Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is to confer the Freedom of the County Borough to all key workers in recognition of their selfless hard work and dedication throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The Freedom of the County Borough, the highest accolade that the local authority can bestow, will take place at three separate open-air family event days in July.
The first ‘Community Thank You’ event will take place at Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, Pontypridd, on Saturday, July 9, followed by an event at Gelligaled Park, Ystrad, on Saturday, July 16, and Aberdare Park on Saturday, July 23. All events will take place from 11am until 5pm.
All three events are open to everyone and are a way of bringing the whole community together after such a challenging period.
Children’s entertainment will include FREE balloon-modeling and circus skills, along with small funfair rides, inflatables, mini golf and Segway rides (minimal charges will apply).
Councillor Andrew Morgan OBE, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “I am delighted and proud that all of our key workers are being granted the Freedom of our County Borough. They all played amazing roles in the fight against COVID-19, a global pandemic that tragically claimed so many lives.
“The three events will be about reflection and remembering all those people who have passed away - family members, loved ones, friends and people we didn’t even know. But it will also be an opportunity for us to give thanks to so many of our key workers who did so much during those dark and difficult times.
“Key workers come in all different guises, so many occupations, from Health, Social Care, Emergency Services, Frontline Staff, postal workers to shop assistants - the list goes on. We owe them all a huge thank you for their efforts during the pandemic.
“This Council is honouring all that these people did for us by giving them the biggest thank you that we can - the Freedom of Rhondda Cynon Taf.”
Rhondda Cynon Taf has a proud record of recognising and honouring those who have given extraordinary service to the County Borough and has a well-established tradition of conferring the Freedom of the Borough on worthy candidates. This accolade is highly prestigious and is intentionally relatively scarcely awarded to preserve its importance.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Mayor, Councillor Wendy Treeby, said: “It will be a huge honour to grant the Freedom of Rhondda Cynon Taf to all of our key workers. Far too many to recognise individually, we will collectively say the biggest thank you possible in the only way we can - by conferring upon all our key workers the Freedom of our County Borough.
“Key workers come from all walks of life. They may be your partner, family member, friend. A Key worker is someone who is considered to provide an essential service, no matter how big or how small – they know who they are.
“We will forever be grateful to them all. By receiving the Freedom of Rhondda Cynon Taf, our key workers are in good company.”
Previous recipients of the Freedom of Rhondda Cynon Taf include the coal miners of South Wales, The Royal Welsh, The Welsh Guards, author and playwright the late Elaine Morgan OBE, founder of the world-famous Nos Galan Road Races, the late Bernard Baldwin MBE, The Cory Band, and MOD St Athan and all local service personnel of The Royal Air Force, Past and Present.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council encouraged its residents to show their appreciation for key workers and NHS staff by joining in the nationwide ‘Clap for our Carers’ campaign, with thousands of people taking to their doorsteps and gardens to show their appreciation to all frontline workers.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the efforts and work carried out by key workers across Rhondda Cynon Taf and beyond has been instrumental to ensuring the safety of others, with selfless sacrifices being made by many.
During the pandemic, appreciation for key workers was demonstrated both locally and nationally through the display of rainbows, social media messages, road signs and weekly doorstep applauding.
Posted on 14/07/2022