My year in review

First, I would like to thank you all for your support during the past 12 months, without you none of what I do would be possible.

Thanks also to Pastor John Funnell, the Millennium Hall, Garnsychan Partnership, Melin Homes, Bronafon Community Housing and everyone else who have worked with me during the past 12 months.

This time last year who in their wildest of dreams would have foreseen the year coming!

The ward pantomime was on my mind, along with other plans I was getting ready to put aside to support our ward during the year (I often draw up a plan of possible events to work on).

Little did I know that these were about to be torn up and a new Covid plan put in its place.

As Covid started to take hold and the borough shut down, it became apparent that residents needed access to new recycling boxes, nappy sacks etc. 

Out Delivering

After a week or so delivering them personally, it was obvious that a ward central point was needed to cope with demand, as Noddfa Church already had a food share and after approaching, Pastor John Funnell he agreed for the Church Hall to be used as a distribution centre.

Thanks to Noddfa Church for their support, not only for now, but for the past 8 odd years since elected.

As the virus took hold and Schools closed, £1000 of my Local Project Funding was used to provide activity boxes within the ward for primary aged children to help keep them occupied during their time at home, this was very successful, along with a ward Scarecrow Competition to help keep everyone focused.

Activity Boxes Funded by my LVF

Between this, helping as a go between for the ward, to coordinate food deliveries to ward hubs, providing food packs to those struggling during furlough and cut hours within the ward.

As the year progressed it became apparent that pupils needed help returning to school so Back to School Scheme was born, this provided local schools with Calculators, Stationary etc.

With the help of residents and Housing Associations nearly £2000 worth of equipment was donated and shared out between local schools.

Tin on a Wall Donations

After a chance meeting with ward resident Mr Phil McGill, Tin on a Wall was born and has been supporting Noddfa Church and The Garnsychan Partnership food hubs for several weeks, thanks to the Community Champions and team for ensuring this takes place each Saturday.

Finally, after such a gloomy year, Light up the Ward came to fruition after reading about it taking place in other parts of the country.

This was very successful and will hopefully be an annual event.

Throughout the year I have tried to support as much as possible for the ward including £1000 of funding towards the School Hampers at Abersychan High School, it has been very challenging and mentally tiring for all, every penny of my funding has been used supporting the ward as best as possible.

Abersychan School Hamper Scheme

As always, I tried to make personal donations to various ward residents charity collections, including Teenage Cancer Trust, Cancer Research UK, Bowel Cancer UK and Wales Air Ambulance Charity.

This year has been one that I thought I would never see, we have lost loved ones before their time, it has been tragic and even now we are losing too many to Covid.

Please keep safe and follow the latest advice to help protect you and others.

Finally, I would like to pay tribute to Councillor Ray Williams, another lost before his time, a massive character and sadly missed by all in this ward and beyond.

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Personal blog to compliment Twitter account @abersychanward. All views are my own.