Monthly Archives: April 2016
Swansea is not yet Utopia… But it is a nice place to be!
Two signifiers of its status as a nice place to be are that it has both City of Sanctuary and Fair Trade City status.
I manage one of the City’s Oxfam shops, and, as Oxfam are involved in both the City of Sanctuary and Fair Trade City campaigns, we organised a joint walk from the shop up to the top of Kilvey Hill.
Kilvey Hill is a lovely wooded hill which overlooks the City, with sweeping views in all directions : The perfect place from which to look down with pride upon Swansea : City of Sanctuary and Fair Trade City!
I arrived for the walk to find a shop packed full of people. As the manager of the shop, I would have been happy if they’d all been shoppers, but I was also happy to find that actually most were here for the walk! (This is a good point at which to say Thanks to George and Beth who looked after the shop while we went for a nice walk in the sunshine!)
After the (slightly unfair) distribution of Fairtrade bananas (We were in the happy position of having a larger than expected turnout!), we had lots of group photos… including one which Olga put on the shop’s Facebook page and which went on to become the sixth best performing post that day from any Oxfam facebook account worldwide!! (Thank you, all you likers and sharers!)
…And then we set off… round the corner past The Mad Cow with their Fairtrade drinks and chocolates… and down, over the River Tawe, with Plantasia (with their Fairtrade cafe) to our left and Sainsburys (The world’s largest retailer of fairtrade products!) to our right.
As always, it took ages to cross the horribly busy roads… but waiting on the other side, like some kind of storybook hero, was a kind man with a horse, ready to show us the way!
Bron (the kind man with the horse) lives on the hill and is part of the Kilvey Hill Volunteers group, who were wanting to show us the way up via a newly cleared footpath. (This was the path that we got stuck on last time we did the walk – referred to as “The Jungle” on the map of the route we put online!)
After passing Cowboy Rock on the now lovely and clear path, we stopped for a rest and Marian from the Kilvey Hill Volunteers told us more about the group’s excellent work looking after the hill.
Then, onwards and upwards, seeing more of the City (and Pembrokeshire and Devon!) as we climbed.
At the summit, picnics and stories were shared in the Swansea Spring sunshine.
People who were born on the hill told its history to people new to the city. Horse riders from Wales and Africa chatted together. And we all ate Fair Breaks!
And we all posed for more photos! And took lots too!
It’s always quicker going downhill… but particularly when you know that at the end of the walk you have food prepared by Swansea Bay Asylum Seeker Support Group volunteers! – A lovely end to a lovely day 🙂