The Close-Knit Community Tree 2015

The Celebration Tree 2015. Each person’s dedication is displayed on this tree. Photo credit: Richard J White.

The Close-Knit Community 2015 has arrived! In the early hours of Sunday, 22nd March, a group of slightly nutty volunteers were busy yarn bombing at Abergavenny Castle.

The knitted and crocheted squares were made by supporters with a connection to Abergavenny and women from Zimele’s Fairtrade craft groups in Swayimane, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. The project was conceived as part of the ongoing link between both communities through Wales Africa Community Links, funded by the Welsh Government’s Wales for Africa programme.

The Mayor of Abergavenny, Councillor Martin Hickman ‘opened’ the tree after a few words from Zimele’s Rebecca Hands. Julie Long entertained children with a story. Zimele then presented Macmillan, Ethiopian Midwives and The Red Cross with blankets made from last year's project.


The Close-Knit Community Tree

March 22nd 2015

In celebration of all the special and wonderful people in our lives:

  • Abergavenny Friends
  • Sarah Arthur
  • Frederick Bales
  • Fred Bell
  • Jane Bell
  • Dewi Beynon
  • Megan Beynon
  • George Brown
  • Doris Brunt
  • Peter Buhaenko
  • May Carmichael
  • Julie Child
  • Janet Clark
  • Cathy & Jim Collins
  • Herbert Couchman
  • Olive Couchman
  • Sarah Couchman
  • Gavin Dash
  • Shirley Davies (for mam)
  • Harold Davis
  • Julia Elford
  • Margaret Elkins
  • Elizabeth Gash
  • James Gash
  • Gilwern Family Services
  • Stuart Glassborow
  • Sue Gotley
  • David Griffiths
  • Margaret & John Griffiths
  • Angela Hands
  • Jeff Hands
  • Maureen Hands
  • Peternel Hankin
  • Jesse Hodges
  • Marjorie Hodges
  • Holly the Horse
  • Greta Holt
  • John Holt
  • Edith Hunt
  • Caroline Jenner
  • Doreen John
  • Laurie Jones
  • Kelly
  • Jon Long
  • Rhonwen Maeva
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Harry McGilvery
  • Midwives@Ethiopia
  • Mick Morden
  • Jack Morgan, Abertillery
  • Ron Morris
  • Mum and Dad
  • Leonard Nimoy
  • Peace and the World
  • Gwyneth Phillips
  • Terry Pratchett
  • Joan Rimmer
  • Bridget Robinson
  • Ian Robinson
  • Mike Rowland
  • Delvie Smith
  • David Thomas Taylor
  • Paul Taylor
  • Dennis Walbeoff
  • Megan Walters
  • Trevor Walters
  • Denise Warner
  • Malcolm Watkins
  • Marjorie Watkins
  • Kate Watt
  • Mabel Weekes
  • Leah Williams
  • June Wright
  • Michael Young


With thanks to the following businesses for their sponsorship:

Izwa- a day of celebration!

On Saturday 21st March 2015, Zimele UK was delighted to host

Izwa- Culture & Crafts @ the Castle

Celebrating our Links to the Wider World

We couldn't be more pleased with how it went. The sun shone, the crowds arrived and much fun was had by all.

Parliamentary candidate, Ruth Jones, was kind enough to open proceedings with the help of Abergavenny Mayor, Councillor Martin Hickman.

Here are a few highlights in pictures...


Our thanks go to funders Wales Africa Community Links and Fairtrade Wales.

And community supporters (in no particular order!) Abergavenny Museum, Abergavenny Carnival, Love Zimbabwe, The Bawlers, The Birches, The Cleatons, Cantref Primary School, Samba Buena, Topaz Tribal, 7 Corners, Tools for Self-Reliance Cymru, GlitterArti Gifts, Abergavenny Scouts, Abergavenny Community Woodland Group, Sharons ToyShare, Holywell Community, 2478 Abergavenny Squadron Air Training Corps and Sam Charrington Design.

Beading Workshops Galore

Zimele's visiting bead craft artisans from KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, were kept busy during their visit in March 2015. Nozipho Zondi and Shonaphi Sibisi ran 8 workshops in total, teaching daisy chain bracelets and necklaces, multi strand necklaces and house keyrings to a range of students.

Crafty Women, a joint initiative between Monmouthshire Housing Association (MHA) and Arts Alive Wales to address isolation and create community connections, was the first host. The group made daisy chain necklaces and were wonderfully patient whilst Nozipho and Shonaphi threaded their fine beading needles! Important lesson learned for running workshops- pre-thread the needles!

Next we visited Cantref Primary School to spend the afternoon with Year 4. The children were brilliantly and quickly grasped the technique to make elasticated daisy chain bracelets.

On Wednesday 18th March we spent the morning with Abergavenny Community Enterprise (ACE) where workshop participants tackled the complex Zimele house keyrings.

Stitch Together Abergavenny hosted Nozipho and Shonaphi on Thursday morning where daisy chain necklaces were again the order of the day.


Thursday evening was spent in the stunning venue of Abergavenny Museum where we were lucky to have a private viewing of some of the Museum's collection of beadwork. Our thanks also go to Cath Barton for providing the delicious canapes. The workshop was a great success with some participants getting further than others with their multi-strand necklace. Everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable evening regardless, and beads were taken home to finish these stunning necklaces.

On Friday we returned to Cantref Primary School where Year 6 proved to be equally adept at making daisy chain bracelets. After beading, the children spent an informative half hour chatting to Nozipho and Shonaphi about life in their communities and for their children, as well as looking at where they live on google maps. Nozipho's home. Shonaphi's home.

On Saturday Nozipho and Shonaphi ran morning and afternoon workshops at Izwa, Zimele's day of Culture and Crafts @ the Castle.

Our thanks go to Wales Africa Community Links for their support in making this skill and cultural exchange visit possible.