Community Champion’s account of Mosaic

‘I feel like I belong in the Brecon Beacons – it’s just like home to me’ Basma Ihbasheh gave a brilliant account of being a Community Champion at the final celebration event for Brecon Beacons Champions in February. Here’s what she said:

‘We attended the annuals in Brecon, Snowdonia and Pembrokeshire. My first experience was in Brecon, I was nervous as it was my first time out and about away from family but after a while, I felt more relaxed and confident to be around people that I don’t normally hang around with and I learnt how to have a good time out. The friendly atmosphere helped us all to feel like home. Attending these annuals allowed us to know other National Park Champions, visit new places and have more experience. We learnt good healthy habits by mixing and sharing stories with others. As well as healthy habits we were able to share information about available funds, cheapest and best coach companies. The most important thing was sharing our experience of taking groups to the National Parks, we discovered the difficulties we were facing and tried to find solutions to avoid these obstacles.

‘We had training such as map reading, first aid, leading walks which we really enjoyed and found important as we need all these skills when going to the National Parks. Through our training we visited many places, which encouraged us to be more confident to take our groups to other places. Going to the Brecon Beacons for me was a time that I didn’t want to waste; it was the time where my happiness began. I liked to enjoy myself and use every second in which to have time for every activity. I have become more active by walking to experience the nature in Brecon. While I am there I forget all about Barry and my family. Looking at the green colours gives us calmness. I love the stress free life in Brecon away from our mobile phones, TV’s and laptops. It allows us to socialize, play games and open our childhood memories once more.

‘Joining Mosic helped me to build confidence. After one year I become the chair of the Rainbow Women’s Group where I had the confidence to manage the funding, applying for forms, arrange activities, do the accounts and much more.

‘We made so many trips to Brecon for so many groups.

  • – We took a group of 37 people to Canal boat trips, it was a lovely place to visit for walking, it provided magical views and wildlife, it was a relaxing trip.
  • – We visited the Railway mountain where we had the chance to explore the lovely mountains and lakes.
  • – Being at the waterfalls was a great day out and very relaxing when listening to the sound of the water.
  • – We have had lovely walks and seen beautiful views.
  • – We have visited the mountain centre and explored new things and walked in areas that we haven’t visited before.
  • – Another trip is the Big Pit. We were all amazed and amused of what we have seen, It was a brilliant place to visit, suits all ages, authentic and no fee is needed for entry. The adults and kids showed interest and appreciated their lives after they’d heard the stories of the people that worked in the mine for their whole life.
  • – We visited Cantref Adventure Farm for our children. The kids enjoyed themselves feeding animals and horse riding while their parents were resting and taking a nap!
  • – Llangorse Activity Centre was a great place to take families and children as it contains a variety of indoor activities such as rock climbing. It was a lovely experience as it was something new.
  • – We also visited the Craig-y-Nos country park which provided lovely walks and beautiful scenery.
  • – The food festival in Brecon was also good, although we felt it wasn’t worth the money!
  • – The Mammal Trapping was another activity, it was enjoyable for families and kids. This experience is educational as we found about different types of mammals. It helped to build confidence and be more brave towards animals. Personally, this experience changed my point of view towards creatures we found in the field as I used to despise mice but after this, I started to feel the cuteness of them.
  • – We visited the Cathedral where we learnt about Welsh history.

‘From the feedback we took of the people that came to those trips. Some people connected some of those places to their country of birth as they feel close to their villages and countryside; some of them were born outside of the UK. Many people after visiting the National Parks promised to try to be healthy by practicing exercising more often. Most people feel positive and stress free after visiting the parks. The joy others get out of these visits is a highly rate. The smiles on their faces give us a good impression about the trips.

‘Out of these trips me and Alya learnt so many things. We learnt to choose the activities that mostly suit the group best. We learnt to manage the funding and arrange the activities accordingly. We learnt to hold responsibility as it’s not easy to take big groups and to be in charge of them. Although sometimes we made mistakes, we learnt from them for the next trip. Sharing food with others makes the trips more enjoyable and fun as we get to taste and learn about different cultures.

‘The friendly atmosphere we get from the National Parks Authority, Mosaic officers and hostels we stayed in gave us more confidence to ask for help if needed in the future. We feel like home while staying in the hostels. We always get support from our leaders which gives us the opportunity to take as many people as we can to experience and enjoy the National Parks. It is amazing what you can see and do in Brecon. I feel like I belong in the Brecon Beacons – it’s just like home to me. Thank you Mosaic!’