Say what you like about beautiful Barry…and I know there’s many a tasty tale to tell about our often turbulent town.
But one thing that remains staunchly standard is our cracking community spirit especially when we dig deep not just for those at home but those in far flung countries too.
My God, we have all watched with absolute disbelief at the horrors of the Ukraine invasion but that hasn’t stifled the superb sense of solidarity that runs right through our residents like a stick of Barry Island rock.
From almost the first memorable minute the Russian bombs began to fall, my Facebook feed has been full of top tales of, rallying residents pulling together to help our fellow humans with real random acts of community kindness, and solid support for those fleeing, or fighting on the frontline.
There’s an army of vigorous volunteers committed to fundraising in their own unique way, our more design-minded dwellers have also been busy cheerfully churning out everything from keyrings and T Shirts to symbols and signage to support Ukraine, and I know many have donated direct to the Disaster Emergency Fund.
The absolute jewel in the crown for me though, has to be the Barrians booking up Ukrainian Air BnB’s quicker than you can say ‘lets have another Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special.’
How cool is that. You hop on the App, sort yourself a stay in Kyiv or somewhere similar, quickly pay the host, post a little message of support, and don’t turn up, of course.
So many of those terrified residents now have our cold, hard cash direct to them, where it is needed most – genius!
And what about all those replies of heartfelt thanks from those massively grateful and brilliantly brave hosts.
Not going to lie to you, some of those messages brought a tear to me eye, and a warmth to my heart.
For me community is not just anyone living in the same place, it means a group of like-minded people who share the same passion, through a strong sense of unity, and the deep desire to make a difference.
Barry, I’ve just summed you up beautifully.
Keep on keeping on, behind the scenes or on the streets, to help all get through unwanted together, and to fight for the peace our fellow human beings deeply deserve.
Now that really is Community, Spirit.
And you’ve smashed it Barrybados,
The Voice of Our Community
Sue Vincent-Jones, blogging as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and activist. She writes about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
Written exclusively for the Vale’s newest newspaper, and digital platform, The Glamorgan Star, her latest ‘Passing Comment’ column, an addition to the infamous Sue’s Views collection, can be found here.