Rhiannon McHugh, Community Development Worker for Invest Local group Penywaun Forward Together, looks back on the heart-warming Afternoon Tea project that took place during lockdown:
During lockdown, Elizabeth from St. Winifred's Church led a project to hand-bake a sumptuous Afternoon Tea for 110 of the more isolated and vulnerable residents across Penywaun, Trenant and Trewaun.
Each box contained 4 sandwiches with different fillings; a slice of corned beef pasty, an ice slice, a chocolate cake, a lemon & strawberry cake, jam and currant Welsh cakes, and a fresh cream trifle – all home-made! The baking and making was a mammoth task and took place over three weeks. Each week the necessary ingredients were bought, baked, assembled and placed in a box labelled to advise people where the Afternoon Tea had come from - St. Winifred's Church and Penywaun Forward Together, who sponsored the project. Family members were roped in for bread-buttering and sandwich-making, and Martin and Louise from Penywaun Forward Together then helped Elizabeth to deliver them.
The impact of the project was extremely heart-warming and clear to see – all recipients were incredibly grateful to receive their goodie boxes. Some offered payment, some just wanted to chat - one gentleman said, ''no-one has ever brought me anything before''. Most people were really keen to have a chat because they hadn't had any visitors due to lockdown and they were glad of the contact. Thank-you messages were left on Facebook and the Church still get "thank-yous'' from family members for the ''unforgettable'' afternoon teas that were delivered to relatives. Some were emotional because ''someone cared'', and the fact that it was a home-made box of treats made it all the more special.
The project was supported by Penywaun forward Together, as part of the Invest Local Programme with funding from The National Lottery Community Fund. A total of 54 volunteer hours went into making this project a big success.