Last week Goleudy received a sizable and generous donation from Phil Billingham made in memory of his grandparents. The money will make a helpful difference to our work, and there is a wonderful human story behind this donation.
Phil’s Grandparents, Jack and Sarah Billingham were both born and brought up in Port Talbot. Phil takes up the story.
“Jack was a docker and served as such through the war. He built – literally by hand – a football pitch for returning troops as the war ended.
As they were one of 13 children each, as a child, I was accustomed to almost everyone we met being a relative of some description or other. Their house was a typical Aberavon house. The door was open all day, and you never really knew who was going to be at any meal, but it was always more than you thought.
With my grandparents, family always came first. No arguments, no buts. The Billingham’s were – still are, I guess - notorious for looking after family
And that, in turn, meant that my Gran was really bothered by homelessness. Where was the family? Everyone should have family to help them.
Of course, we all accept its much more complex than that, and that’s why organisations such as Goleudy, connected to the local community, are so important. The community must step in where family cannot.
When we found ourselves in a position to make this donation, we knew we wanted it to go towards help for the homeless, in Port Talbot in particular. As neither my sister (Lorna Billingham) nor I live in Port Talbot anymore, we were unsure who best to donate to.
So I reached out to another former Glanavon pupil on Twitter, Michael Sheen. His suggestion seemed very sensible, and we have been delighted to make a small donation to Goleudy.”