A NEW Dulais Valley cafe to help isolated pensioners get out and meet other people has been opened.
Community transport organisation, Dansa (Dulais, Afan, Neath, Swansea and Amman valleys), has transformed an empty cafe into a new venture.
Thanks to around £70,000 in grants, The Cwtch cafe has been set up at Crynant Business Centre.
Dansa now plans to use its transport service by taking people from their homes to the cafe so they can have a chance to get out and about and enjoy a meal in the company of others.
Susan Evans from Dansa said: “There was a cafe at the business centre which was vacated last year.
“We saw it as a social enterprise for us and decided to re-open it.
“We mainly transport elderly people and we see it as an opportunity to use our vehicles to take people to the cafe.
“We can help to get people out. We will go out into the community and we can fetch them and bring them to the cafe.
“We want social interaction for them and a chance for them to meet people.
“With meals on wheels they just get a meal and don’t get to see anybody.”
Ms Evans said in total they had received £57,000 from the Tudor Trust, £7,770 from Collaborative Communities, £5,000 from Awards for All and a £250 donation from Warburtons.
“We are hoping to turn it profitable,” she said.
“We are hoping it will be a success.
“But any profits we make we will plough into the community transport business.”
The grant money has enabled the organisation to fully refurbish the cafe — which is open to the public — and also employ a full-time chef for two years.
“As a new venture it will first be open from 7.45am to 3.30pm,” said Ms Evans.
“We are looking to open it on weekends. We are also thinking about doing some events like faggots and peas with bingo.”