The Vale of Glamorgan's Premier Lifestyle Magazine

Community Spirit Benefits Ystradowen

, / 1931

Sometimes the smallest things we can do for our villages and towns can have the biggest impact. Whether it’s building a mini free book library, picking up dog poo, tidying up your bus stop or creating a lovely seating area with plants and shrubs and transforming an unused, ugly concrete verge. This is what local villagers did in the pretty village of Ystradowen.

“It all started with a £50 donation from the WI (Millennium Project) to plant daffodils to enhance the village,” said one of the Pathway 21 committee members Mavis Burnham. “We found out about this bit of money and our founding member, Betty Lever, got us all together to form the committee to make a difference to the village. We found a spot along the main road which was looking a bit tired and shabby and set to work. We realised that the £50, although very much appreciated, wouldn’t be enough to cover the works we had in mind so, set up the committee to organise coffee mornings to raise more money. As time went on, we raised enough money to re-pave the area in front of the verge which was in desperate need of repair.”

“We then asked local residents to donate shrubs in order for us to create a beautiful garden space in the unused bank. We were surprised at how many shrubs were donated on the Saturday morning. The residents really got behind us.”

“We also included a lovely wooden seat in memory of Betty, who died five years ago, which includes a lovely inscription for her.”

Rosemary Ives, one of the other committee members added, “There are four of us in the committee, me and Mavis, Wil Turner (not of Pirate of the Caribbean fame!) and Irena Wazalenski (please correct us if the spelling is wrong). We meet one Saturday every month to maintain the area by weeding and making sure it’s kept in tip top condition.”

“It gives us great pride to know that we are doing our bit to make the entrance to our village look beautiful. To think that something so simple could be enough to bring the community together is amazing.” She added.

Perhaps if we all took a leaf out of the Pathway 21 Project’s book and found a spot in our own village or town that we could improve, the world might be a better place.

Are you making a difference to the Vale?
We’d love to hear from you if you’re making a positive contribution to the community in the Vale. Email




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