Ty Hafan

#family friday

charity shops mark the end of a difficult year with festive displays

Our charity shops have been challenging each other to brighten up the winter months of what has been a challenging year with their festive window competition.

cowbridge festive window

Community is incredibly important to us and our shops have always been a gateway into these communities. The families we support live throughout the country and Tŷ Hafan has been lucky enough to feel so at home throughout south and west Wales. Supporting Tŷ Hafan shops dates back to before the hospice opened and collectively, they have raised over £2.5m since 2000, contributing to providing comfort, support and expert care to the families in Wales that need them.

Christmas has given our shops the opportunity to put much of the difficulties of the last year behind them, at least for the moment. While we’ve had to cease trading in a few areas, we were delighted to be able to return to Pontypridd, home of the first of their shops to open, Bridgend and Tenby to say thank you and give a proper goodbye to those communities, with our exciting Christmas themed pop-up shops.

The shop window competition was harder fought than ever with staff and volunteers truly getting into the spirit of the season, producing a number of wonderfully festive displays.

CEO Maria Timon Samra judged the competition and was delighted at the “challenging task” of choosing a winner amongst “the creative and festive spirit really evident in all of [the] entries”.

After much mulling over, congratulations must go to the worthy winner, our Cowbridge store, commended for its clearly acknowledged connections with the local community by representing the Mari Lwyd festival, and the spirit of Christmas with the beautiful crib scene. Congratulations, too, to Porthcawl who came second and Newport for coming third.

Cowbridge Deputy Shop Manager Gemma, who painstakingly planned and built the window (including the Mari Lwyd horse skull in her own time and spending hours crouched in the window space drawing the silhouettes of Cowbridge buildings) said:

"This year we thought that we would create a window to reflect our local town and, one of its very old traditions: The Mari Lwyd. The Mari Lwyd is a wassailing folk custom dating back to 1800. A Hobby Horse is made from a real horse skull with ribbons and baubles and a white sheet or cape to cover the person underneath. The Mari and a cast of players go door to door singing rhymes in order to convince the household to let them in and have refreshments.
“This tradition may not go ahead this year so we thought it would be nice to display it here but in our own unique high fashion way. Our Mari Lwyd skull is made from garden wire and Plaster of Paris infused bandages. We’ve also created a winter street scene of local landmarks by painting on to the windowpane. It includes the Town Hall, the Physic Garden, the Church and of course our very own shop with its own little Christmas window display. Our Christmas tree is decorated with sparkly necklaces and the hand-knitted Nativity sets, kindly donated by one of our loyal supporters, and has brought many smiles to children and adults alike.”

runners up festive window

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