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Hi! I'm Helia.

introducing Fatherfest – the UK’s ONLY Festival of Fatherhood, september 2021 in Merthyr mawr

Very exciting news for dads out there – DadFest 2021 is bring a weekend of activities and fun to Merthyr Mawr in September. Read on to find out more!

DadFest, the UK’s only ‘Festival of Fatherhood’, starts Friday 10 September at Candlestone Campsite, Merthyr Mawr, South Wales. This unique festival, now in its 8th year and previously awarded ‘Best Small Event in the UK’ by the National Outdoor Events Association, is organised by Dangerous Dads CIC.

DadFest is for dads, male carers and their children (of all ages) and takes place at Candlestone Campsite, Merthyr Mawr CF32 0LS from Friday 10th September to Sunday 12th September.

DadFest organiser and founder of Dangerous Dads CIC, Ian Blackwell, is thrilled about this year’s DadFest.

“Dads tell us how much they value getting back to nature, chilling-out and spending special time with their kids and other father figures. It’s all about having some adventurous fun with their children such as playing in the woods, building dens, exploring nature, camping and sharing campfire stories, especially after the lockdown. This year there will also be circus skills workshops, bushcraft activities, great food and lots more. Although we have run DadFest in Cornwall and Devon in the past, this is our first time in Wales, so it is an exciting moment for us and we are really looking forward to seeing lots of Welsh dads having fun in the woods and at the beach.”

“Candlestone Campsite is ideal as the site extends to 15 acres, and includes exclusive access to a further 40 acres of the adjoining wood in which to walk, play and explore. Unlike traditional campsites the site retains a very natural feel and incorporates lots of habitat for wildlife, and it is close to the UK’s highest sand-dunes, the river Ogmore and the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. DadFest has access to the 840 acre Merthyr Mawr National Nature Reserve, a rolling expanse of sand dunes, woodland and a mile of sandy beach. The site is 20 miles west of Cardiff, in the picturesque thatched village of Merthyr Mawr, and 5 miles from J35 of the M4, and 2.5 miles from Bridgend. It really is an ideal and beautiful location.”

The festival is renowned for its highlight event – the ‘World Dad Dancing Championship’, hotly contested by grooving dads, much to the sheer embarrassment of their kids. As the Official WORLD Dad Dancing ChampionTM, the winning dad claims all the bragging rights it brings but first someone needs to dad-dance their way to the winning trophy. A unique trophy and prize awaits the winner.

DadFest 2021 will provide a range of activities including archery, storytelling, bat walks, bushcraft skills, campfire cooking, den building, circus skills, nature trails, live music, award winning beer & food, and more… Everything at DadFest is run by qualified, experienced leaders who are fully insured and all risk assessments are in place.

DadFest is a small, safe, and intimate festival focused on outdoor activities. Our aim every year is to get Dads and their children out and about in nature… especially after a year of being cooped up inside. This event will be COVID-secure but please do talk to us if you have any concerns or questions.

Adult Ticket – £85, children 6 and up – £40, children under 6 – £20. All activities and camping space are provided as part of every ticket. Food tickets available that entitles you to six hot meals, as well as water, juice, tea, and coffee as needed all weekend.

For more information please contact DadFest by email bookings@dangerousdads.org.uk or see the Dadfest website for tickets

Dates:
10th-12th September 2021

Venue: at Candlestone Campsite, Merthyr Mawr CF32 0LS

Letters from Cardiff in lockdown: ANONYMOUS #7

Today’s instalment for the Letters from Cardiff in lockdown series comes from a friend of ours, who has been working as a counsellor through the pandemic, helping ease those addled minds. We’re still open for stories, so if it’s taken you a while to put it together, it’s all good with us – please contribute to Letters from Cardiff in lockdown. 

Enlight15

“Oh zoom, you chased the day away
High noon, the moon and stars came out to play……”.    Zoom 1982
“Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video conferencing “.    Zoom 2020

“A brand of carbonated soft drink produced in South Wales”.  Corona 1982
“Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing infectious diseases”. Corona 2020

In 1982, I was training to be a teacher and living in London.
In 2020, I had been a counsellor for thirty three years and was living in Cardiff.

I had spent the whole of my career meeting with people face to face in a variety of different rooms and settings and feeling enormously privileged to be able to do so.

Then … the world changed! Along came a global pandemic, forcing most of us to make changes to how we work and live. Many of these were eloquently described in “Letters from Lockdown “ which I really enjoyed reading last year.

I was also forced into finding other ways of being able to continue my counselling work and support my existing clients as well as offering a service to new ones.

Zoom was installed on my laptop and a new phase of my counselling work began, not without some trepidation. I worried about connections, both emotional and technological. What would be achievable working this way and would it be good enough?

I’ve had the good fortune to be able to access the counselling rooms I normally share with my two colleagues throughout this time.

Their situations and distance from our base have meant them working entirely from home so I’ve had the place to myself, which has felt very strange and rather lonely. A laptop stand and a comfy office chair were installed in one of the counselling rooms and my work online began.

I’ve been out of the house five days a week, dressed in my normal clothes and smelling of perfume (I feel weird without it) and garlic.

I realised early on that I didn’t have to limit my intake, as I usually do – an unexpected benefit!

So … same clothes, same hours, same rooms, just – no clients in the rooms!

All on screens or on the phone.

They see me in my usual working environment but I see them in very different surroundings – in their homes, their offices, their cars, their sheds. I see them in bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms.

I’ve seen a few people in their beds!

People in their pyjamas. Men without shirts. Lots of lounge wear.

I’ve seen peoples’ partners, children, pets. Lots of pets. Cats, dogs, geckos, snakes and a parrot ( all bringing comfort and companionship to their owners).

Delivery drivers have interrupted sessions on a regular basis.

I’ve travelled to other countries with people whose professional or personal lives have taken them far and wide. To Poland, the Balearic Islands, Turkey.

I’ve spoken with people in London and Edinburgh.

Previously, I would not have considered continuing to support people as they moved cities or countries and that already seems rather strange!

My clients have generally been marvellously adaptable, embracing Zoom, FaceTime and WhatsApp video with ease and we have made the most of it together. People are saying that they like the flexibility it will give them ongoing; they will be able to choose between attending in person (increasingly happening now) or from some other convenient location.

Some people will appreciate not having to travel, negotiating trains, buses or parking spaces. Most people however are missing being able to step out of their lives and into the safe space of the counselling room, with the physical presence of another.

At a time when lots of people have been struggling to feel connected to others, I have been enormously privileged to be so very connected to so many.

There’s been a new dimension to “seeing into peoples’ lives” as I have seen into their homes too!

I have also seen peoples’ goodness and kindness find new expression as they have shopped for their neighbours, shared their food, made donations to various causes and taken sunflower plants to a hostel for the homeless.

I have experienced , as always, peoples’ resilience, tested now in new ways.

I have learned that it’s possible to achieve a depth of connection online that I would not have thought possible previously, not only with people I have met in person but also with people I’ve only ever met onscreen.

My preferred way of working will always be “in the room” but much can be achieved online as people bravely work through the things that trouble them and trust me with their fears, anxieties, griefs and traumas. They share their achievements, their hopes and fears, their courage and humour just as they would in the room and as always, I have loved my work throughout.

On a very shallow level, I have learned how to apply a Zoom “improve my appearance “ filter.

This makes me a little concerned about meeting people in person. “My god,” they’ll think. “She’s aged. And she stinks of garlic”.

