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Christmas 2017

Such a busy month! Starting with a short trip to the area for a few days rest for volunteers from Swansea coupled with attendance at Christmas markets in Brecon, Talgarth and Hay as well as attending Unity  in Diversity’s party,  distributing gifts and collecting money, selling raffle tickets and receiving gifts and adding in an away day in Ystrad.


one of many car loads of presents.

Once again enormous thanks are due to all our supporters for generously giving gifts or money and generally supporting us to help show people seeking sanctuary that they are welcome and wanted. We had over 300 gifts wrapped by Sue, Erica,Carola and Hilary and several large bags of soft toys and numerous other toys to share with the two drops in centres in Swansea , Unity in Diversity and Swansea Asylum Seekers Support  and one in Newport, The Gap. And then the reverse Advent Calendars started to arrive!

Wayne balancing a plate

Mike, Margaret, Ailsa, Lynne and Philip attended the Unity in Diversity Christmas party with gifts for men, women and children for Santa/ David to distribute. A circus skills group worked initially with children and gradually involved the adults in juggling, spinning plates and moving hats . Much laughter ensued and the same group are going to run some regular sessions for young people in the New Year. Then we heard the Sisters of Sanctuary singing group [ with our good friends Thanu and Naeema in]who sang a variety of songs beautifully before Santa took over. The gifts were much appreciated.


Santa had been in our store for almost a year but came into his own at the party. The other photos show the circus skills

A trip to Ystrad in more clement weather to pick up items that we’d left in our flight after the away day resulted  in seeing the Mari Llwyd which was exciting.


And a Rendezvous with Mark from Newport gave the opportunity to hand over Christmas presents and kitchen  and household goods .

At the Hay Fairtrade day HBTSR had a stall serving tea and coffee with mince pies also donated by a number of kind people. The team of Sue, Jo, Hilary, Harriet, Claire, Maria, Maureen,Pauline, Steve, Virginia, Janet and Ailsa raised over £250 and also raised awareness. This was a chance to catch up with Martha of Love Zimbabwe with whom we shared a stall at Hay festival and with Tools for Self Reliance who kindly gave us sewing machines earlier in the year and to say goodbye to Jo who is leaving the area. She will be missed.

The Big Raffle was drawn on the 20th and supporters were delighted that Steve’s mum won first prize and that most of the prizes were won by local people which makes the job of delivery somewhat easier. Virginia ensured the evening ran like clockwork and we have raised nearly £2000 from this. As well as an extra £50 for a small raffle of a box of chocolates and a bottle of mulled wine kindly donated by the Rugby club. It was lovely to meet informally and also to have Cyrille with us.

The reverse Advent Calendars are beginning to come in We have 16 now just 3 days before Christmas. they  will be delivered after Christmas to help people start the New Year a little better.If anyone is planning to drop off more that will be great as a gift is always appreciated