A NEW art therapy centre has opened in Blaenavon this week.

The Post Office Aart and Therapy Centre, run by owners Martin Sotelano and Karen Woodley, has opened in the former post office building on Prince Street.

Mr Sotelano previously worked specialising in artwork and art production, while Ms Woodley was a therapist.

“We found that most of our clients lived in the area,” said Mr Sotelano. “We decided opening the centre was the next logical step.

“We came here with one idea, offering therapy, but after being in contact with the community we were able to expand and offer other things too.”

The centre offers movement therapy, art therapy, and therapeutic dance activities.

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The centre has opened in the former Blaenavon Post Office.

It is also open to the public to use as a communal space for work or study, or just as a place to relax.

“We have linked up with the town, and have prepared a couple of projects for the people of Blaenavon, said Mr Sotelano

“For example, we run tango therapy sessions, which people with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s particularly respond well to. But lots of people were thinking that they were dance classes – not therapy sessions.

“So, we turned that confusion into a positive. There was obviously a demand for this, so we have decided to launch tango sessions.

“These will start with Argentinian performer Rene Griffiths doing a performance at the Workman’s Hall.

“As well as performing, Rene will talk about Welsh people in Patagonia and the traditional Argentinian music that is in Welsh.

“There will also be a chance for people to join in too.”


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Ms Woodley said: “We have been welcomed by the community. It’s a really nice location.

“The building itself is a listed building. We have tried to keep the character of the building.

“We have kept the old counter and on the glass we have a picture of post office workers, giving it an authentic feel.

“It was important that it didn’t have a clinical feel, instead it’s more homely.”

The centre also offers art classes and a space to bring international artists’ exhibitions to Blaenavon residents.