One of the most positive things to come out of the pandemic has been community spirit. With people being told to stay home and stay local, community groups and neighbourhoods have gotten stronger and have pulled together more than ever before.
Lockdown has turned a group of mams from the local Ysgol Glan Ceubal (YGC) school into rebels determined to spread some cheer around Llandaff North and Gabalfa. Now branded as the ‘YGC Rebel Mams’, we caught up with one of the mams, Pam French, to find out more about their amazing pop-up projects and their motivations behind it.
The Grand National or the ‘Pam’ National? This is where it all began for Pam and the YGC Rebel Mams. On the deserted streets of Llandaff North and Gabalfa early in the first lockdown, Pam waswearing an inflatable horse costume to complete her run and raise £1,000 for the Welsh Air Ambulance. “My 3 year old wanted a horse ride for his birthday which was in lockdown. I bought a horse costume and before I knew it, I was running around the neighbourhood with everyone dressed up like they were going to the races cheering me on!”
This was before they were christened the YGC Rebel Mams, but the spirit of fun and community very much started here.
Deflated after the Pam National, they YGC mams got together on WhatsApp and devised their next plan. In the dead of night, a dozen of the crew got together to write 80s song lyrics on the pavements throughout the area. 100 different song lyrics! What followed was a huge surge in joy, surprise and community spirit as it was revealed that this was the workings of the YGC Rebel Mams. If humming along to a Wham tune won’t cheer you up, what will?!
What has followed these fun acts of rebel behaviour has been admirable to many. The YGC Mams created a pop-up zoo trail, Halloween trail, movie trail and Christmas trail for the children to follow around the neighbourhood on their daily walks.
The YGC Rebel Mams have grown in size and support over the last 12 months, now reaching between 10k and 20k people every month on Facebook alone.
They have thrown themselves into community projects such as guerrilla gardening on council land and road sweeping. They have a passion to keep the Taff river banks clear of nitrous oxide cannisters and are often out litter picking with their children to get everybody involved.
And the motivational force behind this fun, community spirited “vigilante” group of mothers? Behind their kind, fun and community spirited persona, they really do love being rebels at heart!