An independent charity set up in 1985 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.

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 their 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.”