What Happened to “Normal”?
March 2020 began in the normal way with all our services operating as usual. As always we were advertising for volunteer drivers to use their own vehicles to take members to medical appointments near and far, on personal shopping sprees, etc. Also, we were advertising rooms for hire down in the station building for training courses, meetings or family gatherings.
LWCT Heart of Wales Coffee Club celebrated St Valentine’s Day and each attendee was given a small card with a chocolate heart stuck on, plus a red rose.
Generations Sharing Memories
We had a visit from some 9 and 10-year-olds, from Ysgol Dôlafon, arranged between the school and Cymryd Rhan. The children were learning about WW2 and showed photographs on their iPad and talked to us about what they had learned so far. We were fortunate enough to have a couple of our members who remember the war. One was able to share her experiences of her and her younger sister being evacuated from Birmingham, whilst another of our members was able to share some of her experiences of being a nurse during that time.
Talks, Visits & Helping PAVO
On February 20th 2020 Eifion Lloyd gave a very interesting talk on the Zulus and the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, which took place in 1879.
On February 26th 2020 a group went to the Wyeside Theatre in Builth Wells, to see Breabach a Scottish folk band who play an eclectic array of instruments and music.
Laura and Pat were invited to be on the PAVO (Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations) stand at the Careers Festival at the Royal Welsh Showground on March 4th 2020 where around 2,000 students from 15 schools, some as far away as Newtown and Welshpool, visited the event.
With the assistance and support of PAVO we had set up an online Volunteer Centre in October 2019, this had not been well-supported by local voluntary groups unfortunately, so the end of March saw the project closing.
Award Winning Organisation
In early March 2020, Laura and Dave travelled to Manchester for the UK-wide finals of the Rural Business Awards, where they found out that we were voted as the runners-up in our category. It was a very proud moment for LWCT, being the second major award we’d won within a year.
Then, Covid-19 Restricted Everyone
On March 17th 2020 our coffee clubs, social outings and shoppa shuttle buses went on hold due to the global pandemic and the government imposed restrictions.
In our April newsletter we were able to offer support to Homeless Hope Foot Health, and the Community Connectors for anyone concerned in any way about Covid-19.
Dave Brown Resigns
This was a difficult time for everyone, but it was made worse for us when on April 24th 2020 our Company Director, David Brown, tendered his resignation on the Companies House website, and gave LWCT notice to quit the Tunnel Site in Cilmery. Dave had been involved with LWCT, initially as Project Manager employed by PAVO, since 2002. It was his innovative ideas to start up Events Recycling, along with the creation of glass cullet and garden ornaments made from concrete or resin and glass cullet, to bring in much-needed revenue to subsidise our transport services to the local community. We thank Dave for the work he has done with us over the years, and wish him well for the future.
Urgent Search for Premises
We were in the midst of the lock-down and desperate to find new premises that were big enough to house our vehicles, room for repairs and maintenance, room to store our recycling bins and office space.
VE Day Anniversary
We’d made plans to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day. We’d printed and laminated loads of A4 photographs to make an exhibition down at the station buildings, lots of celebrations were in the process of being arranged in the town and surrounding areas, but with lock-down none of them could take place. However, we did what we could by producing a Souvenir Booklet with lots of local information from that time; this was circulated by email and hard copy along with our newsletter for the month of May 2020.
In our May newsletter we thanked all our wonderful volunteers and loyal members for their support and assured everyone we would do our upmost best to offer our support where needed. We also mentioned front-line workers, offering our thanks to them for risking their lives to protect ours.