THIS year has definitely been more trick than treat so far, but two Llandrindod Wells sisters are hoping to put a smile back on children’s faces this Hallowe’en.
Coronavirus has, and continues, to throw up all sorts of frightful stats and situations, but Louena and Shannon Weale will be aiming to spread more joy rather than fear around the spa town at the end of the month, by delivering packages of sweets to the doorsteps of children who might not be allowed out or feel comfortable going trick or treating as usual.
Louena put out a post on Facebook earlier this month, envisaging that Hallowe’en was going to be very different this year, informing parents in Llandrindod that she and her older sibling wanted to put together treat packages for local kids. The community-spirited 20-year-old said the sisters will deliver to each address, sanitise and wear gloves and stay socially-distanced while doing so – and even dress up in traditional Hallowe’en costumes.
“We came up with this idea because we love Hallowe’en and take part in it in our house by decorating and handing out sweets every year,” said Louena, who lives in the town’s Ridgebourne area.
“We were gutted because there weren’t many kids visiting our house last year, so this year because Covid is here and some parents might not feel comfortable with their kids going out, we thought it would be even worse. So to make parents feel comfortable we said we would go to their houses instead.”
Fears were raised last week that even trick or treating would be affected by coronavirus restrictions placed on regions throughout the UK in recent weeks and months.
The traditional October 31 practice has effectively been ‘banned’ in some areas of Wales where there are increased coronavirus restrictions.
While you are allowed to meet up with a maximum of 30 people outdoors in lesser affected counties like Powys and Ceredigion, they must be people who also live in your area, and people are still being advised to socially distance from people outside their household.
These rules also apply to costumed kids knocking on doors and coming into contact with other people to accept treats on Hallowe’en night.
The Welsh Government said that trick or treating would therefore break the tighter rules imposed earlier this month and that potential fines would apply.
But, by calling on households themselves, leaving packages on doorsteps and taking all necessary precautions, Louena and Shannon are minimising risk and will, essentially, act as slightly scarier, benevolent postwomen.
“We are hoping to start quite early, about 4pm on October 31, we’ll be dressing up, going to each house, we’ll knock, walk away and then wait and wish the kids a happy Hallowe’en,” added Louena, who along with 24-year-old Shannon, is a domestic worker at Llandrindod War Memorial Hospital.
“We are just going around the Llandrindod area but if there is any interest not too far from the town then we will consider it too.”
Louena admitted she’s been motivated further by positive feedback from her social media suggestion.
“We have had brilliant feedback, so far we’ve had 20+ children wanting packages,” she said, adding that the sisters are buying the sweets and treats out of their own pockets, although they have had offers and donations from the community.
“We have been buying the sweets ourselves, but we have mentioned on the post that if anyone would like to donate then we would appreciate it. Some people have already said they will help us with donations.”