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Community Groups Benefit from RCT Together

Scores of community groups collected FREE furniture and equipment to help them continue their good work, thanks to a first-of-its-kind furniture giveaway by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council.

The open event at the former Aberdare Girls’ School this weekend was organised as part of the pioneering RCT Together approach and was a huge success, with over 20 voluntary and third sector groups collecting chairs, tables, cabinets and even cookers to help their operations.

Food banks, youth clubs, Adref Housing Charity and YMCAs were among the groups that arrived in order to collect items they can use to help them and those they support in their work.

Following the opening of the £50m Aberdare Community School, three Cynon Valley schools closed and each contained a huge amount of surplus equipment which the Council could not utilise at its other premises.

Instead of simply wasting the perfectly-good items, the Council held a giveaway and invited community groups, charities and organisations to attend and help themselves to the items that would help them the most.

It was a perfect example of the ongoing RCT Together approach, which has secured a strong and effective partnership between the Council and the voluntary and third sector as they work together to protect and maintain services.

The Council has long made it clear financial challenges and ongoing budget cuts mean it is unable to continue to maintain a range of services on its own, and has invited partners, via RCT Together, to get involved.

This unique approach has already seen the re-opening, under community ownership, of a paddling pool, library and even childcare provision and more and more people continue to get involved.

Deputy Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for RCT Together, Cllr Kieron Montague, was at the event, meeting organisations and even helping them to load the furniture and equipment into vans.

He said: “I am so pleased the event was such a success and that nearly 100 representatives of RCT’s community groups, voluntary organisations and charities were able to attend and collect free equipment and furniture that will no doubt support their good work into the future.

“RCT Together began as a commitment to change the way the Council worked with its partner organisations to protect and maintain services and facilities and has really grown in the last year.

“Successful community ownership schemes, such as Abercynon Paddling Pool, Little Ferns Flying Start, the Workers’ Gallery in Ynyshir and Church Village Library are now thriving as a result and people are getting involved via the online expressions of interest system every week.”

To find out more about RCT Together and see how you can get involved on the RCT Together page

See more pictures and let us know if you collected furniture and how it will help on our Facebook page

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