Ponthafren was funded through People and Places (£375,568). The project promotes positive mental health and wellbeing. The centre offers free counselling, 1-1 Recovery and activities including art, gardening, healthy living and mindfulness courses. There is also the opportunity to train as a volunteer or learn new skills and polish up CVs and interview techniques. People are welcome to drop in to see what is going on each week. The project is in the third year of its grant from the National Lottery Community Fund.
We visited Ponthafren in Newtown as part of the Big Walk. The organisation first opened its doors in 1992, to cater for people who experience mental health issues or those who may be socially isolated or excluded.
The centre is based in the centre of Newtown by the river and its offers a place to relax and the chance to take part in a wide range of workshops, activities and courses. The gardens have been designed to offer a welcoming space where members can do some gardening or sit and watch the river meander by. During our visit we met Tracey who volunteers with Ponthafren after completing their Volunteer training course. Tracey described how her experience of volunteering has given her a whole new purpose and a sense of self-worth. In a moving interview which you can view here Tracey talked about how she had lost self confidence.
“ I thought I was useless…but I’m not!
I have a lot to give and I thoroughly enjoy giving.
I enjoy talking to members and giving something back.”
Claire Cartwright, Director of Ponthafren described how important it is for Ponthafren to be connected to the local community.
“Ponthafren was set up in 1992 by people who had mental health issues, looking for somewhere safe to socialise. Things have moved on since then. We are fortunate to have this building with the gardens which help us link health and wellbeing and alongside that is always the warmth and support of the team. We have an open door policy, we know that sometimes people will be told “you need to go to Ponthafren” if they are struggling. Last week we probably had over 300 people walk through for support, over the last year we have expanded our services so there were another 30 each evening as well. People know about Ponthafren and they support us in the community.”