Not even Storm Callum could dampen spirits at Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees’ latest away day.
There had been an eight-week gap since people seeking asylum or refuge had last made the trip to Mid Wales, but there was a warm welcome in store for a return visit to Bronllys.
HBTSR’s Ailsa Dunn said: “We had a super day out after an eight-week pause due to illness among Swansea volunteers, during which we checked that inviting people for a day out was still a good way to be spending money and effort.
“We were reassured by this statement from Maria Nicholas, a volunteer in Swansea, about the days out - ‘I think that a price cannot be put on their value. They change desperate people’s lives, if only in the short term but for many in the longer term.’”
A willing band of volunteers had worked hard, preparing stews, curries, chillies and salads, while others bagged up take-home bags of food and toiletries for the 40 visitors now settled in Swansea.
Entertainment came in form of games, art and storytelling, before a tour around the sights of the village.
“Some of us went for a walk and saw a side of Bronllys not known even to other locals,” Said Lawrence Duffy Treasurer to HBTSR. “We chatted about languages, different words, different cultures and countries and admired the views and the sheep.
“After such a wonderful day full of joy and happiness, it is hard to recollect that so many of these lovely people are living with terrible memories of past traumas and having to face the hostile environment of the Home Office while living in poverty in slum-style accommodation. For the day these worries and problems vanished and many good memories were made and shared.”commented Ailsa.
HBTSR has thanked Sue and Gez Richards for arranging the day, the many supporters who helped and the Co-Op and Aldi for donations of food for people to take home.
“We’d also like to thank the churches and worshippers of Boughrood, Llyswen, Llandeilo Graban, Bronllys and Talgarth for sharing their Harvest Festival produce with us and Archdeacon Griffiths and Mynydd Ddu Schools for generous donations of food and toiletries,” Sue said, “and to thank young Riley from Llangorse who gave us several bags of toys that were very popular with our younger visitors.
“Many thanks also go to Bronllys Garage, Anchorage shop and the Honey Cafe for donations, and to Royston Hall for allowing us a preferential rate for the day.”
More details about HBTSR are available on http://hbtsr.org.uk/