July 19, 2024

Charity at the heart of community wins Powys Business Award

Powys Business Awards 2023. Picture by Phil Blagg Photography. PB187-2023

An independent charity set up in1985 to provide community services for all residents of Rhayader and district has won a Powys Business Award.

The Arches – Rhayader & District Community Support, which employs 12 people, secured the Social Enterprise/ Charity Award sponsored by Myrick Training Services at the annual awards ceremony held at The Hafren, Newtown on Friday, October 20.

Organised by Mid Wales Manufacturing Group (MWMG) with support from sponsors, the coveted annual awards, which began in 2009, are open to companies, organisations, social enterprises and charities.

Rhayader & District Community Support is the heartbeat of the community, providing services to residents of all ages in the LD6 postcode area, particularly related to education, health and relief of poverty, distress and sickness.


Based at The Arches, a community hub in Rhayader, the charity provides community transport, including a ‘Dial-a-Ride’ and community car and minibus service supported by local volunteer drivers.

Aiming to make lives better, the charity provides positive experiences to promote healthy wellbeing. It runs a dementia friendly Memory Lane group, helps facilitate Rhayader and District Leg Club in partnership with district nurses, runs a befriending scheme as well as Cooking Club and Writing Room projects.


A Community Charity Shop, supervised by staff but manned by a team of valued volunteers, acts as a hub for the local community as well as housing an Independent Foodbank for the benefit of residents in need. Local people can also obtain copies of our Community Newsletter as a source of local information.

The charity also runs the thriving Rhayader Community Nursery for under fives, essentially engages members of the local community via a volunteer bureau and puts on a variety of community events to raise money for its range of services.


Laurence Gellor, the charity’s chief executive, said: “This award is going to be a tremendous validation of our work. There are so many people who are involved in supporting our local community and I hope that it will be a collective prize for them and the town.”


Powys Business Awards judges said: “The Arches is a long-established organisation which has an impressive range of services, supporting everyone in the community, including those who are struggling the most.

“We were impressed not only by the wide spectrum that such a small organisation is reaching but also by their ambition to do more, to tackle root causes of issues and to reach out to more people.”


Runners up for the award were: Siop Llangors Shop, Llangors, Brecon and Maesmawr Group, Llandinam.


Picture caption:

Emma Coates (holding the award) former fundraising, events and marketing co-ordinator for The Arches – Rhayader & District Community Support, with trustee Jacqueline Davies, chief executive Laurence Gellor, administrator Linda Knox and Nick Jones, engineering and courses manager for Myrick Training Services, sponsor.