Glamorgan Holiday Hotel regular tells of his ‘huge relief’ that the specialist …

A housebound pensioner who relied heavily on the services provided at a specialist hotel in Porthcawl has spoken of his “huge relief” that it is set to reopen.

Double amputee Mel Jenkins said the Glamorgan Holiday Hotel, which caters for people with additional needs, has provided him with a freedom that doesn’t exist for him at his home Clydach Vale in the Rhondda, and as a result has enjoyed several visits a year since his first holiday there in 2010.

But he said he was “devastated” to discover the hotel’s future was under threat when it closed suddenly at the beginning of January.

Since its closure, the 73-year-old says he has only left the house to attend hospital appointments and that, as a result, he and his wife Sandra have really felt the loss of the invaluable service.

‘Relieved is an understatement’

But last month, not-for-profit organisation Cartrefi Cymru, which runs the seafront hotel, announced the facility would reopen later this summer following a £1m investment that will secure 25 jobs and cover a refurbishment and the much-loved facility.

“To say we were relieved is an understatement,” said Mr Jenkins.

“It is the only place I can go that has the facilities I need.

“My wife is my carer and we manage between ourselves while we’re there so we don’t require the extra support services that they offer.

“But my sister’s partner does and the staff there are just wonderful.

“They really go the extra mile, sending us birthday and Christmas cards, and it’s nice not to feel like you’re forgotten.

A sense of freedom

“For me, it’s a holiday and for my wife it’s a little bit of respite.

“I’ve got an electric wheelchair and I can go down to the betting shop and put my bets on, on my own if I want. That’s something I can’t do at home because it’s not very disabled-friendly, so it’s a real lifeline to me.

“Everything about Porthcawl is wonderful – the hotel has always been fantastic with all the facilities I could need, but outside of that the whole area seems really disabled-friendly.”

Mr Jenkins and his wife pay anything up to £1,000 for a week’s stay at the hotel, but in the past they have also qualified for a subsidised stay with the help of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council.

When the facility closed, he claims the only alternative respite he was offered was in a hospital – an offer he declined.

Hotel is a ‘real lifeline’

“A hospital stay is not a break or a holiday for us,” he added. “I contacted my local MP because I didn’t think that was a very disabled-friendly attitude at all, but then I heard there was a chance the hotel would be reopening.

“We were told it was reopening on August 1, so we’ve booked to go that day and so have my sister and her partner.

“It shows how much we’ve really missed it, and how much we relied upon it.

“It’s not just a lifeline to people in South Wales – during our stays there were always people from Liverpool, North Wales, and much further afield.

“We are hoping the council will offer to subsidise a break there again later in the year, because we just can’t wait to get back there.”

Article source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/glamorgan-holiday-hotel-regular-tells-9472071