Grassroots 02/11/2020

New Community Garden for the Welfare Grounds….Wild about Rogerstone and Rogerstone Community Council have secured funding from the Welsh Government Local Places for Nature fund provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund. We plan to use the funds to create an open community garden within the Welfare Grounds, behind the Hut and the tennis courts. The proposed garden will include six large, raised beds for herbs, fruit and veg, a central bed for local schools to use, bee-friendly planting beds, fruit trees and bushes, new seating and woodland wildflowers and native bulb drifts. The garden plans and funding application were prepared by the Wild about Rogerstone committee chaired by Sarah Simons, administered by Natasha Baker and Gareth Machin with garden know-how provided by local residents Ann Jones, Michaella Glass and Patricia Machin. We hope the garden area will become an outdoor hub for the community, appealing to all ages. The committee will now begin working with the Council to get the garden established over the coming year, which will need plenty of volunteer support. Volunteering could involve building raised beds or compost bins, planting out trees and bulbs or helping with events through the year. If you would be interested in helping please email the team at or keep an eye out for volunteer days on the Facebook group I’ve been keen to support Wild About Rogerstone from the beginning, well done all, after the most difficult of years this is great news for our community and future generations.


Don’t stop the dance…. Ballet Cymru, based in Rogerstone, like many other arts organisations have had to adapt their activities during this pandemic, Due to cancelled Spring and Autumn Tours, they have had to find new ways to keep in touch with their audiences. Some innovative projects have helped them achieve this and has enabled them to attract new audiences with an online presence. Their Strictly Schools project, funded by BBC Children in Need and in collaboration with Leonard Cheshire in Wales, provides free, digital dancing lessons for children of all abilities and pupils with disabilities aged 5-18 years old. The company dancers also lead adult ballet lessons exploring mental health. This project, with Tiny Toes, was a series of 6 free online ballet classes which run in  September and October (through zoom). The aims of the sessions were to be fun, engaging and interactive but also to look at the physical and mental health of the participants during and after ballet class in order to streamline their approach and best deliver adult ballet sessions in the future. The staff and dancers of Ballet Cymru also took this time for Continuing Professional Development with Equality Training, First Aid and a very informative and interesting two day Mental Health First Aid training with Mind in Newport. These training days will give them the tools to look after audiences who will visit their studio and performances when everything is back to normal.


Join our Band…. The Rogerstone Band was formed in 1947 and currently resides in a purpose built band room at our Welfare Grounds in Rogerstone. Over the years, the band has seen many successes in competitions. The band has qualified for the National Finals on numerous occasions, competing at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and they have seen success on a regional level, placing at the local contests throughout the year. Now the band focus purely on concerts and have organised and participated in a number of events and tours for, and beyond the local community. The band has raised money for numerous charities through these events. Alongside the main band that rehearse on a Friday night, Rogerstone Band has always promoted the development of youth playing and have their own junior band that rehearse every Tuesday evening led by Lara Jones and Olly Thomas. The junior band caters to a range of abilities and play a wide variety of ensemble music, as well as teaching and helping children to improve on their individual playing. If you would like any further information on Rogerstone Band or Rogerstone Junior Band or are thinking of joining please contact: Steve Haycox 07977 306011, Olly Thomas 07942 818813, Covid restrictions and guidelines may effect rehearsal times/numbers etc.


Book Swap…. A new community group started on recently  on Facebook, which is a great idea in these troubled times, encouraging residents to pass on their used books. The group was started by Rogerstone resident, Ellie Reid told me  “My two sons are avid readers and, with the libraries closed, I am struggling to keep them in books. This is a great way for residents to pay it forward. Rogerstone has two ‘Telephone Libraries,’ which are a fantastic resource, but they have been repeatedly overwhelmed with books.” The group asks members to post on the page with books they have read and arrange contact free swaps or collections. The group already has over 120 members. “So far I’ve picked up 3 books and donated 4, all contactlessly. Hopefully it will help and encourage people to keep reading.” Ellie added. Search for Rogerstone Book Swap on Facebook.

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