and that we’ve been able to help this vital community facility.” 

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Bethan Davies from Canolfan Maerdy said: “We are extremely thankful to Tai Tarian for their help with the project. The centre is a focal point for many in our village, so it is important we can welcome them and provide them with the facilities they need. 

“We also want to be as sustainable as possible and growing our own produce which we can use in our foodbank, café and nursery is an exciting prospect. I know some of our green-fingered volunteers are also looking forward to getting their hands dirty and helping to maintain the plot. 

“The Tai Tarian team were amazing. They worked through some awful weather conditions, got soaked to the skin yet always had smiles on their faces, so I want to thank them all for their hard work. We’re very happy with the outcome. Thank you.” 

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