Ystradfellte residents will gather at the village’s Church Hall at 6pm on Wednesday, July 18 for a special local launch of Waterfalls Cafe – a new eatery catering for visitors to nearby Waterfall Country – ahead of a grand opening to the public on Friday, July 20.
The community event will support the Wales Air Ambulance charity, an emergency service that has provided lifesaving aid to residents and visitors to the isolated area over the years.
One of those who will be tucking into Waterfalls Cafe’s tasty treats to raise funds for the emergency air cover charity is local farmer Morgan Powell, 22. Morgan’s family received the benefit of Wales Air Ambulance’s fast flying service three times in as many months in 2010.
In October 2010 Morgan called 999 when his father had a stroke at their Ystradfellte farm, and it was Wales Air Ambulance paramedics who came to his father Morgan Snr’s rescue and transported him to Morriston Hospital, Swansea.
A month later the air crew were again called to the farm when Morgan’s father broke his arm. Medics attended to provide first aid before Morgan Snr was taken to hospital by road ambulance.
In December the Wales Air Ambulance crew were already in Waterfall Country when they received a call to say Morgan’s mother, Freda, had fallen from the attic and cracked her ribs. The crew flew over the snow-covered ground to assess her before she was taken to hospital.
Morgan admitted the Wales Air Ambulance paramedics had been ‘brilliant’ in coming to his family’s aid. Recalling the team’s first emergency visit, he said: “I was shocked at how quickly they turned up. It was only ten minutes after the phone call and they had arrived. They spent 20 minutes assessing my dad, who’d had a stroke, and they were back up in the air again. It was very fast.
“I flew with the crew to the hospital and I could hear everything that was going on, they were brilliant – very organised, helpful and calm. I’d like to thank them for everything they have done.”
Liz Jenkins, Chair of Ystradfellte Church Hall management committee, added: “Living in a rural community we rely on the air ambulance. The pilots can get to the village in 10 minutes, whereas it can take 30-40 minutes by road, and every second counts.
“We’d be lost without this service, so we thought it was a good cause to support for the cafe’s local launch.”
Wales Air Ambulance Fundraising Manager Mark Stevens said: “We’re thrilled that The Waterfalls Cafe is raising funds for Wales’ lifesaving helicopters. We rely solely on charitable donations to raise £6 million every year, and it is fundraising support like this that helps us to save to lives.
“The waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons are beautiful, but accidents can happen and Wales Air Ambulance is on standby for rapid activation 365 days a year. In the summer season we respond to many missions involving hiking and water-sports in this region. Our Swansea-based crew can reach Ystradfellte in 9 minutes and get patients to Cardiff Hospital in a further 10 minutes.”
Julie James, Chairman of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority and former non-executive director of Wales NHS Ambulance Trust, said: “Wales Air Ambulance, along with our mountain rescue teams, provides a very important service in a rural area like our National Park, protecting both visitors and residents. It’s pleasing to hear that the cafe’s owners and volunteers have chosen to support an important cause which is obviously close to their hearts.”
Waterfalls Cafe will be officially opened by Lady Large, Powys High Sherriff, at 11am on Friday, July 20. The cafe will be open for six weeks – closed Mondays with the exception of Bank Holidays. For information or to browse a sample menu visit www.waterfallscafe.co.uk.