Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Snowdonia Chronicles - Sarah Mussi

Snowdonia Chronicles

The Snowdonia Chronicles is a three part fantasy adventure story aimed at readers aged 12+ and written by multi-award winning children's author, Sarah Mussi. I was sent all three books by Vertebrate Publishing and, given the crazy times in which we're living, I was super grateful to be able to lose myself in them this afternoon!

Initial Thoughts: This is a thoroughly modern YA romance that just happens to be set against a backdrop of ancient Welsh mythology. As I was reading I kept thinking it would be a great way to introduce the Mabinogion and general Welsh folklore to readers who might not otherwise be interested.

We follow the story through first person POV, via main character Ellie, along with clever use of text messages and status updates. The story is easy to follow, even with the fantasy elements and interwoven Welsh language, and the characters are all well drawn enough for you to become quickly invested in their destinies.

Now on to the book by book reaction...

Snowdonia Chronicles Book 1 and 2

Here Be Dragons

Ellie Morgan wants to find love - just not with George, the nice but not in that way boy next door. When Christmas Day sees her out as a rescue volunteer on Snowdon, the one thing she really isn't expecting to come face to face with the boy of her dreams... But, up on the magic mountains of Snowdonia, the path of true love is never going to run that smoothly. [2015, 428 pages]

My verdict: 5/5. This one was my favourite of the three, probably because I really enjoyed getting to know the characters and the slow unravelling of the mysteries. I was impressed with how well Mussi wove the modern setting and the age old fantasy elements together too. The Kindle edition of Here Be Dragons is free right now on Amazon, so you have literally nothing to lose by checking it out. :)

Snowdonia Chronicles Ellie

Here Be Witches

Rhiannon has been Ellie's bestie since forever but when she turns traitor Ellie struggles to make sense of it - is Rhi really a snake or are there more sinister forces at work? [2017, 416 pages]

My verdict: 4/5. I felt like this book embraced the fantasy tropes much more openly than the first book, but the 'Knockers' (Bwca) ended up being one of my favourite things about Here Be Witches so I'm not complaining. It even inspired me to get my sketchbook out which is a pretty rare event these days!

Here Be Wizards

With wildfires raging across Snowdon Ellie and her friends face their greatest challenge yet. Can they save Wales before time runs out? [2020, 450 pages]

My verdict: 3.5/5. There are some parts of this books I really like; the beginning was especially well done and I loved the subtle linking of Changeling children with the modern BEK (Black Eyed Kids) phenomena. Merlin was another stand-out part of this book for me - I kept picturing him as a kind of cross between Disney's Sword in the Stone Merlin and Austin Powers! The lower rating is because I'm not a big fan of the ending. I don't want to go into detail for risk of spoilering, and other readers may well find it really satisfying, but it had a few elements that sat uneasily with me.

Even with that said, overall I enjoyed the trilogy and feel all fired up to go reading up on some of the folklore it touches upon. You can get the entire Snowdonia Chronicles trilogy from Vertebrate Publishing, including postage, for just £12. That's less than £1 per 100 pages!

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Reviews from Babi a Fi - food, fashion, beauty, baby, toys, books, tech, days out, and more!

Monday, 30 March 2020


AZIAM Yoga Girlz Dolls

AZ I AM Girlz is a girls yoga brand which supplements teaching with a wide variety of products designed to promote positive self-awareness. This includes a range of seven 12 inch dolls with enough articulation to actually carry out those yoga poses! They are made from recycled plastic, with rooted hair and screened faces.

You can purchase the dolls online via aziamgirlz.com, with prices starting from $17.95.

The Toy Box Philosopher did an a really detailed review of Alanna. Just check out all that glorious articulation!

AZIAM Girlz Toybox PhilosopherToybox Philosopher AZIAM Girlz Review

AZIAM Asana Yoga GirlAZIAM Dara Singer Dancer

★ Asana Yoga Girl - box front / contents / box back.
★ Dara Singer Dancer - box front / contents / box back.

AZIAM Niyama Nature GirlAZIAM Pratya Zen Girl

★ Niyama Nature Girl - box front / contents / box back.
★ Pratya Zen Girl - box front / contents / box back.

AZIAM Sama the Healthy ChefAZIAM Yama Surfer Girl

★ Sama the Healthy Chef - box front / contents / box back.
★ Yama Surfer Girl - box front / contents / box back.

