Social Services Community Options team have recently opened a new community café at Blaina Institute. The café is a partnership with Blaina Community Institute Limited and offers adults with disabilities valuable work placements and volunteering opportunities to develop invaluable life, social and future work skills within the world of catering and hospitality.
Mary Welch, Community Options Manager within Social Services said: ‘’This exciting venture has given us an opportunity to work with a community group in Blaina so that we can breathe life into one of our historic Blaenau Gwent buildings alongside showcasing the catering talents of the staff within Social Care and importantly offering much needed work placements to those who access our support. This initiative has built on the development work we have already done within the Blaenau Gwent Community Meals Service, where we are offering afternoon teas and light snacks for delivery with traditional lunches for those people who are unable to prepare their own meals.’’
The café opened its doors in September 2023 and this week they hosted a party to celebrate the opening and to thank all the people who worked tirelessly to get the enterprise open. Joining the social care staff and catering students at the opening party included representatives from the local council, Elected members, members and friends of the Blaina Institute committee and wider community groups such as Tai Calon Housing Association who provided grant funding to refurbish the café and Aneurin Leisure Trust who work at the historic Blaina Institute.
Captured above is Presiding Member Cllr Chris Smith, Cllr Hayden Trollop and Cllr Tommy Smith who attended the launch event.
Attending the launch Cllr Hayden Trollop (Cabinet member for Social Services) said: ‘’The partnership working at the Stute Café between Blaenau Gwent Adult Social Services and the Blaina Institute management committee has enabled the Council to take forward two key priorities of promoting inclusivity and the importance of community. On behalf of Blaenau Gwent CBC I wish this innovative project the best of success and hope that the people of Blaina and surrounding towns meet up in this wonderful community facility for many years to come.’’
The café has already proved a success since its opening and is a welcome venue for the community to meet up for a chat with freshly baked cakes, paninis or just a cup of tea 4 days a week – Tuesday to Friday from 9am - 4pm. You can find The Stute Café here: Blaina Institute, High Street, Blaina, NP13 3BN.
Click here to view the menu.