At the outbreak of the war, Henderson Hall donated £1000 to the Disaster Emergency Committee and was a collection point for essential items sent to Ukraine. Since then, Henderson Hall has been supporting hosts and their Ukrainian guests, flying the Ukrainian and Welsh flags together at every opportunity. A number of key events have been held at the Hall, including social events, meetings with the local MP Fay Jones, Powys County Councillors and staff, as well as those involving different support agencies and organisations.
South Powys Ukrainian Oral History project
In May 2023, with the support of Powys County Council and Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations, Henderson Hall committee was awarded a small Refugee Support grant to set up a Ukrainian Audio Recording Oral History project. This project will bring to life the experiences of some of those involved within the Powys Ukrainian Resettlement Programme and showcase the personal stories of sanctuary seekers, hosts, supporters and the voluntary sector who have come together following the illegal invasion of Ukraine.
Its aim is to raise awareness and understanding of Ukrainians living locally and to preserve and celebrate this snapshot in time within Powys’s social history. It also seeks to make real the impact of the continuing war. The recordings are due to be completed by the end of July will be permanently sited on the Henderson Hall website as well as on the Powys County Council and PAVO websites.
Talybont Welcome Day
Working alongside Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees and with support from Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations and Powys County Council, on Sunday 25th June 2023, Henderson Hall and the Talybont community welcomed over 100 asylum seekers and refugees including around 50 local Ukrainians.
The programme for the Welcome Day included drinks and snacks on arrival, followed by lunch and then tea and cakes. For activities there were guided walks through the Community Orchard and Henry Vaughan Garden, crafts, face painting and in the afternoon all sorts of games and sports for the children – running races, sack races, tug-of-war – while the adults just relaxed and chatted in the sun. An action-packed day, with lots of happy, smiling faces throughout.
The event was big success due to a fantastic team effort and so many people from the community getting involved. We said we’d give everyone a day to remember, and we certainly did! The first, but maybe not the last Welcome day at the Hall, which constantly flies the Ukrainian flag in solidarity for refugees living locally.
Special thanks locally to the White Hart, the Star Inn and Talybont Shop and Post office for their generous food and drink contributions, and to others who dropped off cakes during the day. Rhiannon for her overall coordination, Linda and Gail for the much enjoyed guided walks, Talybont WI ladies: Trish, Ruth and Deborah and Henderson Hall committee members: Julia, Gail, Linda and Liz, all real troupers in the kitchen. Anna Bell for her magnificent face-painting and Chris Jones, Rob and Lettie Francis who organised the children’s races, creating a lot of fun and laughter. For all involved it was a day to remember – and one the community can be truly proud of.
Celebrating King Charles III Coronation
Red, white and blue were the colours of the day on Saturday May 6th as the community came together to celebrate the Coronation at Henderson Hall. The large high-definition widescreen came in to its own in the morning as we gathered to watch the pomp and ceremony. In true Hall tradition, drinks and home-made cakes were served, and this was supplemented by a delicious lunch brought by a family from Pencelli.
In the afternoon more and more adults and children arrived, including some of the Ukrainians living locally, all with a fabulous selection of cakes to share. We were treated to two hours of uplifting music and dancing by Al’s Ceilidh band Crannog.
In years to come when asked where they were for the Coronation a good number of people will look back and say, ‘I spent the day in Henderson Hall, and danced my socks off. It was great fun!’
With thanks to Powys County Council and Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations for supporting this event.
On 7 January, Orthodox Christmas day, the Hall hosted a celebration for over fifty local Ukrainian
refugees, along with their hosts and the many volunteers who have supported them. A packed
afternoon included children singing Ukrainian Christmas carols, a magician, a feast of Ukrainian and
Welsh food brought by attendees, followed by a Ceilidh. There was even a visit from Did Moroz
(Ukrainian Father Christmas) who gave presents to all the children, including soft toys generously
donated by Talybont resident Allan Jones. Laughter and enjoyment were in abundance, but what
was most evident was the feeling of togetherness and community.
The event was funded and coordinated by Crickhowell Supports Ukraine and made possible, on the
day, by members of the WI and Hall management committee, who generously and enthusiastically
helped it to run smoothly.