Say what you like about Barry…and I know that many do – both those looking down the nose outsiders, and those die-hard born and breds disillusioned with our sometimes troubled town.
But, in my view, one thing you definitely can’t say about our birthplace is that is rallying residents lack the community spirit.
For God’s Sake, I’ve just smashed seven superb days of seeing this shining stronger than ever.
What with stepping up as a Charity Chair, gigging for Gobaith, coming up trumps for Cadstock, showing up for a fab Fundraiser.
And trying to save a Sam’s Hospital Ward – it’s been a bit manic…even by my double busy standards.
Lucky I didn’t book to run the Cardiff Half Marathon too as I would have been really knackered.
Joking – I would rather nail my tongue to the floor with a rusty horseshoe than pound the streets in a Lycra vest with a number pinned to my chest.
But one woman’s meat, is always another woman’s poison, of course, so my utmost, utmost, respect to all those who took part – with a special shout out to our Gobaith Girl Nina who was there again this year.
Flippancy aside, it’s always heartwarming to see community events so superbly supported. Brilliant as always to see the stunning success of the Cardiff Half with so many Barrybados runners, and supporters in the crowd.
Which brings me back to Barry’s spirit and the superb snapshot of this vibe our much-maligned town has seen in seven supercharged days.
The brand new #theglovesareon Charity, Gobaith’s move to Barry Community Hub, the Keep Cadstock Alive Campaign, the Neil Lewis Fundraiser, and the Save Sam’s Ward March – phew!
Credit to founder Soraya Kelly for seeing her #theglovesareon become a bona fide charity.
My focus may now be moving on to my more professional projects and the real gritty, grassroots of activism but I wish her well.
Respect to Rach, who even though she has handed over the running reins to Tammi at Barry Community Hub, is still fundraising for our Suicide Support Centre whilst battling very tough times herself.
To date, the Gobaith Funds stand at an impressive £5900, and any donation for the Suicide Support Centre can be made direct to the official account – Sort Code 30-90-89, Account Number 37688168.
This raised just short of two grand and once again the town’s talent turned out to offer their trade right across the range – from sponsorship and sound, PA and PR, meals and music plus much more.
The biggest round of applause must be for Rhys who spends so much time thanking others he forgets that without him pulling it all together, one of the best dates in Barry’s calendar would never happen.
Also had a warm glow hearing the many, many stories of loved ones who been cared for so competently and compassionately at the Hospital.
For me, its fabulous that I’m part of a terrific town that lives and breathes everything I adore – community, live music, fantastic film, amazing arts.
Thank you to all those involved in all the campaigns, charities, and causes behind the scenes, in front of the stage, on the dance floor, and the streets.
Feel free to join me as we continue the fight to make a real difference with Stand Up To Racism (Vale), LGBTQymru, An Anti-Racist Wales – the Race Equality Action Plan, and other crucial community cohesion activism.
Let’s keep on keeping on fighting for all that our terrific town needs, and deeply deserves.
That’s the, Community, Spirit.
Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist. She blogs about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
#CommSpirit is where Sue, mixes up news and views to showcase some of the movers and shakers in our town. And promotes those lush locals who are putting our very own stomping ground firmly on the map.