Want to write for Letters from Cardiff in lockdown? Find out how here…

See also:

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Cardiff – the NHS needs your blood!

Cardiff! Blood stocks across Wales are dropping. The Welsh Blood Service are looking for your help!

DID YOU KNOW – ONE BLOOD DONATION CAN SAVE UP TO SIX PREMATURE BABIES???

BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT TO GIVE BLOOD NOW!

Is giving in your blood? We need to give at least 350 donations of blood everyday to keep up with demand from hospitals in Wales. Did you know that a single donation can be broken down into its different components, so it can be used in various ways? These components all have differing life spans, which is why it’s important that we keep on giving! This is how long different parts of your blood will last after donation…

  • Platelets/White cells – 7 days
  • Red Cells – 35 days
  • Plasma can be frozen for up to two years.

Crazy blood stats, right??

Someone somewhere in Wales needs your help – they need your blood! The process usually takes around 15 minutes, and the Welsh Blood Service always have a full staff of very nice people on hand to accompany you through every part of the process, so there’s no need to be nervous!

Also when you’re done you get to enjoy a cup of squash and a Club! (*other sweet treats are also available, but my personal favourite is a Mint Club, in case anyone’s wondering)…

The Welsh Blood Service aims to have at least seven days worth  of different blood types in stock. As you can see, a couple of different blood types are low …

Blood stock levels 04-05-2021

DON’T DELAY! MAKE YOUR APPOINTMENT TO GIVE BLOOD TODAY 🙂

See also:

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We Are Immersed: How USW students created an online music festival under the shadow of COVID-19

Today’s article comes from Emma Mae Greaves, and includes an invitation for you to join the Immersed! festival this weekend!

How USW students created an online music festival under the shadow of COVID-19

The music industry has found itself in dire straits for the past few months. With live music gone, collaboration at a minimum, and our precious venues closing left, right and centre, morale amongst creatives has been at an all-time low. However, behind the scenes of 2021’s all-new Immersed! Festival we’ve been experiencing something amazing in all of this madness; hope; and this is something we endeavour to share with our viewers this weekend when they finally get to see Immersed! Festival 2021 in all of its virtual glory. Immersed! takes place this weekend (30/31 January) for free! And you can find out everything you need from our Immersed! linktree.

Cherry Boys behind the scenes (photo by Stu Rowles)

 

Streaming (for free, by the way – links at the bottom of this article) from the Immersed! YouTube and Twitch accounts as per the new normal, viewers will get to experience a truly immersive music festival from the comfort of their own homes, all in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust and the #saveourvenues movement. To support this, each performance was specially filmed in venues across Cardiff, and in artists’ bedrooms all across the globe. The students at the University of South Wales that are behind this event have definitely triumphed over adversity, and to do so in the midst of such a critical situation for live music throughout Wales, as well as for the worthy causes we’re supporting, is a fantastic achievement that each and every one of us should be proud of.

From adapting to solely online communication, maintaining a Covid-safe environment, and strictly abiding by lockdown rules, the hurdles in the race the Immersed team have had to jump this year have been higher than ever before, and we’ve been running with weights on our ankles the entire time.

However, though we’re tired, and some of us stressed, hope for a musical future is in the air – with a line-up of nearly 50 incredible acts, six virtual stages, and a massive 200 USW students involved in the creation and delivery of this award-worthy festival. That’s pretty incredible.

In September, when Immersed! 2021 began as a concept in the empty halls of the University of South Wales, it presented itself as more of a huge floating question mark than a festival. But by the start of October, this giant bundle of confusion had actually become something tangible. We had all these ideas, all of this research, and most importantly; we had a plan. This was a plan driven by the music we’re now bringing you, from up-and-coming artists such as Adwaith, Otto, Mace the Great, Yasmine & The Euphoria, Chroma, Telgate, as well as a vast selection of the Libertino Records roster including Bandicoot, KEYS and Papur Wal, among many more.

Ben from The Kelly Line (photo by Natalie Ball)

 

It was a plan driven by the inspiration we took from Tumi Williams (aka. Skunkadelic), Sam Dabb (Le Pub and #saveourvenues) and Sarah Cole (#wemakeevents co-ordinator for Wales) in our talks with them throughout this process. It was a plan driven by a simple message that is now the backbone of the Immersed concept: we are Cardiff, and we are vital. Though this plan changed drastically over the course of putting Immersed! together, it’s still, in my opinion, the most impressive product of teamwork I’ve ever seen, and for third year university students – music students no less – this is a HUGE feat.

 

This sense of teamwork reigned massively over the production of this festival. We all had our roles, and we all (well, most of us) carried them out with perfectly professional practice. The festival scene is something we’re all accustomed to in one form or another but experiencing one from this side of the music has been like stepping into an entirely new world – one which the pandemic has rendered unrecognisable anyway. Nonetheless we embraced it, as we imagined, produced, filmed, programmed, promoted and looked forward to a whole weekend full of true talent, a genuine celebration of Cardiff’s diversity, and a whole lot more online wonder that has exponentially broadened our hopes for the future. We’re genuinely excited to share Immersed! 2021 with the world. 

Wen behind the scenes (photo by Liv Davies)

It’s been a long few months of unanswered emails, uncomfortable ‘please-promote-us’ phone calls, and fourteen hour days filming sets in amazing venues across Cardiff such as Tramshed, Cultvr Lab, and Frontal Lobe Warehouse. But now, we’ve got a whole bank of industry email contacts ready for us to utilise, we can actually pick up the phone and order a takeaway without panicking about what to say, and we saw more bands play in our days spent filming than we have in the last three years. It’s been one hell of a ride, and an insanely rewarding one at that. So, here we are. We’ve made it to the home stretch, and as one final push from me to you I say this: please watch what we’ve been working so hard for.

Enter the festival via the Immersed 2021 Linktree (in our Instagram bio, and on our website). Immersed! begins on Friday at 8pm with a long-awaited workshop from Grammy-award-winning producer High Contrast. We hope to see you there.

IMPORTANT LINKS:

By Emma Mae Greaves

 

See also:

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In Memorial: Mary Sullivan

Afternoon all.

Earlier this week I received the sad news of the passing of Mary Sullivan. Long-time followers of WAC might remember Mary’s post about Newtown (a long-gone neighbourhood of the city also known as ‘Little Ireland’).

Mary at the Newtown Memorial Garden on Tyndall Street.

It remains to this day one of the most read pieces on the We Are Cardiff site, and I am still emailed occasionally by people who have found the post while researching their family history, and have found their way to Newtown.

Mary was Chair and Co-founder of the Newtown Association, an organisation set up in 1996 to record the history of the Newtown community and to keep its memory alive. We’re grateful to her for sharing her memories of the lost neighbourhood of Newtown, and for setting up the Association, who have managed to reconnect a lot of people with distant relatives and family friends from the past.

For those of you interested in paying your respects, the funeral cortege will be visiting the Newtown Memorial Garden on Tyndall Street, on Monday 23 November 2020 around 11:15am.

If you do want to visit, please respect physical distancing rules and allow space around the memorial garden for members of the family. There is limited parking in the area, so we recommend parking at the top of Bute Street and walking over (it’s around a five minute walk from there).

If you’re unable to visit, the funeral will be at 10:30am on Monday morning, and will be streamed (there are strictly limited numbers allowed into the building). Link to the funeral livestream.

