Cllr. Gwil Stephenson will be running online drop-in 'Zoom' sessions for one hour each week from the 22nd September usually on a Tuesday 6-7 pm, for more information and a link to the Zoom session please go to: Drop In Zoom Session or scan the QR code with your phone. These session are essentially for anyone in Montgomery and the surrounding area but anyone that has an interest in Montgomery can join. The sessions are open to any topic not just Montgomery itself. This includes trying out Zoom if you are new to teleconferencing. You may come and go as you please ... you can join for a few minutes or the whole hour. You will be asked for your name, postcode and email address in order to obtain the Zoom link the first time you attend a session.
When Ms Anna Griggs was appointed Headteacher at Montgomery Church in Wales School, she explained to the School Council that she wanted to create more opportunities for outdoor learning, and to build on the work already started at the school and its allotment, by developing an area in the school field. Having secured Awards for All lottery funding, a forest school site was created, with support from Fran, a Montgomery resident who runs the Woodland Pack Company, and Martin and colleagues from Cope Community. With pupils having created plans and contributed ideas, the different activity zones created included a secure pond, mud kitchens, a seating/cooking area, a stage area, a bug hotel, stepping stones and some den building areas. Over recent weeks, work has taken place to create a growing area, including recycled plastic raised beds, and to begin a sensory herb garden - all with materials and labour donated by friends of the school, parents and local businesses. During lockdown, the school Eco Committee has been working on identifying which crops to grow. Russell and Ade from Russell Francis kindly donated and delivered three bags of excellent topsoil, and Derwen Garden Centre and Morrisons Welshpool, have provided plants and seeds. Headteacher Anna Griggs said, “I have a real passion for outdoor learning. It is an essential part of the new curriculum, but it is even more important during the COVID19 crisis. We are using the outdoors to help safeguard children whilst providing health and wellbeing opportunities alongside rich learning opportunities.” The next phase includes erecting a metal shed for storage. Whilst the components are already on site, the school needs to work out how to complete the construction whilst maintaining social distancing. The outdoor learning site will be available for pre-school children to use as well as learners from the school, and there may be opportunities for some community use in the future. Once the site is complete, the school plans to run a competition to name the area, which will then have a grand opening. Ms Griggs said, “We look forward to inviting the people who have enabled this project to happen so that the children can say a huge thank you.”
Montgomery Energy Group (MEG) held its June meeting online and discussed the future of bike use in and around Montgomery. Across the UK, as well as in Montgomery, people have been walking and using their bikes more during lockdown. There is a free bike scheme in Montgomery, passing on bikes from people that have finished using them, to people that want a bike; and far more people have been asking for a bike during this time from the scheme, with over 150 having been safely given out during the lockdown period. Jeremy Thorp from MEG said, “This is great to see and good for our health and the environment, but how can we make sure it continues after lockdown ends?” At the meeting, members learned that in the UK, our cycling infrastructure is far worse than on the continent, but the government is promising to put more resources into cycling. They then discussed, if funds could be found, what should be the priority in Montgomery? The result is that MEG has set up a survey to find out what would make it easier to walk and cycle in Montgomery so that they know what to concentrate their efforts on. Jeremy said, “Please take our short survey (it is only 10 questions) to help keep this cycling and walking momentum going.” You can find the questionnaire at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/T59PT85 or email your thoughts to Jeremy.firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenny Bailey-Beech from Montgomery, who is only 9 years old, has been creating beautiful origami cards for sale under the brand Okami Makes. The cards, each one of which is unique, are available from a number of shops in Montgomery, and the Okami Makes facebook page, which her parents help run. From the beginning of her venture, Jenny determined to donate some of the proceeds from her cards to charity, and she has now been able to hand a cheque for £100 to her favourite charity, Havenmore Hedgehog Rescue. Rose Lambert from the charity said, “Thank you so much Jenny, we’ve bought three boxes of puppy milk for the hoglets so far.” Jenny is planning to donate the proceeds from her Fathers’ Day cards to the Twin a Tap charity, which works with Tearfund in Africa, and which Montgomery Children’s Church have chosen as their charity to support during lockdown.
Since lockdown, Montgomery Church children have been meeting online weekly on a Sunday morning. They wanted to show that their faith makes a difference, so decided that they would raise money for Tearfund’s ‘Twin a Tap’ scheme. The idea of this scheme is to twin a tap in Montgomery Church with one in a community affected by poverty. The donations give training and a means of making a simple tap, so that communities affected by poverty can understand good hygiene and easily wash their hands to help protect themselves from the effects of Covid-19. Each child has decided how they will raise money and is aiming to complete their own fundraising by the end of June. Sponsored events include hula hooping, piano scales and a sponsored walk on crutches. Keri, age 11, will be completing a hoopathon challenge aiming for 5000 spins in one session. Keri attended hula hoop classes with Nula Hula in Montgomery Town Hall and Nula says, “I’m very proud that Keri is taking her hooping to the next level and I wish her all the best of luck in her big challenge!” Jenny, age 9, who makes and sells greetings cards as ‘Okami Makes’, will be donating the proceeds from direct sales of her Fathers’ Day cards to the ‘Twin a Tap’ fundraising. Okami Makes can be found on facebook. Lucy, age 5, says of Children’s Church, “I enjoy seeing the people and listening to the bible stories.” She is the youngest of the church children taking part in the fundraising project, and has been doing jobs for her family as her way to raise money. Lucy says she is pleased to be able to help make sure people can wash their hands with clean water.
While for the moment tennis facilities remain closed in Wales, Montgomery Tennis Club is looking forward to a time when tennis can recommence and has placed a contract with a specialist Wales-based company to clean and re-paint their two floodlit courts. The work on the courts should be completed by mid June and the Club hopes to be ready to welcome existing players and new members when restrictions are relaxed, perhaps following the next statement from the First Minister on 18th June. Club Chairman, Richard Macdonald, said, “Tennis facilities remain closed in Wales but we have some light at the end of the tunnel and the work going ahead on the courts is a plus side for the club. Please look at our Montgomery Tennis Club website for information and membership details. Do come along and enjoy some outdoor exercise on our courts when tennis recommences. New members are always made welcome.” Montgomery Tennis Club website: clubspark.lta.org.uk/MontgomeryTennisClub Photo from June 2019