Thank You for Donations



We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all in our community who, over a very short period, filled the school with donations to be taken to Poland for families fleeing Ukraine. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of our community who contributed towards over 250 boxes of donations collected over just 3 days which have now begun their onward journey to Poland. Thank you to all the staff and pupils who have been involved in sorting donations, especially Mrs Barbara Sliwinska who works in our Nursery for organising everything!



Conifers at the Community Centre


On Monday 14th March the team set about tidying up the front border and removing rubbish from under the hedge of the conifers at the Community Centre. A couple of members were absent. The usual reasons for not turning up are forgetting the day or not remembering where we are supposed to be working. This problem has now been resolved by Big John who has set up a What’s App group; the really old ones are being fitted with trackers by their carers. One member has a tracker on his ankle fitted by a government official, he claims it’s because they may need to contact him if an emergency arises!!

Next meeting – 11th April at 9.30 by the library.

The building on the immediate right is part of the Old School (the headmaster’s office), which is now the Com-munity Centre. Next door is the headmaster’s home followed by the old police house where the infamous Dai Cannon now resides.


Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami


  Book Review for Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Norwegian Wood by Japanese author Haruki Murakami, is a modern literary depiction of depression, suicide and the sense of grief born from loss. Although the novel deals with heavy themes, it leaves us with a positive message: ‘even though we may be lost, we can continue to live as long as we try’. The above review is beautifully said. The book became tedious in parts, but it holds your imagination and takes you to Japan. The characters are beautifully described, and I had great empathy for them. I would recommend his more recent novel, where I think he has progressed into a great writer, as he’s grown older.

Anne Gill


Money Saving Energy Tips


George Burke, who is a retired General Manager for Wales at Age UK Financial and Income Services and had a regular weekly consumer affairs column in the South Wales Echo called ‘Ask George’, shares his ideas with us.

It is said that for each degree that you reduce your thermostat, could save you £65 a year. (source Don’t forget that if you feel that you cant afford to pay your energy bills then contact your supplier asap.

  1. With the weather hopefully becoming warmer going into Spring, it should be possible to turn the heating thermostat down to 19 degrees. However why not keep a comfy blanket handy to cover your legs in the evening. This will reduce your heating bills and save you money.
  2. Change your lightbulbs to a LED type which are much more economical.
  3. Wash clothes on a lower setting.
  4. If you are in a council tax band of A to D, you could be in line for a £150 rebate from the Vale council.
  5. Don’t forget to claim your annual heating allowance from the government if you were born before 1955. Usually £200 a year.
  6. Search for drafts especially around doors. Draught excluders are fairly inexpensive.
  7. Try not to use your tumble dryer. A good old clothes horse will do the job or hang them on the outside line.
  8. Try and shower for one minute less.
  9. New energy efficient appliances will save you money than many of your old appliances.
  10. For further money saving tips always go to Martin Lewis’s website.


Other useful tips include:

  1. Try not to use your car so much. Try and do small shops by Bus. The 96 bus from Wenvoe will drop you off at Morrisons supermarket. Have a coffee whilst you are there.
  2. Share a car with a neighbour or good friend to the shops etc.
  3. Look for cheaper household brands.
  4. When you get to the checkout, ask yourself “do I really need it?”.
  5. These days our society has become a society that, if something is broken, then lets go and buy a new one. Many items could be fixed and reused. Try it and save yourself some money. (Sounds like Wenvoe needs a Wenvoe “Repair Shop”. I am sure there must be plenty of skilful people in our community that could repair many of these items. Do we have any takers?


Hopefully these large price increases in our energy and fuel wont be forever, but in the meantime you might be able to save some money by adopting the tips above.


Walk For Ukraine


Distressing and disturbing pictures of people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine have been in the newspapers and on the television. Many thousands of people, of all ages, have been trying to walk to safety. Walking is something that lots of us do well, so some of the strollers from the different walking groups (described in the What’s On every month!) decided to do a sponsored Walk for Ukraine.

The idea was to sponsor yourself to walk around Cosmeston, then all money raised was to be sent to Ukraine to support the need for blankets, food, medicines….everything. Fortunately, the group gathered under glorious blue skies for the start of the walk. One lady walked past as we were preparing to leave and hearing what we were up to, donated money! Another lady in the group had talked to her 99 year old neighbour about what she was doing, and the neighbour insisted on giving her £30. She said she couldn’t walk anymore, but she wanted to support the Walk for Ukraine.

The group raised over £400…and counting, which is a truly magnificent amount. In a small way, we have supported people who are losing everything, but are attempting to walk to a better life. Walking really is life changing! Very well done to all who participated. I’m very proud of you!!



Christian Aid Week


15 – 21 MAY

The drought in Zimbabwe is the focus for Christian Aid Week this year. In local communities the Climate Crisis is a matter of survival, and information and personal stories from those who have been helped by Christian Aid will feature in the morning service in St Mary’s Church on Sunday 1st May.

Our 2022 appeal begins with ‘Coffee – Cake – Bookstall’ which will take place in the Church Hall on Saturday 14th May from 10 30am till 2 30pm. Any donations of books you may have can be placed in the ‘Book Box’ in the Church Porch at any time, or taken to the Church Hall on Friday afternoon 13th May from 4pm.