For those wanting to send flowers, please consider donating to Kidney Wales instead. The family have set up a JustGiving page to help fundraise for Kidney Wales, an independent charity whose provision of services depends on donations and fundraising events. Unfortunately due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19, a lot of those fundraising events have been cancelled or postponed meaning that a lot of funding that Kidney Wales was depending on is now uncertain. Please help the family support their work during this time of crisis by donating in memory of Mary: JustGiving – In memory of Mary Sullivan.

Our thoughts and love to the family.

x

Related information:

Letters from Cardiff in lockdown: Rhian Pitt

Today’s instalment for the Letters from Cardiff in lockdown series comes from Rhian Pitt, of Cardiff Indie Collective. Although lockdown is lifting, we’re still open for stories, so if it’s taken you a while to put it together, it’s all good with us – please contribute to Letters from Cardiff in lockdown. 

I’ve had three babies to tend to in lockdown.

One is your classic human shaped one with squishy thighs and a dribbly mouth. She was two months old when we entered lockdown. I had only just mastered leaving the house before the announcement was made and we were instructed not to do so. All of a sudden, the four walls of our house was the only world she knew. Sometimes I wonder the impact of it. She recently finished meeting the grandparents. They cried when they held her. So did she. The only other people to hold her since March were PPE clad nurses jabbing a needle into her leg. Lockdown lifting must be blowing her mind – all these people, places.

I won’t use this space to vent my woes of lost maternity leave – other people have been through much worse – and in many ways it was a positive experience, forcing me to slow down and connect with her in a way that ‘normal life’ wouldn’t have allowed, but it was solitary.

Me, my baby and the dog became a unit. We ate together, napped together, exercised together. As my partner left for work every morning we would stay at home. Together. Every day.

That’s my second baby, the dog. A hyperactive collie who is a lover of the great outdoors and a park snob. She was quite possibly the most affected in our household. Just two months earlier she had been pushed into second rank by the arrival of the baby – then all of a sudden we were at home all day, cramping her style, sitting in the armchair that she usually commandeered. It was very hard for her to come to terms with the five mile rule. No more mountains, beaches, open spaces, lakes (she treats Roath Lake like it’s a dirty puddle). The genuine disappointment on her face as we rocked up at Splott Park was palpable. She cottoned on and started digging her heels in like an overtired toddler, refusing to walk as I grappled to get her and baby out the house. She would wriggle out of her harness and hide under the coffee table, her legs quivering at the thought of having to walk past groups of teenagers who were struggling to grasp the concept of social distancing, sprawled over the pathways and smoking fragrant cigarettes. She found the clapping for carers a bit overwhelming.

We must’ve looked like a household lacking in enthusiasm for the carers – quite the opposite, it was incredibly emotional and a clap didn’t quite express the gratitude – but my partner and I had to take it in turns representing on our doorstep while the other had to play the radio really loudly and prance around distracting the dog. It was worse than bonfire night.

My third baby has been a project – a business, a social media campaign, a crowdfunder. It’s called Cardiff Indie Collective and is, if you hadn’t guessed, a collective of Cardiff’s independent businesses. The idea is to showcase them all in one space – many of us follow a select few on social media – but how good would it be to have one space where you can see them all together?

Lockdown has helped to highlight the fact that lots of us would like to shop more locally (Instagram even introduced a shop local tag), but it’s hard if you don’t know where to start.

From the businesses’ perspective, it’s about widening their audience, creating a support network for them to tap into, being a collective voice for when their own needs to be louder.

The plan for this started a couple of years ago when I instigated the ‘Cardiff Gift Exchange’. With the help and support of Business Wales the plan evolved and things got moving while I was pregnant – a slow thought out process – and then BOOM, covid struck and suddenly local businesses were screaming out for help – so it got propelled forward at 100mph – the Crowdfunder was a success with nearly 40 local businesses getting involved. We’ve raised enough money to get a website built, get some super eco-friendly loyalty cards produced, and do some marketing.

Shopping has changed, eating out has changed – but let’s take this opportunity to pull together and turn it into a positive change by helping our independents. You can sign up to our mailing list to hear about the launch at the Cardiff Indie Collective website.

Things I’ve learned from lockdown:

  • My dog is a great listener. She has been by my side daily and made it less lonely.
  • Starting a business with a newborn baby is hard – but when you can’t hang out at awkward baby groups, spend your days in cafes or hanging with the grandparents, then it is a welcome distraction from nappies and dribble.
  • My parents feel really far away. Four months of Whatsapp videos of the baby sleeping/eating/crying/pooing just isn’t the same as a hug.
  • Talking to adults during the day is very important. My vocabulary has reduced by approximately two percent, and forming sentences has become more challenging. When the postman strikes up a conversation I feel like I am in GCSE French oral exam.
  • Being at home all day on your own with a baby doesn’t feel natural. My partner used to come home from work to find the dog sitting in the window waiting. Now he finds me next to her doing the same thing. We are sociable creatures built on communities -we haven’t evolved to be alone at home every day.

  • I am so grateful to live with someone. To have a partner. To have a baby. The importance of human touch on mental wellbeing is profound.

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Thanks Rhian, and good luck with your three babies! Follow Cardiff Indie Collective in the following places:

Want to write for Letters from Cardiff in lockdown? Find out how here…

See also:

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Is it time to reshape the music industry? Lucy Squire guest blog

On the weekend of the UK’s first socially distanced festival at Gisburne Park, the music industry is in a state of uncertainty and mass disruption. Rising from the ashes of the digital apocalypse caused by file sharing and damage to physical sales in the 2000s, last year the UK music scene had grown to one of the most lucrative in the world, contributing over £5bn to the economy every year. Where artists once gigged to promote their new music, there has been a shift to releases generating ticket sales and contributing up to 70 per cent of a musician’s income, as fans flock to concerts and to buy merch. The UK has incredible international standing for both its vibrant festivals and creative talent.

Gisburne Park, UK

Fast forward to today. Music events are cancelled, artists are struggling, the supply chain has collapsed and 90 per cent of music venues could face permanent closure. Many small limited  companies and freelancers have been completely excluded from any funding, grant or support, including being furloughed. There is no current live music ‘industry’, and navigating the future means dealing with multiple complex issues. It’s clear that by its very nature live music will be the last industry to reopen, so the question is – can the sector survive? And if so, how? No one saw this coming …

But is this an opportunity to drive change and reshape the industry, specifically regarding how streaming income is shared out between different stakeholders? Low payouts to artists have been a cause for concern since Spotify launched in 2008. The Musicians’ Union and The Ivors Academy have called for the government to intervene. The UK government’s Department For Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has been called to “investigate how the market for recorded music is operating in the era of streaming to ensure that music creators are receiving a fair reward”.

We are a long way from the 1994 Monopolies and Mergers Commission’s Investigation of the UK Music Market, which was prompted over concern about the high price of CDs and the huge associated profits being made. Post the heady heights of HMV and Virgin retailing, the shutdown of live music is a good time to put the spotlight back on the value of music and address perceptions of it being “free”.

The creative process has been further degraded by recent comments from Spotify CEO Daniel Ek on the rate of album releases, stating it isn’t enough for artists to “record music once every three to four years”. The industry has to be nurtured, it does not serve to churn out hits, but when it does there, should be a comprehensive mechanism for monetisation.

