Helen from Rivers Of Gold wrote on 18th November to say she’d read our website with interest and that a small group of them wanted to try out their new Minibus. Was there somewhere that they could call into? After a few minutes thought and a quick chat with Melrose, we asked them to come to Llangorse. A few more emails and we had the basics sorted for a super day out. We suggested that they set off early to give them a chance to see a few things.
So it was that we booked Llangorse youth and community centre for a few hours so we could give our guests some tea, coffee, biscuits and cake on arrival, allow a brief ‘comfort break’ before heading out to see the lake and to return for soup, bread and cheese and apple pie, and then to go to Talgarth Mill before returning home.Sue and Tina made delicious soups, Melrose and Ailsa bought some essentials and Ord made a delicious chocolate cake that they were delighted to take back to their centre to share with some of the people who had not been able to come. Jonnie, Margaret , Pat and Robert helped to set up and tidy and Wally led the walk and taught a bit of Welsh.
Rivers of Gold is a team with a vision of seeing refugees, asylum seekers, and newly arrived people living fulfilled lives in the UK. It is based in the centre of Birmingham and opens 5 days a week with up to 80 people calling in each day. Helen says that for many Birmingham is a challenging place and that in common with many other drop in centres there never seems to be enough time to do half of what they want to do. They are the proud owners of a minibus and hope to use this to explore.
The weather was cold but sunny and the lake and mountains looked beautiful. The walk was lively with chatter and laughing and with frequent pauses for selfies and photos. The group of 17 augmented by most of us must have presented a great sight for the few users of the lake on a wintry afternoon. The ducks and swans did their bit. Sam the dog was in heaven as he chased around, leaping into the water and being patted and led by many people. We discussed the Crannog and many tried to pull the sword from the stone.” If I pull it out can I really be King?
It was hard to round people up to return for lunch as they were enjoying the fresh air and the views. However appetites were healthy on return and the soups vanished with talk about different meals and drinks and hope and plans.
By 3 o’clock we were able to tear people away to visit the Mill. Rob had kindly stayed and was joined by Sue and then Sarah who helped to explain about how the Mill was re-developed and the different grains and flours and the garden. The large group listened with great interest and tried making flour and were given some to take away. The garden met with great approval.Fallen apples were picked up and declared delicious, the watercress admired and the Rosemary bush is unlikely to need pruning anytime soon.
And as dusk fell it seemed that the return to Birmingham could not be put off longer. The group had applauded and thanked everyone at every stage and were brimming with enthusiasm for the area. One couple who had visited Cardiff in happier times before they had had to flee from their country were checking upon rental costs in the hope that they could return when they had status. Another smilingly said ‘goodbye and thanks for visiting ‘to his compatriots as he decided he was now Welsh. Several said how they felt free for the first time in ages. One lady said that seeing people with such kind hearts gave her hope and with hope came a happy life.
The smile on my face may last for a few days. It was a joyful day when the countryside showcased itself and we all met some wonderful people.
Thanks to Rivers of Gold for coming to share a day with us. To Rob, Sue and Sarah at The Mill and to Melrose, Robert, Margaret, Pat, Ord, Jonnie and Tina and Sam the dog – big thanks for making the day possible.
THANKS FROM HELEN
Yesterday was such a joy! I’m so sorry I’m only just writing now. We got back late yesterday. I prepared lunch for today and then crashed! Then today has been busy. But there was a difference; new friendships had been made through the trip yesterday, loads had been lifted and people seemed happier.
We really cannot thank you enough for your hospitality and kindness yesterday. It was such a wonderful day and just perfect in every way. Thank You!!!
I mistakenly forgot the gift we’d prepared for you yesterday. I don’t think I can post it, so we will save it for next time we visit, hopefully. Some of the guys were disappointed with me as we really wanted to express our gratitude to you for hosting us.