The Forge Fach community hub in Clydach, South Wales, is a revolutionary social enterprise model and disability inclusion that is built with and within the local community. Our vision is to create a fully inclusive environment that embraces the needs of the local community regardless of age, gender or ability. We want to deliver a real change in the perception of individuals with disabilities and their role within the wider community.
Forge Fach is a subsidiary of national charity Walsingham Support who have been challenging and changing the provision of care for individuals with learning disabilities, complex needs, autism and acquired brain injuries since 1986.
Having researched various ways that a modern alternative to day care centres could be created, we realized that with Forge Fach, we had the perfect opportunity to create something that would deliver far more. It combines the need for day care centres and inclusion for individuals with disabilities into a community hub that benefits everyone, regardless of ability.
As a self-sustaining social enterprise we have the foundations to do so much more. We want to be the change in our community with:
Forge Ahead Cycle Scheme – A bike hire servicing and maintenance project, providing a mixture of work and leisure opportunities for the entire community. Specially adapted cycles for people with physical and learning disabilities will sit alongside standard cycles with options suitable for all ages.
Meals on Wheels – In conjunction with our community café, our meals on wheels service will provide meals to vulnerable people in the community. Individuals with learning disabilities will be key members of the team, preparing and delivering this service.
Community Garden – Similar to an allotment but with all produce being sold to local greengrocers, cafes and shops, the profits from the community garden will be returned directly to the Forge Fach project as a whole.
Garden Maintenance – A service offered to local businesses, private gardens and community green spaces including winter care for the elderly, ensuring paths and driveways are regularly cleaned and gritted on snowy days.
Community Cinema – Run by a committee formed from a cross-section of the local community that will help decide its programme, the cinema will provide invaluable experience in projection, finance, marketing and customer service.
That’s not all…
• Workshops including; benefit, back to work advice and job seekers workshops
• Respite space and services for carers and supported individuals
• Bespoke activities for individuals with complex needs
• Work experience
• Space for charity events and fundraising activities
• Courses on life skills and learning development
• Fitness for the over 60s via GP referrals
• Local health board rehab classes
• Positive steps fall prevention classes
It is a space created for all, shared by all, used by all and enjoyed by all. A place that addresses the wants, needs and aspirations of the entire community equally and at the same time. We believe that there is a different way to create a real, lasting inclusion and Forge Fach is that different way. Forge Fach operates as a self-sustaining social enterprise with profits invested back into community schemes and projects. Nearly 30,000 people live within a two mile radius of the centre.
• Fully resourced meeting and conferencing facilities for local businesses
• A wide range of learning and leisure classes seven days a week
• A café
• A creche and nursery
• A digital cinema
• Serviced office space for local organisations and business start-ups
• Training courses for support and care providers
• Children’s parties, events and a holiday club
So whether it’s grabbing a meal, learning, karate, yoga or Spanish, dropping the kids off at the creche, presenting a new business plan then catching a film, Forge Fach is the place to be. Everyone is different, and there is something for everyone.
Our goal is that all of the individuals accessing these activities to gain:
• Greater independence
• Basic employability and vocational skills, work experience and job opportunities
• Social opportunities and integrate more closely with their community
• Greater health and wellbeing through improved education and wider skills
• Knowledge from advice provided by various providers in ‘specialist areas’
• Better life chances through learning at the centre