Monmouthshire County Council created a vibrant, fun and engaging space at Usk Show to celebrate all that the county has to offer. The theme for the day was ‘Keeping your Countryside Well’ so many local organisations and council departments came together –  from looking after the countryside by reducing single use plastic, to volunteers helping with rural transport solutions, to bringing people together to learn new skills and make friends.

Festival vibes were shared by the South East Wales Carers Trust, an organisation which supports young carers in Monmouthshire. The carers were on hand creating a unique festival experience with glitter face painting and a range of activities to raise awareness of the work they do.

The Gwent Music stage entertained visitors throughout the day with performances from South Mon saxophone ensemble, Monmouthshire Community Choir, Monmouth Comprehensive School, Cross Ash primary school choir, Swn Celtaidd, the Buskuleles of Usk and Allegra Choir.

Plastic free hints, tips and pledges were shared by Monmouthshire’s waste and recycling teams who were joined by Plastic Free Monmouth and Plastic Free Chepstow. Refillable drinking bottles were provided to all volunteers on the day to reduce the use of single use plastic at the event. Visitors were encourages to think about the impact littering has on the beautiful Monmouthshire countryside.

Craft workshops were delivered by Monmouthshire’s Community learning team who were teaching visitors of all ages  how to make recycled book animals. The team were keen to encourage everyone to learn something new and promoted the wide variety of courses on offer from Monmouthshire Community Learning.  Abergavenny’s Crafty Women’s group joined in the fun, helping residents to make remembrance poppies from recycled plastic bottles.

The council’s countryside team hosted a countryside game highlighting walks, attractions and things to do outdoors. Outside in the Give a Go Zone Monmouthshire’s Leisure team were popular with crazy golf and an inflatable tennis court saw many people take part in the ‘Serve Speed’ game with support from local tennis coaches. Information was available from the Monmouthshire sports development team on the wide range of health, fitness and outdoor adventures options across Monmouthshire.

A vintage car was a great talking point for Bridges Community Car Scheme who are looking for volunteers to help transport people who live in isolated rural areas. Dewis Cymru and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board had some great advice for keeping people well.

The fostering team raised awareness of the need for more foster carers in Monmouthshire. For more information and to find out how rewarding fostering can be go along to Three Salmons, Usk at 10.00am – 12.00pm  or 6.30 pm – 8.30pm on Thursday 13th September 2018. Monmouthshire themed gifts were on sale from Visit Monmouthshire and Fair Trade produce was on offer from Monmouthshire’s  Fair Trade group.

The council showcased it’s My Monmouthshire app and a new ‘Chat Bot’, interactive experience to enable residents receive information quickly and easily. Visitors to the marquee provided honest and open feedback about the council. Feedback will be used to constantly improve.

Peter Fox, Leader said: “Thanks to everyone who joined us at Usk Show on Saturday. As a local farmer, keeping rural communities well and thriving is really important to me. It was fantastic to hear residents talking about the things that matter to them and their sharing ideas about how we can become even better. It was lovely to see everyone enjoying a fun day out with their community.”