AZIAM Girlz Prana DollAZIAM Dyana

These two are no longer listed on the website so are presumably discontinued:

★  Prana - box front / box back.
★  Dyana - box front / box back.

AZIAM The Dolly Alanna

AZIAM also have a Soul Model line which currently consists of a single doll.

★ The Dolly Alanna - box front / contents / box back.

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Sunday, 29 March 2020

This Week - 29/03/2020

Don't Exist - Live

What a week! Last Friday it was perfectly safe (allegedly) to send your child to school - today the country's on lockdown.

Marianna and I self-isolated for the week because I felt like I was coming down with a cold. Turns out it was just a cold as I've not developed a cough or had a high temperature. (I've scarcely managed to break 36°C.) On Saturday we went out for a walk for the first time and dropped off a pot Marianna had made for my mum and dad. We returned weighed down with enough chocolate to sink a ship after M complained I had refused to stockpile for her sweet tooth...

The worst part of the week - worse than feeling utterly useless as other councillors deliver food and stuff, and worse than trying to dream up ways to fill hours of home schooling - has definitely been seeing Marianna scared and upset. She keeps asking who she'll live with if we die, and whether or not it will hurt to die from coronavirus. :( We did clapping for the NHS from her bedroom even because she was freaking out we'd die if we went out on the doorstep, complete with the likely timescale.

We watched the Operation Ouch Q&A a few times but by Friday I decided we'd just avoid the news and live TV so she doesn't see it. I mean, I don't want to simply pretend it's not happening, but at five there's only so much of it she can understand and she's absorbing everything she hears about it like a sponge.

In other news I started a new Kindle Unlimited subscription for a distraction. I've got a bunch of UFO books and some true crime lined up ready to read this week. Anthony's been applying for jobs with all the supermarkets as most are taking on at the moment, so fingers crossed on that score. Despite Natwest so very kindly - heh - charging just 19.89% APR on overdrafts until June it's still an absolute imperative to get out of it ASAP.

Deal of the Week -

15% off at poundtoy with referral link / code http://poundtoy.refr.cc/jessicapowell

On the blog I wrote a guide to Kerusso's God's Girlz dolls as well as posts about Marianna's Sindy Surprise House, and my five favourite fashion trends.

I've also been updating a rundown of Torfaen's temporary services every day and put together a list of 50 free Welsh language resources.

Song of the Week -

Games Without Frontiers - Peter Gabriel

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This Week - Weekly Overviews

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Home School Timetable

Home School Timetable

Previously I'd only ever spent about 30 seconds considering home schooling before deciding, actually, I'm more than happy to delegate that responsibility to the education system. Now the choice has been taken away and we're trying to adjust to the new regime.

9:30 - 10:00 am, Dancing

Marianna gets to pick some songs for us to dance to. I get to dance and sort out the washing.

10:00 - 10:30 am, Welsh

We're doing 30 XP points a day on Duolingo and then watching a cartoon or two in Welsh. (I've got a post listing 50 Free Welsh Language Resources if you're looking for inspiration.)

10:30 - 11:15 am, School Work

AKA the tasks sent home from Marianna's class teacher. Alternates between maths, literacy, and other subjects.

11:15 - 11:45 am, Snack Time

11:45 am - 1:00 pm, Home Project

Typically a video explainer, some vocab, drawing a picture or two, and then doing a craft or carrying out an experiment. Next week we've got making a lip balm, growing a crystal, sand art, a drawing competition, and making our own volcano!

1:00 - 2:00 pm, Lunch / Free Time

AKA Marianna gets to be reunited with her beloved tablet...

2:00 - 2:30 pm, Trampoline

2:30 - 3:00pm, Reading with Daddy

3:00 - 3:45 pm, Games / Singing / Crafts

How is your homeschool timetable looking?

Friday, 27 March 2020

Friday Five: Favourite Fashion

Friday Five

Five of my favourite fashions throughout history...

#5. Batwing Sleeve

Nothing says comfort like slouching around in a batwing sleeve.

batwing sleeve

#4. Pussy Bow Blouse

If it comes with a bishop sleeve, so much the better.

pussy bow blouse

#3. Shoulder Pads

Power dressing for the win.

shoulder pads

#2. Gibson Girl

I love the whole Edwardian silhouette, whether it's the practical blouse and skirt or frilly summer dress. It always looks so elegant.

Gibson Girl

#1. Circle Skirt

There is only one downside to the circle skirt - ironing it!

