CHRISTMAS is all about spreading some festive joy and sharing with others and a Llandrindod Wells woman epitomises that.
Jen Craven, the community manager at Ysgol Trefonnen, referred a number of families to the local foodbank during lockdown and has continued to work closely with them on a regular basis.
She has since applied for lottery funding and, having been successful, is using the funds to put together Christmas hampers and buy shoes for local children.
“I wanted to do something nice for these families to help them with the lead-up to Christmas, so since being back at school in September I applied for funding from the National Lottery Community Fund and the Wales Respond & Recover Fund,” said Jen.
“We were successful in our applications and therefore were able to purchase some food to make up Christmas hampers. With the money I also purchased some school shoes for a number of children and headlice treatment which is available from the school office should families need it.
“The remainder of the money will be used to buy school uniforms and create some wellbeing bags which will be given to every family in the new year.”
Jen has been liaising with the community champion at Tesco, Jayne Griffiths, and together they created a toy drop-off facility within the store. People have been donating shoeboxes full of toys and larger items as well.
“The response has been hugely overwhelming,” added Jen.
“I really didn’t expect so many. I believe that because of lockdown, people have realised how much the children have missed out on and these will at least help these families who may be struggling for one reason or another have a good Christmas, easing the financial burden on them.
“Jayne has been wonderful to work with, updating me on a regular basis when the box is full. We have seen so many different items donated too, such as hand-knitted hats and scarves, boxes donated by the WI and even an X Box.
“In total, we have made 19 hampers for families and 37 Santa sacks for the children. The sacks were donated by Lee Percy from Community Events Llandrindod Wells and then I filled them with the donations.
“Hopefully we can build on this and continue to do this on an annual basis.”