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Lucky with the weather in Llangorse!

We know from bitter experience that the saying  ‘there is no such thing as bad weather but just being badly prepared’ is only in part true. We have weathered snow, rain, storms and coped [ ish] but  when the first snow of the winter arrived on 2nd March ,we were apprehensive.  Reassured by the weather forecast that there would be no more snow overnight, we didn’t alter plans. Thankfully Sunday was aptly named. The sun beamed,  the skies were blue, the snow on the Beacons looked magnificent and over 80 people seeking sanctuary came and joined about 40 supporters and locals for a magical day out in Llangorse.

hall being set up with help from Rory, Play pen and toys provided by Jane and Greg.

Planning of course started weeks earlier with the ever efficient Melrose rounding up a number of great people who willingly gave their time and expertise to ensure that everyone was welcomed, exercised, amused, entertained and fed generously.  Llangors School pupils made cards and flags and flowers to welcome the visitors and a few pupils did visit on the day. Music was provided by Fiddlebop booked and paid for by an anonymous donor.  Some donations of clothes and kitchenware were shared and appreciated. Most people left with food and fruit- it’s hard living on the Asylum seekers allowance.




About 20 of the local Ukrainian people arrived soon after 11,  Adil came with two young unaccompanied sanctuary seeking minors from Abergavenny and two new contacts came from Llandrindod with their ‘foster  children’ also seeking sanctuary. Then the coach arrived with 50 people on board who had enjoyed seeing the mountains and snow. Thanu, Gayan  and daughters  had led the coach  from Brecon after a slight detour through the town. .

Hot drinks, biscuits and fruit were shared before some stayed to do crafts, or chat, some went to church and most went down to the lake to explore. Those in church were treated to a multi faith service with wind and piano music and welcomed by members of the congregation who had waited  on after their service ended.  Many who visited hadn’t been in a church before and seemed pleased to have the opportunity to share in the gentle prayers for peace before having a look around.

As always the walk to the lake  was popular with lots of selfies taken and  the walk was repeated in the afternoon. As Melrose pointed out Llangorse lake is the largest natural lake in South Wales and is much larger at the moment due to rain…

Lunch was a large variety of vegetable stews, dals,  salads and the biggest pile of hummus ever seen! Bread given by Alex and Kathy was delicious.  The music was enjoyed whilst people chatted, some enjoyed the sunshine outside on the terrace and others the play park.  Then it was cake time! Somehow people managed to eat these as well. Such a wonderful variety!  When it was time to leave most people had a card, a flag or flower from Llangorse school pupils , some had Tete-a Tete daffodils and most had food and fruit to take with them. Sweets left over from Christmas were devoured too!

Crafts were provided by Bethany, and a new friend Ammi, with others assisting. Face-painting was very  popular and Claire did a great job as always. Tina, Becky, Alison, Morgan, Tim, Lynne and Odile did sterling work in the kitchen with help from many others. Philip manned the welcome desk and Virginia sold and distributed raffle tickets. Walks were led by Wally, Robert and Lawrence. Thanks to Rev Trina and the congregation of Llangorse church . Thanks also to the many people who provided hot food, salads, cake, biscuits, fruit and crisps and all who came and helped . Thanks also to  our amazing visitors.

A great day out was enjoyed by all. My highlights were 1 seeing Sweeta reunited with her mother and sisters and children.  read about her here.

2  seeing people who hadn’t seen fellow country people since leaving home  having a chat.

3 Watching my 7 year old grandson  Rory making and sharing popcorn with everyone.

Val’s thoughts

Welcome to Llangors


For what feels like a very long time the weather here in Powys has been very grey and gloomy but Sunday in Llangors was aptly named: the sun beamed, the skies were bright blue and the snow on the Beacons looked magnificent.  This was perfect for Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees’ first Welcome Day of the season, with a team of about 40 local supporters coming together to host over 80 people seeking sanctuary for a day of relaxation, fun and food.  Planning for such events takes time: there need to be people prepared to lead walks out into the countryside and down around Llangors lake, and people with the skills and equipment to set up tables with various arts and crafts.  There was a safe play area for babies and toddlers with lots of toys and cushions, and outside LlangorsCommunity Centre has a splendid adventure playground where older children can enjoy themselves in the fresh air.  Other entertainments included face painting – always very popular with children – and the local gypsy jazz group Fiddlebop who played an exhilarating session in the afternoon.  But perhaps the aspect of these welcome days that people appreciate the most is the endless supply of delicious food.  On arrival there was plenty of tea, coffee and soft drinks, and the tables were laid out with plates of biscuits and fresh fruit.  Suitably refreshed, most people then went out on a walk down to the lake, others went to a multi-faith service in Llangors church, while some stayed at the hall, keeping an eye on their kids, chatting, playing table football or just relaxing.  Then there was lunch: the local community provided a great line up of delicious vegetable stews, dals.  This was followed by more gentle walking in the sunshine, with many taking photos and admiring the swans and mallards on the lake, while others preferred just to sit and listen to the Fiddlebop band playing in the hall.  The day ended with another feast, this time of cakes, sweets and more fruit.  And there was plenty of food left over so this was packed up so that people could head home with supplies to last another day or two.

As ever with these Welcome Days, there are many benefits for all concerned.  For those seeking sanctuary, as well as a chance to get out into the beautiful countryside and relax and enjoy themselves, it can be an opportunity to exchange stories and experiences with those like themselves, who share their native language, who have in some cases even fled from the same region but who have not met before.  On the other hand, for someone whose almost only contact with people in the UK to date has been with officials in offices, a stroll with a sympathetic HBTSR supporter can sometimes make them feel safe talking about their past lives and their hopes for the future.  And for HBTSR supporters it is good to know that they have made the visitors feel cared for, to help them feel like human beings, not just statistics.  



THANKS from Swansea

I’m happy to day Thank you so much!

Thank you very much we enjoyed it so much.
It was an amazing day. The church service was serene. Even though I’ve been to Llangorse many times myself, I still enjoy the landscape, friendship, food, and hospitality. The snow-covered hills were a special treat. The crew was really good today, and the coach journey was pleasant with no issues.
It was really nice and I really enjoyed the trip and the food was great and everything was nice thanks for all of you 🥰😊
Hello everyone, thank you very much for everything you did for us, the truth is that my family and I enjoyed it, we are from Nicaragua, my children and my wife landa to say thank you very much
God protect and bless your family, each one of you, it is a wonderful gift, we are from Nicaragua, thank you very much once, I hope to see you again, the Jazz thing was very nice.
We really enjoyed the trip Thank you
 Dear Thanuja and Hay, Brecon and talgarth Group, It was great to see you all today and we really enjoyed. Thanks for your hospitality and kindness to us. Hope to see you again
Kinds regards, Sweeta, mum, sisters and Soha.
 I can’t tell you how thrilled and excited I am about the event.
Another memorable day out enjoying the breathtaking beauty of the snow-covered hills and flooded lakes of the Brecon Beacons, surrounded by stunning landscape and cherished friendship. ❤
And Cards of  Thanks for Christmas presents were hand delivered by Amanda and Gustavo