The occasion was an opportunity to celebrate charities that have been a “lifeline”
This Sunday (3 October) Cllr. Maria Sarnacki, the Mayor of Caernarfon, organised a “Mayor’s Sunday” event to celebrate the work of local charities and volunteer groups during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cllr. Sarnacki represents the Cadnant ward on Caernarfon Town Council, and was appointed mayor in May of this year.
Her father came from Poland and was a prisoner of war in Belsen during the Second World War. He came to Britain, initially settling in Oxford. Due to work demands, he moved to the Caernarfon area, and met Maria's mother, Charlotte. She is the mother of Sarah Louise, a talented composer and singer.
This Sunday she held a small gathering in the Town Council’s meeting place, the Institute Building in Caernarfon. The event was an opportunity to hear about the efforts of local charities set up in the town by volunteers as a response to the challenges thrown at Caernarfon by Covid-19.
It all commenced with Cofis Curo Corona (Cofis Beating Corona), a group that created a network of volunteers to support those that were forced by circumstances to stay in their houses at the start of the pandemic.
The town was divided into four wards, and efforts to provide support for the people of the town was co-ordinated by volunteers, town councillors, and county councillors. The help provided included shopping, collecting prescriptions, and dog-walking.
From Cofis Curo Corona came Porthi Pawb, a foodshare initiative providing around 60 people with nutritious meals. And from that stemmed Porthi Plantos, a project providing food for children in Caernarfon.
Recently a community shop initiative was opened on Pool Street, Caernarfon, named O Law i Law, which provides children’s clothes and toys at a reasonable price. It’s also a collection and distribution point for the Food Share scheme. Surplus food from supermarkets is brought to the shop, ready to distribute to local people who need it.
The shop was established after Caernarfon Town Council secured a grant from the Welsh Government’s Green Recovery Economy Circular Economy Fund 2020-2021 to create a community hub to repair, renovate and recycle goods in Caernarfon Town centre.
Sunday’s occasion was visited by Siân Gwenllian MS, the town’s Member of the Senedd.
“It was heartening to hear the stories behind the projects.
“We also heard from Gafael Llaw, another charity admired by Maria who is a nurse at Ysbyty Gwynedd.
“Gafael Llaw was established in 2013 to support children and young people from Gwynedd and Ynys Mon suffering from cancer.
“The money raised by Gafael Llaw goes directly towards improving the facilities and services for children with cancer.
“The Charity provides direct support for Dewi Ward in Ysbyty Gwynedd, with significant contributions already made to upgrade cubicles on the ward, as well as general facilities such as the outside play area and assessment rooms.
“I’d like to thank Maria for organising the event which provided us all with an opportunity to applaud the valuable work of some of Caernarfon’s important projects.”