Residents of Swn-Y-Mor Care Home in Aberavon enjoyed an afternoon to remember on Wednesday when they were visited by a group of Ospreys players as part of the 'Volunteers Day' initiative taking place during pre-season.
Senior pro’s Duncan Jones, Joe Bearman and Sonny Parker were joined on the visit by younger players including Joe Rees, Ashley Beck and Matthew Torrance among others as they swooped on the sea-front residential home to serve up afternoon tea, before taking their hosts out for a stroll along the promenade.
They spent two hours helping out the hard-working care staff, enjoying some fascinating conversations with some of Ospreylia’s senior citizens, who were happy to share their home with some of their rugby heroes.
Bearman, who is spending his first pre-season at the region, said it had been a tremendous experience for all concerned:
“It was brilliant” he enthused.
“It’s a privilege to be invited into their home and to be a special part of the day. The ladies and gentlemen I met with have so much life and energy in them, and they have so much experience, to just be able to walk and talk with them, or to sit with them for 10 minutes was fascinating. I couldn’t believe how many of them were Ospreys fans and knew about our game against Russia at the Liberty at the end of August. Hopefully we’ll get to see some of them at the game.
“I know all the guys have really enjoyed ourselves, I hope that the residents at Swn-Y-Mor will look back on the afternoon as fondly as we will. As a group, it’s important that we make this kind of connection with all areas of the local community and I’m sure that we’ve made some real friends among these residents and their families. As someone who’s new to the Ospreys, it’s great to be able to get out and about like this and get to know the people in the region.”
Sharon Williams, Manager at Swn-Y-Mor was delighted with how the afternoon went, saying:
“All our residents will remember this afternoon for a long time. It’s something that they will talk about to their family and friends when they visit, because it’s something special. We’ll print out the photos of the afternoon and it will give them all something to remember the day by. We have a lot of Ospreys fans living here and we do get to the Liberty Stadium to watch them when we can, which makes today extra special for them.”
One of the younger players in the party, Kristian Phillips, said that it had been a pleasure to be able to bring some smiles and laughter to Swn-Y-Mor for the afternoon:
“To be honest with you all we did is turn up there and let them entertain us as there were so many characters there! We all had a great afternoon, and I think the residents enjoyed having tea and cakes served to them and just enjoying a laugh with us.
“I’m a local boy and I know several people here, so for me, it’s been a special afternoon. Most of the squad are local boys as well, so to be able to go into the community and do things like this that really make an impact is important to us. We are a part of the community, that’s something that we should never forget.”
The Ospreys have teamed up with the South Wales Evening Post to launch the ‘Volunteer Days’ that will see players carrying out charitable work in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend during pre-season.
There are two more dates available, on Wednesday 27th July and Wednesday 3rd August, when the players will be free to assist community projects or initiatives based within the region, and will be looking to turn their hands to activities that they can do together as a group. The squad will be split into groups of between 10 and 15, so all nominated activities should be suitable for such a number.
To nominate a charity, community group or similar good cause for the Ospreys to tackle in their two remaining ‘Volunteer Days’, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit our Facebook page to see more photos from the afternoon.