FIRST Minister Mark Drakeford was in Chepstow today, visiting a community centre which has recently launched a bid for refurbishment funding.

Mr Drakeford appeared at 3pm for the event which had been scheduled for 1pm - the delay put down to crossed wires.

The location of the visit was Bulwark Community Centre, where Action for Children were running a holiday playscheme for children with disabilities.

Charlotte Pope, one of the team running the session, said: "We run youth clubs for children with disabilities. All of the kids live locally.

"There are similar groups in Abergavenny, Caldicot and Monmouth.

"It’s a great chance for them to socialise with other kids the same age.

"They all have very individual needs. Some like music.

"We try to transition them to mainstream sites."

South Wales Argus:

Today the children were making Easter crafts and playing games on the grass outside.

"They don’t get that chance normally," Ms Pope said.

"The refurbishment works will make the centre so much more accessible.

"We really need a hoist too. Otherwise we need to bring one in and their really heavy.

"It would open us up to more children."

South Wales Argus:

Planned refurbishment works to the community centre would improve accessibility to the site, but funding is required for the works.

A bid has been launched to secure such funding.

Speaking at the end of his visit, Mr Drakeford said: "Places like this make a huge difference. We’ve seen that today.

"These children depend on the routine that it provides.

"You want children to be given the same resources that others can take for granted.

"Visiting somewhere like this, you see the huge difference that it makes.

"You listen to the astonishing range of things happening here."

South Wales Argus:

He also spoke of the assurance provided by local meeting places such as Bulwark Community Centre in helping people emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.

"Covid isn’t over. People are still anxious," he said.

"Coming here for a community lunch, they know its carefully run and welcoming.

"It makes a difference to people of all ages. The development plans are great to see for the future of the centre."