MANORBIER, Pembrokeshire - A local charity that has been battling for over a decade to build a new community centre celebrated a milestone this spring, when the South Ridgeway Community Association held its annual general meeting in the new Giraldus Centre for the very first time.

Chairing the meeting, vice-chair Gareth John outlined notable successes over the last 15 months, not least the completion of the building and opening of the centre in Manorbier in April 2023, despite the challenges of Covid-19 and Brexit.

Other achievements during the year, Gareth said, included setting up 13 weekly classes including Pilates, Line Dancing and Sit-Fit; providing a weekly Warm Room with free lunch during the winter months supported by National Grid funding and NISA; developing in-house a website,, with online booking and payment systems for events; and offering a free Parents and Toddlers group every Thursday lunchtime.

Gareth went on to explain that the Giraldus Centre receives no funding, so the substantial running costs had to be met from income generated from hiring out the hall and meeting rooms, running Friday night events, or through successful grant applications, such as those received from Enhancing Pembrokeshire, WCVA and Social Investment Cymru.

Gareth explained that a key role of the Giraldus Centre would be to provide local employment opportunities and sustainability for the community. At the meeting he announced the launch of zero hours contracts for bar staff, waiting staff and cooks. He also emphasised the importance of volunteers in helping to keep the centre running smoothly, so he appealed for more people to come forward to run clubs and fund-raising events.

Looking ahead, Gareth said that the coming months would see the launch of an outdoor seating area for “Family Food Fridays” over the summer, making the most of the centre’s large patio area, as well as the creation of a community allotment. Events already planned for April include a “Do You Believe in Magic Night?” for children of all ages on April 6 with magician David Hitchcott and a barn dance for the whole family on April 26 with three-piece ceilidh band Brig y Don. Further details on these and all other activities at the centre are available at and on the Facebook page.

Anyone interested in learning more about zero hours contracts or volunteering at the centre can email [email protected] or message Giraldus Centre Manorbier on Facebook.