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Community shows support for Miners’ Hospital project

Published in News at 15:00, Tuesday October 9th, 2012.

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A group of walkers who took part in the Caerphilly three peaks challenge in aid of the Miners Community Centre

A group of walkers who took part in the Caerphilly three peaks challenge in aid of the Miners Community Centre

More than 80 people took part in a charity hike to show their support for a project to turn the original Caerphilly Miners’ Hospital into a community centre.

Teams of walkers climbed the three peaks of Caerphilly – Garth, Rockwood and Caerphilly mountains – to raise money for the project which aims to refurbish and restore the hospital into a community centre complete with IT suites.

The challenge took place on October 6 with walkers covering 13.5km.

The event was run by the Caerphilly Miners Well-being group and was supported by aircraft servicing company GE Aviation Wales, who helped co-ordinate the day and provided volunteers to marshal the course.

Caerphilly Miners’ Hospital closed its doors for the final time in November 2011 with the opening of Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr.

Eighty-two homes will now stand in its place – but the historic Beeches building will remain.

Plans to keep the building – which was originally paid for by the miners – as a community centre are well advanced.

The Beeches was built in 1924 and was paid for by the miners of the Rhymney Valley after they each put aside 6d out of their weekly wage of 12s 6d to raise the £30,000 needed.

Katherine Hughes, company secretary for the Caerphilly Miners Centre for the Community, said: “I would like to thank everyone who supported the event, without the support of members of the local community and companies like GE Aviation Wales, Tony and Alison Dascombe for the use of Rockwood Mountain, Jenny Hibbert for supporting the administration, Asda Coryton and Marta Gines Esteve. who supplied and supported with refreshments, we would have not been able to have pulled this event off.

“The day was a great success and the atmosphere was fantastic. With over £3,000 pledged in sponsorship we really appreciate the support of the local community and we are now one step closer to completing the refurbishment. With the great feedback we have received from the teams who took part, we are hoping to make this an annual event.”

Mike Dummer, of GE Aviation Wales, who helped organise the event, said: “We are pleased to be able to support a project in the local community which will benefit so many residents. From volunteers to teams taking part, everyone was in great spirits and even the weather stayed on our side.”

Walkers take on the Garth

Walkers take on the Garth

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  • Arthur

    Whilst it good to see people supporting the proposals for saving the Beeches building in the old miners hospital site, it is a far cry from raising the close to 1 Million Pounds of Welsh Assembly money which will be needed to allow the creation of such a project.

    I am sure the Welsh Assembly will have many more important things on which to spend almost 1 Million Pounds at this time of austerity, particularly when health education and other civic budgets are being reduced.

    The fact that this pet project, promoted by a few selected individuals and a few more members of the public, will need many thousands of pounds public money in grants, year on year, even if it does convince public servants to invest that close to a million pounds to get it off the ground, and this should be enough evidence if any was needed, that this project should be self financed, or, shelved, at least until public finances improve.

  • Cllr James Pritchard

    Having taken part in the walk last Saturday may I firstly say that the sense of community spirit was fantastic. There were about 15 teams taking part, all of which pledging valuable sposorship money.

    To clear up a couple of points that Arthur has made. Firstly, the Caerphilly Miners – Back to the Community is a project that is seeking financial support from a range of sources, not just from the Welsh Assembly. It is hoped that a series of small to medium sized donations will help the project reach the figure to which will enable the project to become sustainable.

    Secondly, the project has widespread support and has upwards of 150 members. Recently the AGM held at the Twyn Community centre attracted approximately 60 members of the public. Local councillors alongside the MP & AM for Caerphilly are working together to do all they can to make sure the project gets up and running.

    The project will be a fantastic attraction for the whole of the Caerphilly basin and will offer facilities for all. Lets all get behind the project and do what we can to ensure that the Miners legacy is preserved.

  • Jeff

    This project appears to have the ` support` of at least 150 people in the community, and these are the words of a local Councillor who also supports the proposals for these buildings at the former miners hospital site.

    The fact that it also appears from comments here that the people on the ` Board` of this proposed project must look for nearly A MILLION POUNDS of taxpayers money to get if off the ground is a step too far in these days of belt tightening of the public finances. And, to then suggest that ` other bodies` will financially support the day to day, week to week, month to month, year to year on going operating cost associated with such an old building is ` pie in the sky`, the fact is that if this is to be a proper Community Facility it has to be self supporting from its own balance sheets, this is the only way it would truely serve the community it is now asking to invest £1,000,000.00p with a group of people who appear to be in the pocket of local business before it even gets off the ground.

  • Jan

    This should go back to the community whose miners paid for it.

    Just as oakdale hospital should be given back to the community who paid for it.