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Rugby stars issue Coronation volunteers plea

[Press center5] time:2023-06-02 03:08:58 source:BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation) author:news click:164order

People across Wales are being encouraged to use Monday's extra bank holiday to volunteer.

Rugby players Leigh Halfpenny and Jamie Roberts joined a litter pick in Newport, while the Archbishop of Wales raised awareness of plastic pollution at a beach clean in Gwynedd.

The Big Help Out is taking place across the UK to mark the King's Coronation.

It is one of the official projects aimed at promoting opportunities and encouraging more people to volunteer.

"I think the Coronation's a big event for the British public and it's a time when we should come together and something like this is a way of doing it," said Roberts.

Halfpenny added: "It's important we look after our communities and that's what the Big Help Out is all about." 

The Lord Lieutenant of Gwent, Robert Aitken, who has arranged a series of litter picks across the area, said the best gift he could give to the King who "has everything" was a letter outlining how many tonnes of litter had been collected.

"We thought cleaning up the countryside and cleaning up the area would really touch him," he said.

In Presteigne, Powys, more than 20 people came to volunteer at the local Scout hut which was vandalised last September.

Peter Hood, 87, who was helping to clean flag poles, said "everybody helping each other" is how the country should always be.

"The country would come to a standstill if it wasn't for volunteers and charities," Mr Hood added.

Also helping out was nine-year-old Amelia and her mother Mel.

Amelia, a member of the local Cubs group, was helping with weeding and said she was looking forward to painting the Scout hut.

Amelia said: "I think this is good because it helps the community."

Group Scout Leader Ann Dodd said: "Sadly, in September someone broke into the hut, they dragged everything out on to the meadow nearby, pulled down a lot of our craft equipment.

"We've got 23 people here today and they're all very busy. The idea is to give the Scout hut a revamp. Mother nature has taken over things a little bit and we need to reclaim it for the youngsters."

Chair of the Scout group, Fiona Preece, said: "I feel amazing to see the community coming together. This work will help keep the building for many years to come. It's just amazing."

Elsewhere, the Archbishop of Wales Andrew John volunteered at a beach clean at Dinas Dinlle, near Caernarfon, Gwynedd.

"There's a secret volunteers have that not many people know and it's this: When you give freely, you always get more back in return," he said.

Meanwhile at Holyhead, Anglesey, members of Girlguiding Cymru planned to clear away invasive species at Penrhos Coastal Park.

"We have lots of parents and volunteers lending a hand too," said Louise Marsden, a Girlguiding and Rangers leader in Holyhead.

"We want to use the day to highlight that we are volunteers and help in the community."

(editor-in-charge:Press center5)

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