A former library in Ferndale has been repaired, renovated, and regenerated into a one-stop sustainability outlet following receipt of a grant from the Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund.
Y Siop Fach Sero is a social enterprise, developed to introduce people across Rhondda to a more sustainable approach to buying their goods, which in turn saves them money.
The former library now provides a place for people across Rhondda to restock their everyday essential food items, donate used sports clothing or equipment, get household items repaired, browse vintage clothing and artwork from local artists, surf the internet and have a coffee under one roof.
Natasha Burnell, one of the co-founders of Y Siop Fach Sero said:
“A lot of people are keen to adopt a more sustainable approach to lifestyle but are unsure where to start. We have designed Y Siop Fach Sero as an outlet that will help introduce people to a greener way of living in a relaxed and friendly environment.
“We will be holding workshops on upcycling and offering advice and guidance, if customers want to browse the refill shop, donate unwanted sports clothing or equipment or get an item repaired, then they can too.”
Hub Manager, Blake Hughes added:
“Since opening we have received a lot of local support. Customers have been very open to our concept and love the idea of just buying the quantities they need. It also seems to ignite nostalgia of old-style sweet shops, which people recall with fond memories.”
Kate Breeze, executive director of Pen y Cymoedd said:
“With the current cost-of-living crisis, as well as the climate emergency, the reuse and repair concept is really growing. Natasha and the team have done a fantastic job in creating an innovative sustainability hub, that will offer a much-needed new service to the local community.”
Natasha and the team at Y Siop Fach Sero applied for a micro grant from the Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund, supported by People and Work. They were awarded £26k for the project, which has supported the transformation of the old library into the hub it is today.
The Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund was established in 2017 by energy company Vattenfall and is designed to provide local individuals, groups, organisations, charities and businesses in Upper Neath, Afan, Rhondda and Cynon Valleys with the opportunity to apply for funding to improve and grow a local service, product, project or activity.
Now in its fifth year, the fund has already catalysed a total of £20.1 million of community investment in the Welsh valleys, supporting more than 450 local projects and businesses in its first five years of operation.
For more information on the fund or to apply please click here