The FJones Initiative has announced its first quartet of winners for 2022! Well done everyone!
Ceris Walker, has been nominated for the wonderful volunteering work she has done for the Junior Dragons Club at Wrexham AFC. She was born in Penycae and went to her first football match when her dad took her to watch Wrexham play. In her words “she fell in love with Wrexham football club”.
Ceris’ passion increased when her three children came along, who are all supporters. It’s very much a family affair, as her granddaughter Eira attended her first game on Saturday 18th September 2021 and was match ball sponsor along with Ceris’s three children Nia, Fion and Gareth. She works fulltime for New Horizons/Gorwelion Newydd service, at a behavioural unit at Studio Penycae, working with children who have been excluded from main stream secondary school in Wrexham.
Ceris has been nominated for the valuable volunteer work she has done running the Junior Dragons club, Ceris was herself a Junior Red (the previous name of the club) when she was young. She also volunteered alongside Robert Sock and Fion Walker.
Junior Dragons Club
The Junior Dragons Club was open to any children under the age of 11 from birth and had members all over the country, as far as Kent. A £5 membership fee went to funding a Christmas party, Xmas cards, bowling and laser combat events. Along with the Racecourse Community Foundation, they also organised to take children to away games. Members also get a chance to be a mascot and go around the football stadium on match days.
Ceris started running the club 7 years ago in 2014. There were 6 members who attended the first Halloween party in the old club house on Wrexham Industrial Estate. It had 650 members pre-covid.
The Junior Dragons Club has worked with terminally ill children and children with autism. Together with Kerry Evans the disability liaison officer, they talk to the children before events, so that they are aware on what will happen.
The Christmas party, was held at the Centenary club, a highlight and tickets were sold out for it on the day of release. Members came from all over the country to events, organised by Ceris and the team.
Sara Jones, has been recognised for her wonderful drawing and painting skills. She has had a talent for drawing since she was 4 years old and could hold a pen. Growing up Sara spent a lot of time teaching herself drawing skills, she draws mainly portraits and fashion type illustrations, using bright colours for a striking effect. She has also taken formal classes in life drawing and studied art and uses watercolour and ink. Sara takes her inspiration from other genres such as Pop Art, vintage fashion magazines and eras such as the 1950’s and 1960’s.
During lockdown Sara spent time drawing and painting and now has a large portfolio of work. Sara is really passionate about encouraging others to paint as she feels it really helps your mental health. She suffers from anxiety and uses painting and drawing as therapy. Sara spent the whole of lockdown on her own, in a flat, with no garden. She would experience extreme fear and panic attacks and really needed something positive to get through the dark times.
Practice Makes Perfect
Sara’s depression and anxiety caused her to avoid going outdoors during the pandemic. She practises “art journaling”, which involves painting in a journal to focus her mind away from negative thoughts and used lockdown as an opportunity to really practice her skills. Sara has focused on bright colours and painting beautiful things instead of watching the news. She spent each day drawing and painting, usually human figures. Emotions are something she channels into her work. Sara has painted a woman crying to represent the pain of having Fibromyalgia. People often say they can see her in her work.
Sara has advice for anyone who believes they have no talent and that is to believe in themselves. Her advice is to “try not to compare yourself to others. There is only you, everyone is unique and has something to offer. Talent comes with patience and practice, not just being born with a skill”.
Sara suggests those who want to start doing art, start with a sketchbook. Nobody even needs to see it. It can be entirely personal and contain whatever they wish. Sara also highly recommends watercolours and encourages any creative activity as it really helps wellbeing. You can see more of her work on her Instagram page sara_fashion_illustration. She most definitely has a talent and has highlighted how art can be therapeutic and can help people’s mental health.
Margaret Roberts, has been recognised for her artistic skills and her passion for sharing these skills with others. For the past 27 years she has used her artistic talents to organise and tutor watercolour painting classes.
