I HOPE everyone in Newport enjoys the festive season.

I’d like to wish you all a safe and merry Christmas and a very happy and healthy New Year.

Newport Night Shelter are doing a fantastic job supporting our residents who are presently homeless.

This is especially important at this time of year when it is particularly cold and our thoughts at Christmas are of giving and sharing.

Volunteers work across sixteen churches in the city and manage to open nightly to provide a bed space for up to 12 people between the months of November and April.

Everyone is served a hot supper and given a warm bed in which to sleep whilst being supported to register with Newport City Council to find more permanent accommodation. Newport has been outstanding in their support of Newport Night Shelter with over 4000 volunteers helping out last winter, with as many wanting to support the charity again this year.

When I asked if there was any more that could be done to help it was explained that there is a real need for hats, gloves and scarves which can be sent to 25 Hill Street Newport NP20 1LZ and they are open on Wednesday and Thursday from 10am until 1pm.

In addition, a Total Giving page has been set up as the Charity needs a new vehicle to ferry bedding and food to the different churches. They are attempting to raise £10,000 and the link is https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/donate/eden-gate-newport.

Christmas festivities often include a family walk and recently this has meant a trip to the Wales Coast Path which runs right past Newport hugging our country’s coastline from Chepstow to Chester.

It offers countless opportunities to either gently stroll or take on more strenuous activity whilst enjoying the beautiful landscape and wildlife that can be seen along the Gwent levels. The path was first opened in 2012 and Wales was the first country in the world to have a dedicated footpath along its entire coastline.

A recent survey showed that most people will visit it on a day trip from home with, as yet, only a minority attempting to walk the 870 miles in its entirety.

Certainly an ambition to aspire to!