Volunteering for the Ward

Another Sunday afternoon spent volunteering at Noddfa, assisting with their weekly food share deliveries to the ward.

Noddfa a welsh word meaning, refuge, a place of welcome and peace, is definitely living up to its name, with a growing number of volunteers.

You’re always guaranteed a warm welcome, whatever your belief or circumstances and always welcome to socially distance volunteer on any one of their projects, to help the community of Abersychan ward and further afield.

Apart from food share, Noddfa is also a collection point for recycling equipment, the hall is open every weekday between 10am and noon.

Today I was pleased to see British Gas (Paul, Andrew and Nathan) along with Patrol Officers join with the Church volunteers to help deliver over 70 food bags within the locality again this week.

Paul and Andrew from British Gas

Everything is done at a leisurely pace under the watchful eyes of Mandi and her husband, but done with clockwork precision, with each driver given an area to cover.

You might not know that Noddfa is build over a stream a belief that living water, will cleanse and help the congregation to regain energy, the amount of input this one Church has had within the ward, I am starting to believe this is true.

Thank you Pastor John Funnell and Noddfa Church along with all volunteers, for giving up the most precious thing you can ever give, not only through Covid 19, but always.


Posties do it again!

Like many others in the ward, I now look forward to a Friday to help brighten up my weekly lockdown by looking out for our amazing posties in fancy-dress.

This week, the ward was spoilt yet again by a full crew of Posties dressed as Snow White and a variety of other characters.

Snow White and Thing 1

Out walking the Ward, it was heartwarming to see families out waiting for their Postie to call.

This is a breath of fresh air during these difficult times, especially to see the children so excited!

I had the pleasure of visiting the Pontnewynydd (Pontypool) Depot earlier in the week, meeting staff involved and hearing how the idea came about during the Covid19 Lockdown, helping to bring cheer and raise funds, choosing a different charity each Friday.

This week around £1500 has been raised for Guide Dogs for the Blind, a massive round of applause to every one of our Posties, sometimes forgotten as essential Key Workers.

Well Fancy That!

You may have had to look twice last Friday when your Royal Mail was delivered by a Cowboy, Sailor, Smurf, along with a variety of other characters, as Pontypool Posties donned fancy dress to raise funds for Noddfa Church after a recent burglary, resulted in thousands of pounds worth of musical instruments being taken.

Each Friday for the foreseeable future, our posties based from Pontnewynydd Sorting Office will be dressing up to *raise funds for local charities.

Speaking to a member of staff I was told “We had to suggest several charities or good causes to support, Noddfa was suggested as it’s local to us and after having a break in, it was a no brainer, they do an awful lot for the community.

We had a show of hands and they won!”

Thank you Posties for bringing cheer into the area and raising funds for various causes, during these unprecedented times!

The residents of Abersychan Ward, can’t wait to see you next Friday!

*If you’d like to donate, then give directly to your postie. A fundraiser page will be set up shortly by them.

Thousands of Pounds of Music Equipment Stolen

Thousands of pounds worth of music equipment has been taken from Noddfa Church in the ward, which was discovered yesterday (13th May) after lights were found to be on in the building.

The new equipment including keyboards and guitars were still in their boxes and had been recently been purchased from a grant provided by The Sheriffs Fund.

This was to support their free music lessons to children within our ward and community.

Noddfa Church have been a huge support to our ward, supporting the elderly and vulnerable, homeless runs, homework clubs, toddler groups and the now iconic Carols under the Arch along with free to a good home.

This has been devastating for the Church and my good friend, Pastor John Funnell, especially when he does so much good.

To see them targeted like this is a huge blow to the Abersychan Ward, can I appeal to the people who stole the items to return them to the Church, as the only people this theft really affects are our children.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Gwent Police quoting 2000165419 via 101 or Crimestoppers who will take information anonymously 0800 555 111


A number of musical instruments were stolen including:

x2 – Fender 125ce Dreadnought Electro-Acoustic guitars 

x2 -Ibanez AE205 Electro Acoustic Guitars Brown Sunburst

x1 -Takemine GN11M Neutral Satin guitar

x1 -Yamaha PSR E263 keyboard

x2 -Single cutaway Electro Acoustic Gear4Music guitars 

As well as guitar stands and bags.

Feeding the Ward

Today was spent picking up supplies to help make up crisis packs for the most vulnerable within the ward from the distribution centre based at Griffithstown in Pontypool.

The role that Garnsychan Partnership and Noddfa Church are playing is absolutely outstanding, I really can’t thank them enough for what they’re doing for the Abersychan Ward.

Covid-19 whilst causing a lot of worries, has also managed to bring out the best within the community, from volunteering to checking on neighbours or just chatting over the fence to see if each other are ok.

