HBTSR’s away day visitors see the sights at jazz festival

Among the thousands of visitors at this year’s Brecon Jazz Fringe festival were more than 80 people – many of them children – seeking asylum or refuge.

Families and young adults now settled in Swansea, Ystradgynlais and Hereford  spent the day – organised by Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees (HBTSR) and based in the town’s scout hut – taking in the sights and sounds of Saturday’s events.

And some of them certainly saw the sights with a trip up St Mary’s Church bell tower, led by bell-ringers Kath and Paul Johnson, which included a crash course in bell-ringing.

HBTSR’s organiser for the day Penny Leonard said: “It’s been a busy month and yet it seemed a great opportunity to have a day out alongside Brecon Jazz Fringe and Theatr Brycheiniog summer family festival. Very many people generously offered to make food for the all-day buffet and even more turned up to help on the day.

“People, as always, donated food, toiletries and bags and turned up in their droves to help to prepare the scout hut and to escort our visitors around town.” 

Many of the children visited Theatr Brycheiniog for face-painting and games, and the day also featured cooking demonstrations of donated vegetables from both the Watton and Llanfaes allotment gardeners, a walk to watch the procession and the now-traditional game of football.

“The face-painter at the theatre agreed a bargain job lot so that everyone who wanted their face painted had it done beautifully,” HBTSR’s treasurer Lawrence Duffy said.

Ailsa Dunn, secretary to HBTSR, said: ‘“The highlight of the day for some of us was a trip up St Mary’s bell tower courtesy of Kath and Paul. We had the opportunity to learn a little about ringing, and to see the clock and the bells before seeing the views from the top. Spectacular doesn’t quite do it justice. None of us had seen these views nor had a go at ringing before and some of our young visitors were deemed naturals.

“All in all it was another very happy day shared with people in need of welcome and support who went away enthused by the kindness of Brecon people  .’

You can find out more about HBTSR, which has registered charity status, and the activities at http://hbtsr.org.uk/  or on its Facebook page at facebook.com/groups/148117669551936