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Community Conversations

What do you know about local health and wellbeing services?

We would like to know how aware people are of the health and wellbeing services available to them in their community or online.

Can you help us and our partners to improve our communications by filling in our survey?

Tell us your Good Neighbour stories:

We all know that Blaenavon is an amazing place to live, with a strong sense of community. We would love to hear your stories of how your neighbours or people in your community have helped you or someone you know. Someone who pops to the shops for you or shovels the snow to stop you slipping. We would like to share these stories as part of our Torfaen Well-being friends- Be a Good Neighbour project

"You said, we did" What you have told us and what we are doing about it

Blaenavon Resource Centre
We are working with community and partners to develop an offer that holistically supports the health and wellbeing of local people. Find out more about our ambitions at Hubs - Blaenavon Resource Centre on Vimeo
110 local people responded to our formal consultation in March 2023 and we have had conversations with many others. We've summarised what you told us and how we are responding below:
Knowledge of services:
You said: Many people know the Resource Centre as the Medical Centre or GP Surgery with 100% of people knowing it is home to Blaenavon Medical Practice. Only 69% of those who responded were aware of Torfaen Customer Services, and 57% of Citizens Advice. There was less awareness of services such as Hafan Cymru, Platfform & Pobl.
Our response: We have introduced new notice boards into the centre with information on centre services and updated the information on the television screen. We have done some online advertising and will do more. We will work with partners to develop printed materials for distribution across the town. You can find out more about services available at the centre here.

Experience of accessing the centre: 
You said: Most people reported that the building felt welcome and they were able to find the services they need. However, this was not the case for everyone and we received feedback on building cleanliness, lack of signage, the need for a central reception area and the anti-social behaviour of a minority of young people
Our response:
  • We are in the process of arranging a deep clean and reviewing ongoing cleaning schedules.
  • We will improve the signage in the space alongside better use of noticeboards. The signage improvements may be a temporary fix while we design and access funding for a more permanent solution.
  • We have piloted the presence of staff in the foyer area to act as a reception point and are using this learning to inform a business case for a long-term plan.
  • We are working with partners including the police and youth services to address the behaviour of a minority of young people. Everyone is welcome in the building if they behave appropriately and we have put up signs to this effect.
The entrance space:
You said: The foyer area is under-utilised and would benefit from partitioning 
Our response: We have some design ideas to improve the space and its use but we want to be sure that we have the right operational model in place before investing capital funding in improvements. In the meantime we will continue to work on ways of using the current space more effectively.
Availability of services:
You said: There were diverse responses to the question of what services you would like to see in the building and no one service stood out. The responses ranged from the return of the opticians, more availability of Torfaen Customer Services, podiatry, more police presence, information and advice, coffee mornings or more social activities and a vending machine 
Our response: 
  • A formal review of services is underway taking into account things such as the current offer, population need, community feedback and the availability of local alternatives. 
  • Currently it is not possible to extend the hours of Torfaen Customer Services and they will continue to be available on a Tuesday between 9.30am and 4.30pm (except 1 to 1.30pm). They will update the notice board next to the office with relevant information on how to access them outside of these hours and on the topics they most frequently receive enquiries about. There are also plans to improve the functionality of the tablet to enable online access at all times when the building is open.
  • Podiatry services returned on 29 May and are accessed via a referral from a GP or other health professional. Find more information here.
  • Currently the police office is used by Citizens Advice 4 days a week and police colleagues aim to use the space on a Thursday, subject to operational requirements elsewhere. We are working with them to ensure appropriate information is available and to ensure local police surgeries are advertised
  • We have added more notice boards and will continue to add information on health, wellbeing and social support. Information on local health services is being made available in printed form and can be found online here 
  • We are keen to promote the social activities available across the community and not to duplicate the offer of the community and voluntary sector. You can find information on some of these activities here or on Connect Torfaen. We have added a craft, coffee and chat session on a Monday between 1 and 2pm
  • A vending machine has been suggested many times, however it is not something we can currently put in place due to factors such as cost and ongoing maintenance. We will continue to factor it in as a consideration in our planning of future developments.
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