For the last two years, Eira has been one of our beneficiaries from our Community Companions scheme which is a free of charge, confidential and non-judgemental service which provides people companionship through volunteer befrienders.

Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and led by BAVO  in partnership with Neath Port Talbot CVS, our scheme is a flexible service for people who may feel isolated or lonely. The person receiving the befriending can choose how often they would like support and what kind of befriending they need, including going out and about or a friendly chat at home.

Imagine going days or weeks without seeing somebody or nor being able to get out of the house. You can experience first hand the difference that you can make to people’s lives by volunteering with us for a couple of hours a week.

Eira says: “Community Companions is marvellous! Pauline has become a wonderful friend and nothing is too much for her.   It’s a fantastic scheme that has changed my life for the better.”

Eira has written a wonderful poem as a tribute to Wales:


I know Wales like the back of my hand
Such an interesting, varied and beautiful land
I’ve travelled, north, south, east and west
It’s difficult to say which place is best.
As each area has its own uniqueness
For instance, Denbigh Moors have a constant bleakness
The Snowdonian Range in all its majesty
Attracts climbers who ascend so magically.
The summit of Tryfan on that treacherous peak
They won’t give up – men who such adventure seek.

There’s the sea and the coastline for miles around
That attracts tourist those there’s still peace found.
In beautiful coves, where peace always reigns
Down sloping footpaths and also down lanes.
Where one hears the sound of the sea and occasional voice
Where? What of Mwnt Porth Oer and lovely Marloes
For I found heaven at Whistling Sands
So peaceful and restful, best of all lands.
You see such contentment money cannot buy
These things are around just open your eye.

The geographical phenomena of the lakes
For centuries have been no known dates
The beauty of Ystradfellte, Sewde Yr Eira and Cenarth Falls
If you visit there in May the cuckoo calls
Those fertile valleys as the rivers flow
Many prized and praised salmon swim below
Then Bettws- Y- Coed in autumn at its best
Each tree with a different hue is dressed
So with coast country, mountains and lakes
There’s no doubt about it Wales has got what it takes.

It’s not only beauty and peace that is found
There’s a wealth of minerals in the ground
Not only the pastures for the cows and the sheep
But what of the mines?
Where men dig deep
Deeper and deeper yet the coal seems endless
An ugly pit you’d think men would feel friendless
And the quarry men too, who have hewn for slate
Through the quarries sadly have closed of late
If you chance it to look at the Queens left hand
There’s much Welsh gold in that little band.

Our water is priceless yet taken for granted
With a continuous flow will never be danted
Like brooding sentinels our ancient castles stand
Caernavon in particular under the firm royal hand
The language, culture and all our art
Are bound together to form a part
Of Britain, so different from all the rest
The national Eisteddfod which shows such zest
Is open to competitors it knows no bar
The list of items competed from near and far.

Narrow gauge railways run through lovely country
You’d think only fit for the travelling gentry
But the public is honoured as they steam through the ridge
Then from Portmadoc, Tal Y Llyn and Devil’s Bridge
Our country lanes are fast disappearing
As motorways take over so unappealing
Everyone hurrying to get there first
Could it be for the Welsh air that they thirst
There’s nothing greater I can assure you
It’s so fresh and clear as the morning dew.

Finally at sport, Welshmen have done so well
At the boxing ring with the clang of the bell
In other sport too, say one like cricket
Though, many a player pipped at the wicket
Soccer not so good, must be the shape of the ball
But we’ll accept our failures, all in all
The greatest of course is the Welsh rugby team
Their achievements making all rugby fans beam
Those boys go on playing in the rain and the muck
Challenging their opponents in the ruck.

Enough said I have told you the tale
We’ll keep ‘a welcome’ then in the hill and the Vale
For my Wales is great it tops the score
So with all that done I will say no more
Just go slow take a look and you’ll see
Everywhere in view is yours – all free!
This land is so lovely, is ours to praise
Let’s leave it at that life is good in Wales.

As the strains of the national anthem lingers on
It truly is then, the land of song.

Our waiting list is getting bigger and we need people with big hearts to help out! Out of pocket travel expenses are covered and full training is given.

For further details call Tracy at BAVO, T: 01656 810400 or E: [email protected]