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‘Come What May’ starring Strictly’s Robin Windsor heads to Swansea’s Grand Theatre

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One of the nation’s best loved Strictly Come Dancing professionals, Robin Windsor, is coming out of retirement to star in Come What May – one of the UK’s most exciting theatre productions touring across the UK in Spring 2022, and is heading to Swansea Grand Theatre on 19 February 2022.

Come What May is described as the ultimate tribute to Moulin Rouge and other hit movie musicals, including Rocketman, The Greatest Showman, A Star is Born, Burlesque and more.

Joining Robin Windsor are Charlotte Gallagher, David Wyatt, Ollie Augustin, Óscar Fonseca, Chloe Gatward, Emma Jane, Georgia McEnaney, Hannah Morcos, Stuart Rouse and Reece Woodier.

Travel back in time as the children of the revolution take you into the sexy and glamorous underworld of Paris at the Moulin Rouge, journey into the flamboyant world of Elton John, delve into the imagination of the original showman P.T Barnum and finally head to the bright lights of Los Angeles before exploring the glamour of Sunset Boulevard’s Burlesque Lounge.

This musical extravaganza is packed with timeless classics from the movie Moulin Rouge, including Come What May, Your Song, Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend, Roxanne and Lady Marmalade as well as featuring hits from other iconic movie musicals, including Come Alive, Saturday Night’s Alright, Shallow and Show Me How You Burlesque.

This “Spectacular, Spectacular” all-singing, all-dancing show is an unforgettable combination of dreams, adventure and above all – love!

Robin Windsor is a British Professional Latin and Ballroom Dancer, best known for his appearances in the BBC television series Strictly Come Dancing. He is arguably one of the most recognisable faces on Strictly Come Dancing, during his time on the show he partnered Anita Dobson, Patsy Kensit, Lisa Riley and Deborah Meaden and danced alongside stars such as Neil Diamond, Rod Stewart, and Alice Cooper, Katherine Jenkins to name just a few.

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Robin said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining the cast of Come What May. Really excited to get moving and work on this fabulous show with this amazing cast.”

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Charity

Mal Pope and Steve Balsamo lead star-studded music video for ‘Everyone Deserves a Christmas’ campaign

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Star-studded music video of ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ released for latest ‘Everyone Deserves a Christmas’ campaign

This reimagining of the classic Christmas Carol features a duet between, Mal Pope and Steve Balsamo, with support from Harry’s Youth Theatre Choir Swansea and the Morriston Salvation Army Band.

The video starts with a spine chilling opening monologue from BAFTA winner Michael Sheen and ends with a special message from OSCAR Winner Catherine Zeta Jones. The video also features appearances from Davina McCallMax BoyceElis James, Penny Lancaster and Bonnie Tyler.

The video was Art Directed by BAFTA Award winning Production Designer Edward Thomas, recently returned to Swansea following a year in Malta designing a new Steven Spielberg Film.

The single is taken from the album ‘Christmas with the Pope’ and is available to stream and download from all streaming sites including Spotify, iTunes and Amazon Music. The physical CD will be available from select shops or via mail order.

As well as inviting everyone to download and stream the single the video is available free of charge to groups to use over the festive period and asking for donations to be made to the group’s Just Giving page

Everyone Deserves a Christmas

The annual ‘Everyone Deserves a Christmas’ campaign provides festive cheer for people who need a helping hand in the local community.

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Individuals and businesses from across Swansea and beyond work together to raise funds that are used to purchase food for hampers and Christmas dinners. These are then delivered to families across the city to ensure that nobody goes without at Christmas-time. 

“When everyone else was pushing the boat out I was worried about just feeding my family, so didn’t feel like I was part of Christmas”, said Leanne. The campaign says that at Christmas, no-one should be worried like Leanne.

This year, with community help, the campaign aim to create over 700 food hampers full of staples like cheese, meat, and vegetables, and added goodies like pudding, chocolate and crackers. A large team of volunteers will purchase, pack and deliver the hampers in the days before Christmas. There will also be cooked dinners delivered on Christmas Eve to people across the city who are on their own or vulnerable, as well treats for local children.

