Talybont-on-Usk WI offers newcomers a warm welcome

The Women’s Institute have become famous for their calendar girls but the WI in Talybont-on-Usk are going the extra mile for people moving to the pretty village in the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park and offering them a Welcome Hamper to help them join the local community from the word go. 

Welcome In scheme trip to Beligum 3 Feb 15

Supported by Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority’s Rural Alliances project and organised by the Talybont-on-Usk Women’s Institute is offering a Welcome Hamper that will look to include a variety of seasonal local produce, a welcome card and vouchers for discounted meals at the local pubs and village shop.  The Rural Alliances project has been funded by the EU’s Interreg IVB NWE programme together with the Welsh Government’s Targeted Match Funding programme’.

Last week, two members of the WI, Sue Thorne and Cherry Jones, visited Leuven, Belgium to see a similar project that had been successfully implemented in a number of communities there.

Andrew Williams, Sustainable Tourism Officer for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said: “It’s easy to see why Talybont-on-Usk and the surrounding locations of Aber, Buckland, Llantsanttfraed, Pencelli and Scethrog are popular places to move to.  When moving to a new area it can be intimidating trying to meet new people and find out what is going on in the community around you. This project offers  local residents and businesses the opportunity to engage with new comers, making them feel welcome and part of community as soon as possible and we’re delighted that we’ve been able to help fund this new project through Rural Alliances. We think the hamper idea is a wonderful gift that gives newcomers a real flavour and sense of place of what Talybont has to offer.  Local food and discount vouchers fits very comfortably with our sustainability credentials and supporting the local economy. ”

Sue Thorne, Talybont-on-Usk Women’s Institute said:   “It was great to meet the people of Leuven to learn how they have implemented their Welcome In scheme and to use their ideas alongside our own.  The WI is already famous for its calendar girls and its cakes and we can’t wait to put the new welcome hamper scheme into action.”

Karel Lhermitte Policy Advisor and project consultant at Landelijkegilden, Belgium said:  “It was really exciting to be asked to share our story about our project, ‘Welkom In’ – it gave us such a boost. It has been great to show Cherry and Sue our project and to show you other villages and participation schemes that Landelijkegilden are involved in”.

Cllr Jane Ward, Member for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said:  “I have been a long standing supporter of the WI and I think it’s absolutely wonderful to see that the community of Talybont-on-Usk are putting together this welcome package for newcomers to the area.  The Rural Alliances project has enabled them to learn from one of our Belgium partners and it’s a prime example of one of the many benefits of partnership working across Europe, sharing innovative ideas and then adapting them to meet the needs of our own area.”


Photo credit ©Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority
The picture was taken outside the local Community Centre, De Kettinghe in Heffen
(L-R) Koen Van den Broeck, Marleen Van der Velden, Ann Vertongen, Sue Thorne and Cherry Jones