Tag Archives: conwy

Gwesty Seren: Effective asset transfer and a new way of providing respite care

As we live in challenging economic times, it’s likely that a lot of voluntary organisations and Town and Community Councils will have community assets transferred to them. Dyfrig Williams visited Gwesty Seren to hear the lessons learnt from their community asset transfer and how they deliver respite care.

We are often signposted to examples of good practice, but it’s not so often that we hear about a project with good practice to share for a few different reasons.

We went to Gwesty Seren, a hotel based in Gwynedd that offers supported holidays, to learn about how it’s been transferred successfully to the community. But I also had a broader interest in how they’re providing respite care in a very different way.

The charity’s work

Picture of Gwesty Seren

Gwesty Seren

Seren is a charity that is based in Blaenau Ffestiniog, which provides care for people with learning difficulties. The charity was founded 20 years ago under Care in the Community, with the aim of supporting people to move out of institutions and into the community. People create craft and art, which is then sold in the shop and market garden. This helped people to be independent so that they didn’t rely on fees from Gwynedd Council or private individuals, and it also gives them a chance to get a taste of work. This mentality has continued at Gwesty Seren, where they provide work experience.

Gwesty Seren decided to go further than standard respite care. They wanted to provide a different kind of care, so they created a 3 star hotel with a focus on supporting disabled people. The toilets and rooms have been developed so that they are accessible to everyone.

The hotel also allows families to stay there. Their research showed that a lot of families have received poor respite care in the past, so they weren’t happy to leave their children’s care entirely in the hands of someone they didn’t know. The hotel allows them to stay with their children if they want, but whilst also giving them the break they need. This unique service means that the hotel also provides spaces for people who receive services from nearby councils, like Conwy and Ceredigion, with families even travelling to stay from across the border in England.

The success of the hotel has led to it working with three companies that specialise in holidays for people with learning difficulties, and recently, two further companies that specialise in holidays for physically disabled people began using the facilities. The people who have stayed there often end up coming back and making a block booking.

A photograph of a room at Gwesty Seren

A room at Gwesty Seren

The history of the building

The building itself was originally built by Lord Newborough in 1728 as a summer house. It stayed like this until just after the First World War, when the family took in soldiers who had had an accident or shock in the war to have a break or respite.

In the 1930s the building was given to two Franciscan Monks. They invited homeless people to stay, with the youngest monk travelling to London to invite people to stay at Bryn Llywelyn, as it was called at the time. Then the building was sold to Meirionnydd Council as a residential house for children, before being turned into an old people’s home. In 2010 the Council decided to close it.

Seren made a bid for the building to the Welsh Government and the Big Lottery Fund’s Community Asset Transfer Fund. A full application was submitted, before the work began in 2013. The work was completed in April 2014.

Transferring the building

Usually the transfer of assets from the public sector take place free of charge, but in this case, the council decided to sell the building at less than the market price. The council had to go through committees and raise awareness through the media, so it was not a quick process.

The cost of everything, including the purchase, was around £1,000,000, and applying for grants was a laborious process. Because it required a significant amount, the charity went on to borrow from the Charity Bank.

They were aware that questions would be asked about State Aid, so the charity hired a Cardiff law firm that specialised in it. A report was written on minimising the risk and the document showed the rationale for why it did not break the rules. It was a great help when working with European Officers and the Welsh European Funding Office.

Key messages

So one of the main message from Gwesty Seren is that asset transfer isn’t a quick process. But it’s clear by looking at the comments on their TripAdvisor page that the hard work has been worth it. And from the testimonials of other customers (whether it’s directly to the hotel or in a newsletter), I can see that their respite care that has a big impact on people’s lives, has helped the regeneration of  Blaenau Ffestiniog by creating 10 full time jobs and is actively contributing to the area’s tourist industry.

Gwesty Seren: Trosglwyddo asedau yn effeithiol a dull newydd o ofal ysbaid

Yn yr hinsawdd economaidd sydd ohoni, mae’n debyg fe fydd llawer o gyrff gwirfoddol a Chynghorau Tref a Chymuned yn mynd ati i drosglwyddo asedau o’r Cyngor Sir. Aeth Dyfrig Williams i Westy Seren i ddysgu am ei brofiad nhw o drosglwyddo ased a sut maen nhw’n darparu gofal ysbaid.

