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LOCAL HERO OF THE MONTH – Mairwen Silvanus and all the committee at Cwmdare OAP

What have they been doing?

Cwmdare OAP group have been helping to tackle loneliness, raising community spirit and wellbeing in Cwmdare since 1940. With anyone over the age of 55 always welcome, there is no wonder that the group have over 100 active members from Cwmdare and the wider Cynon Valley.

Based in Cwmdare Miners Welfare Hall, the Committee work tirelessly to arrange activities to bring friends together, with bingo, buffets, Christmas dinners and day trips, but also inviting speakers to support members with safety in their homes, scam awareness and the chance to chat with local councillors. They really are a lifeline to some of their members.

Mairwen and the rest of the committee are always looking for new and exciting activities to bring their members together. Successful in securing Micro Fund grants as contributions towards larger activities for their members, Pen y Cymoedd were happy to support them with £1000 in 2018 towards their Carry On day trips and with a further £1000 in 2019 towards their members Christmas dinner get together. They use local caterers and entertainers and have lots of fun at the Hall.

Why are they amazing?

COVID 19 lockdown has been hard for all of us, but for the members of Cwmdare OAP group, many of whom live alone and are vulnerable, it has meant the regular get togethers and support, sometimes the only time some would see anyone, stopped overnight. With many of the members vulnerable to COVID, it is unlikely the group will meet again in 2020.

Mairwen and the whole committee were passionate about showing every single one of their members that they were not alone during these tough times and to feel valued and missed.

Applying to the Pen y Cymoedd COVID Project Emergency fund, they were successful in applying for £1080 to remind all 108 members, they were missed and to bring a smile to their faces and a bit of joy to their day. ]

We want all of our friends to feel valued, missed and to know we are all a team and we will get through this and come out the other side ready to enjoy a G&T back in Cwmdare Club”

They looked at many different options of gifts, taking into consideration each individual members’ health needs and what each member would like, whilst not duplicating any support already out there.

However, then they went one step further in not only supporting their 108 members within Cwmdare and surrounding villages, but to support a local business too. Deciding to support a local florist who only started trading early spring 2020 before lockdown hit, they purchased and hand delivered a gift to all 108 members within Cwmdare and the wider Cynon Valley.

This is such a fantastic example of a relatively small amount of money having such a huge impact on residents and a small business in the Cynon Valley. Well done Mairwen and the whole of the committee – it is lovely to know that the emergency funding has helped to put such big smiles on so many faces.