Swansea City AFC Foundation and the Ospreys in the Community are working with Carolyn Harris MP, Julie James MS, South Wales Evening Post, Swansea Council, Bay Studios, Amazon and very many local businesses, to make this happen.

The campaign say that Christmas should be a time of joy and of giving. By working together, we can ensure that everyone has the joyful Christmas they deserve.

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What started a few years ago with a few friends packing hampers on Carolyn Harris’ kitchen table has now developed into a city wide celebration of Christmas spirit and this year it is hoped that up to 1000 households will benefit from the campaign.

Carolyn Harris MP was recently named Campaigner of the Year at the Spectator Parliamentarian of The Year Awards.

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Art

Sandfields Library receives new lease of life with mural artwork

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A new mural has been unveiled at the recently re-opened Sandfields Library, with the aim of welcoming the local community back to the building following the COVID-19 shutdown.

The artwork was painted by a local teacher and funded by J.G. Hale Construction as part of the community benefits associated with Tai Tarian’s nearby County Flats scheme – a state-of-the-art project to build 55 new homes, and refurbish 72 existing flats, in Sandfields, Aberavon.

The mural’s artist, Adam John, teaches art at the nearby comprehensive school, Ysgol Bae Baglan. John completed the mural volunteering in his spare time, after school and on weekends, over a total of 30 hours.

The idea for the mural was suggested to the County Flats scheme developer – social housing provider, Tai Tarian – by library staff. It covers one external wall of the library and showcases some of the activities and services available within the building.

The spectacular artwork depicts a meadow scene and a portrayal of the Aberavon seafront, with a rainbow over it to represent the heroic commitment of the NHS throughout the pandemic. The wildflowers and butterflies painted in the mural represent a wider initiative between Tai Tarian, local councillor, Sean Pursey, and Buglife Cymru, around transforming open spaces with wildflowers.

The picture also includes three sheep, which represent the innovative use of Welsh Sheep’s wool being utilised to insulate the properties in the Sandfields development.

The County Flats scheme will eventually provide 127 carbon-neutral homes, delivered across three phases, over three years – with phase one nearing completion. It will achieve carbon neutrality via a range of in-house green and sustainable initiatives.

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Most notable of these is the use of natural, eco-friendly forms of insulation made from three unusual and innovative materials: welsh sheep’s wool, locally sourced from Neath-based Crynant Farm; mycelium, the vegetative filament root structure of mushrooms; and a wood-fibre insulation developed in-house at SO Modular.

The pioneering insulation methods are providing a pilot study for the viability of their use in the wider construction industry.

David Harrhy, managing director of J.G. Hale Construction, said: “We are delighted to have been able to fund this mural as part of the County Flats development’s community benefits in collaboration with Tai Tarian. The painting really brightens the area up and should be a welcoming sight to those returning to the library following the coronavirus shutdown.”

Adam John, Art Teacher at Ysgol Bae Baglan who painted the mural, said: “The opportunity to create a mural in the heart of the estate was difficult to turn down. Having taught in the community for nearly 20 years, I knew I had to say yes.

“I always feel proud that I can inspire our children to be more creative, and I knew it would be well received. Our pupils love seeing artwork and truly appreciate skills which go into an outcome. I’ve painted many sets over the years, which are always enjoyed by our pupils and visitors, but they are replaced every year, so it was great to leave my efforts on a wall for many years to come. The mural allowed me to give something back to the community; a little reminder to current and ex-pupils that they too can make a difference in their own community.”

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Rebecca Thomas, Tai Tarian’s Social and Economic Regeneration Manager said: “At Tai Tarian, we pride ourselves on being part of the community and with our major re-development of the County Flats site getting underway, we were keen to do something that would leave a lasting legacy for the people of Sandfields.

“Our partners, J.G. Hale Construction, shared this vision and were keen to get involved, working with the library and Adam John to create the mural as part of our community benefits programme.

