We're thrilled to be pairing up with local fundraisers and Cardiff Times columnists, Wyburn and Wayne, as we bring back the festive cheer to Roath. The local duo stepped in to save the day when they discovered that the usual festivities surrounding the turning on of the local Christmas lights on Wellfield Road and Albany Road wouldn’t be taking place this year due to a lack of funding.
"I've worked with Emma and the CPS Homes team on a variety of local events over the years, and I knew they’d understand the need for a local Christmas celebration. I’m delighted that they’ve chosen to support us and the Roath community once more", explained Wayne Courtney.
The ‘turning on of the lights’ celebrations will take place at St Andrews Methodist Church, situated on the corner of Marlborough and Wellfield Road, from 2pm onwards on Saturday 19th November. There will be festive stalls inside the church hall, plus carol singing from the Tenovus choir and music from local acts including Tom Auton, Plucking Fourstrings and Fflip Fflops. The cast of 'Elf' from the Kinetic Theatre Group will also be there to entertain the crowds.
Not only that, but we’ll have a very special visit from Santa Claus, who will be hosting a ‘Giving Back Grotto’; collecting Christmas gift donations for the homeless. No matter how big or small, all donations are hugely appreciated, and Santa will be there to thank everyone in person for their generosity. And, for the little donators amongst us, Santa will of course listen to – and do his best to deliver – all of your Christmas wishes!
The 'Giving Back Grotto' idea came about after seeing the fantastic work of Katie Bernard, a 29-year-old student nurse, who has organised several drop-off centres across South Wales to accept public donations of gifts for the homeless this Christmas. These will be handed out by volunteers across South Wales. Last year, the group handed out 1,000 gift bags and over £700 in food tokens, and their aim is to double that amount this year.
Emma James of CPS Homes letting agents said: "We wanted to do something a little bit different, so when I got chatting to Nathan and Wayne about ideas, it turned out all three of us had individually seen the efforts of Katie and her group of volunteers in organising collection of gifts for the homeless this Christmas. Nathan suggested a 'gift donation grotto', and it fitted perfectly with the ethos behind the event."
"I'm really looking forward to bringing my friends and family down with our donations and seeing the turning on of the lights at the church" commented Emma, "I'm also really proud of our staff who have volunteered to forego the usual 'secret Santa' present swap in favour of donating their own gifts to the grotto."
We'll have donation buckets at the Grotto on the day, or you may wish to donate online via gofundme.
All contributions are hugely appreciated by everyone involved.