Without doubt, the future will see a blended experience of live music; there is no substitute for physical connectivity, but there are opportunities to engage new audiences using technology. Covid-19 has accelerated this reach. In the first instance, barriers and obstacles to physical attendance at gigs have been removed, with virtual events opening up wider access, inclusivity and diversity. This has to be a good thing.

Going forward, forms of virtual access could run simultaneously to live festivals and gigs for those that can’t or don’t want to attend, ideally with interactive elements. There is a sense of fatigue surrounding live streams but new ground is being broken by events that can really bring a sense of “live”. Step forward Lost Horizons (3-4th July 2020) a fully interactive festival attracting 4.36m viewers, from over 100 countries which took place over six stages built-in VR events platform Sansar. More than 70 DJs and artists, including Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox and Frank Turner, performed and those who attended the festival in Sansar could visit six virtual worlds, with nine camera angles apiece, purpose-built for the occasion.

While it’s not everyone’s bag, and there can never be a replacement for the energy of physical live music, my mind turns to next-generation gig goers, the ones more used to inhabiting virtual worlds. Video games have been an important platform for discovering and consuming music since the early 1990s, and there’s an entire generation of players that owe their music tastes to games such as FIFA, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Grand Theft Auto. Virtual concerts are the next logical step in the relationship between video games and music and there’s certainly an appetite with more than 12 million tuning in for Travis Scott’s ‘Fortnite’ event. Gaming platforms have the capacity to reach millions as well as generate creative new forms of consumer consumption.

There’s plenty of food for thought and experiments already underway, but the horizon can’t all be about tech. At some point, the industry needs to get back on its organic feet and we must ensure that the music industry ecosystem remains when the pandemic has finally passed. Creativity, determination and passion in our community have driven numerous successful campaigns during Covid-19 that raise awareness of the resolute need for more support from the government so that the industry survives in these desperate times. The huge societal response demonstrates just how important music is to our economy, culture, wellbeing and heritage. It can’t be sidelined.

#LetTheMusicPlay #WeMakeEvents #Forgottenltd #ExcludedUK

Lucy Squire is the Manager for Music and Sound at the Faculty of Creative Industries, University of South Wales, Atrium, Cardiff

 

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#SupportWelshBusiness – Alex Feeney

#SupportWelshBusiness – erm, that’s it

#SupportWelshBusiness. There, that’s pretty much it. It’s all there needs to be said about the economy in Wales right now. I could go on, in fact I am going to go on, but if you take one thing from this blog, it is that. Think of it as the TL/DR version.

For a five minute version, please watch the video below.

 

Completely separately, but entirely related to this is an opinion piece I stumbled across in the Financial Times recently. It posited the idea that UK governments should stop providing financial support to small and medium-sized businesses and concentrate on large-scale companies.

The argument was that SMEs are disposable and will be replaced, or replicated, while large national, or even multi-national companies, are plugged so deeply into the UK economy that they cannot afford to fail. 

They employ more people, both directly and indirectly through supply chains or even whole communities built around one plant (Port Talbot being an example). And if they were to fail, tens of thousands of jobs would be lost and communities would never recover (see former coal mining towns in the valleys for further details).

This, the columnist concluded, could irreparably damage the UK economy, setting us back years and ultimately lead to another Great Depression, swarm of locusts and world-ending meteor strike. (I might have made the last two up).

The reasoning was reasonable, carefully worded and played very nicely to the audience it was intended for i.e. not small businesses, but business and political leaders. It was a lobbying piece.

Disrespectfully, I disagree, i.e. you can fuck right off son! 

As a small business co-founder I may be slightly biased in my view, although no more or less biased than big business wanting more support for big business. But I find the notion that small businesses are disposable and easily replaceable as nonsensical as a fish playing tennis, with a jelly racquet, and a cannonball. 

I offer you this POV. A coffee shop closes down, then a few weeks later another sprouts in its place or just across the road. Some jobs are lost, but they don’t affect whole towns, or countries. I get that.

But the argument ignores the wider issue. The person who lost their job at the coffee shop has to find another job. Because they weren’t working for a massive company there is little in the way of financial support, retraining, redeployment etc. No politicians are lobbying ministers on their behalf. 

It is a very personal and very lonely experience. It impacts on their mental health, their family, their income. They may need to take another job quickly to make ends meet because they have bills to pay, families to feed. They can’t weigh up their options or follow their dreams. There is no time. 

So they gratefully take a job when it is offered, even if it is a zero hours contract and they don’t know from one week to the next how much work they will have. They also can’t then get another job to work alongside because the hours vary.

They may hate the job, hate the company, the manager, the commute, the time away from their kids, or their studies. They may take a credit card, or a loan to get by, which eats into their monthly income, meaning the household budget is stretched even further. That brings increased stress and depression. They may not be able to work because of it and end up on benefits. And so the circle goes on and on and on. They are trapped. 

When a big company fails, everybody hears about it. Everybody is sad and shocked and supportive. The TV cameras, radio mics and photographers are there to feast upon the misery. It is tweeted across the world. There are hashtags, gofundme pages, messages of solidarity, politicians looking solemn and concerned with their arms around upset workers and their families.

But if you lost your job in a coffee shop, none of this happens. 

Now, multiply that one coffee shop by hundreds, or thousands, or tens of thousands.

Depending on which Google result you tap on, anything between 40-60 per cent of small businesses fail within their first five years.

One result claimed as many as 600, 000 small businesses could fail this year. 

If that’s true, and I’m not saying it is because, y’know, the internet, if each of those business employed on average two people, that’s 1.2 million people out of a job.

So, Mr FT opinion writer, tell me that 1.2 million people out of a job isn’t going to have a profound effect on the economy. And of those theoretical 1.2 million, how many will have to take the first job offered and face a cycle of low-income, hand-to-mouth, increased pressure existence. And what is the longer term impact on the country in terms of financial support through benefits, social care, health care and loss of tax revenue through lower wages. 

Big business likes to believe it takes longer term view of things, but its view is always very narrow, and self-focused. That’s not a completely negative thing, nor is it the sole preserve of big business. There are lots of businesses, organisations, people, politicians and governments which have similar views.

But without the broader view, without seeing the whole picture, without seeing not just one small business fail, but tens of thousands like it and the impact that brings, then we miss the opportunity to make things better and to end the cycle.

I’m not saying don’t support big business. They still employ millions of people across the country and have a massive role to play in our recovery. But I don’t think supporting big business over and above all others is a productive, rational or responsible thing to do.

Yes, small businesses fail, for many reasons, and yes, they can be replaced. But what are the longer-term, broader, cumulative effects on the nation? That’s why small businesses need support. That’s why we made this video. We met loads of really amazing people all doing their bit to support each other, their community, to do something different, or to do something in a different way. 

Each of the businesses we featured was run by passionate, dedicated people who cared about more than the bottom line. And there are thousands of small businesses across Wales run by people who feel the same way. That can only be a positive thing for the economy and for communities.

That’s why we’ll be doing all we can to tell these wonderful stories, highlight these amazing people and support companies which are trying to make things better one small step at a time.

Alex Feeney is a co-founder and director of EatSleep Media, a production house which makes cracking content showing what an organisation is doing but in a way its target audience finds entertaining and informative. He also hosts the Accidental Startup podcast which tells the stories of entrepreneurs, their experiences, their decisions and what they have learned along the way. The Accidental Startup is available on Apple, Spotify and most other podcast providers. Follow EatSleep Media on Twitter.

