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Here are some of the amazing stories from the Connect to Kindness programme to inspire you ...
When a Ceredigion music shop, BWNCA, decided to donate ukuleles to a local community group perhaps no one could have foreseen the positive impact it would have. After a community vote, Arts 4 Wellbeing was the lucky organisation to accept the donation, and as a result of it, they have created The Ukulele Project which brings people together (digitally) every week.
We were invited by Sara a Mike to find out more about the group and about this amazing initiative which involves music and friendship, which has grown from one act of kindness. Kindness breeds Kindness!
The community of Llangwm quickly responded to the community’s needs over the past 12 months.
Launched in April 2020, at the beginning of the nation’s lockdown, the aim of the project is to create 20cm rainbow coloured squares.
The squares will then be joined together by Wool Museum volunteers to create a giant rainbow blanket which will be displayed at the National Wool Museum in Drefach Felindre and then at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea.
We want to recognise the incredible service that some shops - and others - have provided during the lockdown.
Since measures have been eased, some of us are returning to the larger supermarket chains for our grocery shopping instead of continuing to support our local stores.
We want to take a moment to acknowledge those businesses who delivered when others couldn’t, who kept us is fresh fruit and veg and who sourced the gluten-free flour.
Now is the time for us to acknowledge this #LockDownLoyalty and to recognise and celebrate these many acts of kindness.
For more information, please visit: www.cavs.org.uk/carmarthenshires-lockdown-loyalty-legends
Nine Pembrokeshire rugby clubs have been helping the Scarlets to deliver over 400 vital food care packages across the region to vulnerable members of society who are self-isolating during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The care packages have been delivered by Community Champions from grassroots rugby clubs.
This 'More than a Club' ethos highlights that rugby clubs and sports clubs remain at the heart of their community.
The Scarlets Community Foundation have been overwhelmed with the support that they have received from local rugby clubs and the number of people prepared to volunteer to help the most vulnerable in our communities.
‘During the lockdown, Stephen has been delivering face shields sourced from Crymych Community Project.
On the road 7 hrs a day, making sure Ceredigion Care homes, essential Retail, support workers and funeral directors all had face shields to provide protection.
Stephen also joined a Facebook group called: Scrubs for Bronglais, where a group of sewing enthusiasts sourced materials from haberdasheries and made them into scrubs for the staff at the A&E department at Bronglais General Hospital. Stephen and many of the Ceredigion Bikers Groups, went around delivering and collecting materials and scrubs. They were working around the clock to protect the local NHS staff at Bronglais Hospital.
During the evenings, Stephen went back to delivering food, so he was on the roads for 14 hrs a day with rest breaks.’ He deserves a tip!
A street in Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, was recently renamed ‘Kind’ Road when a local resident took it upon themselves to spread a little kindness.
Residents woke up on a Sunday morning to find a paper bag on their doorstep. In the bag also were items to make a cuppa (tea bag/ coffee bag), biscuits and small bags of sweets for any children in the house.
During the lockdown, neighbours had been keeping an eye out for each other.
These are the sorts of things good neighbours do, often without thinking, but spread a little kindness when it’s most needed. What a neighbourhood!
How Kind is your community?
Here is Del, from Llanelli and his personal story.
Did you know that traditionally all fields in Wales were named?
These field names have been handed down through the generations, often just by word of mouth and for many farms are still used today. Over time, the names may change. This can be due to a new family buying the farm or a significant event, such as ‘Parc y Bom’ in Hayscastle.
Over the past six months, we have been spoken to over 70 farmers all over Pembrokeshire, recording their field names, alongside any known history of how their field was named. With the help of local schools, community groups and individuals we have written out the field names and hand-carved 120 oak plaques for the field gates.
These plaques will help celebrate the field names for generations to come and we hope will encourage the wider community to get to know their landscape on more personal terms.
The Rainbow Fairy has been busy in Narberth since the end of March. Local artist and teacher Diana Brook has been sharing a symbol of hope, happiness and solidarity with her community.
Over 800 (and counting) rainbows have been painted on houses in the town. As well as on rainbow takeaways for those who don’t live in the town. Rainbows were also painted on the cars of front line workers (and others who just love rainbows!).
The Rainbow Fairy Facebook Page has had an incredible amount of support, from all around the world, demonstrating the power of Kindness.
Dr M’z, or Carmarthen Youth Project, is a full-time Youth Drop-in Centre in Carmarthen Town. It is a safe place for young people to meet and interact. The centre was forced to close during the lockdown. The centre’s mission is to be a safe place for its community that supports and offers new opportunities and skills.
Throughout these difficult times, the centre kept up its work virtually, once again serving the most vulnerable and supporting our future generations. Thanks to community spirit, they pulled together and adopted technology to enable them to stay connected.
The centre is slowly returning to normal now, through social distancing measures. It is free to become a member and everyone is welcomed!
Tin Man Tuesday a project to support Pembrokeshire foodbanks by collecting tins from outside people's homes on a specific time and day.
The tins are then delivered to a local foodbank or food redistribution charity.
Tinman Tuesday was born from a memory of Wyndham Williams when he was a young boy going around his local town in Narberth with his grandmother, knocking people’s doors asking for food donations for the British Legion raffle.
He remembers pulling around a trolley bag full of tins and people in the town being so kind by donating all kinds of food parcels to support the charity.
This memory has now been brought back to life by inspired volunteers, with over eleven other Tin Man community projects running in Pembrokeshire.
One simple of act of kindness began with a tin and now it has inspired a community to be connected and kind.
