Over the weekend, some Caernarfon town children will receive a doorstep surprise! Plaid Cymru branch members will distribute 150 sewing kits to Cadnant Ward's children, as a gift to promote creativity and well-being as they begin their summer holidays.
“Sports equipment were distributed to the youngsters last month. 150 football balls, 80 hula hoops and 20 skipping ropes to encourage fitness and play. My husband wasn't quite sure where to sit in the lounge, when he saw 150 footballs needing to be pumped in the house," laughed Cadnant Town Councillor Dawn Lynne Jones.
(Photo: Dawn Lynne Jones)
“Thankfully good friends came to the rescue, and we managed to pump air into all the new footballs in time before starting the task of distributing the gifts to people’s doorsteps. The sewing equipment we’re distributing this time, is a kit that encourages the children to create a football key ring or a butterfly key ring, so that they have a keepsake on completing their task."
This is the third Caernarfon doorstep surprise in as many months since Covid19 hit the town. Plaid Cymru Councillors and members have worked tirelessly to help the community tackle the Coronavirus crisis that has disrupted town life, as it has in many Welsh towns.
Councillor Cai Larsen, who represents Seiont Ward, Caernarfon on Gwynedd Council, said: “I am delighted that everyone has worked together so readily to support vulnerable residents in the town. Some of our locals are elderly, some are sick, others are self-isolating and some are really struggling to make ends meet so they can feed their own families.
“Here in Caernarfon, we’ve faced the range of problems that have hit many communities as we all deal with the Covid19 situation. Reaching out and offering a helping hand to each other has been a real pleasure to see.”
(Photo: Two children enjoying the gifts)
Before the sewing kits and sports equipment arrived on the children’s’ doorsteps, afternoon tea was organised for the residents, thanks to the support of Councillor Cemlyn Williams who represents Cadnant Ward on Gwynedd Council. Over 200 scones, butter, clotted cream and jam were delivered to the community’s doorsteps which gave the councillors the bright idea of offering the children a gift too.
“We started with small flower pots for the children, to watch and grow,” explains Councillor Dawn Lynne, “and we were fortunate to receive financial support from Mantell Gwynedd.
“The Governors of Ysgol Maesincla came up with that idea, and as one of them, I was tasked with preparing the 400 small flower pots to share with the children. From thereon, the idea of a doorstep surprises developed and Councillor Cemlyn Williams and I worked together on the next gifts, buying children's arts and craft goods, for the children of Cadnant Ward.”
Councillor Cai Larsen said: “The work Dawn Lynne and Cemlyn have done is fantastic and its part of the big jigsaw puzzle in the town of Caernarfon to support people.”
Another successful project which has been an extremely important part of Plaid Cymru's Caernarfon response to the crisis is Cofis Curo Corona. Four of the five co-ordinators are members of Plaid Cymru's Caernarfon branch - Dewi Jones, Dawn Jones, Richard Thomas and Cai Larsen, with branch member, Anna Jên, working tremendously hard throughout the past few months.
Seiont Ward Town Councillor, Richard Thomas said: “Cofis Curo Corona was quickly established to respond to the challenges facing the town. It's a non-policital group with everyone working together for the benefit of our most vulnerable residents. As councillors, we are extremely grateful to Plaid Cymru’s branch members for their support, including Laura Cameron, Lowri Ifor and Marged Tudur.”
The main job is to deliver medication to people who have been forced to self-isolate. The volunteers have also been arranging food shopping for people who are indoors self-isolating. Another task facing the crew is to arrange free packed lunches for people are struggling financially because of reduced incomes.
Cllr Cai Larsen said: “Plaid Cymru who lead Gwynedd Council has been extremely busy putting new procedures and measures in place to deal with this cruel pandemic throughout the county. Providing food parcels to people who are in need is an important resource Gwynedd Council has been able to put in place. As members of Gwynedd Council's Cabinet, Caernarfon Councillors Ioan Thomas and Cemlyn Williams have been leading the Council's response to the crisis.
"As the local Plaid Cymru branch we have worked with Caernarfon Town Council to ensure that grants are distributed from the council's emergency fund to community groups who offer grassroots services to the people of Caernarfon."
One who is always at the fore leading community projects is Plaid Cymru Councillor for Peblig Ward, Kenny Khan. His work continues in the town to ensure that residents have access to food packages with the help and support of Plaid Cymru members. A big thank you goes to the town's supermarkets for their food donations that is nearing its sell by date.
There are also a number of Plaid Cymru members, including Councillor Ann Hopcyn who represents Menai Ward on the Town Council, who has been busy designing and creating masks to help volunteers get around town safely.
Councillor Cai Larsen said: “Town Councillors and Plaid members have contributed financially and practically to Porthi Pawb, which is run by Chris Summers. Every Thursday, locally cooked hot meals are distributed to hundreds of the town's residents.
“We are also grateful to Plaid Cymru’s Town Councillor, Eleri Lovgreen for her work in assisting Chris with the administration element of the scheme and preparing grant support claims for Porthi Pawb. The scheme is working well and is expanding rapidly to meet the local need for healthy nutritious meals.
A local food company is also collaborating in the effort of feeding the town. Shajanur Raja and his wife Rukshana Raja Sumona are the owners of Indian restaurant, Sopna, and the couple have recently started distributing free curry dishes in Peblig Ward.
Some Plaid Cymru members and supporters in Caernarfon have been assisting by distributing the food. Many are doing so on behalf of three local town councillors who have been advised to self-isolate - Tudor and Brenda Owen plus Kenny Khan due to the risk of Covid19.
“I would like to thank everyone for their immense efforts supporting others over the last few months. On a personal note, I would like to thank my fellow county and town councillors, Ioan Thomas, Cemlyn Williams, Ann Hopkin, Eleri Lovgreen, Dawn Jones, Richard Thomas, Tudor and Brenda Owen, Kenny Khan and Wil Davies for the discussions and guidance we’ve had at our virtual meetings to co-ordinate Plaid Cymru's Caernarfon response to the crisis. By working together we have been able to serve the people of the town through these challenging times.
“As residents of this great town, we are aware of this close-knit community spirit. The collaboration during this pandemic, has drawn the best out of people of this town. On behalf of everyone, thank you for your hard work, support and dedication,” said Councillor Larsen.
(Photo: A car full of food for the area's vulnernable people)