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Community volunteers reopen village library which closed in 2016

03 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Sioned Williams along with volunteers and the Deputy Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council at the new library.

A community library will reopen next week thanks to the work of volunteers from a local charity.

The library in Ystalyfera has been closed since 2016 but will reopen in the village’s Community Hall from 8 April.

The library is stocked with books from the Neath Port Talbot library service and will be run by volunteers from Pathfinders Cymru, an Ystalyfera based charity that provides support and opportunities for families with a child or young person with learning disabilities.

The charity has previously run summer holiday clubs for children with mixed abilities, and their aim is for young people with learning disabilities to mix with their community via activities that everyone can join in with.

Providing opportunities to volunteer at the library is one such way Pathfinders Cymru has found to do this.

The local authority also secured £5,000 funding from the UK Shared Prosperity fund to be able to provide the library with an IT system for the next five years.

The charity will also run a resource lending library of adaptive life-skill aids and use of a  3d printer, funded from the National Lottery.

They also have support from the Community Council to run a community garden in the grounds.


Sioned Williams MS, Plaid Cymru Member of Senedd for South Wales West, said:“It was wonderful to see the library re-open in Ystalyfera, thanks to the incredible efforts by the Pathfinders Cymru team.

“Their work in supporting families with a disabled child is innovative, already appreciated by many in the area and now providing real volunteering opportunities for young people with learning disabilities.

“It’s clear that the library is more than just a book lending service, with its 3d printer and resource lending service, there is much to bring the community together. The enthusiasm shown for the new library was clear to see, and I wish Erika, Bethan and the whole team luck in this latest venture.”

Cllr Alun Llewelyn, Deputy Leader of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, added: “Congratulations to the volunteers and everyone involved for their hard work in renovating the community library at Ystalyfera. It’s great to see the shelves already full of brand new books, and with its link to the library services in Neath Port Talbot, locals will be able to order any book currently available through this service.

“The hall and its new library is a real asset for the community, and I would like to extend my thanks to Ystalyfera Community Council, the Shared Prosperity Fund, National Lottery and Neath Port Talbot library services for their support in making this happen.”

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