Want to write for Letters from Cardiff in lockdown? Find out how here…

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Clwb says – Save our venues! #saveourvenues

Clwb Ifor Bach and a number of other Cardiff venues have joined other grassroot music venue across the UK in this campaign. They are asking for support for the music sector to survive the next three months (July, August, September), and for help to recover in the future.

You can view the open letter and see all the signatories so far here: Open Letter to the UK Government (Scribd)

Clwb and other Cardiff venues are asking fans to join the campaign by sharing the hashtags #saveourvenues and #dotherightthing across Facebook, Twitter and Instagam, along with the link to the open letter here.

Clwb also say:

“We would also like to thank you for your continued support and generosity throughout the past few months. It is the kindness that you’ve extended to us, as well as other grassroots venues in Cardiff and across the UK, that keeps us going. We now need the momentum of your support behind this campaign to put the necessary pressure on the UK government to listen to our concerns.”

If you want to help support them, check out the new shows they’ve just put on sale for next year! FONTAINES DC! JOHN GRANT! BAXTER DURY! HOLY F!

Go get those gig tickets bbz, you’re totally worth it. While you’re at it, get over to the Clwb shop and pre-order one of their rad new tees!

A couple of the designs….

oooooo

and

aaaaaaa

etc!

Go support them!

Big love y’all

WAC x

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Letters from Cardiff in lockdown: Helia Phoenix

Helia Phoenix has been trying to write this Letter from Cardiff in lockdown since March! Better late than never. We’re looking for your stories, so please carry on sending in your letters for our series … 

Cardiff Bay

Early lockdown was extremely unsettling.

In weeks beforehand, we watched the death toll mount in other countries, while still being encouraged to go out and about our business, like nothing was wrong. My last outing in the default world  was watching Jon Hopkins at the Forum in Bath – the tickets were a birthday gift last year. We deliberated hard on whether to go – I’m glad we did, I think. It was an amazing show, but with a strange, sour edge to it. The chat all around – in the loos, at the bar – everywhere – was virus related, in hushed tones, the early scenes from a 50s B-movie. “They think someone in Frome has caught it. It’s only a matter of time before it gets here.” After we came home (a week before anything  was announced), I stopped going out. Unofficial lockdown began.

Socially distanced trolleys, Asda, Ferry Road

There was no stockpiling in our house. But I definitely added an extra couple of ‘essentials’ to each shop. Lentils, rice, UHT milk, that sort of thing, just in case. I tried to keep calm waiting in queues at the shops. People who hadn’t grasped the two metre rule stood too close to me. I felt breathless in my mask, bringing on panicky thoughts about infection, which made it even harder to breathe. Early lockdown was a strange and eerie time, where the radio and TV were still advertising shops being open and events taking place, like nothing had changed – except everything had changed. Shops were closed. Everything was cancelled, just like that.

I’ve been working from home since my office  in the valleys was flooded back in February (remember the floods?? Storms Jorge and Dennis?? Ah, a simpler time). I’m essentially a desk monkey, so no frontline stress, but work was still hard. I forgot Mother’s Day. I ran out of meds. And I couldn’t drink, as I was on antibiotics. Like everyone, I think, I was a bit of a mess.

Different running route – Curran Road Industrial Estate

The one constant thing that’s got me through (and has got me through many other things in the past) was/is exercise. I found the fitbit I abandoned last year, and I walked, and I ran. I was actually originally going to structure this piece like a running route. But then I realised running was just one thing I’ve done during lockdown. I have done a lot of it, but again – it’s only one thing. I’m grateful for how AMAZING exercise is for everything – mental health, appetite, sleeping.  If you’re feeling like crap and you don’t exercise, PLEASE consider doing something. If you want to run, I recommend doing the NHS couch to 5k. It’s a wonderful plan and hardly takes any time out of your day.

When it first starts, suddenly lockdown opens up the roads – for walkers and runners.

Once I exhausted routes around the Docks, I headed to town. Queen Street was empty, quiet, and creepy. Suddenly the rough sleepers are hypervisible. They’re not hidden in doorways, or confined to benches along the edge. They’re the central attraction, because they’re the only people still there. Neil Cocker wrote about this in his Letter from Lockdown, the first one we published. 

Gwdihw

On my runs through the city centre, I started changing up my route so I could pass by some of Cardiff’s clubs. Places I spent so much time in, through my life. Gwdihw and the other buildings are just facades now, hiding the scaffolding and gaping nothingness behind. Fuel has a heartfelt note on the door. Undertone. We will be back. The Moon – how many more times are we going to have to save The Moon??

I run past clubs long gone: the Hippo, now some offices; the Emporium, still empty; Club X, unrecognisable; Apocalypse / Vision 2k / Top Rank / The Forum / Astoria, depending on when you went there, which is now Matalan; and Dirtbox (remember Dirtbox??) – nothing more than skeletal remains –  a stack of deserted slipper limpets, attached to the side of the good ship Clwb.

Dirtbox

Venues close, venues open, promoters make money, or they go bust. People have a gutsfull, move away. Younger people are hungry, move toward. But right now, the universal outlook clubs and pubs everywhere is bleak. I sit on the Cardiff Music Board, and our first Zoom meeting is just as you’d expect it to be. Many venues aren’t set up for anything other than mass gatherings – they can’t reinvent themselves to sell food, or do drink takeaways. Some have no outdoor space at all. Without gigs, how can they survive? The scene in Cardiff has been through a lot in recent years. How is it going to survive this?

I scour the news impatiently for information about mass gatherings in other countries. There are legal, socially distanced raves in Nottingham. There are illegal raves, ravaged by troublemakers, like the ones at the weekend in Manchester (the headline is so grim it’s enough to put you off forever – Greater Manchester illegal raves: Man dies, woman raped and three stabbed‘). A socially distanced festival (the No Art Hotel) in Amsterdam is engineered, promising a clinical clubbing experience with limited social interaction and DJ sets streamed to hotel bedrooms, to limit chances of viral transmission. Sounds weird as hell to me but it sells out regardless. Whatever people are doing elsewhere, we’re still a long way off any of that, here in Cardiff.

Washing day, Cathays

As well as being extremely unsettling, the first few weeks of lockdown were a revealing time. I, like all of you, I imagine, Zoom-fatigued myself on video calls with many people – work meetings, family, friends, my therapist. (Not even joking about the therapist part although it does sound like the punchline of a bad Woody Allen joke). A lot of them were people I hadn’t seen or spoken to in a long time, and it was wonderful to catch up. But none of that matched the wild ecstasy of genuinely accidentally bumping into friends when out on one of my walks. That is, I suppose, the beauty of Cardiff – you can’t swing a cat without smacking someone you know. We only stood and spoke for about five minutes – we were all mindful of the rules, and didn’t want to mix, even socially distanced, at that early time. But just that five minutes was enough to totally revive me. That’s the thing about face to face contact, to actually being there with someone. Nothing can beat it. That’s why watching streamed gigs, or plays, or anything, is never as good as being there in person. Humans vibrate together. We charge the atmosphere. Bodies in a place, taking up space.

This idea of ‘bodies in a space’ is something I think about a lot through lockdown. Firstly because of the mass gatherings thing – and my love of music, and working in tourism, I guess you could say my life revolves around mass gatherings of some kind. Secondly, because George Floyd dies after being arrested by police in America, and the world erupts in anti-racism protests.

