Trivallis’ Hometown Heroes campaign aims to shine a light on the people that are going above and beyond for others during a time of need. Our heroes are nominated by people who live and work across RCT for their heroic efforts to support their communities at this challenging time.
This week, our Hometown Hero is Alys Evans from Gilfach Goch. Alys was in the process of launching her own business, Pobi Bach Bakery when the lockdown was enforced. With her plans halted, she took this opportunity to bake items to donate and say thank you to the NHS, her local community and keyworkers.
Alys was nominated to be this week’s hero by Kerry Anne Moyle, for all that she has been doing to say thank you to the keyworkers since her plans for launching her bakery had to be paused due to COVID-19. We caught up with Alys to find out what she has been doing throughout the current crisis…
“After many years of training, entering competitions and working in various hotels, along with being a part of the Welsh Culinary Team, I decided it was time for me to start my own little bakery business. I bought my van and my stock, sorted my rental agreement on the kitchen and established a business to business trade for my goods and then lockdown happened. I was about to start at the kitchen I was renting at my old college on Monday 23rd March, the day we went into lockdown.” Alys said.
With lockdown changing Alys’ plans, she decided she would make the most of the situation and bake items using the stock she had already bought for her business and donate them to the NHS, her local community and key workers.
Alys explained: “I decided on Mother’s Day, the day before official lockdown took place, to bake some scones and Welsh cakes to donate them to Trivallis’ Swn Yr Afon sheltered scheme. Social distancing rules were in place, so the residence couldn’t see their loved ones on Mother’s Day, and I wanted to brighten their day.”
“A few days later, I contacted a few friends that work in various departments at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital and a friend that works at Velindre. They all came to my house before work, picked up a selection of homemade treats and gave them out at the hospitals on my behalf.” Alys continued.
Alys has been busy baking throughout the whole pandemic, donating a variety of fresh cream and jam scones, Welsh cakes, cookies, different flavour cupcakes along with rainbow cupcakes and sweet boxes for the children on the local children’s ward. Alys even donated some non-alcoholic drinks along with her baked goods to ward west 5 at Royal Glamorgan, who had lost a colleague to COVID-19. As they didn’t get a chance to say goodbye, she wanted them to have the chance to raise a glass.
Alys has baked and donated to a long list of NHS staff, key workers, care homes and those living in her community. Velindre, Gilfach Goch Fire Service, Royal Mail, local pharmacies and surgeries, recycling and food waste collection men, local police officers, a COVID-19 staff testing unit in Williamstown, Ty Eirin Care Home and various wards at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, including A&E, children’s ward and intensive care unit are just a selection of places Alys has donated to.
Alys said: “Everyone has been extremely grateful, and I’ve been told how I’ve brightened people’s day with my baking. I’ve done it all on my own, I’ve sold personal orders to people and used the money from that to buy more supplies to bake more and donate it back to the NHS, key workers, my local community and surrounding areas. My family have all been fantastic too, picking up ingredients for me to bake and my parents have allowed me to take over their kitchen and dining room.”
“I’m still donating every week. Each week, I donate to someone local or a ward at the Royal Glamorgan hospital. I’ve decided to wait until things return to normal to launch my business but instead, I’m using this time to bake and trial recipes to find out what people would like and would buy.” She continued.
Alys hasn’t stopped there, she has also found the time to be a weekly judge in the virtual bake-off organised by a previous Hometown Hero, Dawn. Alys explained: “It’s been such good fun to be involved and have the opportunity to judge the different cakes that have been made by those involved in the virtual bake-off, every week. It’s been great for the community, bringing everyone together.”
We want to say a big thank you to our Hometown Hero Alys, for all her hard work in brightening spirits with her baking and giving back to the keyworkers across Gilfach Goch and surrounding areas.
If you know a Hometown Hero that you would like to nominate, you can fill out a form here.
Visit our Hometown Hero Hall of Fame to see the other heroes in our communities, here.