Circle Skirt

What is your favourite look? Let me know in the comments! :)

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Friday Five

Thursday, 26 March 2020

50 Free Welsh Language Resources

50 Free Welsh Language Resources

Unlike literacy and maths, Welsh really isn't a subject we'll be using everyday without a concerted effort to do so. Every morning we've been doing three Duolingo lessons with Marianna - challenging for me and repetition of basic words and concepts for her - and then watching a couple of Welsh language cartoons to listen to the rhythm of the words and so on.

Here is a list of free Welsh language resources from around the web, ranging from GCSE revision guides to adult basics to children's cartoons uploaded to YouTube. Hopefully you'll be able to mix and match to suit your own needs over the next few weeks and months.

(I'd normally direct people to places like Sain Wales to buy hard copy media, but they're closed for the duration and we should try to lighten the load on the postal service to essentials besides.)

Apps. Handy rundown of Welsh language kids' apps from Montgomery Church in Wales School.

Atebol. Welsh language story time on YouTube.

Babi Siarc. There is no escape! I've got lyric sheets for it and other kids' songs HERE.

BBC Bitesize. GCSE Welsh language revision guides covering maths, science, ICT, and more.

BBC Radio Cymru. What it says on the tin.

Catchphrase. Resources for adults from the BBC - this is an archived page and various flash elements are no longer accessible.

CBeebies Cymraeg. Games, clips, colouring sheets, etc, for a range of CBeebies shows.

Ciwb. Welsh language lessons.

Clic. S4C's On Demand service. They have some pretty good shows for all ages.

Criw Celf. Learn to draw with cartoonist Huw Aaron.

Cwmni Da. YouTube channel with lots of clips from various Cwmni Da productions, including performances from Noson Lawen.


Cyw. The S4C equivalent of CBeebies; there are lots of little games to play and kid's shows to watch, usually with English subtitles available. The current line up includes Welsh language versions of The Large Family, Peter Rabbit, Peppa Pig, Octonauts, Bing Bunny, and lots more.

Deri Deg (Rocky Hollow). 1980s cartoon available on YouTube.

Dicwm Dacwm. S4C nursery rhyme show from 1990, find it on YouTube.

Dref Wen. Selection of free Welsh language children's audiobooks, including favourites like The Hungry Caterpillar and The Gruffalo.

Duolingo. This is a gamified language learning resource available on desktop and as an app - check out our full review of it. We have been using it for our daily Welsh practice but they have 35 different languages to choose from.

Ffalabalam. 1980s S4C live action pre-school show, there are a fair few episodes up on YouTube.

Gelert. 2007 animated story of Gelert with English subtitles.

Golwg360. Welsh language news site.

Gwersi Ukelele Gyda Mei Gwynedd. Learn ukelele with Mei Gwynedd.

Hedd Wyn (Blessed Peace). 1992 anti-war biopic, available in full with English subtitles on YouTube.

Kindle. There are a few free Welsh ebooks available on Amazon, and lots of them are available to borrow if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription. There are also a few dozen Welsh language ebooks available on Project Gutenberg, and Archive of Our Own even has some Welsh fanfiction for a variety of different fandoms.

Welsh Flag

LearnWelsh.cymru. Details of face to face Welsh language courses and various digital resources for adults.

Learn Welsh Games. Selection of simple games to get you working on your Welsh vocab skills. Similar games are also available at My Languages and Master Any Language.

Mudiad Meithrin. Early years' Welsh medium specialists with links to various free resources.

Music. Welsh music has so much more to offer than nursery rhymes and male voice choirs. Here's New Sound Wales' top 100 list to get you started.

Pacey. Curated list of Welsh language kids' activity ideas.

Parallel.cymru. Bilingual online magazine for adults.

Patagonia. 2010 Welsh-Argentine film available on YouTube.

Pobl Tresgidie (The Shoe People). Retro kids' cartoon available on YouTube.

Porc Peis Bach. Various episodes of this 1960s set family comedy drama are available on YouTube.

Primary Resources. Small selection of primary school Welsh language resources.

Radio. Aside from the BBC there are plenty of community radio stations broadcasting in Welsh. Check out Cymru FM, Radio Beca, Môn FM, and Capital Cymru.

Rala Rwdins. 1990s live action kids' show based on the books of the same name, available on YouTube.

Rhosyn a Rhith (Coming Up Roses). 1986 comedy film available in four parts on YouTube.