Black Lives Matter protest, Cardiff Castle, 31 May 2020

Cardiff had its first socially distanced protest on the lawns at the front of Cardiff Castle. The speakers were invited from the crowd that gathered. They encouraged people to join unions. They denounced racism. And although some people questioned why we need these kinds of protests here, because “we aren’t America”, two mothers spoke about the systemic racism their children have faced in the UK, and continue to face, on a day to day basis – being pulled over in cars, stopped and searched, about how their families were targeted and abused and beaten by police when they were younger. One woman was in tears talking about how she worries daily about the safety of her son. Younger people spoke about being racially profiled and denied entry into clubs here in Cardiff. It’s sobering.

I spoke to a number of friends who support the cause, but don’t go to the protests. Some have young children, or other caring duties, and are worried about taking their charges with them, just in case something happens. Some are frontline workers, in social work or healthcare. Some just don’t feel comfortable protesting during a pandemic. Because so many people can’t, I feel it’s important that I do. I appreciate that I experience a lot of privilege, being a light skinned Middle Eastern person. My parents were born in Iran. We are an immigrant family. I walked to the BLM protests, a 20 minute stroll from my house. I wore my mask, was diligent with the hand sanitiser, and stayed socially distanced from people, as did everyone else I saw there. Listening to the speakers was a humbling experience. I’ve had plenty of racist stuff said to me over the years, but I’ve never felt like my life was in danger just for the colour of my skin. No one should ever have to feel like that.

Photo from the BLM protest in Bute Park by Lorna Cabble

As well as my first socially distanced protests, the lockdown has given me a couple of other ‘firsts’. I’ve always been grateful for where I live – a quiet but friendly street down the Docks (I am chastised constantly by people who’ve grown up here when I call it Butetown or Cardiff Bay). During lockdown we have our first socially distanced street parties, where I learn the electric slide. A swan gets stuck on our road on one very hot day, and me and a group of us usher it down the street and back into the river. Some enterprising neighbours set up a Whatsapp group for our street, and we are now all in an endless dance of lending tools and swapping plants and gifting books and baking cakes for each other. I love it.

Socially distanced street party

I also cook Persian food properly for the first time. There’s a point during lockdown where I’m feeling really low and I just want things my mum used to cook for me when I was a kid. I’ve never been an eat-your-feelings person, but suddenly that’s ALL I want to do. I  want to consume comfort from the past, gorge on an illusion of proximity to my family through herbs and naan lavash and citrusy stews. I cook for my household and cook extras for friends, thinking maybe we could all do with a bit of comfort food.

I feel so much and so hard for all the people living alone, struggling. People who have no one. I scour the internet for recipes and cook things I never thought I’d manage. I make tadig, for cripes sake! You can keep your sourdough starter. I got these zesty rice pies on the stove. (All the recipes I cook are from Persian Mama and come highly recommended.)

Zereshk polo and khoresht bademjaan
Zereshk polo and khoresht bademjaan

I start growing things – sunflower seedlings (they’re my favourite thing to grow) until the house is overrun with them. My partner and housemate request a plant amnesty, so the plants find a new home at the Salvation Army Hostel on Bute Street, where a couple of residents are looking to improve the grounds. (If you have any you’d like to donate, they’re still looking for plants). I borrow some kit from Keep Grangetown Tidy and hit the streets, picking up litter during my walks.

Also I eat my first Michelin starred birthday cake from Restaurant James Sommerin. It is delicious. (They’re still doing them, and so I suggest you go get some). I do my first online workouts. My favourite one is still Fridays at 5pm, when my kitchen becomes a dancefloor for the Bristol Drum & Bass workout.

I also give blood for the first time, which is one of the most insane things I have ever done. I ask if I can touch the bag before they ferry it off. IT IS STILL WARM, and it is a complete trip for me. I’ve been there for ten minutes, they’ve extracted a pint of blood out of me,  given me some biscuits, and I’m essentially totally back to normal.

Giving blood at Cardiff Met. Gnarly.

If anything, trying to write something coherent about my experience of lockdown has just proved how impossible it is to describe it as a cohesive experience. Because it hasn’t been one. I’ve loved a lot of things – the lack of traffic, working from home. I’ve hated not being able to see or hug people that I love. Queuing is annoying. Also, I’m really glad this happened in the spring and summer and not during a bleak wet winter.

Also, it’s made me really think about all of those times we get told that things just aren’t possible. It’s not possible for you to work from home. It’s not possible for us to “solve” homelessness. It’s not possible to do anything about child poverty. It’s not possible to curb our fuel emissions. Somehow these were all unsolvable problems, wrapped up in immutable systems.

And yet, within a 12 week period, all the people who can work from home are doing just that. Beds have been found in Cardiff for rough sleepers. A premier league footballer has persuaded the government in England to provide meal vouchers for children who would go hungry without them (we already had this in Wales). Britain goes for over two months without burning coal for electricity, the longest period since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. People across the world are asking for us to interrogate our history and not celebrate oppression – by removing statues that glorify those that profited from colonialism.

So I guess that all those things were always possible. The will to do them just wasn’t there. Think about that. And please, next time there’s an election of any kind, GO AND VOTE, for the things that are most important to you.

Twelve weeks into lockdown. Our rules are relaxing. Reality is flexing. So before anything else happens, and I have to rewrite this entire thing again, I want to finish this off. Here it is. The end.

(For now.)

Cathays Park, Cardiff City Centre

Queuing for the bank, Death Junction

Also, I have to mention my doggy, Zelda. She’s a disabled greyhound. (She broke her back a while ago, it was a whole thing). She’s old and a bit knackered but she still gets around. Look at that smile. I love her.

SOUNDTRACK.

I’ve put together my ideal lockdown 10k running soundtrack, from looking at the songs I’ve played most often while running since the lockdown started. Spotify playlist – Phoenix Lockdown Rundown 

SHOP LOCAL!

I also want to give a BIG shout out to all the local independents that have kept me fed and watered during the lockdown. It’s great that the bigger chains are opening up again, but don’t forget to shop local, and support the independent scene!

In no particular order:

Follow Helia on Instagram @HeliaPhoenix or Twitter @HeliaPhoenix, although tbf the content you want is all over @ZeldaPooch

Want to write for Letters from Cardiff in lockdown? Find out how here…

See also:

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Support Cardiff’s independent businesses – open for deliveries and takeaway during COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown

(PLEASE NOTE! THIS PAGE WAS LAST EDITED 12 JUNE 2020. IT IS NO LONGER BEING ACTIVELY UPDATED).

CARDIFF’S INDEPENDENT BUSINESSES – OPEN FOR DELIVERIES AND TAKEAWAYS!

We love independent businesses here at We Are Cardiff. They make up the soul of the city.  At the moment loads of these businesses are super vulnerable, so below is a list of ways you can support some of the city’s indies!

This page will be updated regularly and things are changing every minute (!) so please comment on this post if you think something needs to be added or removed.

LOCAL BUSINESSES – HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT!

The tech whiz that is Matthew Passmore has made a SEARCHABLE LIST OF CARDIFF SHOPS DOING DELIVERIES! Check out Cardiff Delivers

First up: we asked Twitter: How can we support local businesses? Full thread here

Outside of Cardiff, FIND MY DINE have this great list of eateries doing takeaway / delivery / gift vouchers across Wales

Also Hungry City Hippy has put together this list of how to shop local during the Coronavirus Crisis

INDEPENDENT BUSINESSES – BY LOCATION

I’ve done this list by location just to make it easier for you to see who’s local to you. Some businesses are delivering across the city, some only within a small radius, some are streaming services online. Please check with the businesses for full deets.

