18 May 2020 / Club News

From Little Acorns

Often major projects start from humble beginnings. That was the scenario behind the Brecon RFC initiative to support NHS Wales Staff and patients. In the first instance Club chairman, Paul Amphlett, set out to resolve the problem of how he could ensure that Brecon RFC grounds, at Parc de Pugh, were maintained during the Covid 19 Lock down. He resolved that by grazing his flock of 73 sheep at Parc de Pugh. That way the grass was kept to a manageable length and the ground was organically fertilised at the same time.

Then, as a retired paramedic with the Wales Ambulance Service, he returned to work to help out during the Covid 19 Pandemic crisis. At First hand he saw the trauma, both physical and mental, that front line staff faced as they endeavoured to save the lives of those from within their community. At that point he decided that, as Chairman of Brecon RFC, he should initiate a fund raising scheme to support Front Line NHS Staff. Initially the idea of sponsoring and renaming his flock had limited ambitions. The first target was £3,000. However, with the launch of a video and the support received from members, the community and beyond that target needed to be revised. The next target was £5,000 and then as the support grew it became £10,000 and on the closing day (16th May) that was achieved and surpassed as the total collected reached £11,000.

All of the donations ( with no expenses incurred) will be donated to NHS Wales with the express purpose of:- Supporting staff, volunteers and patients through wellbeing packs, rest and recuperation rooms, training and support services as well as electronic devices for isolated patients to communicate to loved ones. The funds will also provide resources for vital care partnerships and longer-term mental health recovery of staff and families. All of the support is over and above that which is available through statutory funding.”

As part of the project it was agreed that two of Paul’s flock would be donated to 1) the highest individual sponsor and 2) to the winner of a draw. The draw took place in the garden of Ron Rowsell, Brecon RFC secretary, with a video link to Fay Jones MP for Brecon and Radnor. Fay was one of the first people to support the project, naming her ewe appropriately as Boris (Johnson). Subsequently two sheep have now changed hands and become the property of Lauren Hill and Julian Edwards.

Lauren Hill named her ewe after Sharon Scanlon and in giving her reasons explained that the ewe was named in memory of Sharon who we,“Sadly lost to Covid 19, on the 23rd April 2020. She was a wonderful lady. She worked as a front line care worker for many years, and did an incredible job supporting everyone with whom she worked. She was kind, generous and bubbly. She loved making people laugh, and everyone who knew her will always have so many joyful memories to remember her by.”

The second ewe was won in the draw by Julian Edwards. Julian explained that, “The name chosen was for two reasons. Firstly, one of my regular cycling mates works in Morriston A&E and he and his colleagues are facing massive challenges throughout this whole period. His name is Scott Pegler (known as Peggy). Additionally, and given the Welsh spelling, we sadly had to attend the funeral of Rhian's cousin who sadly passed away recently after a long illness. It was in the first few weeks of lockdown and subject to the new guidelines on social distancing etc, therefore it was a very surreal experience to attend with so few, and not be allowed to cwtch family members! The Cousin's mother's name was Pegi, hence the spelling Pegi.”

Finally the money will be transferred to a representative of NHS Wales on Friday 22nd May with the hope that in a small way we at Brecon RFC will make a difference.

Video - The Draw (Click Here)

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Adrian Price - 18/05/2020 09:54:50:

News presenter Ron - well done to all on this fundraising achievement, especially you for leading on this initiative! Adrian Price (AP)