COUNCILLOR Maria Sarnacki, the mayor of Caernarfon, organised a ‘Mayor’s Sunday’ event on October 3 to celebrate the work of charities and volunteer groups in the area during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cllr Sarnacki, who represents the Cadnant ward on Caernarfon Town Council, held a small gathering in the Town Council’s meeting place, the Institute Building in Caernarfon.

The event was an opportunity to hear about the efforts of charities set up in the town by volunteers as a response to the challenges thrown at Caernarfon by COVID-19.

It all commenced with Cofis Curo Corona (‘Cofis Beating Corona’), a group that created a network of volunteers to support those that were forced by circumstances to stay in their houses at the start of the pandemic.

The town was divided into four wards, and efforts to provide support for the people of the town was co-ordinated by volunteers, town councillors, and county councillors.

The help provided included shopping, collecting prescriptions, and dog-walking.

From Cofis Curo Corona came Porthi Pawb, a food share initiative providing about 60 people with nutritious meals.

And from that stemmed Porthi Plantos, a project providing food for children in Caernarfon.

Recently, a community shop initiative was opened on Pool Street, Caernarfon, named O Law i Law, which provides children’s clothes and toys at a reasonable price.

It is also a collection and distribution point for the Food Share scheme; surplus food from supermarkets is brought to the shop, ready to distribute to people who need it.

The shop was established after Caernarfon Town Council secured a grant from the Welsh Government’s Green Recovery Economy Circular Economy Fund 2020-21 to create a community hub to repair, renovate and recycle goods in the Caernarfon town centre.

The event on October 3 was visited by Siân Gwenllian MS, the town’s Member of the Senedd. She said: “It was heartening to hear the stories behind the projects.

“We also heard from Gafael Llaw, another charity admired by Maria, who is a nurse at Ysbyty Gwynedd.

“Gafael Llaw was established in 2013 to support children and young people from Gwynedd and Ynys Mon suffering from cancer.

“The money raised by Gafael Llaw goes directly towards improving the facilities and services for children with cancer.

“The charity provides direct support for Dewi Ward in Ysbyty Gwynedd, with significant contributions already made to upgrade cubicles on the ward, as well as general facilities such as the outside play area and assessment rooms.

“I’d like to thank Maria for organising the event which provided us all with an opportunity to applaud the valuable work of some of Caernarfon’s important projects.”

Cllr Sarnacki added: “After an extraordinary year, I was eager to organise a Mayor’s Sunday that acknowledged the unprecedented times we live in.

“I invited people that might not usually be invited to this sort of event, doing so to celebrate their work in what has been an extremely challenging year.

“These people came together and worked tirelessly, without being asked to do so, making sure that the people of Caernarfon had an extensive support network during COVID-19.

“It was an honour to formally thank them.”