Sali Mali. You can run but you can't hide from one of Wales' most ubiquitous kids' characters. There are lots of episodes of the live action Caffi Sali Mali on YouTube at the moment.

Fireman Sam

Sam Tân (Fireman Sam). You can find episodes of the new CGI and the (far superior) stop motion versions on YouTube.

Siôn Corn (Father Christmas). Welsh language version of the 1991 adaptation of Raymond Briggs' children's book.

Slici a Slac (Toucan 'Tecs). 1990s S4C cartoon available on YouTube.

The National Library of Wales - Newspapers. Searchable collection of historical newspapers from across Wales.

Thomas y Tanc (Thomas the Tank). Lots of Welsh language Thomas the Tank Engine episodes on YouTube.

Twinkl provides lesson plans for primary aged children, including lots of Welsh language resources. You can access some 40,000+ free resources every day of the year, but at the moment Twinkl is offering free premium membership for all with code UKTWINKLHELPS. They have a good overview of everything they can offer HERE.

Tylluan Wen (White Owl). Welsh literature GCSE set text; you can watch the 1997 film version on YouTube.

Urdd Gobaith Cymru. Various tutorials for activities - from baking to singing - with the Welsh language youth organisation.

Welsh Classics. Scanned versions of some early Welsh literature, including the first book to be published in Welsh and the first full translation of the bible.

Wicipedia. Welsh language version of Wikipedia.

Wil Cwac Cwac. 1980s S4C cartoon available on YouTube.

WJEC Resources. Welsh second language and a few other Welsh medium resources from the WJEC exam board.

Y Mabinogi. 2003 mixed live action and animated children's film with English subtitles.


Y Sgerbyde (Funnybones). 1990s S4C cartoon available on YouTube.

Ypod.cymru. Welsh language podcasts gathered together in one place.

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Welsh Language / Iaith Cymraeg

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Sindy Surprise House

Sindy Surprise Villa House

Sindy's Surprise Villa House is a three room fold out 1/6 scale doll house from 1996. Here are some photos from Amazon of how it looks straight out of the package:

Sindy Surprise HouseSindy Surprise House Kitchen
Sindy Surprise House Living RoomSindy Surprise House Bedroom

My mum gave Marianna a well played with one this week and I've got to admit that I'm super impressed with it! In the kitchen you can open the doors of the fridge and freezer, the washing machine, and the cooker. Plus you can slide the hob on and off, and slide the kitchen tap over to have the sink empty or full.

Sindy Surprise Villa Kitchen

The living room is missing its fold out sofa, but there are still little surprises to be found - you can pop a video out of the VCR, and the CD player and tape decks open.

Sindy Surprise Villa Living Room

My favourite room has to be the bedroom with its en suite shower though. The wardrobe folds down to form a bed and if you pull the tab at the window you can change the view from day to night!

Sindy Surprise Villa Bedroom

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My Doll Houses

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Coronavirus Torfaen

Not Out and About In Torfaen

*This post is no longer being updated*

Links to and brief overviews of up to date info on what's happening in Torfaen.

For council services information, check out Torfaen's special coronavirus webpage. All customer care centres are closed, instead you can apply for things online, email your.call@torfaen.gov.uk, or ring 01495 762200.

For business advice click HERE.

Wales is currently on a 'soft' lockdown for three weeks with all non-essential high street stores (essential = supermarkets/food shops, newsagents, pharmacies, bicycle shops, banks, post offices, home and hardware stores, pet shops, vets, funeral homes, laundrettes/dry cleaners, and petrol stations) closed and bans on public gatherings of more than two people not from the same household. If you are not a key worker you can still go out once a day to exercise, buy food and / or medicine, attend medical appointments, and to look after vulnerable people. Police have the power to fine and disperse public gatherings, but for the moment it is essentially operating on a trust basis. For updates follow @fmwales.

For more on the general situation follow Nick Thomas-Symonds, Lynne Neagle, and Anthony Hunt - Torfaen's MP, AM, and Council Leader.

Most areas have regular and coronavirus community pages on Facebook too. I'm on Northville Community Group, Pontnewydd Park and Village, and Cwmbran Coronavirus Support. Also check out Communities for Work and Building Resilient Communities Torfaen. Torfaen also has its own community radio station - Vitalize Radio - they're on air 24/7.

