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Cwt Gwyrdd

Cwt Gwyrdd

A unique day centre launches on Anglesey to provide bespoke services to people with dementia.

Cwt Gwyrdd opened in September 2019 to provide unique day-centre facilities to people with dementia on Anglesey, while also educating the local community and raising awareness of the illness. The social enterprise received start-up and recruitment advice from the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service and is already looking at future expansion and growth.

  • relationship management advice on starting up
  • successful launch in September 2019
  • 4 part-time jobs created

Introduction to business

Anglesey-based Cwt Gwyrdd is a unique day centre for people living with dementia, which promotes well-being and independence whilst also raising awareness of the illness across the island.

Run by a team of Directors, the social enterprise aims to ensure positive outcomes for the individuals that attend the centre, enabling them to remain involved in their local community. This is achieved through various activities and sensory experiences, including a cinema, one-to-one music therapy, intergenerational activities with the local nursery as well as pet therapy, amongst others.

Why did you decide to start your own business?

Although there are currently around 45,000 people living with dementia in Wales, 1189 of whom are living on Anglesey, there is lack of respite, support and education for their families/carers on the island. Not only have several local day centres been closed, putting more pressure on families, but there is also little information in the community of what services and activities are available.

Cwt Gwyrdd, trading as Park Mount Social Enterprise (CIC), was incorporated at the end of 2017. Having looked at various current social care models of dementia across the UK and the lack of services on Anglesey, we decided to build a dementia day centre to support the social, physical, spiritual and psychological aspects of dementia throughout a person’s journey by focussing on their remaining abilities, skills and capacities. The day centre will give families the opportunity to work and contribute to their local economy, which will be a key driver of their economic prosperity and wellbeing.

The centre will also be the first one on Anglesey to implement the ‘five precious jewels’ practice when identifying the stages of dementia. We will also use communication techniques and look at each ‘jewel’ in relation to therapeutic activities, challenging behaviours, nutrition, hydration and administration of medications, creating bespoke personal plans which include patients’ families and carers.

What challenges did you face?

One of the main challenges we faced was sourcing funding. We have relied on a couple of small grants from Anglesey Council and Menter Mon, fundraising and the Directors’ personal goodwill and loans.

Another challenge we’re currently facing is the lack of referrals – despite targeting all relevant stakeholders from the local authority, Betsi and the Alzheimer’s Society, referrals are still very slow.

Why did you approach the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service?

Director Michelle Phillips and the team approached Business Wales as they were looking to raise more funding prior to the launch of their social enterprise dementia day centre. She was supported by Relationship Manager Svetlana Ross who provided advice on start-up issues and recruitment incentives on Anglesey, including Jobs Growth Wales and React3.

Outcomes

  • relationship management advice on starting up
  • successful launch in September 2019
  • 4 part-time jobs created

We initially applied for a £25,000 grant from the Foundational Economy Challenge Fund in the summer and were supported by our great Relationship Manager Svetlana in the process. Although we were unsuccessful with our application, we received some valuable advice and were able to launch the business in the middle of September, creating 2 part-time jobs with 2 more ready to go once we have secured more service user referrals.

We are currently open two days a week but intend to open seven days a week, creating a further seven jobs.

Future plans and ambitions

The project will run for 2-3 days per week for the next 6 months to ensure referrals are not rushed and the staff ratios to service users are correct, allowing for a sustainable and quality service. Within the year, we anticipate opening 7 days per week for a maximum of 15 service users per day and employing 10 full-time staff. We will create working links with dementia specialists from Bangor University, to further raise awareness of the illness. Once the project is established, we will look at setting up similar projects in Colwyn Bay and Caernarfon.

If you want to read more success stories of how Business Wales has helped other people like you to start or grow their businesses, visit https://businesswales.gov.wales/case-studies or follow @_businesswales / @_busnescymru on Twitter.

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