If you are going into these stores, remember – only shop for essentials, don’t stockpile, don’t be a dick, PLEASE RESPECT GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES ON SAFE INTERACTIONS IN RETAIL ENVIRONMENTS. KEEP 2 METRES AWAY FROM OTHER PEOPLE, USE CONTACTLESS PAYMENTS IF YOU CAN ETC. AND WASH YOUR HANDS!!!

Multiple locations / delivery only

MAKE SURE TO CHECK THE CARDIFF DELIVERS WEBSITE FOR A FULL LIST OF BUSINESSES DELIVERING ACROSS THE CITY

Beanfreaks – organic / health food shop, store locations are city centre (St Mary Street) / Canton / Roath. Check for opening hours. Call 029 2025 1071 or Beanfreaks Facebook

Bruton’s Bakery – this AMAZING local bakery delivered free goodies up to the Heath hospital this week for the staff there. SHOP LOCAL AND SUPPORT THEM. Shops in Grangetown / Fairwater / Canton / Splott / Penarth. They have a website but are more active on Facebook: Bruton’s website | Bruton’s Facebook

Cardiff Quarantine Delivery – person on bike offering pick up and delivery of whatever you need –  for those who can’t get out and about! Cardiff Quarantine Delivery Facebook

Curado Bar – if you simply must get that bottle of dessert wine and mojama to try and get through the week, Curado got your back! The shop is doing deliveries across the city, see their Facebook for full list of items. Curado Bar Facebook | Curado Bar Twitter

Daisy & Belle Ice Cream – dairy and vegan ice cream deliveries across Cardiff. Daisy and Belle website | Daisy and Belle Instagram

Dusty Knuckle Pizza – delicious pizzas available for delivery! You can find them through Uber Eats and Deliveroo. Dusty Knuckle Twitter

Greazy Vegan – offering deliveries across the city through Uber Eats, every day! Greazy Vegan website | Greazy Vegan Twitter

Hard Lines Coffee – how you gonna get through the lockdown without dat caffeine zing?? Support this Cardiff indie through their online shop. Deliveries across Cardiff. Hard Lines website | Hard Lines Twitter

Holy Yolks – AMAZING HOLY YOLKS are doing Scotch Eggs AND ALSO co-ordinating food deliveries up to the Heath hospital for health care workers! PLEASE BUY THEIR EGGS AND DONATE TO THE NHS FUNDRAISER. Holy Yolks Twitter | NHS FUNDRAISER

Keralan Karavan – our FAVOURITE INDIAN TAKEAWAY! Their burgers and fries are out of this world. Support them and stuff your face. Keralan Karavan Twitter

Little Man Coffee – our favourite coffee house are doing specialty milk and coffee deliveries across the city! They’ve got a ton of stuff they can deliver, check out their Instagram for the full list. Little Man Coffee Instagram | Little Man Coffee Facebook | Little Man Coffee Twitter

The Med Shed – family run kitchen offering an authentic taste of the Med! Deliveries can be booked on weekends, menu changes weekly. Email The Med Shed | The Med Shed Facebook | The Med Shed Twitter

Naked Vegan – baked goods (the brownies – oh my!) – doing deliveries across Cardiff. Email for more info: sarah@thenakedvegan.co.uk. Naked Vegan website

Pop’n’Hops – BEERS! WONDERFUL BEERS! Help keep yourself nicely tippled and these dudes in business. They offer delivery across Cardiff, with a wide selection of ales / craft beers etc from all over the place. Pop’n’Hops Twitter

The Parsnipship – you usually see these dudes feeding the masses at festivals or at markets – now they are delivering their frozen delights across south Wales. Lucky us! Parsnipship websiteParsnipship Twitter

Riverside Markets – Rhiwbina, Roath and Riverside are reopening! Re-opening info as follows:

  • Rhiwbina – Friday June 12th 10am – 1pm
  • Roath: Sat June 13th 9:30am – 1pm
  • Riverside: Sun June 21st 10am – 2pm

Riverside Markets have updated their website with info about social distancing and other hygiene steps – please visit to find out more before visiting any of the location. Riverside Markets website | Riverside Markets Twitter | Riverside Markets Facebook | Riverside Markets Instagram

Totally Welsh – GET YOURSELF A MILK DELIVERY LIKE FROM BACK IN THE 80S! They also do juices, eggs, cheese, bread and other essentials. Direct to the doorstep, plus the bottles can go back to be cleaned and refilled. Totally Welsh website

Ty Caws – Formerly the Cheese Pantry in Cardiff Indoor Market, now delivering delicious cheese direct to your door across the city! Ty Caws Twitter | Ty Caws Instagram

Quantum Coffee – based in Cardiff Bay, they are still roasting, and doing deliveries across Cardiff AND THERE IS 20% OFF EVERYTHING ONLINE!  Quantum Coffee Twitter | Quantum Coffee Instagram | Quantum Coffee website

City centre

Cardiff Indoor Market – the indoor market has the following stalls are offering home deliveries:

K. Blackmore & Son Butchers – (Cardiff Indoor Market). if your supermarket has run out of meat, luckily for you these guys are rolling in steaks. K. Blackmore & Son Butchers Facebook page

Sullivans Fruit and Veg – (Cardiff Indoor Market) now doing fruit and veg box deliveries across Cardiff, Penarth, Barry, Sully, Dinas Powys. Call them on 0771012816 or for veg box orders visit their website. Sullivans Fruit and Veg website | Sullivans Fruit and Veg on Twitter | Sullivans Fruit and Veg Instagram

Brodie’s Coffee – you can find Brodie’s in the lovely little wooden hut in Gorsedd Gardens (in front of the museum). They’ve just reopened! Go pay them a visit and pick up a tasty treat for yourself. Brodie’s Coffee Twitter

La Pantera – margaritas, mezcal, tacos – all open for takeaway! La Pantera website | La Pantera Instagram | La Pantera Facebook

Chronic Fried Chicken – order in advance for tasty fried chicken – pick up or delivery within 1.5 miles of Sully’s Cafe.  Chronic Fried Chicken Facebook | Chronic Fried Chicken Instagram

Butetown / Cardiff Bay

Spokesperson – (Williams Way) bicycle upkeep and repair, offering online classes in how to maintain your bike and also emergency repairs. Spokesperson Facebook

Canton / Pontcanna

Cardiff Salad Garden – (Bute Park) growing delicious salad leaves and delivering them to your door, if you’re local (Pontcanna, Llandaff North and Taffs Well areas). Contact them 07715388771 or cardiffsalad@gmail.com. Cardiff Salad Garden Twitter

Crafty Devil Brewing – (Llandaff Road) beer! beer! beer! Collection from Canton or delivery. Crafty Devil Brewing website | Crafty Devil Brewing Facebook | Crafty Devil Brewing Twitter | Crafty Devil Brewing Instagram

Chapter Arts Centre – although the Centre is closed, there are still some businesses operating inside (like our buddies The Printhaus) – see this Chapter Tweet for more info

Kemi’s – (King’s Road) DELICIOUS food in Pontcanna still open for takeaway and deliveries! Peep the menu and order now! Kemi’s website | Kemi’s Facebook | Kemi’s Twitter | Kemi’s Instagram