If you have any info you want added / have anything I can help with drop me an email at jess@babiafi.co.uk or jessica.powell@torfaen.gov.uk, or tweet me at @jess__powell.

Covid 19


Torfaen comes under Aneurin Bevan University Health Board. Vaughan Gething (Welsh Government Health Minister) has announced that the new Grange University Hospital in Croesyceiliog will open a year early to provide an extra 350 beds for Covid-19 patients. Meanwhile, all ABUHB hospital visiting has been stopped, bar a single parental/guardian visitor for children on in-patient wards and a birthing partner for deliveries.

Public Health Wales posts an update of Welsh cases and deaths every day at around 2pm, along with the latest guidance on social-distancing and testing - you can find them on THIS PAGE.

If you think you have coronavirus the advice is to stay home for at least 7 days and drink plenty of fluids. If your symptoms grow worse and you feel you cannot cope at home, ring 111. There may be a considerable wait on the line, but please only ring 999 if it is a life-threatening emergency.

For other issues, most GP surgeries are operating a triage system for urgent appointments only, and many of the appointments that do go ahead will be taken over the telephone or video link. Similarly nursing appointments will only be given for essential services - e.g. Cwmbran Village Surgery lists those as INR/Warfarin & High Risk Drug Monitoring, Urgent or clinically needed Blood tests, Urgent ECG's, Depo-Provera Injections, Dressings/Packings/Removal of Stitches, B12 Injections, Prostate Cancer Injections, and Childhood Immunisation. Check your GP's website for individual restrictions.

Repeat prescriptions are generally operating normally but if you need to change / update / renew you should probably brace yourself for long wait times on the phones if you're registered at a surgery without a dedicated online prescription service. Pharmacies remain open, albeit with social distancing restrictions, and if you have a scheduled hospital, etc, appointment they ask for you to wait to be contacted with details rather than clogging up the phone lines with enquiries.

Abersychan Pharmacy can deliver if you call 07519581862.
Mayberry Pharmacy (Pontypool) can deliver if you call 01495 228040.

For details of Welsh Government's social shielding scheme click HERE.

Disability reviews and reassessments for the DWP have been suspended for three months.

Gwent Drug & Alcohol Service are still operating on a reduced basis. The needle exchange at The Lighthouse in Pontypool is staying open.

Domestic violence, sadly, is only more of an issue right now. Wales has a 24 hour free helpline, Live Fear Free, on 0800 80 10 800. For more information on local services - and to report concerns to social services - check out the Gwent Safeguarding website.

Anyone over 70 in Wales can register with Age Cymru, free of charge, to receive a regular telephone call from the charity in either English or Welsh.  All you have to do is call the Age Cyrmu advice number on 08000 223 444 or email enquiries@agecymru.org.uk. For other third sector initiatives, check out TVA's - Torfaen Voluntary Alliance - website.

For those wanting to volunteer, email callum@tvawales.org.uk or ring 01495 365617.

The Salvation Army in Pontypool are also available for those needing someone to talk to. Call them on 01495 767998.

Deaths (inc. still-births) are being registered over the telephone for the time being. Call 01495 742132. Birth registration is suspended at the moment; new parents do not currently need a birth certificate to apply for child benefit.

If you are in Pontypool between April 20th and April 24th, consider making an appointment to give blood. The Welsh Blood service will be at Pontypool Active Living Centre 9:30-5:30 each day. To make an appointment click here.

For real time updates follow @AneurinBevanUHB, @PublicHealthW, @TheGDS, and @VaughanGething on Twitter.



If your child is eligible for free school meals, from April 6th money will be paid directly into your bank account instead; you need to fill out a form HERE.

Crownbridge, the Pupil Referral Unit and the SNRBs are remaining open, while mainstream provision is being restricted to Blaenavon Heritage, George Street, Llantarnam and Blenheim Road primary schools and Croesyceiliog Secondary for the children of key workers - Health Care staff, Social Care and Care Home Staff, and Police, Fire and Armed forces personnel. For more details on eligibility see THIS PAGE. (From March 30th applications from other key worker categories will be considered.)

Pre-school childcare is also available for keyworkers. Please see the Council's Childcare Info Page for full details.

Most exams have been cancelled and grades will be awarded based on teacher assessment, predicted grades, and potentially other measures. More information will be announced by Welsh Government in due course.

Individual schools are providing online learning resources for pupils.

The Children's Commissioner for Wales has set up an online hub with hints and tips for activities, etc.

