UNSUNG heroes in Torfaen have been celebrated for the work they do in their communities, through a campaign run by bus company Stagecoach.

The firm's Local Heroes campaign, which was launched to coincide with the introduction of a fleet of new Stagecoach gold buses to Cwmbran, was aimed at celebrating the work of unsung heroes in Torfaen.

And following hundreds of nominations, St Cadocs and Penygarn councillor Sue Malson was selected as the main winner, meaning her charity Trac2, which aims to tackle poverty in Trevethin, received £1,000 from Stagecoach.

"It was a shock to find out," she said. "I'm overwhelmed that so many people had nominated me.

"The money will be put to good use. We are there for everybody in Torfaen to help combat poverty throughout the borough."


Four other local heroes were selected to each receive £100 for their good cause, and have one of the Stagecoach gold buses named after them.

They were Sian Legge, Rachel Hamilton, Gerald Sims, and Dave Simpson.

Sian Legge volunteers with Greenmeadow and St Dials Hall and organises litter picks and fundraisers in the community.

She said that she was surprised to receive the nomination.

"There's so many people out there that do such good work in the community, and I almost feel like I have done nothing special," she said.

"It is nice to have Stagecoach donating money for the community.

"We are currently renovating the park and we offer a range of free and low cost children's activities. We are also doing a 'grow your own veg' allotment with Fairhill Church."

South Wales Argus:

(Sian Legge, Sue Malson and Rachel Hamilton (L-R) are presented with their plaques by Stagecoach operations manager for Cwmbran Mark Tunstall.)

The founder of the Cwmbran Youth Theatre Rachel Hamilton was also selected as a winner.

Since it was founded 25 years ago, the theatre has offered youngsters a safe space to develop their confidence and performance skills.

"It was a total surprise," she said. "I had to read the email twice!

"It is humbling to be recognised but the real reward is in the job that we do.

"The money will support our next production, Godspell, which we will be performing in July."

Another winner of the local hero campaign was Gerald Sims, who has spent upwards of 40 hours a week coaching the Cwmbran Otters swimming group for more than 30 years.

Dave Simpson was also selected for his work with the LEGUP group in Trevethin and in a personal capacity helping vulnerable people in the community.

Rosa Williams, marketing manager for Stagecoach in South Wales said: “We’re delighted to officially name the Stagecoach gold town service buses which operate around Cwmbran, Ty Canol, Fairwater, Thornhill, Croesyceiliog and Hollybush after our local heroes.

"The winners were nominated by local people for their outstanding contribution to the community.

"Mark Tunstall, Stagecoach operations manager for Cwmbran depot awarded all the winners with a named gold plaque which will be displayed at the back of the bus and a donation to their charity or organisation.”