“Libraries play an important part in communities, giving people access to all sorts of valuable resources and if the mural helps attract more visitors to the facility, then we will be pleased to have played a part in this.”

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Books & Literature

Nurse turns to verse to express pandemic woes

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An emergency department nurse has combined his passion for nursing and writing by creating heartfelt poems inspired by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Michael Jenkins has always been enthusiastic about poetry but never focused on writing until the start of the pandemic.

He felt this was the perfect opportunity to capture the emotions of not only the nursing staff but everyone involved in the NHS.

Writing poetry also acted as a coping mechanism for Michael to get through what has been one of the toughest times in the history of the NHS.

His first poem, Give me a Break!, was shared on his Facebook page, as well as a Covid support group, where he received rave reviews and an unprecedented amount of appreciation which came as a surprise to him.

“The more poems I started to write, the more attention and shares on social media I was receiving,” Michael said.

Rebecca Price, Emergency Department matron at Morriston Hospital, in Swansea, added: “Michael really does know how to dig deep into NHS staff’s hearts and reveal their true emotions in such a pressurised environment in what has been the toughest couple of years in the history of the NHS.”

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After 18 months of concentrating on the pandemic, Michael turned his attention to other subjects within nursing, in particular by writing a poem about living with dementia.

He added: “We have so many patients coming through the ED doors with dementia but with other conditions to treat.

“It can be very difficult for trained nurses to deal with patients who unfortunately suffer with the terrible illness of dementia.”

Michael’s poem about living with dementia was shared so widely on social media that it even caught the attention of the national charity Dementia UK.

The charity was so impressed it asked Michael if it could rebrand and share the poem on its social media platforms. It has since received a huge amount of praise and shares.

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Dementia UK said: “Michael’s poem has really resonated with all people involved with dementia and has been enjoyed so much.

“We are very appreciative he has taken the time to write such a beautiful poem.”

Several of the poems have since been displayed in ED to be read and enjoyed by members of staff, as well as patients.

Michael hopes the poems can provide a boost where needed and spread some positivity.

Below are two of the poems for your enjoyment.

Give Me A Break!

Patients laugh and patients cry
Patients live, some patients die
Staff will help, Staff will care
Staff with yelp, Staff will ware

Taking its toll on every single person
Reliving the day that’s for certain
Locked down, feeling trapped with no location
Nowhere to go but work and save the population

I never signed up for this’ I read
But we can’t say that or else they’d be dead
But please just give me some space
I’m also a part of this human race

I’ll moan, I’ll cry, I’ll scream and shout
But I know I’ll carry on without a doubt
Do we want some gratitude?
Or do we need a better attitude?

I don’t know I just want some time
Is that to be such a crime?
I’ve paid my fee to work my vocation
What’s that all about?

I’ll still head off without any hesitation
But please I pray to God for goodness sake
All I’m asking for….is give me a break!

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Living with Dementia

I got told I had dementia today,
But that’s fine I’m still me!
The same old person that you sit with
To drink a hot cup of tea.

I may not remember every last detail,
Or recognise your face.
But I will sure try to imagine,
Taking me back to my favourite place.

I may get confused and anxious,
And wander round my house.
I know I shouldn’t dwell on the past,
But I really miss my spouse.

Sometimes my mind is somewhere else,
Like on holidays from years ago.
Or dreaming of better times I’ve had,
Now I must learn to go with the flow.

I am still the same human being,
With a brain inside my head
It just takes a while to think of things,
Like when should I go to bed?

Please don’t judge my shouting,
Or if I somehow make you scared
It’s just my mind playing tricks on me,
Maybe I just need to be fed!

Some company is all I need
To play my favourite game,
Then maybe next time I see you,
I will remember your lovely name.

Now I will always cherish the memories,
Of all the times we share,
Please don’t stop coming to visit,
As I know you will always care.

I am still the same old person,
Just get a little jumbled up,
Now go get me that hot cuppa,
So I can sip from my favourite cup.

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