by Ali Franks and Tim Smith, project facilitators
This summer giants, wizards and elves were seen in Betws as we all took part in our Summer Arts Scheme, a week of creative fun with local children between the ages of 3 and 12 at our Sardis Media Centre in Betws. Luckily we were blessed with great weather for the first time in years for the whole week, so we were able to work both inside and out.
We were happy to see the return of our much missed Valley and Vale Summer scheme, thanks to funding from Families First, Bridgend County Borough Council and The Arts Council of Wales, enabling children from Betws and the surrounding areas to take part in a fun-packed week of art activities and games. This year’s theme of giants wizards and elves really caught the kids’ imaginations. The week began with discovering the story of a giant that used to live in Betws and finding out what had happened to him. Everyone helped to imagine the story. The children worked with Tim and Shelly to build ‘Larry the Giant’ out of bamboo, kindly given to us by Bryngarw Country Park. We played games and went into the meadow to gather sticks for wand making. Over the week we danced with Issie, played, made wizards and moulded clay with Alison, collected things from the forest to make costumes with Al and beautiful magic wands with Ali. We even managed to fit in a very sunny trip to Rest Bay where we made sand sculptures and found starfish and crabs.
The week ended with completing Larry the Giant, dressing him up and bringing him to life and by us all becoming wizards together. The plan was to parade through Betws to the woods to re-awaken the ancient giants of Betws who had been turned into trees by an evil wizard, but Larry must have scared the sun off because all this wet stuff started coming from the sky (rain apparently. Remember that?).
A great week was had by everyone and Valley and Vale would like to thank all the children for taking part and making it so much fun. We hope to see you all and more next summer. All the children reported thoroughly enjoying the week, and feeling more confident as a result. Their highlights included, “clay”, “making new friends”, and “everything”!!