Rydym yn cael ein arwyddbostio ato arfer da yn aml, ond nid yw’n aml ein bod ni’n clywed am un prosiect sydd gydag arfer da i’w rhannu mewn sawl gwahanol faes.

Aethom i Westy Seren i ddysgu am sut mae ased wedi cael ei drosglwyddo i’r cymuned yn lwyddiannus. Ond roedd gen i ddiddordeb ehangach yn y gwaith gan fy mod i wedi clywed am y gwaith arloesol maent yn wneud wrth ddarparu gofal ysbaid.

Gwaith yr elusen

Llun o Westy Seren

Gwesty Seren

Cwmni ag elusen yw Seren sydd â phencadlys ym Mlaenau Ffestiniog. Prif waith yr elusen yw cynnig gofal i bobl sydd ag anawsterau dysgu. Sefydlwyd yr elusen 20 mlynedd yn ôl o dan Ofal yn y Gymuned. Bwriad yr elusen oedd cael pobl ag anawsterau dysgu allan o sefydliadau ac i fyw yn y gymuned. Mae pobl sydd yno yn creu crefft a chelf ac yn rhedeg siop a gardd farchnad. Mae hwn yn rhoi annibyniaeth i’r bobl sy’n gweithio achos nad yw pobl jyst yn dibynnu ar ffioedd o Gyngor Gwynedd neu unigolion preifat, ac mae fe hefyd yn rhoi cyfle i bobl cael blas ar waith. Mae’r meddylfryd yma wedi parhau wrth roi profiad o waith i bobl yng Ngwesty Seren.

Penderfynodd Seren gwneud mwy na chreu gwasanaeth ysbaid wrth ffurfio’r Gwesty. Roedden nhw eisiau gwell ansawdd na thŷ, felly creuwyd gwesty 3 seren sy’n ffocysu ar anabledd a phobl sydd ag anawsterau dysgu. Mae’r toiledau ac ystafelloedd wedi’u datblygu i fod yn hygyrch i bawb.

Mae’r gwesty hefyd yn galluogi teuluoedd i aros yno. Dangosodd ei ymchwil bod lot o deuluoedd wedi derbyn gofal ysbaid gwael yn y gorffennol, ac felly nid oedden nhw’n hapus i adael eu plant yng ngofal trydydd person. Mae’r gwesty yn galluogi nhw i aros gyda’u plant os maent yn dymuno, ond hefyd i gael yr ysbaid sydd angen. Mae’r gwasanaeth unigryw yma yn meddwl bod y gwesty yn darparu llefydd i bobl sy’n derbyn gwasanaethau o gynghorau cyfagos fel Conwy a Cheredigion. Mae teuluoedd yn dod o Loegr i aros yn y gwesty hefyd.

Mae llwyddiant y Gwesty yn meddwl ei bod yn gweithio gyda thri chwmni sy’n arbenigo mewn gwyliau ar gyfer pobl sydd ag anawsterau dysgu ac, yn ddiweddar, penderfynodd dau gwmni arall sydd yn arbenigo mewn gwyliau ar gyfer pobol ag anableddau corfforol ddechrau ddefnyddio’ cyfleusterau. Mae’r bobl sydd wedi aros yn aml yn dod yn ôl ac yn wneud archebion bloc.

Hanes yr adeilad

Ffotograff o ystafell yng Ngwesty Seren

Ystafell yng Ngwesty Seren

Cafodd yr adeilad ei hun ei adeiladu’n wreiddiol gan yr Arglwydd Newborough yn 1728 fel ty haf. Parhaodd fel tŷ haf nes jyst ar ol y rhyfel byd cyntaf, pryd wnaeth teulu cymryd milwyr i fewn a oedd wedi cael damwain neu sioc yn y rhyfel i cael seibiant neu ysbaid.

