Patients in Rhondda are being offered more opportunities nearer home to access specialist advice on looking after their wellbeing as well as their health.

Community coordinator Lucy Foster was appointed last year to link patients to the many local services which can change lives for the better.

The post is funded by the Rhondda Primary Care cluster and that she is available to patients aged over 18 throughout the Rhondda.

She holds sessions in GP surgeries and patients can make appointments for themselves.

Now the Wellbeing coordinator will also be based at the Arts Factory in Ferndale every other Friday from 10am -11.30am.

This new initiative is linked to with the Trerhondda wellbeing project and its activities coordinator Beverly Llewelyn.

Situated next door to the Ferndale practice, GPs and staff can refer patients to the clinic or self-referrals are welcome to drop in where a warm welcome is extended to all.

The service signposts patients to help on issues from housing, benefits or finance, to education and learning, employment, training and volunteering.

But it also offers information about mental health issues, healthy and active lifestyle, the arts, music and creativity, befriending, counselling or other support groups.

The scheme aims to:

  • Reduce loneliness and isolation
  • Sign post to relevant local activities and services
  • Provide a ‘safe place’ to have a cuppa and a chat

Lucy said: “We will be providing the patients and community members of Maerdy and Ferndale a one stop shop for all their wellbeing needs.

“We will have a small seating/waiting area where you can wait to be seen by and have a coffee from our community café stall.

“This clinic is dementia friendly and the Dementia Friends volunteers will be on hand to provide support and information.”

The first drop in clinic was held on March 16 and the feedback from those attending so far has been positive.

One said: “You hear of so many places offering activities, support and information but it’s all a minefield to me. Coming to one place for a cup of tea and be directed by a friendly face is much easier.”

Others added: “This welling clinic in the hub of our community will be great. It’s well needed.”

“If I need help or advice I know where to come.”