Hft, a national charity supporting adults with learning disabilities, has opened a new day opportunities service in Flintshire, designed to support people to develop their skills and take part in activities tailored to their individual needs and interests.
Hwb Dyffryn aims to offer people the opportunity to make choices on how they want to be supported, and what activities they want to participate in. The new service, which is run in partnership with Flintshire County Council, first opened its doors in April to offer day opportunities to 10 people per day and will be extended to 30 people per day once Covid restrictions are fully lifted. Following consultation with people supported by Hft locally, Hwb Dyffryn will operate on a rolling eight-week programme, allowing people to enjoy variety of activities as part of a bespoke schedule.
The service will be run from a newly-renovated building located near Greenfield Valley Heritage Park, surrounded by 70 acres of woodland, lakes and a museum. It consists of four main areas, including a furniture upcycling space, a computer suite, a design and craft room and a salon. The upcycling space will support people to transform furniture into modern pieces, for resale online and in the community, while the salon will enable people to complete a professionally recognised hairdressing qualification to take forward into employment. Other activities will range from developing skills such as CV writing, photography and sign language in the computer suite, to using sewing machines and taking part in flower arranging in the craft area.
The service’s opening follows on from Hft launching its first Flintshire venture, Hwb Cyfle, in 2018. Hft Flintshire now supports 270 people locally with day services, work opportunities, and job finding, coaching and support provision for work placements in local businesses and organisations.
Courtney, who is supported at Hwb Dyffryn, said: “I like coming to Hwb Dyffryn to see my friends and learn new skills in the salon and at upcycling. The staff are amazing and always happy to support me, make me happy and my day fun.”
Jordan Smith, regional manager at Hft, said: “We’re delighted to have opened Hwb Dyffryn in Flintshire. At Hft, we’re so passionate about supporting adults with learning disabilities to have as many opportunities as possible, and a key part of that is ensuring people are able to pursue their own interests, rather than being limited by what’s on offer. That’s why we’ve worked with the people we support to develop a tailored eight-week programme that aims to give people as much variety and stimulation as possible, as well as developing skills that can lead to transformative opportunities such as paid employment. As people settle into the new service, we couldn’t be more excited to watch them flourish.”
Cllr Christine Jones, cabinet member forsocial services, said: “We are really impressed with how Hwb Dyffryn has been transformed from a empty workshop unit into a bright and vibrant service for people with learning disabilities locally. I look forward to seeing the service and the people attending continue to thrive in to the future.”
This was echoed by Cllr Rosetta Dolphin, county councillor for Greenfield, who said: “I am 100% behind the facility and so pleased to have it in my ward. It’s great that Hft are building strong partnerships with our beautiful heritage park.”