I've put together a list of 50 free online Welsh language resources.

CCYP (Cwmbran Centre for Young People) are offering online courses on a range of topics for people aged 16-25. Email leila.long@ccyp.org.uk for more info.

For real time updates follow @wgmin_education, @torfaencouncil, and individual schools on Twitter.



Stagecoach South Wales are operating on a temporary timetable until further notice; the X24 will run every 30 minutes. There are no Stagecoach buses running on Sundays. Phil Anslow Buses are operating emergency timetables for all their services. Newport Bus are also operating all services on a Saturday timetable, but if you're an emergency services worker in Cwmbran they are offering free alternative transport if it means you can't get to work - email your contact details, workplace and shift times to nhs-support@newporttransport.co.uk.

Transport for Wales are running reduced rail services (aka Sunday timetables) - insert joke about not knowing it could get any worse here - for essential travel only. NHS workers travel free.

Taxi operators are currently running services more or less as normal. See Dragon Taxis for more info. NHS workers get a £1.50 discount on every journey.

For real time updates follow @StagecoachWales, @anslowcoaches, @NewportBus, @transport_wales, and @DragonTaxisNPT on Twitter.

Housing and Bills


Landlords - social and private alike - will not be able to evict tenants for at least the next three months. Homeowners and landlords with buy to let mortgages can apply for a three month mortgage holiday by contacting their bank directly. There is still no word on rent protections for tenants, though if you are with a RSL (registered social landlord) speak to them and they will be able to put a support plan in place.

For Melin email enquiries@melinhomes.co.uk or, if it's an emergency, ring 01495 325333. They are regularly updating their temporary service webpage HERE. For Bron Afon you can email enquiries@bronafon.org.uk or they have a non-emergency contact form; you should get a reply within three days. For emergency issues, call 01633 620 111. They are updating their news pages HERE.

If you are facing homelessness or need urgent advice contact the Torfaen Gateway Team on 01495 766949. For help with benefit applications and such you can contact Torfaen Citizen's Advice on 0300 330 2117 to arrange a telephone appointment.

All current Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) entitlements ending at the end of March or beginning of April will automatically be extended until October 4. Renewal applications will be in September. If you are struggling to pay your council tax contact Torfaen (your.call@torfaen.gov.uk / 01495 762200) so they can look into your potential eligibility for council tax reduction and other benefits.

If you're struggling to pay your energy bills, ring your supplier as you may be eligible for emergency credit. Similarly, if you're on a key or card meter they can take payments over the phone and / or send out preloaded credit for those unable to purchase any.

The DWP has set up a coronavirus and Universal Credit advice page HERE. You can receive up to a month's advance without attending a jobcentre. If you're already on UC make sure you update your online journal if your rent amount has changed for the new financial year or you claim might be underpaid.

Another avenue might be financial grant support. Email helen.jenkins@torfaen.gov.uk or samantha.scott@torfaen.gov.uk at Building Resilient Communities for advice. An example of one of the places they might signpost you to is The Cwmbran Trust - they are providing small grants for people in financial difficulties.

Waste and recycling collections are currently running as normal - though tissues and wipes must go into general waste bins, not recycling boxes. Bulky item and green bin (garden waste) collection has been suspended for the duration. Please make the collection crews' lives as easy as possible by separating your recycling as best you can and sanitising your bin and box handles.

Post Office Opening Times:
Cwmbran WHSmith = 9-3pm.
New Inn = 9-5:30 (9-2pm on weekends)
Pontnewydd = 9-12.
Pontypool = 9-12.

For real time updates follow @MelinHomes, @BronAfon, and @torfaencouncil on Twitter.



If your child is eligible for free school from April 6th money will be paid directly into your bank account instead; you need to fill out a form HERE. It's £19.50 per child, per week.

Community meal services are running as normal.

Foodbanks are delivering to those with food vouchers, but struggling for donations. Email the Eastern Valley Foodbank at info@easternvalley.foodbank.org.uk or phone on 01495 76060.

CoStar Cwmbran has emergency food parcels available (no voucher needed); ring them on 01633 869227 for more info.
Thornhill Community Centre also have emergency food; ring 07734 929741.
Northville Community Group have food parcels; email northvillecg@gmail.com.
For Croesyceiliog and Llanyrafon contact your local councillor who will pass your details on to Woodland Road Social Centre Food Share.
In Blaenavon contact Victory Church on 07746 229204.
For Abersychan contact Noddfa Church on 01495 448902.
In Trevethin there's Trac2 on 01495 764078.
The Garnsychan Partnership can also help in the Abersychan area; call 07519 581862.

