June saw us looking for new premises, having been given notice to quit the Tunnel Site at Cilmery. We needed somewhere big enough to house our vehicles, provide garage space for repairs and maintenance, a place to store all our recycling bins, and office space, so as you can imagine, it was a mammoth task.
New Office and Depot
Unfortunately, we couldn’t find anywhere in Llanwrtyd and district, but were fortunate in being given the opportunity to rent the Lion Garage in Builth Wells. It was in a bit of a state, needing all new electrics, and a good scrub, decorating and carpeting.
The new premises are actually less than 2.5 miles from the old base in Cilmery, or just 5 minutes driving time.
Before going too far in Lion garage, the whole place needed cleaning, so Alan and Laura spent 2.5 days power washing, sweeping, scrubbing and washing everything … windows, doors, floors … everything was filthy!
The electrics had to be totally ripped out and reinstalled. The plumbing was changed, and we have put in new heat taps, a sink in the “bait room” (kitchen), and toilet, and re-routed some pipes.
Carl (our landlord) extended the office area for us. Between Stephen, Alan, John and Laura, they painted and wood-stained all the new office area. Alan laid the carpet, and John sorted out the telephone line for us. Kit has redecorated the toilet and inside parking area and repainted the huge glass doors internally.
Services On-Hold Due Covid-19
Some of our services were on hold due to government restrictions, the LWCT Heart of Wales Coffee Club, social outings, shoppa shuttle buses, plus school transport were all suspended.
There were no events taking place, so that was a loss of essential income.
We Carried On Operating During the Pandemic
Our wonderful volunteer drivers were still beavering away, collecting prescriptions, shopping and pre-ordered take away food, using their own vehicles, for the vulnerable and shielding. Plus taking people to essential medical appointments near and far. We were fortunate in receiving some grants which meant we could provide some journeys free of charge.
Supporting Other Organisations
We offered support in our monthly newsletter to Dana’s Angels, a group of volunteers who were making scrubs for the NHS, The Bracken Trust who were still offering support to people affected by cancer by email and telephone, and Homeless Hope, a group of nurses, who in their spare time are working alongside other volunteers to provide foot care, food and clothing to homeless people in Cardiff, Swansea and Newport.
The Move to Lion Garage
July saw us move into Lion Garage, after much hard work by Laura and her team. Many of our services were still on hold, but we were offering as much support to our local community as we were able.
Opportunity for a Good Clear-out!
August saw us having had a good clear out of vehicles and other stuff that had accumulated on the Cilmery site.
We sold 4 vehicles we no longer had a good use for, and scrapped 5 vehicles that were beyond repair. We sent a lot of cans that had been saved up off for scrap along with various other scrap metal that had been hoarded.
We filled a 40 cu yd (half a shipping container) size skip with rubbish … furniture, books, clothing, all sorts!
Grants Helped with the Covid Crisis
We were fortunate in obtaining the following grants which helped us to continue subsidising journeys: –
- Tesco Bags for Life
- Friends of Healthcare in Builth and District
- Community Connectors
- Prince’s Trust
- National Lottery Community Fund
The Saddest News
Then came for us, a big blow. Our dear friend and Company Director June Parkinson passed away suddenly.
Although only a part of our organisation for a relatively short while, June made a massive impact, as she did with all the organisations she worked with. She is sorely missed by us all, and we thank her for sharing her expertise, knowledge and experience with us.