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Ystradgynlais Toy Market. Working together with Community Dreams

With Christmas just around the corner, our Community Network Connector Jade Flynn has been working Together with Community Dreams to bring Christmas joy to families in the Ystradgynlais area.

Community dreams are a non-profit organisation set up by residents who volunteer their time to help the families in Ystradgynlais who are struggling with the cost of living.

They raise money through fundraising and sponsorships to support low-income families with necessities such as food, clothes, toiletries and even days out.

People supported by mirus have had the pleasure of attending days trips organised by the charity, and through this connection Jade saw an opportunity for mirus and Community Dreams with the help of Carl from Ystradgynlais Community Centre to come together to help others during the festive season.

As pressures on families are set to increase in the run up to Christmas with the rising cost of food, fuel, bills and rent,

Staff in mirus joined together and donated a huge amount of unwanted and unused toys for families in the Ystradgynlais area who otherwise would be unable to afford presents this Christmas.

Jade and Area Manager Jane Thomas arranged for the donated toys to be taken to the Ystradgynlais Community Centre. Once there they were sorted and displayed ready for families to take for free during the Christmas Toy Market Event on Tuesday 6th December.

The local ASDA even showed their support by donating raffle prizes and selection boxes for the event.

Berian, Sid and Craig supported by mirus, helped during the event by greeting visitors with a mince pie and cup of tea or coffee.

Two amazingly generous women, Rachel and Emma donated extra money to the raffle. The Money raised from the raffle will go directly back into helping the families of Ystradgynlais.

When asked about the event, mirus staff member Jade said:

“It gives parents choice and dignity when trying to give their children the Christmas they deserve”

The generosity shown by people connected with mirus was evident for all to see at the toy market. What was originally expected to fill one room ended up filling two rooms with more toys stashed underneath tables ready to replenish the toys being taken. It was an incredibly heart-warming sight.

There was no limit on what could be taken, and no restrictions attend. It was inclusive and an event for everyone.

There were rocking horses, bikes, scooters, dolls, dolls houses, teddies, games, books and more. Some items had never been used and were still in the cellophane packaging!

One mother said:

“My little Girls Christmas money had to be used to pay the bills. I didn’t know what I was going to do. This is a lifesaver. Thank you”

Another said:

“This is absolutely amazing. I have seven children and didn’t know how I was going to get through Christmas.”

We received a message after the event from one attendee:

“Literally had to pull over in the car to have a little cry that our Christmas is now sorted because of this toy event. I had absolutely nothing for my children as I am moving in a few weeks and fleeing domestic violence. Thank you from the bottom of my heart”

The following day our community connector Jade received the following message:

“Only now have I managed to sit down to be able to write this, I cannot thank your team enough for yesterday, you helped me so much. When I got home I cried my eyes out because I didn’t think my kids would have anything for Christmas. I am so grateful and just want to say a massive thank you!”

When asked about the event Sam from Community connections said:

“The children are our future and investing in them as the next generation makes sense. My top priority has always been equal opportunities for all and I wanted to make sure everyone in Ystradgynlais have the Christmas they deserve”

All left over toys from the event were donated to Action for Children.

 

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