Yn y 1930s cafodd yr adeilad ei roi i ddau fynach Assisi. Fe wnaethon nhw wahodd pobl ddigartref i mewn, gyda’r mynach ieuengaf yn trafaelu i Lundain i wahodd pobl i aros ym Mryn Llywelyn, fel y cafodd ei alw ar y pryd. Yna cafodd yr adeilad ei werthu i Gyngor Meirionnydd, ble roedd yn nhŷ preswyl i blant, cyn cael ei droi’n gartref preswyl i henoed. Yn 2010 penderfynodd y Cyngor ei gau.

Fe wnaeth Seren cais i Gronfa Trosglwyddo Asedau Cymunedol Llywodraeth Cymru a’r Gronfa Loteri Fawr. Cyflwynwyd cais llawn, cyn cychwyn y gwaith yn 2013. Cwblhawyd y gwaith yn Ebrill 2014.

Trosglwyddo’r adeilad

Fel arfer mae trosglwyddo asedau o’r sector cyhoeddus yn digwydd am ddim, ond yn yr achos yma penderfynodd y cyngor gwerthu am bris llai na’r farchnad. Bu rhaid i’r cyngor mynd trwy bwyllgorau a chodi ymwybyddiaeth trwy’r wasg, felly nid oedd yn broses cyflym.

Roedd y costau rhwng prynu a phob dim yn tua £1,000,000, ac roedd gwneud ceisiadau ar gyfer grantiau ac ati yn broses llafurus. Gan fod angen swm sylweddol, aeth yr elusen ati i fenthyg o’r Banc Elusennau.

Roeddent yn ymwybodol byddai cwestiynau yn cael ei ofyn am gymorth gwladwriaethol, felly aeth yr elusen at gwmni cyfreithiol yng Nghaerdydd sy’n arbenigo yn hyn. Ysgrifennwyd adroddiad ar finimeiddio’r risg ac fe wnaeth y ddogfen dangos y rhesymeg am pam nad oedd yn torri’r rheolau. Roedd yr adroddiad yma yn cymorth mawr wrth ddelio a Swyddfa Cyllid Ewropeaidd Cymru a Swyddogion Ewrop amdano’r gwesty.

Prif negeseuon

Felly’r prif neges o Westy Seren yw nad ydy’n broses cyflym sy’n digwydd mewn chwinciad. Ond serch hynny mae’n glîr trwy edrych ar y sylwadau ar ei dudalen TripAdvisor bod y gwaith caled wedi bod yn werth chweil. Ac os edrychwch chi ar y geirda yma o ofalwr neu’r erthygl yma mewn cylchlythyr, mae’n glîr bod y gwesty yn cynnig gofal ysbaid sy’n cael effaith mawr ar bywydau pobl, sydd wedi cyfranu at adfywio ardal Blaenau Ffestiniog gan greu 10 o swyddi llawn amser, ac wedi cyfrannu at y diwydiant twristiaeth.

Collaboration and working across boundaries: Colwyn Bay Health Care and Wellbeing Precinct

When we heard about Colwyn Bay Health Care and Wellbeing Precinct at the All Wales Continuous Improvement Awards, we instantly knew that we wanted to share what they are doing further. John Hardy will be running a workshop on their work at our Housing and Sport: Improving wellbeing and providing better value for public money seminar on 3 March in Cardiff and 26 March in Llanrwst, and you can hear more about their work below.

Colwyn Bay Health Care and Wellbeing Precinct / Canolfan Gofal Iechyd a Lles Bae Colwyn The project, originally a partnership between Therapy Services and through them to the Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust, Age Concern and Conwy County Borough Council and now between Conwy County Borough Council and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, has attracted wide ranging support from numerous agencies in the health and social welfare field and is seen as a ground breaking initiative in the application of physical activity to the prevention and management of chronic conditions, thus lessening the burden on statutory health and social care services

The term ‘Health Precinct’ refers to the development of a place where health and Social Care professionals can work together with leisure professionals to develop innovative and evidence-based solutions to improve the health of the citizens of Conwy through physical activity; whether for ill health prevention, exercise by prescription, chronic disease management or rehabilitation from acute or chronic ill health. This collaboration supports a wide range of citizens to move seamlessly from medically supported therapy to community based physical activity. As part of the on-going evolution of this concept and building on previous work, Conwy County Borough Council’s Social Care and Education Services and Community Development Service are currently working in partnership to develop a programme of community wellbeing activities and information, advice and support to enable citizens to prevent ill-health and promote self-caring and individual ownership of support interventions based on the what matters conversation. Going forward this approach will also be delivered in collaboration with the third and independent care sectors.

