With voluntary quarantine and self-isolation looking likely, and not everyone having family nearby, Montgomery’s County Councillor, Stephen Hayes, with support from Town Councillors and a growing band of volunteers, is mobilising Montgomery Neighbourhood Angels as a community response to the situation. Streets or areas of Montgomery, Hendomen and Caerhowel will have a volunteer ‘neighbourhood angel’, backed up by reserves, coordination and external support. Anyone self-isolating will have the reassurance of knowing that someone is available by phone or email who can, if need be, act as a link with the outside world. Cllr Hayes said, “People of all ages will find themselves isolating in the coming weeks. We want to make sure that everyone has the reassurance that someone is looking out for them, and can connect them with appropriate assistance if needed.” Volunteer neighbourhood angels will keep a note of those in isolation in their allocated ‘beat’ (which could be a street, part-street, or an outlying area of town), and make occasional ‘how are you’ phone calls to check all is well. If there are local needs to be met such as shopping or collecting prescriptions, the angels will liaise with other volunteers taking on these tasks. A simple protocol will be provided for how to fulfil the role safely and how not to put volunteers or anyone else at risk, and volunteers will not enter people’s homes. If there are other needs going unmet, the group will source the appropriate advice or help, and check that it has been received. Angels will shortly begin to deliver to each house in their ‘beat’ a card with contact details and information; these will also be published in the Crier newsletter at the start of April. Montgomery Mayor Cllr Haydn Andrew said, “We know this crisis is a worry for many local people but we also know that our community-minded Montgomery residents want to help others, so this scheme will give people confidence that the help on offer is genuine, local and safe.”
Staff working at the famous Bunners shop in Arthur Street, Montgomery have taken up the “Walk All Over Cancer” challenge and will each aim to complete 10,000 steps a day throughout the month of March, to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. With 10,000 steps averaging 5 miles, each member of staff will have clocked up 155 miles over the month, and there is already a bit of competition hotting up between them! Ann at Bunners said, “Most of us are not finding it too difficult when we are working in the shop - as we are up and down the steps and in and out of the different shop areas, helping customers all day long - but our days off, and especially Sundays, are going to be a real challenge for some of us.” Supporters can donate in the shop, or by sponsoring individual members of staff. Ann said, “People have already been very generous for this worthy cause, and all contributions are welcome.” To donate, pop into the shop, contact a member of staff, or call Bunners store on 01686 668308. The team’s fundraising page link is https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/anns-walk-all-over-cancer-fundraising-page-9 and they can be found on Facebook at fb.me/BunnersMontgomery
On World Book Day, Thursday 5th March, children in Montgomery were delighted to discover gifted books hidden around the town to celebrate the day. The books were hidden by a Montgomery family and each included a note to let the finder know they could take the book home to read and enjoy. The books were hidden by young cousins Megan, Harry and Sam. Megan, age 10, said, “We enjoyed hiding the books and hearing about them being found. We thought that it would be a nice surprise to share our love of reading for World Book Day.” Many of the finders were in fancy dress as the children became aliens and other book characters for the day. Montgomery School children all dressed as aliens, with their theme for the day being the Julia Donaldson book ‘The Smeds and the Smoos’, chosen by teacher Mrs Regan. Foundation Phase researchers found words from the text and wrote in rhyme; years 3 and 4 created clay aliens and green screen aliens who spoke in Welsh; and years 5 and 6 wrote their own alien adventure stories which can be read to younger children in the future. Headteacher Anna Griggs said, “Diolch Mrs Regan for inspiring us with such a rich text and fab theme. We can’t wait for World Book Day 2021!”
Eaves & Lord bookshop in Montgomery is preparing for Montgomeryshire Literary Festival’s arrival in the town with a stunning display of books by authors who will be speaking at the Festival. Barry Lord, one of the owners of Eaves & Lord, said, “Excitement is already building for the Festival and it will be a wonderful event for the town of Montgomery.” The bookshop is one of the proud supporters of the Lit Fest, which takes place here in Montgomery from 12th to 14th June. Whilst summer seems a long way off, now is a great time to purchase some of the visiting writers’ books and decide which events you want to attend. Tickets for festival events will go on sale in early April at Eaves & Lord and online at www.montylitfest.com, where the full 2020 line up and other information is also available. To involve the local community in the Festival, Monty Lit Fest Committee is running a competition for children, under the age of 12, to design a bookmark illustrating their love of books. Imaginative designs have already been received and the deadline for entries has been extended to March 18. Many local businesses have also shown their support and there are a few sponsorship and advertising opportunities still available, with a deadline of March 16 for submissions. To find out more please contact email@example.com.
Monty Lit Fest is coming to Montgomery on June 12 to 14 this year and to celebrate the event, they are running a competition for children, under the age of 12, to design a bookmark illustrating their love of books. The deadline for entries is March 2 and designs should feature the child’s own work. There will be one lucky winner who will receive a goody bag of prizes, plus several runners-up; the winning design will be reproduced as a printed bookmark and used to promote the Literary Festival. Full details of the bookmark competition can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org New Chair of the Monty Lit Fest committee, Sarah Morris, says, “The start of a lifetime’s love for books often happens in primary school. With today’s youngsters being able to access stories from a plethora of sources, we are intrigued to discover what it is about books that still holds an enduring place in the hearts of our children.” The Montgomeryshire Literary Festival is run by the Montgomeryshire Literary Festival Trust. It aims to celebrate writing in Wales and the Welsh borders, with an annual festival circulating through key locations in Montgomeryshire. The inaugural 2018 Festival took place at Bodfach Hall, Llanfyllin and moved to Gregynog Hall, Tregynon in 2019. The 2020 Festival will take place from 12 to 14 June in Montgomery, with main events staged in the Town Hall and a variety of alternative events hosted in smaller venues around the town. For more information on the Festival and to keep up to date with the programme of events, go to the website at www.montylitfest.com
The Montgomery Canal photo exhibition is now in place at Montgomery Library. Taking place until 29 February, the exhibition brings together photos taken by members of the local community with a great selection of pictures showing the canal being widely used for a range of leisure and recreational activities. There is a panel dedicated to the restoration of the canal with the focus this year being on the winding hole, a turning point for narrowboats, at Crickheath. It also shows narrowboats built and decorated by the Montgomery Guides. Opening hours for the exhibition are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10am to 12 noon and 3pm to 5pm; Thursday 9am to 5pm; and Saturday 9.30am to 12 noon. Cared for by the charity, Glandŵr Cymru, the Canal & River Trust in Wales, the canal is currently being restored by local volunteers as part of a £4 million Montgomery Canal restoration project being funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Currently around half of the canal is navigable but work is underway to bring further stretches back into use. If you would like to support the wider restoration effort of the Montgomery canal, go to www.restorethemontgomerycanal.uk