Keena Hinds and Joe Lewis, both 18 years old, have decided to run 100 miles each over the month of August 2020, to raise awareness of mental health.
They are kindly donating all proceeds to support a local voluntary organisation, the Shadows Depression Support Group.
Shadows is a self-funded organisation that has to raise all of its own funds, allowing it to support people who suffer from anxiety or depression. The group meet every week to share experiences and provide mutual support. All the donations, big or small, are gratefully received.
They make a difference in the lives of those struggling who need friendly and confidential support.
In uncertain times during the past couple of months, sometimes it has been hard to remain cheerful. But the period has highlighted the power of volunteering in action.
It has brought local companies together to support our community.
Whilst the KIA garage showroom in Narberth was closed, it was turned into a hub for Pembrokeshire Round Tables to prepare food hampers for frontline NHS staff. With generous contributions from other local companies like Castell Howell and Princes Gate Mineral Water, they have all come together to help support Pembrokeshire’ key workers. During the period, over £1500 worth of food parcels were delivered to NHS staff.
Congratulations to the Pembrokeshire business community, showing just how powerful local collaboration can be.
Freya age 10 loves to bake and wanted to do something to help the NHS and local community she came up with an idea to make cream teas and deliver them locally.
Her mum set up a Facebook page SCONE MAIDEN, achieving her goal in 5 weeks of £500. She gave half the money raised to a local foodbank and the other to NHS.
Freya would knock on doors, put the bag down and stand back to say hello from a safe distance and says: “It was lovely to see people smile and be happy to receive them people have been so generous supporting the Scone Maiden”.
Well done Freya we would like to award you and your mum with our digital Kindness Badge and Banner to use on your Facebook page.
Pembrokeshire has long been proud of Barry and The VC Gallery family.
They’ve been saving, changing and bettering people’s lives for many years now. They recently distributed an incredible £8,000 worth of food donations gifted to them by Marston’s Y Cerrig Glas in Pembroke Dock.
On VE Day The VC Gallery team treated our Veterans and the wider community like VIP’s! 58 veterans and 24 local residents received food packs in their 3-hour mission.
Pembrokeshire Community Champions to the very core!
Anwen has been fundraising for a local Ceredigion charity, HAHAV – Hospice services, by shaving off her hair.
She has chosen this charity because she has used their services and would have been lost without them.
Anwen's GoFundme Page is still receiving donations, even though she has already shaved her hair off!
Anwen has currently raised over £950 for HAHAV. Go Anwen!!
Ceredigion County Council waste collection teams are very grateful for the numerous messages of support and thanks they are receiving.
Several members of the public have left messages of thanks for the Council’s refuse collectors during the coronavirus pandemic.
Some also left cake!
Johanna Taylor’s son was missing his friends as the country went into lockdown.
The family enjoy going for walks and painting stones so they decided they wanted to create something that local children could keep adding to, hoping that it would help bring a smile to people’s faces.
They came up with the idea of the Covid-19 snake.
Johanna’s daughter painted the head and as a family, they painted some 8 more stones. To date, other people have added another 20 stones to make a colourful, bright feature that brings a little joy!
“It has been a great talking point, we’re hoping to concrete the snake into the ground as a reminder for the future as this is a time we don’t want to forget,” says Johanna.
Volunteers in Llanbadarn Fawr have stepped in to support locals during the Covid 19 pandemic.
When lockdown stated, Llanbadarn residents were concerned for neighbours who may be stuck at home and worried about how to get their shopping and prescriptions or who may become lonely and isolated.
Led by Julie Humphreys and a willing band of volunteers the whole of Llanbadarn was divided up into small areas and a volunteer assigned to each patch.
Letters were delivered to every household with a local contact number to phone for support, a Facebook group was also started.
Along with prescriptions and shopping, locals have sewn scrubs, grown plants in the community tubs, provided a book swap in the bus shelter, a food bank donation point in the laundrette, arranged a litter pick and have plans for a community outdoor pop-up café for in the future.
Volunteers have enjoyed supporting others and have linked in with Waun Fawr volunteers who provided useful setup advice, the Council and with CAVO Ceredigion association of voluntary organisations.
Lucy Duncanson, one of the volunteers said, “I’ve got to know my neighbours better and there is a lovely community spirit in the village”.
Syrian families across Ceredigion have found a way to pay forward the kindness shown to them after being made to feel welcome after living through the heartbreak of war.
Ahmed and Enas Hamoudy, from Cardigan, chose to cook 40 beautiful meals for staff at a local care home around the corner from their house.
The couple paid for the boxes and ingredients for the 40 staff themselves and the food was delivered by local volunteers helping with the corona community response in Cardigan.
The generous gift was much appreciated and Enas is now writing a recipe book as part of learning English.
Here is an ITV news item, covering the story
Community spirit through lockdown has been heart-warming in Waunfawr with everyone offering help to each other, friends and neighbours.
People have been busy gardening, shopping, picking up prescriptions, also utilising the covered bus stops as swap shops for books, puzzles and garden plants.
The community has also been making face masks and laundry bags for care homes and Bronglais Hospital, made from donated duvet covers and sheets and collecting toiletries, books, unworn clothes, slippers, puzzles, tea and coffee for Bronglais staff and patients.
Here are just a few of the amazing volunteers from The Hatch distributing food donations between the Care Society and Wallich projects while working through the lockdown.
The vulnerable people who have been self-isolating, the local community have volunteered to collect and deliver the parcels.
We cannot praise the efforts and hard work from the Hatch and the volunteers enough and supporting our community has been absolutely tremendous.