IN the new year we asked people of the Vale to vote for members of the community who made a difference in 2022, and three names came up, including a woman who supplied hospital staff with refreshments via her porch.

Rowen Hughes

Rowena Hughes does huge amounts in the community, but one of the most extraordinary things was setting up a donation centre on her front porch for front-line workers to get hold of refreshments while they were working during the pandemic and beyond.   

Kathryn Fisher said: “Rowena Hughes and her husband Brian, have been inspirational.

"The Porch started out as a lockdown project, to support local charities and it’s still continuing.

"All of us at the Noah's Ark Children's Hospital Charity, are extremely grateful for their continued support."

Sheila Jupp said of Rowena: “Her and husband Bryan have been inspirational through the pandemic and beyond in coordinating collection of gifts and food for front-line workers, hospital patients and children at Noah's Ark Hospital.

"To be honest, how they haven't been recognised by the honours system is a mystery.”

Ms Hughes said she was hugely grateful to the community for their support: “I am just a facilitator. It is the people who donate that should be applauded. Me and my husband are just overwhelmed by the generosity of the Barry community.” 

Barry And District News:

Rowena gave up her porch for the Barry community

Glan Williams

Mr Williams has been a member of the Barry Athletic Club since 1976, and, come rain or shine, does all the groundwork for the club’s facilities and runs the kids’ cricket teams – despite waiting on two new knees and a new hip.

Nicola Prosser said of Mr Williams: “This retired schoolteacher who selflessly gives up any free time to Barry Athletic is amazing!

"He is waiting for new knees and is in obviously in discomfort, but yet no matter what time of day I arrived at work on Barry Island he is there, not just keeping the grounds in pristine condition, but giving his knowledge and expertise to children with the love for cricket that he has!

"It is an understatement to emphasise the enthusiasm, commitment and pure joy he gives to so many cricketers and the cricketing community! Selfless!”

Mr Williams took the praise in his stride saying, “It’s very nice to be appreciated, but it’s what I have done all my life.”

Barry And District News:

Cricket-mad Glan Williams has made the difference for a local sports club

Other people nominated:

  • Alison Woolcock who set up the Watchtower Waders swim club.
  • Craig Holmes and Aimee Bannister of Kinging-It, who have raised £60,000 for mental health charities.
  • Geoff Brown for raising a huge amount of money for Cancer Research.

Samantha Campbell

Samantha has been running Rhoose Community Spirit team with just one other person since 2017.

She described 2022 as the busiest year to date doing projects like putting out flower baskets in front of shops in Rhoose, organising jubilee parties, and putting on big light displays for the town at Christmas.

Emma Cane said: “Samantha Campbell leads the Rhoose Community Spirit team with such passion and dedication.”

Barry And District News:

(Ms Campbell, pictured with Santa, says she loves living in Rhoose)

Ms Campbell said if her work changes just one person’s day, then it's worth it.

“I do what I do to make people happy,” she said.

“We live in such a great community. It means the world to me living here. I have a small child and I would not want her growing-up in any other part of the world.”

Who made a difference to you in 2022? Let us know in comments or on our Facebook.