Laura’s Greengrocers – (Cowbridge Road East) delicious fresh produce, doing veg box deliveries – call 029 2022 8796. Laura’s Greengrocers website

Lufkin Coffee – serving coffee at two locations in Canton / Pontcanna. Lufkin Coffee Instagram | Lufkin Coffee website

Pettigrew Bakeries – (Cowbridge Road East) delicious baked goods! Shop open for contactless pick up, and they can organise deliveries. Breads, snacks, fruit, veg, CHEESE! Call them between 7-11am on 02921 321270 or 07897 995409, minimum order £10. Pettigrew website | Pettigrew Twitter | Pettigrew Instagram

Pipes – (Kings Road) local brewery offering pick up over the weekend or delivery! Pipes website | Pipes Twitter | Pipes Facebook

St Canna’s Ale House – (Llandaff Road) open for takeaway and deliveries! Text 07890106449 with your order. St Canna’s Ale House Twitter

Cathays

Katiwok – (Crwys Road) delicious Asian cuisine doing contactless deliveries and takeaways. They’ve got a £6 meal deal for all key workers. Katiwok website | Katiwok Facebook

Riverside Sourdough – (Cathays Youth & Community Centre) I once bought a loaf of their bread and ate the whole thing still warm in the car before I got home. Didn’t share with anyone. No regrets. These dudes are supplying local stores but also doing a pre-order local pick up Tuesday and Saturdays from Cathays. Riverside Sourdough Facebook

Llandaff

Caffé Fragolino – (Waungron Road) Selling eggs, pasta and other essentials alongside takeaway food from the cafe. Caffé Fragolino Facebook

Llanrumney

Countisbury Fruit Supply – (Countisbury Ave) fresh supply of veg, fruit and bread available daily and the WONDERFUL man that runs the stall is offering free deliveries for those in need who live local and can’t get out. Please give this man all your monies and call on 02920791101 (there’s an answering machine, please leave a message, 24/7).

Roath

Albany Road Fruit and Veg stand – (Albany Road) this is open, plus owner Sam is a legend! go by and pay him and visit and pick up some lovely produce.

Eartha – (City Road) Eartha has now taken over the entire of the Blue Honey Local site (I still think of it as Milgi, because I am OLD) – head here for plant shop, café and restaurant focusing on working with local producers, growers and enterprises. Eartha Facebook | Eartha Instagram

Ripple – ethical lifestyle and zero waste – a great place to pick up food and other bits!  Ripple Twitter / Ripple website

Spice of Life – (Inverness Place) health food store selling dried foods, organic cleaning products etc etc. They’re doing contactless Click and Collect. Spice of Life website | Spice of Life Facebook 

Waterloo Tea – (Waterloo Gardens) the best tea in the UK! Still doing home deliveries and also co-ordinating a wonderful fundraiser for a temporary pop-up cafe serving free meals and coffee at the Heath hospital. Show them some love. Waterloo Tea new volunteer cafe fundraiser | Waterloo Tea website | Waterloo Tea Facebook

Riverside

Twin Made – (Odan Nos da) these crafty devils are selling hand made goods online, as well as releasing free crafting patterns for you to do at home, plus vouchers for future sewing / crafting classes. Twin Made website | Twin Made Facebook | Twin Made Twitter | Twin Made Instagram

Rhiwbina

One Mile Bakery – delicious baked goods, delivering to addresses within a one mile radius. One Mile Bakery website | One Mile Bakery Twitter | One Mile Bakery Instagram | One Mile Bakery Facebook

Thornhill

Thornhill Farm Shop – (Capel Gwilym Road) these dudes have fresh local honey! As well as jams, marmalades, chutneys, pickles, fresh meats, fruit and veg. They’re open for collection or delivery. Call 029 2061 1707 or visit Thornhill Farm Shop Facebook.

Slightly further afield…

Penarth

AB Snell and Son – groceries, newspapers, all your bits and pieces – reduced opening hours but also offering local deliveries of some products. AB Snell and Son website | AB Snell and Son Facebook

Griffin Books – independent bookshop are still taking orders online and doing deliveries. Griffin Books Twitter | Griffin Books website

Pizza Pronto – local pizza pop up, still open on reduced hours (check the site for details). Pizza Pronto website | Pizza Pronto Twitter | Pizza Pronto Instagram

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Online services

Blackdog – wellbeing services, offering therapy and wellbeing services online through Zoom. Blackdog website

Lucent Dreaming – local creative mag, offering pay-what-you-can reading and entry fees to creative writing competitions. Lucent Dreaming website | Lucent Dreaming Twitter

Green Squirrel – greener living social enterprise are running online workshops, craft-alongs and storytelling in lieu of  public workshops. Also delivering seed sowing kits and other treats! People can still book onto workshops to transfer onto a future date or buy a gift voucher to support. Green Squirrel website | Green Squirrel Facebook

 

That’s all for now. Peas. WAC x

See also:

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#blacklivesmatter Cardiff resources and round up

So. There’s a lot going on. (I feel like I’ve said that multiple times, like way more times than I should have said it, since the start of this year?? Anyway.) Just wanted to round up some resources and events taking place that might be of interest at the mo.

BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTESTS

You may have noticed a couple of #BlackLivesMatter protests taking place in Cardiff this week. If you are attending a protest, please remember to keep socially distanced, wear a mask, and take sunblock and water to keep hydrated. Follow Black Lives Matter Cardiff on Facebook for more information.

Also be careful when taking photos of participants at protests –  try and respect people who don’t want to be in photos or filmed. VICE US have a good article about protecting your digital privacy while protesting (but remember it’s written for an American audience).

This public Google Doc – How to support black lives in the UK – was made by @perkin_amalaraj specifically for a British audience, and has a useful list of online resources for learning about the history of slavery, colonialism and racism – including a number of free online courses.

If you’d like to undertake more reading, try this: Anti-racism resources for white allies (compiled by one of the BLM organisers – info ranges from articles to read, to anti-racism books for children, to anti-racism film recommendations).

BLACK MUSIC WALES PLAYLIST

Something nice to listen to: this Black Music Wales playlist on Spotify. TASTY! Featuring tunes from Aleighcia Scott, Eadyth, Wibidi, DJ Jaffa, and more!

LISTEN TO SHREDS

This is the second time in a week we’re mentioning the BBC Sounds podcast Shreds by Ceri Jackson. But we really, really, REALLY recommend it. It’s an upsetting but vital listen about systemic police racism and corruption in Cardiff over the Lynette White case, which sparked off one of the biggest overhauls of the justice system in the UK. And it happened not far from where you live. Educate yourself and give it a listen.

COME TO THE PRIVILEGE CAFE

If you’re after something practical you can dial into from home, check out the Privilege Cafe. This virtual cafe is a safe space created by Mymuna Soleman, to make a new inclusive environment! Be empowered, be confident and let’s talk privilege! Their next event takes place 5pm on Thursday 4 June: Labels, Language and Linguistics.

OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION / THINGS TO FOLLOW:

(not exhaustive obviously – please add more sources in the comments…)

Word from us here at WAC.

Remember we’re open to submissions about literally ANYTHING you want to write about – whether it’s just to talk to us about your community project, or write a poem about the city, or write us a Letter about being in Lockdown. We’re run on an entirely voluntary basis. What we are depends on what you want to write for us. So use that voice and send us your stuff.

Peas.

WAC
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