When we discussed in September the concept of donating something each day of Advent (Reverse Advent Calendar) rather than opening a window or taking out a chocolate, it was difficult to know whether people would give this a go or not.
We should never have doubted the people of Breconshire’s generosity and their ability to engage with new ideas and challenges.
Not only were we able on 15th December to take Christmas presents by the sackful to the Unity in Diversity (UID) and Swansea Bay Asylum Seekers Support Group (SBASSG) Christmas parties but we were able to go to the first evening that UID opened after Christmas, 27th December, with over 50 reverse Advent calendars in a mixture of bags and boxes (complete with good will messages written on paper Angels from our Christmas tree at the Cathedral festival) and also a further donation of crumpled, short date or end of lines stock from Morrisons.
We arrived at a sad time with the terrible news of the murder on Christmas Eve in Bristol of Mohammed Abdurezek (known to us as Mo when we sponsored his running gear via the hardship fund) just beginning to spread amongst the community and we were able to offer condolences and we hope some support. We were able to give out some of the bags (containing a mixture of food staples, luxury items such as chocolate, toiletries and household items such as cleaning cloths, bleach, gloves) and have left them with the group to share out as they wish over the next few weeks.
Sean dressed as Santa, a role he practiced several times in the run up to Christmas and Lawrence, Bethan and Ailsa (dressed as themselves) attended on behalf of the group. It was, as always, a great privilege to be able to attend and to be welcomed so warmly by so many people whom we have begun to know over the last year.
We could not have done this without the generosity of so many anonymous and known supporters, Morrisons, our drop off points of the Liberal Democrats offices in Brecon, Talgath Library, The Old Temp Fish bar in Ystradgynlais and St Mary’s Church Hay and our store in the offices of Ty Mawr Lime. We gather that there may still be bags and boxes to come and we will be making further trips over the next few weeks to ensure that everyone that we are in contact with has some form of gift to help start the New Year better.