At this time of year my diary is full of Christmas events across the constituency: Christmas Fayres in village halls and churches; the growing popularity of Christmas Tree Festivals, in churches and vestries from Llanharan to Cefn Cribwr and all points between; and even Christmas lights parades through towns and villages, or the incredible Christmas Parade in Maesteg with their festive version of carnival floats.
This is a wonderful time of year for friends and families and communities coming together, celebrating all that is good about Christmas, and all that is good about the places we live.
But at this time of year, spare a thought too for the lonely and the vulnerable. It can be a bleak time for those who are less fortunate at Christmas, and there are ways in which we can all help.
Bridgend Foodbank collect food donations all year round for donation to those in need, for families and individuals who would otherwise go hungry. I was pleased to help them again this weekend with their collections at Tesco in Maesteg, alongside a big enthusiastic group of volunteers. So if you see the collections going on at a store near you, please donate whatever you can, if you are able.
And look out for those who are alone at Christmas, especially the elderly. Age Cymru have highlighted the growing issue of loneliness for older people, and this is sometimes made worse at Christmas when we miss those loved ones who’ve passed away, or we see all around us others having fun. So, if you have an elderly neighbour living alone, think about popping by for a chat, or with a dollop of your Christmas pud. These little things matter a lot to someone living alone.
Have a wonderful Christmas, and let’s share the goodwill to all!