THE continued coronavirus lockdown has failed to stop the four village halls in north Pembrokeshire which are part of the Helping Halls project from managing to reach out to their local communities.

Their doors might be closed to the public but Neuadd Boncath, Neuadd Bwlchygroes, Canolfan Clydau and Canolfan Hermon all managed to bring some happiness to their local communities at Christmas and are determined to continue to do so into the new year.

Canolfan Clydau and Neuadd Boncath both collected toys for the PATCH Christmas appeal and got an overwhelming response from the local communities, who donated hundreds of toys for children in need in Pembrokeshire for Christmas.

A van load was collected from each hall and they were gratefully received by PATCH at Milford Haven.

Both Halls also collected food for the foodbank in Cardigan and once again were humbled by the generosity of people donating food both before and after Christmas.

All four halls put up Christmas trees and left a box beside them with outdoor tags and permanent markers in them so that people could write happy memories from 2020 and hopes for 2021 on them and then hang them on the tree.

Some memories from 2020 included – ‘enjoying nature’, ‘seeing everyone slowing down’. Hopes for 2021 were ‘meeting other households’, ‘more hugs’, getting to spend more time with mam and dad’.

One young youngster who hoped for ‘snow for a snowman in 2021’ got his wish.

Canolfan Hermon kicked off the village festivities by organising a Christmas light switch on throughout the village and for their outdoor Christmas tree. All the residents were invited to switch on their Christmas lights at the same time and to celebrate with a glass of mulled wine and mince pie, some even enjoyed some Christmas music all from the comfort and safety of their own home.

The following evening, they had a Santa’s grotto drive-through event at the Canolfan which was organised by Cylch Meithrin Hermon for their pupils and families, raising crucial funding to go back in to the children’s education. Santa paid another visit to the village, driving through as part of the Crymych community project organised event.

Bwlch y Groes Community Hall committee and the Clydau Lunch Club organisers provided food boxes with cakes and trifle and sandwiches for people who would usually go to the halls for lunch.

To make sure the halls continue to support their local communities throughout the spring, Canolfan Clydau and Brondesbury Park Garden Centre have been working together to offer a delivery service to the hall at Tegryn.

Many people got the 'Grow Your Own' bug through the first lockdowns and Brondesbury Park Garden Centre has kindly agreed to deliver seed potato and onion sets orders to Canolfan Clydau throughout lockdown and into spring

The project has said a big ‘thank you’ to the volunteers who have run the events, delivered food, distributed leaflets and to those people who donated toys and food.