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"Sammy always tries his very best in everything he takes on. He is always very polite and courteous, and enjoys interacting with others and makes friends easily.


Sammy has become confident in greeting customers in the paint shop and always assists every customer that enters it. He only needs to be shown something once and he is then able to use this skill again and again"

Sally-Ann - LD Support Worker


​​For additional details of our projects across Torfaen, search for ‘Growing Space’ on

Dewis Cymru or Infoengine

Horticulture - Llanfrechfa Grange Hospital

Our horticulture project is set within the walled gardens at Llanfrechfa Grange Hospital, Cwmbran. Participants with mental health conditions, or autism are involved in horticultural therapy whilst implementing the new design of the historic walled garden together with the volunteers and trustees of Llanfrechfa Grange Hospital, ready for the new hospital opening.


Participants can take part in accredited and non-accredited training, which covers a range of horticulture, vocational and employability skills.

Supervisor – Glyn Matthews:  glyn@growingspace.org.uk


Growing Space - Nant Bran

​​The Nant Bran Centre is situated in Upper Cwmbran, and provides participants with a range of well-being activities, training opportunities and information, advice and assistance.  Activities include a range of accredited and non-accredited training, which covers a variety of horticulture, vocational and employability skills, and arts and crafts.

The centre includes an active gardening project, and service user led social groups.  With the Happy Cwtch Café operating from this centre, meals and snacks can be purchased several times a week. 

Participants can access the centre easily by public transport, with a regular bus that stops outside the centre.


Training & Development Worker – Mark Richardson:  mark@growingspace.org.uk

IAA Worker – Keri Stott:  keri@growingspace.org.uk


Happy Cwtch Café – Nant Bran

​Our Happy Cwtch Café is based in the Nant Bran Centre, Cwmbran.  This project is run by the team as part of our ‘No More Barriers’ ICF project, and our ‘Open Spaces, Open Minds’ Lottery project.

Participants with mental health, autism or a learning disability are referred into this project, to gain experience in customer service, hospitality and retail, through working in a café environment.  All undergo food hygiene training before they can be involved in food preparation, while other accredited and non-accredited training is taken bespoke to each client.  This is a working kitchen, where  participants are on supported work placements, to give valuable work experience and enhance their employability skills and opportunities.

The Café provides hot and cold meals and snacks during week days. 


Horticulture - County​ Hospital

Our horticulture project supports participants from the Talygarn unit, and is based in the grounds of County hospital, Griffithstown.  Participants from the ward are involved in horticultural therapy through working in the garden environment.  This is an opportunity for patients to get outside, do some gardening, get some horticultural experience, and enjoy the many benefits of being out in nature.

Supervisor – Glyn Matthews:  glyn@growingspace.org.uk

Learn and Grow - Active Inclusion Wales

​This project is delivered across Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Torfaen

Our partnership project with Learn and Grow helps to extend our service by providing flexible support for people aged 25+ with mental health conditions, and who are economically inactive and long term unemployed.  The project helps to build their confidence and motivation, and improve their basic, social and communication skills through accredited and non-accredited training and support.  These interventions help develop individuals on their journey to recovery and progression onto work experience, voluntary work and sustainable employment.


Project Lead - Helena Lane:  helena@growingspace.org.uk

No More Barriers 

​This project is delivered across Gwent, and has 2 strands to it:

Consultation – Growing Space provides supported employment opportunities for our Gwent Ambassadors who are individuals with a learning disability.  Their role involves engaging with individuals with a learning disability, staff and organisations across Gwent to report on what matters to people, what is working and what needs more work in Gwent.   

Employment – our employment model is for people with mental health, autism or a learning disability.  This provides support to break down the barriers to employment, and provides a bespoke, planned journey towards employment opportunities.   Referrals into this project can have support with developing a CV, and work related qualifications, and help with supported volunteering, supported work placements, and supported employment. 

Currently this team provides supported work placements in each of our social enterprise schemes at Brynmawr Paint Shop, Happy Cwtch Café and Tredegar House Shop.

LD Project Co-ordinator – Rachel Parker: rachelParker@growingspace.org.uk

LD Support Worker - Jane Williams: jane@growingspace.org.uk

Travel Buddy Scheme 

This project is delivered across Gwent, and has 2 strands to it:

Travel Buddy Trainer – Growing Space offers paid supported employment to individuals with a learning disability, autism or mental health who are confident in using public transport.  Travel Buddies on this project are paid on a sessional basis, at the National Living Wage to provide a peer mentor role in supporting independent travellers wanting to gain experience and confidence in travelling on their own.  Travel Buddies go through a training plan, and are individually matched to those referring in for support with travel. ​

Independent Traveller – Many individuals with a learning disability, autism or mental health are not confident in using public transport on their own, but want to learn to be more independent.  Individuals who refer in to this service for support are buddied with a Travel Buddy, who trains them, and supports them to become more confident with travelling independently.

This is a bespoke service and therefore the number of sessions required varies.

LD Project Co-ordinator – Sadie Rogers:  sadie@growingspace.org.uk