OPPOSITE the Handpost Hotel, on Risca Road, is a road lined up with businesses offering goods, services and food.

A fairly new addition to the area is charity shop, Manes and Tails, which opened its doors in January of this year and raises money for the Society for Welfare of Horses and Ponies (SWHP) which is based in Monmouth.

The voluntary manager, former Pill councillor Laura Buchanan-Smith, formerly ran Friends of St Anne’s Hospice which no longer exists following an amalgamation with St David’s Hospice.

Unlike some charity shops, Manes and Tails is entirely run by volunteers, including Ms Buchanan-Smith, and it has a cuddly mascot - a jack russell terrier called Crumble.

All items for sale are home-made by volunteers, or are donations, including art, clothes, small furniture, vintage and retro goods, and more.

Ms Buchanan-Smith explained: “We look after our customer and, because of the generosity of donations, we can offer high quality goods.”

SWHP former chairwoman, Jenny MacGregor, sadly died from cancer last year, and the charity will now be amalgamated with national charity Red Wings, which will open the MacGregor Centre, in Chepstow, next month.

Money donated to Manes and Tails, which is open between 9am and 3pm on week days, will go towards the sanctuary, which will home 57 ponies.

Sian Pitman is a volunteer at Manes and Tails and said: “There’s a lovely friendly atmosphere here, with lots of regulars who we know personally.”

To donate you can bring items in or arrange collection by phoning 07880 688707.

On Risca Road there are also beauty salons, take-aways and That Cafe, which entered this year’s V Awards.

Just off Risca Road, is The Sandwich Bar on Llanthewy Road, which offers a range of sandwiches, jacket potatoes, toasties and salads, including vegetarian options. Specialities include cajun chicken with sweet chilli, traditional chicken and bacon with mayonnaise, and brie and cranberry.

The cash only venue has a five-star food hygiene rating, and is well established in the area as it has been open for 16 years.

Manager, Meriel Shore, has always worked in the catering industry, and said: “We pride ourselves on quality over quantity and value for money.

“We have plenty of regulars, who we know by name, and we think of them more like friends than customers.”

Sandwiches are £2.70, or £2.75 for a toastie, with salad boxes at £2.90 and jacket potatoes for £3.25, making it an affordable place to lunch.

Platters can be ordered on request, with the bread sourced from Wren’s Bakery, on Caerleon Road, and delivered fresh daily.

The Sandwich Bar is open between 8.30am and 2.30pm on week days, offering a free doughnut with each Friday purchase. Free delivery within a 2-mile radius is also available on Friday’s, providing the order is £15 or more and placed before 10.30am.

If you want to get in touch with The Sandwich Bar phone 01633 213388.