Patients at Pinewood House are developing their skills and building their confidence in a working environment thanks to the opening of Pinewood House Stores.
The shop, based within the mental health rehabilitation unit in Treorchy, provides patients with the opportunity to work behind the kiosk to help with their recovery and develop new skills to support future employment.
The shop will be open for an hour a day and will see patients serving a range of soft drinks and snacks to others at Pinewood House. As the project develops the team hopes to open the facility for longer.
Claire Goatson, Ward Manager, said: “Pinewood House has evolved greatly over the past few years and this is our most recent venture. It started from a really exciting conversation we had when we saw something similar being done elsewhere and we thought why can’t we do that?
“The shop will bring numerous benefits to patients as, while being something fun, there is a serious and meaningful side to it and will help with their recovery.”
Lead Occupational Therapist, Natalie Jones, said: “Our patients are extremely motivated individuals who are keen to develop throughout their recovery journey. Some are keen to return to work and others are keen to gain employment for the first time. It is thanks to the patients that we came up with this idea and we hope that it will help them gain the skills they need, in a safe environment, so they can be part of our community, develop themselves, have the opportunity to earn money and much more.”
Allison Williams, Chief Executive of Cwm Taf University Health Board, who officially opened the shop, said: “This is a really exciting and important initiative for Pinewood House. What they are trying to achieve is fantastic. This is about giving people confidence and opportunities that will hopefully help them move back into work and in taking the next steps in their recovery.”