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A WOMAN from Torfaen has been helping her neighbours by supplying them with fresh eggs through lockdown.

Anna-Marie Yhnell, from Garndiffaith, wanted to do something to help her neighbours after seeing empty shelves in the shops as a result of panic buying in April during the first lockdown.

Mrs Yhnell, who keeps chickens, decided then to leave fresh eggs out for her neighbours to make sure they didn’t run out.


“When the first lockdown started the shops were seeing people panic buy leading to shortages. I felt the need to help my community,” she said. “So, there it started. Each day I would pop half a dozen eggs on their doorsteps.

“It depended how many eggs the girls gave me as to how many neighbours I could cover.”

With Wales now deep into its third lockdown, Mrs Yhnell said she wanted to encourage as many people as possible to start doing small acts of kindness, as she has seen how they quickly spread.

“It’s build up relationship with my neighbours,” she said. “At the moment we can’t see family members but you see your neighbours.

“It improves neighbours' relationships. If you live in a close knit area it’s essential.

“Are you doing simple kind gestures for your community? Are there people doing shopping for each other walking dogs if their owns can’t get out?

“To me, it’s the self-reward. People are down in the dumps and we are trying to look at our mental health and mindfulness.

“I hope that as we come out of the other side that all these things we are doing keep going. I will never stop giving my neighbours eggs.”

Mrs Yhnell’s neighbours have also been returning the favour - sharing their homemade and home grown goods with each other. These include wine, rock cakes, beetroot, marmalade, jam and even a pumpkin to put out on Halloween.

“The latest recruit of among my neighbours brews his own beer so all of the maize and barley from his process is now given to the chickens as food rather than going to refuse,” she said.

Mrs Yhnell said, before the pandemic, she had not got to know her neighbours, but now she wishes she had done it sooner - particularly when, in 2018, her husband passed away.

“The night my husband died I didn’t know any of my neighbours,” she said. “I look back and wish I could have knocked one of the doors for help or just so somebody could watch my boy while I had to do CPR.

“I now have fresh produce, wine, pumpkins, chicken food, marmalade and jam, but most of all I have a community of lovely neighbours whose doors I could knock and the door would open in my time of need.”

Mrs Yhnell is a volunteer with Bron Afon’s Helping Families Work project funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. She supports and encourages families who want to improve where they live and work by using their own skills to create projects that they feel are important in their local community.