What impact has it had?

Groups and individuals who have benefited and will experience greater health benefits as a result of the Health Precinct programme include those living with long term conditions and those undergoing cardiac rehabilitation. The programmes within the Health Precinct help to tackle depression and loneliness and also help participants to build their confidence levels and support people remaining active and living in their own homes. In the long term we hope that this self-caring approach with also lessen the burden of unscheduled care required from health and social care services.

Two examples of programmes developed and being delivered at the Health Precinct:

Aqua Therapy/Warm Water Modality

The Aqua Therapy Warm Water Modality pilot study conducted jointly by leisure staff, Therapy Services from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Public Health Wales has set the standard for how these projects should be planned and implemented in the future.
Following the study a pathway has been specifically developed aimed at clients with chronic muscle / joint pain which provides far greater access to clients by utilising the local authority swimming facilities.

Early Onset Dementia

The early onset dementia project links closely with the Elderly Mental Infirm Units at Bryn Hesketh and Bodnant. Conwy County Borough Council has developed an exercise class specifically for clients who have been diagnosed with Early Onset Dementia.

The Health Precinct initiative is underpinned by a commitment to strengthen community-based care and a more equal relationship between patient and professionals. It also helps to change the relationship between health social care services and the public, characterised by a shared decision making for care and support with citizens to promote appropriate intervention as well as a securing improved health and wellbeing outcomes. This approach is in line with co-production principles.

Cydweithredu a Gweithio ar Draws Ffiniau: Canolfan Gofal Iechyd a Lles Bae Colwyn

Pan wnaethon ni clywed am Ganolfan Gofal Iechyd a Lles Bae Colwyn yng Ngwobrau Gwelliant Parhaus Cymru Gyfan, roedden ni’n gwybod yn syth ein bod ni eisiau rhannu beth maen nhw wedi gwneud. Bydd John Hardy yn cynnal gweithdy ar eu gwaith yn ein seminar Tai a Chwaraeon: Gwella lles a darparu gwell gwerth am arian cyhoeddus ar 3 Mawrth yng Nghaerdydd a 26 Mawrth yn Llanrwst, a gallwch glywed mwy am eu gwaith isod.

Colwyn Bay Health Care and Wellbeing Precinct / Canolfan Gofal Iechyd a Lles Bae ColwynMae’r prosiect, a oedd yn bartneriaeth yn wreiddiol, rhwng Gwasanaethau Therapi a thrwy’r rheiny Ymddiriedolaeth GIG Siroedd Conwy a Dinbych, Age Concern a Chyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Conwy a bellach rhwng Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Conwy a Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Betsi Cadwaladr, wedi denu cymorth eang gan nifer o asiantaethau yn y maes iechyd a lles cymdeithasol ac fe’i hystyrir yn fenter arloesol sy’n defnyddio gweithgarwch corfforol i atal a rheoli cyflyrau cronig gan felly leihau’r baich ar wasanaethau iechyd a gofal cymdeithasol statudol.

