Yellow and Blue (YAB Group Ltd) is a social enterprise which has been operating in Wrexham for the past three years.
Its aim is to support the community of Wrexham including the vulnerable and anyone facing short term or long-term hardship, illness, disability or struggling physically and mentally and the pandemic has sadly meant that its work has increased significantly.
Pete Humphreys founded Yellow and Blue (YAB) in 2017 following the death of his father along with a close friend, to bowel cancer. He started YAB as an online charity but had the goal of setting up a community hub to help people in need.
Following the death of his father, Pete helped his mother Rosemary to run Number 22 café in Wrexham, and last year gave out 9600 meals to the elderly and homeless during lockdown.
However, with the help of a £10,000 National Lottery grant, two year support from the Co-operative and lots of fundraising, Pete was able to secure premises and, last November, fulfilled his dream of setting up a hub for those in need, as he explains,
“One thing dad always wanted while he was ill was somewhere he could go and relax which was something between palliative care and a consultation room. I wanted to create an environment that would bring a big social impact for people, suffering with terminal illnesses, so they had a place like my dad wanted.”
“There are so many people going through things alone and I wanted to create a place where people can come in, relax and have fun. We have daily activity timetables and workshops supporting everyone with learning disabilities, terminal illnesses or people can use it as a drop in centre.
“The hub is very innovative; we have hydroponic walled gardens being designed as we want to it to be vibrant and uplifting to people that come to the hub.”
The YAB founding group is a very small core team but they have a remarkable 96 volunteers who offer their help and services.
Pete adds, “We believe in team work, working with likeminded individuals, organisations and businesses to make Wrexham the gold standard community where people are the priority. We support other organisations, local authorities and individuals to take our project and adapt it to suit the needs of their own community. With a compassionate board and group of volunteers, we are creating a legacy for Wrexham, one where everyone works together, anyone who may be struggling can access support urgently and to see our wonderful county achieve its full potential.”
Over the Christmas period YAB worked tirelessly to give out food to those in need, working with different community groups, charities and businesses in Wrexham.
Pete added, “On Christmas Eve we worked in collaboration with Given to Shine Wrexham to give out food parcels from the hub, which saw 40 tons of food saved from food waste distributed and on Christmas Day we served three course meals to the homeless and those temporarily housed at the hub.
“Following that, on the 27 December we teamed up with Nanny Biscuit, a community group, to provide 100 Christmas dinners to the vulnerable in the community and those self-isolating due to the pandemic.”
Pete is currently studying towards a Masters in Financial Technology at Manchester University,
“With a digital vision within the community we aim to support vulnerable groups with speech recognition software whilst creating a vibrant, supportive and uplifting experience. Creating moments, chances and smiles when people need it most.”
Commenting on this initiative, the Welsh Government’s Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said: “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Yellow and Blue for their hard work and passion in keeping the people of Wrexham safe during this difficult time.
“The commitment and innovation they’ve shown in adapting to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic are characteristic of the resilient nature of this sector, along with the effort they have put in to support their local community.”
This year sees further progress for the Hub with continued food provisions being offered, also volunteer and hub roles to former street homeless, expansion for the Hub and a hydroponic walled garden being designed.
If you would like to donate to or support Yellow and Blue, or to find out more about Yellow and Blue projects visit https://www.yellowandblue.org
Images credit Pete Humphreys, YAB Group Ltd