Trudy Davies_hot water bottles with charity

Woosnam and Davies News in Llanidloes has been helping its community keep warm this winter by distributing over 300 free hot water bottles as part of its Warm Hands, Warm Feet, Warm Heart initiative.

Store owner Trudy Davies has been giving a hot water bottle to any community groups that can make use of them, as well as inviting locals to the shop to have a hot water bottle reserved for them or someone they know.

Mars Easter

“I’ve given away over 300 hot water bottles,” says Trudy. “Yesterday, I got invited to a charity coffee morning in a neighbouring village and gave out 25 of them,” says Trudy. “I know most of the people any way because they’ve been in the shop or know their families.

“I also gave 40 of them to a village in the opposite direction for the Alzheimer’s Society … and I gave 50 to Helping Our Homeless Wales.”

The hot water bottle scheme is one of many community initiatives set up by the store. 

Caring Trudy also runs the Made With Llani Love knitting group, whereby the store collects wool donations, which volunteers then use to make clothing and blankets for local hospitals, groups and charities.

Trudy Davies_knitwear

“I don’t specify what they make, or any sizes - just bring it to me and I’ll find a use for it,” says Trudy. “Smaller blankets can be for people who have a wheelchair or a chair at home, just to cover their knees and the police put them in their car … just something to put over someone’s shoulders if they have fallen and are waiting for the ambulance.

“The bigger ones go to residential homes, housing associations and the homeless.”

Not only do the donations help those in need, but the act of knitting is beneficial for the volunteers themselves, many of whom are elderly, but still keen to contribute to society. “It gives the people who have knitted the things something to do, it gives them purpose,” explains Trudy. “They know they’ll get a thank you and a smile when they give something to us. If you can keep them motivated to do something then they can stay independent a lot longer.”

Trudy Davies_Jewellery collection

The outlet also regularly invites people to drop off their unwanted jewellery and glasses. “My spectacles collection doesn’t go to landfill - it gets recycled or reused in film sets and photo shoots,” she says. “I send old glasses and jewellery off to a company and get paid £25 a box.” 

Funds raised from the sale of the jewellery go to the British Heart Foundation, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, the Alzheimers Society, Dementia Friends and Meningitis Now. 

Trudy Davies_Glasses collection

Giving back doesn’t mean breaking the bank, she adds. “If you think outside the box, you can help people without [spending] a lot of money. It just takes the will to do it and a little bit of time and effort and wanting to be around people.”

She credits her team for enabling her to run so many different projects. “I’m so blessed by the people around me,” she says. “My family are amazing and my staff are so on board with whatever I’m doing. I’m sure they think ‘oh, she’s got another hair-brained idea again!’ but they love it.”

Trudy Davies_Thank you