The classes are weekly at St Margaret’s Church Hall, Garden Village, Wrexham. They are very popular and well attended by people in the community. Many have been with Margaret since the start of the group. At the age of 72 Margaret says “we have grown old together”.
Margaret was encouraged by a family member to start a watercolour painting class to bring people together, to paint and socialise. She has 55 people a week coming to these classes “they won’t let me retire, but I am not ready to do that”.
Dementia Friendly Art Group
In 2018, the charity Dementia Friendly Art Group started up and is tutored by Margaret. She does this voluntarily and they meet each Wednesday afternoon at St Margaret’s Church Hall. The group is for anyone with dementia and their carer, also anyone who is elderly and would benefit from socialising and painting together. All subjects are tackled and Margaret says the standard of work is terrific.
Margaret says they make her very proud. Before Christmas the group had 10 people, it is going from strength to strength, and is up to about 22. Margaret says that running this group is a joy. In 2019 they had a terrific Christmas party in the hall, with food, music and dancing. It was such a fun happy time, that was enjoyed by all. Sadly, it couldn’t be repeated in 2020, due to the Covid pandemic, but went ahead with great success in 2021! There are also voluntary dedicated tea ladies that Margaret would like recognised. They make a brilliant cup of tea, supplied with a biscuit while you paint.
They have been so impressed by Margaret’s warm and friendly nature, her passion for art and determination to pass that on to others. Her Dementia Friendly Art Group is inspiring, it provides stimulation and a safe place to socialise for vulnerable people. They have visited the dementia group and are having great fun together! If you are elderly or have dementia why not give it a go? It is a great place to make new friends and Margaret is one of the loveliest people you could meet.
Peter Humphreys has been recognised for his work in creating the Yellow and Blue Hub, also called the YAB hub in Wrexham. Yellow and Blue is a hub in the heart of Wrexham, situated on Henblas Street, adjacent to Explore Science. Most staff are volunteers. It incorporates a café, with a wide selection of food that can be eaten in, taken out or delivered to your door.
YAB, the brainchild of Peter is a non-profit making organisation, primarily supporting vulnerable members in the Wrexham community. It aims to help anyone struggling, facing short or long-term hardship, illness or disability.
Peter was motivated to set up the hub after losing both his father and a close friend to bowel cancer. During his illness, Peter’s father would often say to him that he wished he had somewhere to chill out. Somewhere between palliative care and a consultation room. The name YAB stands for Yellow and Blue and stems from Peter’s family and friends wearing blue for his father’s funeral and yellow for his friend’s funeral. The hub is a very versatile space. It has an activity centre and workshop space in the daytime and a community bistro space by night.
Monday – Friday, the hub hosts social impact groups and works with many organisations in town. It has a regular activity timetable supporting many people. Even including those with mental health problems, terminal illnesses, learning difficulties and also functions as a drop- in centre. It hosts great fun events. For example, Thursday is a music event, live music 11am-3pm and in the morning there is also a popular model making session for veterans. Friday – Sunday, the hub turns into a thriving events venue and can be hired for parties. Sunday 2-5pm you can eat in, take away or have delivered a traditional Sunday roast dinner.
Over the past year they have collaborated with Given to Shine, Wrexham Homeless, No.22 and Kaspas on Operation Christmas Dinner. This provided a free 3 course meal for the elderly, those in temporary housing or homeless and any family who needed support. There is also a variety of groups that take place there, Parent’s support, craft and isolation beating groups, wellbeing sessions, Advance brighter futures, modelling crafts and communities for work, supporting re-engagement to work.
Peter gets up at 5am, every morning to prepare, he is a prolific writer on his Facebook and Linkedin. Marketing and highlighting all that goes on there. It is truly inspirational stuff and well worth a follow. The café itself provides great breakfasts, there are speciality seasonal drinks, it serves up traditional homemade comfort food, in the heart of Wrexham, for everyone, whilst taking care of anyone that needs a helping hand in any way.
Why not keep up to date with the latest community content?, click here.