So what is Grandma's Attic?
Launched in February 2018, Grandma's Attic Community Project is a registered charity (number 1188377). The original intention was to develop a small charity shop with all of the proceeds raised utilised to provide community services for vulnerable and isolated residents living within the Blaenau Ffestiniog area of North Wales.
It soon became apparent that the need for this type of project was on a far larger scale than first anticipated with many suggestions made for the types of services required.
By July 2018, Grandma's charity shop relocated to larger premises right in the heart of High Street which allowed us to reach both locals and tourists thus allowing us to raise even more funds whilst ensuring that all donations of stock were affordable and of good quality.
The summer trading period allowed us to organise the first of our community days out to Chester Zoo which was designed to provide affordable social opportunities for both families and single members of the community who through low incomes or financial hardship would not be able to enjoy opportunities to interact with others and build lasting friendships and memories.
September 2018 we began our drop in services which enabled us to concentrate on providing a number of services and opportunities to our vulnerable members of the community including:
'Community Connection' our social prescribing advice service
School uniform and winter warmer schemes
'First Impressions Employment Initiative' providing advice and clothing in preparation for interviews
PIP advice and assistance with completing applications with support throughout the whole process
Affordable days out enriched with opportunities for socially isolated individuals and families who are on low incomes
Befriending initiative, providing support for socially isolated individuals, informal carers and the cared for
In March 2020, we made the transition from a not for profit organisation to a registered charity. This has been our greatest achievement to date and the perfect opportunity to concentrate on what matters most: our community
2020 see's the launch of our 'community transport scheme' which provides free transport to medical appointments which is so desperately needed in our area due to the geographical challenges faced by so many. Thanks to the National Lottery who confirmed their belief in us by providing a £10,000 grant. This asset to the community has opened doors to allow people to re-connect on a personal level to social activities along with medical appointments.
In response to Covid-19, we have been delivering on average 750 isolation packs to vulnerable people along with over 800 people a month calling in to our drop in centre to collect food share. These vital links have helped us to maintain lines of communication in a time when uncertainty is affecting so many people. The WCVA understood our ethos of 'helping each other' and very generously provided a six month window of funding to enable us to expand our team of volunteers to reach even more people during these challenging times.
In July 2020, we extended our services to the Porthmadog area by adding 'Grandma's Tearoom' which provides paid employment and training for young people and adults whose additional needs are often a barrier to securing meaningful employment. All takings from the tearoom and our Porthmadog charity shop allows us to not only provide such enriching opportunities, it also allows us to replicate our Blaenau Ffestiniog services with the Porthmadog community.
Our story does not stop here. We strongly believe that our project provides enrichment, support and endless health, mental and social well-being opportunities within our community and we will continue to surge forward to meet needs and guide individuals to not only access our services but to grow and develop skills in order to enrich their own lives independently.
Our move into the old market hall in Blaenau Ffestiniog will allow us to grow and create a thriving community asset filled with opportunities to learn new skills, provide a range of indoor markets bursting with new local businesses along with a range of social opportunities.
We cannot do this alone: Please help us to help each other
(updated 31st December 2020)