Even storm Freya failed to dampen the spirits of visitors and residents from Llangorse and Llanfihangel who made the most of a day out, good food , dancing, singing and time with friends. Bluebird coaches arrived in wind assisted time with a party of 45 on board including leaders Mark, Thanu and Alan. They were warmly welcomed by Melrose who outlined the plans for the day and were assisted to enjoy welcome drinks, varied fruits, biscuits and chocolates by over 50 helpers ranging in ages from 3 to 93,
The children sensibly decided to stay in the warm and work in clay with Ellen, make dream pillow cases [ Think good thoughts to create good things} with Sue, draw with Doreen and others , sew flowers with Avril, play table football with Adil and Sam or play with toys and friends.
Meanwhile the intrepid adults led by ‘birthday boy’ Colin ventured to the Lake . Some may say there is no such thing as bad weather just bad clothes and it would be hard to dispute on this showing despite some people being soaked to the skin. ‘ C’ from Zambia with a beaming smile gently reassured me ‘ I’m alive, I’m free – this is glorious’ . Selfies and posed shots with the ducks, the sword in the stone, the Crannog and the Lake were taken – even with coats being removed and with seemingly no hurry to return to the warmth of the hall.
Llangorse village hall started to look like a laundry when the walkers returned in time for lunch hanging coats over makeshift washing lines. Healthy appetites demolished 4 different forms of vegetarian stews and jewelled couscous and a wide range of salads provided by people from Llanfihangel Talyllyn and Llangorse. Flatbreads made by and with Alex were as popular as ever and more fruit and some cake completed the meal. Another birthday was celebrated with a cake provided by Ord. Eleven year old Noor will always remember the day she came out in the wind and rain to have a party with her family and over a hundred new friends of all ages.
The Crannog Ceilidh Band had set up whilst everyone ate and were ready to play. After momentary hesitation to move the tables and chairs, the enthusiasm and joy we have become almost used to involved everyone in circle dances, line dances and do-si-dos.
Whilst cake and tea was served, we were treated to songs from Venezuela , Pakistan and a variety of film inspired choices from children and some joyful hymns from a trio who met that day but sounded as if they had been practising together for weeks
A quick raffle of some beautiful donated toiletry sets seemed the fairest way to share these and with every visitor having a free ticket , this seemed to be enjoyed.
Stuart ,our driver ,was keen to leave as more wind was forecast but many people wanted to say thanks including Aboud,a Syrian doctor, Mark who fought tears as he emphasised how amazed he was at the friendship and kindness he had seen,Noor’s dad who was overwhelmed by the thoughtful birthday cake, Melrose thanking everyone for coming and making it such an enjoyable day. The bus left before 5 with gift bags of toiletries and groceries enough for everyone who came and also for people back in Swansea at the drop ins. And everyone had a choice of poster made to welcome them by pupils from Llangorse school asking them to enjoy themselves, know they were loved and not to be afraid to speak out. Lovely messages to take away and treasure along with the memories of a day well spent marveling at the weather and with friends.
Amongst all the joyful enthusiasm it can be hard to remember that for many of these people life is not often happy. They are living with past painful memories, in a ‘hostile environment’ where their reasons for needing safety in Britain are disputed , denied, old traumas raked over time and again to worsen stresses and depression. However for occasions like today they all rise to the occasion ensuring that we know that we have made a difference, have provided good hospitality and leaving us all with some very happy memories
thanks are due to so many people without whom such a day could not happen,
Melrose, Alison, Tina and Penny, for sharing coordination. Jonnie, Mike, Paul, Becky, Liz, Ann, Chris, Lex, Rose, Bernie and others I have not recalled for food and help on the day. Cake came from so many people that it is hard to list names. It seemed like magic how food appeared, disappeared, plates cleaned, tables and chairs arrived and vanished, but this was due to many people helping out.
Activities- Sue for dream pillows, Lynn for face painting, Ann for Jewellery, Ellen for clay, Avril making flowers and the loan of the play pen from Jane and Geoff.
The Crannog Ceilidh band for superb music, calling and for thoughtfulness in provision of an extra microphone to allow participation in singing and speaking.
Our visitors, Deborah and Judy, from Lampeter friends meeting who braved the weather to come to see how they might also invite groups to visit their area as a way of showing welcome and solidarity .
it was lovely to share the day with Kelvin, Liz and Trina from the Llwyn Safaddan parishes.
Colin for leading a walk
Llangorse school, staff, pupils and parents for the lovely messages of welcome and the generous gifts of food and toiletries,
Residents of Llangorse and Llanfihangel for their kindness in also donating gifts and food
The Coop in Hay and Talgarth for donations of food, drink and flowers, Aldi for end of date groceries. Penny, Virginia and Melrose for picking this up
Messages from Swansea
We had such s wonderful day out with everyone. Everyone on the trip was so wonderful and kind!
Despite the horrible weather this morning in Swansea, 45 people were brave enough to join the away day. It was interesting to see a number of new faces of people who had not been to Llangorse before. The coach left Swansea just after 10am and reached Llangorse by 11.20am. We had a warm welcome from HBTSR group members and their friends. After a quick refreshment, most adults were keen to go for a walk to the lake despite of the heavy rain. Everyone really appreciated the lovely scenery, keen to capture the moment as much as they could. Kids enjoyed their activities such as face painting, dream pillows, pottery, soft play area and board games.
Cooked food was ready to be served by the time everyone was back from the walk and Alex’s freshly made flat bread seems popular as there was bit of a queue to get hold of one. Food was delicious and there was plenty of fruit to be eaten. Celebrating Noor-the birthday girl from Swansea-was very special and such a lovely thing to do. Folk dancing was the best part of the day as most adults and kids enjoyed being involved. We listened to some amazing singers from Swansea. Llangorse away day has always been a special one to remember and no different this time. We really appreciate each and everyone’s contribution organising this day for us and the time spent with us. Lovely speaking to local people who want to do some more for Asylum seekers and refugees. I had some remarkable comments from Swansea friends about this trip. Looking forward to the next time. Thank you.
Thanks also to Wayne and Maria for organising the Swansea end so well each and every time.