Local restaurants still offering delivery include:
 - Domino's Cwmbran.
 - Elachi Cwmbran. (Closed on Tuesdays)
 - Family Kebab Cwmbran.
 - Four Seasons Catering.
 - Kaspa's Cwmbran.
 - Khan Tandoori Cwmbran.
 - Mr. Chippy Cwmbran.
 - Page's Fish and Chips Cwmbran.
 - Papa John's Cwmbran.
 - Pizza Hut Cwmbran.
 - Prep 'n' Gane.
 - Tamarind Cwmbran.
 - The Gate.
 - Two Simmering Pans.
 - Yummies Cwmbran.

The Queen Inn, Cwmbran, are offering a collection only service.

Cwmbran Fresh Produce - 01633 833856 - can deliver fruit and veg.

Torfaen council is putting together a directory of local shops and food businesses who are offering home delivery. For inclusion, send your business name, website address, contact number, type of food on offer, and delivery area to create@torfaen.gov.uk.

Supermarkets and Grocers (check links for vulnerable and NHS hours):
 - Albert Store Talywain. They'll deliver locally if you call 01495 773232.
 - Aldi Cwmbran.
 - Asda Cwmbran.
 - Farm Foods Pontypool.
 - Heron Foods Cwmbran.
 - Iceland Cwmbran. (9-10am for the vulnerable; 5-6pm for NHS)
 - Iceland Pontypool.
 - Lidl Cwmbran.
 - Morrisons Cwmbran.
 - Sainsbury's Cwmbran.
 - SPAR New Inn. Will deliver to vulnerable customers if you call 01495 763631.
 - SPAR St Dials. They will deliver to vulnerable customers if you ring them on 01633 484604.
 - Tesco Pontypool.

Older people struggling to go shopping can contact Age Connects Torfaen for support. Call 01495 769264 or email widdershins@ageconnectstorfaen.org. Follow them on Twitter @ageconnectstorf.

Other places you can still get food home delivery from:
 - Allplants.
 - Approved Food.
 - Balance Box.
 - Clearance XL.
 - Cut Price Barry's.
 - Hello Fresh.
 - Jane Plan.
 - Marco Meals.
 - Mindful Chef.
 - Morris's of Usk Farm Shop.
 - Muscle Food Meat.
 - No. 1 Food Prep.
 - Nourish Fit Food.
 - Riverford.
 - Star Bargains.
 - The Fish Society.

Pet food subscription services are mostly operating as normal so if you're struggling to get it locally they might be a good alternative. E.g. You can get a month's worth of free dog food for £1 delivery at Tails.com, and you can get 75% off your first Butternut dog food box (month's worth), or a week's worth of dog food from Edgard Cooper for £3. Blink! are doing a cat food trial box for £1 inc delivery.

The Dogs Bollox pet shop in Pontypool will deliver pet food in the local area; give them a call on 01495 761915.



It's all closed...

Library books will be automatically renewed, and you can still access a number of online library resources. The library blog is also worth checking out for further info of literary resources around the web.

Torfaen Leisure Trust are posting full length workout vids to their YouTube channel - so far they have pilates, tai chi, weights, and zumba. The staff at TLT are also available to chat to vulnerable and older customers for reassurance - give them a ring on 01633 627100 or email enquiries@torfaenleisuretrust.co.uk.

If you see any anti-social behaviour or large groups of people together, report it to communitysafetyteam@torfaen.gov.uk

Playparks, etc, are locked but canalside walks and so on are still accessible. Cemeteries are remaining open from 9am to 5pm.

Torfaen Museum are asking residents to write up their school memories and email them in - along with any photos they might have - to torfaenmuseum@outlook.com as part of an ongoing project.

Gwent Archives is asking people to keep a diary or journal over the coming weeks and months - pen and paper, art, audio, video, typed, photographical, whatever you like - to deposit with the archive when it's all over. They want to hear about how current events are impacting on you and your local area, what things you are hearing in the news, how it is affecting people you know, etc. If you have any questions or queries, please email enquiries@gwentarchives.gov.uk.

For real time updates follow @TorfeaenLibrary, @TorfaenLeisureT, and @Torfaen Museum.

Not Today Covid-19

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