Mae’r term ‘Canolfan Iechyd’ yn cyfeirio at y broses o ddatblygu man lle gall gweithwyr proffesiynol yn y maes Iechyd a Gofal Cymdeithasol gydweithio â gweithwyr cymdeithasol yn y maes hamdden i ddatblygu atebion arloesol sy’n seiliedig ar dystiolaeth er mwyn gwella iechyd dinasyddion Conwy drwy weithgarwch corfforol; boed er mwyn atal afiechyd, ymarfer drwy bresgripsiwn, rheoli clefydau cronig neu adsefydlu ar ôl afiechyd acíwt neu gronig. Mae’r cydweithredu hwn yn cefnogi amrywiaeth eang o ddinasyddion i symud yn ddi-dor o therapi a gefnogir yn feddygol i weithgarwch corfforol yn y gymuned. Fel rhan o esblygiad parhaus y cydsyniad hwn, a chan adeiladu ar waith blaenorol, mae Gwasanaethau Gofal Cymdeithasol ac Addysg a Gwasanaeth Datblygu’r Gymuned Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Conwy yn cydweithio mewn partneriaeth ar hyn o bryd i ddatblygu rhaglen o weithgareddau, gwybodaeth, cyngor a chymorth lles cymunedol er mwyn galluogi dinasyddion i atal afiechyd a hybu hunanofal a pherchnogaeth unigol o ymyriadau cymorth yn seiliedig ar y sgwrs am yr hyn sy’n bwysig. Wrth symud ymlaen, bydd y dull hwn hefyd yn cael ei gyflawni mewn cydweithrediad â’r trydydd sector a’r sector gofal annibynnol.

Pa effaith y mae wedi’i chael?

Mae grwpiau ac unigolion sydd wedi elwa, a’r rhai a fydd yn gweld mwy o fanteision o ran iechyd o ganlyniad i’r rhaglen Canolfan Iechyd yn cynnwys y rhai sy’n byw â chyflyrau hirdymor a’r rhai sy’n dilyn rhaglen adsefydlu cardiaidd. Mae rhaglenni’r Ganolfan Iechyd yn helpu i fynd i’r afael ag iselder ac unigrwydd ac yn helpu i roi hwb i hyder y rhai sy’n cymryd rhan yn y rhaglenni hefyd a chefnogi pobl i barhau’n egnïol a byw yn eu cartrefi eu hunain. Yn y tymor hir, rydym yn gobeithio y bydd y dull hunanofal hwn yn lleihau’r baich hefyd mewn perthynas â’r gofal heb ei drefnu sy’n ofynnol gan wasanaethau iechyd a gofal cymdeithasol.

Dyma ddwy enghraifft o raglenni sydd wedi’u datblygu ac sy’n cael eu cyflwyno yn y Ganolfan Iechyd:

Thearpi Dŵr/Moddolrwydd Dŵr Cynnes

Mae’r astudiaeth beilot ar gyfer Therapi Dŵr/Moddolrwydd Dŵr Cynnes a gynhaliwyd ar y cyd gan staff hamdden, Gwasanaethau Therapi Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Betsi Cadwaladr ac Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru wedi gosod y safon ar gyfer y ffordd y dylid cynllunio’r prosiectau hyn a’u rhoi ar waith yn y dyfodol.

Yn dilyn yr astudiaeth, datblygwyd llwybr yn benodol ar gyfer cleientiaid â phoen cronig yn y cyhyrau / cymalau ac mae’n rhoi llawer mwy o fynediad i gleientiaid drwy ddefnyddio cyfleusterau nofio’r awdurdod lleol.

Dementia Cynnar

Mae gan y prosiect dementia cynnar gysylltiad agos â’r Unedau ar gyfer yr Henoed Eiddil eu Meddwl ym Mryn Hesketh a Bodnant. Mae Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Conwy wedi datblygu dosbarth ymarfer corff yn benodol ar gyfer cleientiaid sydd wedi cael diagnosis o Ddementia Cynnar.

Mae’r fenter Canolfan Iechyd yn seiliedig ar ymrwymiad i gryfhau gofal sy’n seiliedig ar y gymuned a pherthynas mwy cyfartal rhwng cleifion a gweithwyr proffesiynol. Mae’n gymorth hefyd i newid y berthynas rhwng gwasanaethau iechyd a gofal cymdeithasol a’r cyhoedd, wedi’i nodweddu â phrosesau o wneud penderfyniadau ar y cyd ar gyfer gofal a chymorth gyda dinasyddion er mwyn hyrwyddo ymyriadau priodol yn ogystal â sicrhau gwell canlyniadau iechyd a lles. Mae’r dull hwn yn cyd-fynd ag egwyddorion cyd-gynhyrchu.