In 1984/5, during the Miners’ Strike, a group of women got together to organise much needed opportunities for re-training for the communities of the Neath and Dulais Valleys. This group of pioneering women founded The Valleys Initiative for the Employment of Women (VIEW), with 2 Centres, in Glynneath and Banwen. The Training Centres quickly grew in popularity and use; by 1987 courses in Upholstery, Typing, Spinning and Weaving and Computers were being offered. The original company of VIEW Ltd later became 2 companies, Glynneath Training Centre and Dove Workshop - legally VIEW (Glynneath) Ltd and VIEW (Dove) Ltd.
Glynneath Training Centre is housed in the old Oddfellows School; leased from our Local Authority. Initially, our building had a leaking roof, no inside toilets, no central heating and only 2 members of staff. Eventually some renovation work was carried out on the building, under a Manpower Services scheme. Since those early days, almost 30 years ago, working with adult education services, colleges and universities, we now offer a wide programme of courses from basic skills through to accredited short courses and degrees. We also provide many other well used community services, including Rompers Day Nursery, JavaBean Community Cafe, Revive Charity Shop and The Walled Garden Environmental Initiative on the nearby Rheola Estate.
It has always been our aim to provide low-cost, high-quality education for ALL adult members of the community, to help increase self-esteem, improve chances in the job-market and raise quality of life. We feel we have succeeded in this endeavour. Every year, over 700 students attend our courses and we estimate over 2,000 users of our other services. We also host a wide range of agencies who deliver helpful advice and support services. We currently support 25 Centre staff, 30 part time tutors, and 40 volunteers. The Glynneath Training Centre is an emerging Social Enterprise.