Trees at a care organisation have been festooned with dozens of yellow ribbons as a symbol of hope during the coronavirus pandemic.
They’ve been made by the artistic residents and staff at Pendine Park in Wrexham using recycled plastic to send out a message of optimism from the locked down complex.
The colourful project has been masterminded by Pendine’s artist-in-residence, Sarah Edwards.
The idea was originally inspired by an unlikely mix of the 1973 hit, Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree, by dawn featuring Tony Orland and the 1979 US-Iranian Hostage Crisis.
Sarah said: “The song was actually about a prisoner and the theory was that the yellow ribbon would signify the welcome at home for someone who had been released from jail.
“We were also inspired by the former Church of England envoy, Terry Waite, who endured four years of captivity after being kidnapped in the Lebanon.
“At Pendine, we have forged close links with Terry through our support of Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod of which is the president.
“Music and the arts generally are central to everything we do and the iconic event exemplifies the restorative power and healing qualities of music an culture in a troubled world.
“The coronavirus pandemic isn’t a hostage situation but it is a crisis which means that families unable to visit our relatives because of the lockdown and the need to keep people safe.
“The project is a work in progress. We have created enough yellow ribbons for the trees that line the entrance to our Summerhill Road site. However, this is an idea we would like to across all Pendine Park sites, here in Wrexham and Caernarfon.
“It’s about sending out that message that we look forward to welcoming relatives and friends back into our homes once the coronavirus pandemic has ended. It’s all about hope.
“It has been tough for residents of all our homes as we have been unable to allow friends and relatives to come into the care homes. It’s one of the measures we have had to take to keep our residents safe and keep the virus at bay and out of our care homes.”
She added: “We looked at how we might make the yellow ribbons and thought we could use the yellow plastic that some of our supplies are wrapped in.
“Penybryn and Bryn Bella residents have worked together in the art room cutting and making the yellow ribbons and we have now tied them to the trees at the entrance to the Summerhill site.
“It’s something residents have enjoyed and it really brightens up the area. Residents really take pride in making the ribbons.
Former Shotton Paper forklift truck driver, Tony Ithell, 61 , a resident of Penybryn, has been one of the driving forces behind the project.
According to Tony, who suffered a massive stroke in 2014 that left him needing round the clock care, making the yellow ribbons and tying them around the trees is sending a good message .
The married father-of-two said: “ We all enjoy art work. We thought using yellow plastic was the best way to make the ribbons as it’s a good way to recycle things.
“I staple the cut out plastic to make the ribbons and then help to tie them around the trees.
“It’s sad that people can’t come into visit us and we miss our families but there’s nothing we can do about it. We want people to know we are looking forward to seeing them again after the virus has gone.”
Bryn Bella resident Sian Ferrier, 49, says everyone is looking forward to the day the virus is clear and people can come back into the care home.
She said: “Making the yellow ribbons has been a good way for us to send a message that we are looking forward to seeing everyone once this virus is over.”
It was a sentiment echoed by Penybryn resident Mike Blakely, 60, a former cabinet maker from Bagillt, Flintshire, says making the ribbons has been a good way to keep occupied.
He said: “Keeping busy is really important and we always have something to do. I like art work and just making things. I think the ribbons look really bright and colourful.
“We are going to carry on making them for other Pendine Park care homes. It’s just a nice thing to do.”
To find out more about Pendine Park Care Homes please visit www.pendinepark.com