It’s been an emotional rollercoaster personally for me as a Councillor, seeing everyone pull together, whilst also seeing the hardship caused by this pandemic.

Noddfa Church, a real beacon of hope, with their online services and food share, have really adapted to the crisis, not just giving up and closing, but embracing the forced change to provide in other ways for their community.

Garnsychan Partnership the same, a reuse charity now on the frontline delivering crisis packs, delivering prescriptions, offering friendly call services for the elderly and vulnerable along with assisting with other organisations.

A year ago, I would never have envisioned such an outpouring of love and support for this ward and each other, it’s been really inspirational to see and fills me full of hope for the future.

I’m hoping to be out delivering crisis packs again this weekend and again thank you all for your support and understanding during these very uneasy times.

Twins Bake for the NHS

There’s a facebook page that is taking the ward by storm called ‘Twin bakes for the NHS’ the page already has 477 members and membership is rapidly rising.

The page came about from an idea by Abersychan twins Ffion and Lilly aged 10 as they wanted to do something to help during the pandemic, but struggled because of social distancing.

After much thought, the twins decided they wanted to bake for key workers, helping to give them recognition from them for the outstanding work they are doing, as things took off they decided to raise money for the NHS.

The twins added “we all need the NHS, especially now, we are truly grateful to the NHS as it has helped support us in many ways, Lilly suffers from severe asthma and requires a lot of medication every month”.

Their mother, Jenna Powell added that their little brother Ollie, has fluid on the brain and has undergone many CT and MRI scans, they’re aware how much this must cost the NHS, we just want to give something back to them.

She added that she is very proud of what her daughters are doing and they have so far raised over £300 using some of their pocket money to add to the total.

All the ingredients have been bought by the children and all this is alongside their home schooling.

I think that we all agree, how wonderful and thoughtful Lilly and Ffion are and we are all truly grateful to them.

The Facebook page has many mouthwatering selections, I highly recommend that you take a look!

No personal contact was involved in writing this blog.

Lockdown Changes for Wales

As part of the second review, the Welsh Government has decided the lockdown in Wales will continue until the next review period in three weeks’ time.

People are being asked to continue working from home if they are able to do so.

The First Minister has today announced Wales intends to make a series of small adjustments to the regulations, including:

  • Allowing people to exercise more than once a day, but people should stay local. This means any exercise should start and end at home and not involve going a significant distance from home.
  • Enabling local authorities to begin the process of planning how to safely reopen libraries and municipal recycling centres.
  • Allowing garden centres to open provided they comply with the physical distancing duty.

It is intended these adjustments will come into force on Monday, so Wales moves in step with the rest of the UK.

The rules in Wales are different to England

Morrisons Phone Shopping Service for elderly and vulnerable

Morrisons Supermarket has a new service to help those who are elderly or vulnerable, during the Covid-19 lockdown.

If you’re in this group then you will be able to order essential items by phone, which will be from a range of 47 items and can be delivered the next day, payment will be made via a chip & pin card machine.

Orders can be placed by ringing 0345 611 6111 and selecting option 5.

Lynne Neagle MS, Torfaen member of the Welsh Parliament has been an advocate in pushing for more online shopping slots and support to be put forward for the elderly and vulnerable during this crises who have been forced to isolate.

Ms Neagle has also raised this issue several times with the First Minister.

This will help many, not just within the Abersychan Ward, but in every ward along with the support of various chariites and organisations helping to deliver food parcels and prescriptions.

If you’re self isolating within the Abersychan Ward, you can contact the following for help.

Garnsychan Partnership on 01495 774453

are providing food parcels and vegetable packs along with prescription deliveries and collection in partnership with Abersychan Pharmacy as well as a friendly phone call service.

Noddfa Church

are providing a food-share scheme everyday between 10am to noon and on a Wednesday 6pm to 8pm


Local Businesswoman Runs ‘Support Your Heroes’ Competition

Local business owner, Ms Nicola House – Davies is currently running a Competition to display hand drawn, painted or craft pictures at her Garndiffaith Business, The Head Gardener.

If you’re feeling artistic, then get crafting and don’t forget to put your name, age (if under 16) and contact details on the back!

If you’re an adult please write adult on the back too!

Entries can be posted through the letterbox at The Head Gardener, 54 Stanley Road, Garndiffaith.

There are 3 voucher prizes,

1st Prize of £25 for under 16 years old

2nd Prize of £15 for Under 16 years old

And one £10 prize for over 16 years old

Councillor Giles Davies stated, ‘that he was very impressed by the quality of the artwork displayed in windows throughout the ward and thrilled that Ms House – Davies has decided to run this competition.

Some of the entries

He is looking forward to seeing all the designs in her shop, showing support for our key workers’.