This year the envelope collection will resume after two years absence due to the coronavirus. This will be a new type of envelope that will be delivered by volunteers with drop off points for householders to return them.

Gwenfo School will hold their annual ‘Big Brekkie’ during one of their lunchtimes and have a non- uniform day.

Thanks to your generosity last year we were successful in raising £3,000 (including Gift Aid) and we are hopeful of an equally good response this year.

Jude Billingham





What Can We Do?


What Can We Do?

Read that short question several times, with the emphasis on different words, and you will hear that the answer is not straightforward. One of the ideas behind setting up the Forum was that action is needed at local level to tackle what are worldwide problems, so do nothing is not the answer.

Gareth, who wrote last month’s contribution to WO, mentioned the expected increase in our gas and electricity bills. In the 4 short weeks since then many of us have had written notice from suppliers about just how frighteningly big that increase was forecast to be. In those 4 short weeks Russia invaded Ukraine with huge impacts on economies, the environment and security and the bills are likely to be higher still.

I noted that one of the WO much loved little writings came directly below Gareth’s optimistic and practical article:

No sense in being pessimistic

It would never work anyway.

Whether that was pure serendipity or editorial wit I don’t know but just as do nothing is not an option, we will maintain our optimistic approach, knowing that, just as we should do what we can, others are doing what they can.

Challenging situations provoke, and people rise to the challenge in their own ways. Some clever engineers are researching a product that could modernise building techniques, make the construction industry more sustainable, make use of recycled glass and provide building materials with better insulation. ( The seemingly simple idea of replacing the sand used to make concrete with ground up recycled glass has wide ranging benefits. When you add in the fact that this new material can be used in a 3D printer, the building materials can be much more attractively shaped than the concrete block or beam, it sounds like a winner to me.

On a completely different path, professional storyteller Carl Gough is putting his energy into developing Nexus 100: creating change through story, a network of creative people who will find ways to encourage individuals to think about the environment with a positive approach and highlighting what we will gain by paying attention to it.

So what can we do as a community to help with the rising costs of everything as a result of more expensive energy, while tackling environmental problems at the same time.

In earlier WO articles we have suggested many ways to reduce energy use particularly associated with the reduction of carbon emissions. In May we plan to hold a session where experts will present some very practical energy reduction tactics and strategies, focused mainly on the home. There will be an opportunity for questions. Final details are to be confirmed but we hope it will be on Thursday 12th May; Look out for details in next month’s WO, on the Wenvoe Community Facebook page, on our Facebook page and on our blog.

When we carried out our initial survey of community views last summer/autumn, one of the most popular suggestions was a Community Energy Scheme. Forum members have been working on exploring feasibility and making some progress. However, we could use some help to take this forward. Anyone who is enthusiastic about the idea is very welcome but in particular we would benefit from adding to the team:-

  • A business planner with experience of long term financial planning
  • Someone with legal expertise
  • People with experience of alternative sources and methods of household heating and or energy generation

If you are interested in helping or want to know more please e-mail

Any Wenvoe community member is welcome to join the Forum meetings, via Zoom, held at 19.00 on the second Thursday of each month. E-mail if you wish to come along

We put information on our Facebook page Gwen Fo @ and Wenvoe Forum @ and Blog site




Sweet Chilli Jam

Sweet Chilli Jam

8 red peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped

10 red chillies, roughly chopped with seeds

Large finger sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

8 large cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

400g cherry tomatoes, halved

750g golden caster sugar

250ml red wine vinegar

Replace some of the red chillies with hot Scotch Bonnet chillies, add extra punch.

Tip the peppers, chillies [with seeds], ginger and garlic into a food processor, then whizz until very finely chopped. Scrape into a heavy bottomed pan with the tomatoes, sugar and vinegar, then bring every thing to the boil. Skim off any scum that comes to the surface then reduce to a simmer and

cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the jam is becoming sticky, continue cooking for a further 10-15 mins, stirring frequently so it doesn’t catch. It should look like thick, bubbling lava. Cool slightly and transfer to sterilised jars to cool completely. Keeps for about 3 months in a cool dark cupboard. Once opened – refrigerate.

Ideal with cheese and biscuits, cold meats, but best of all with BBQ meats, bangers and burgers.



Baked Salmon with Fennel and Tomatoes

Baked Salmon with Fennel and Tomatoes

3 medium fennel bulbs

2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

zest and juice of 2 lemons

275g cherry tomatoes

2 tbsp olive oil

4 salmon fillets, about 175g each

few black olives

Heat oven to 180C. Trim the fronds from the fennel and set aside. Cut the fennel bulbs in half, then cut each half into 3 wedges. Cook in boiling salted water for about 10 minutes. Drain well. Chop the fennel fronds roughly and mix with the parsley and lemon zest. Spread the boiled fennel over a shallow dish, then add the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, then bake for about 10 mins. Nestle the salmon among the vegetables, sprinkle with the lemon juice, then bake for a further 15 mins until the fish is cooked. Scatter over the parsley, season and serve. Serve with buttered boiled new potatoes and a simple green vegetable


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