WELSH Minister Jeff Cuthbert last week popped into an Ammanford community cafe that is benefiting from Welsh Government support.
Mr Cuthbert, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, visited iSmooth, which has received just under £4,000 from the Welsh Government’s Communities 2.0 scheme supporting individuals, communities and small enterprises who make the most of the internet.
The award was used to buy computer equipment for customers to use.
“It is vital that everyone can embrace the latest technologies," said Mr Cuthbert. "iSmooth is an excellent example of how a social enterprise can use the internet to provide a valuable service to the wider community.
“The project has created opportunities for members of the community to develop new skills to help them find sustainable employment. This is the best way out of poverty and hardship.
“I am pleased that Communities 2.0 continues to support projects like this that can have such a positive impact in communities like Ammanford.”
iSmooth, is run by volunteers and people with learning difficulties, as a social enterprise.
It offers work experience and training in customer service, stock control, health and safety, hygiene and cooking skills.
“The support from Communities 2.0 has allowed us to widen our offer to the community in Ammanford, encouraged more customers in to use our facilities and meant we can offer training and support to more recipients," said iSmooth director Erika Walker. "The café is very busy and is much appreciated in the community.”
The success of the community café has led to its managerial team investigating the potential to develop iSmooth as a social enterprise franchise across Wales. They have recently appointed a business development manager to develop this approach.