A FORMER midwife is planning to build community spirit in a village that faces rural isolation without a shop, pub or bus service.

Shirley Tidswell, 57, has launched the Rural Acitivites Group (RAG) in Nantglyn, some five miles south-west of Denbigh, to stage outdoor and evening events for the 300 residents who live there.

Mrs Tidswell, who moved to Nantglyn with her husband and daughter 10 years ago following retirement from Liverpool Women’s Hospital after 28 years there, started the group last August to encourage residents to get together and have fun.

Denbighshire Free Press:

Soon after starting RAG, the retiree applied for funding from the Nantglyn Arian Gwynt wind farm grant scheme and received £1,000 to set up RAG, which includes a secretary and treasury.

Its events have already increased in popularity, with up to 45 people aged 13 to 80 attending activities such as bat walks, music concerts, a fungi foray and supper curry night.

A drama group, RAG Theatre, has also started and is attended by 14 residents.

Mrs Tidswell, who is optimistic about what RAG can achieve, said: “The community is remote and with no facilities such as a shop or pub, or even a bus service, residents keep themselves to themselves.

“It was felt that the community was becoming dormant and that some were feeling isolated, possibly lonely, which increases risk of depression. There is a farming community here who are at high risk. We also have elderly residents who are not getting out and about.

“I decided to run a series of events and there has been a lot of positive feedback. The events are becoming more popular as with each successful event more and more people want to come out.”

Denbighshire Free Press: Residents of all ages take part in the fungi walk.Residents of all ages take part in the fungi walk.

Mrs Tidswell, who is also hoping to encourage residents in nearby Groes to join RAG Theatre, continued: “I’m trying to make a difference and it makes me feel good, there is no financial reward. RAG has given me that feeling back.

“But I would like the group to be long-term with someone else taking the mantle when I eventually stand down.”

Further events planned by RAG in the coming months include a gin and jazz event on April 12, a bat walk in conjunction with Denbighshire County Council’s moth count project and a fundraising music concert during May, followed by a summer party in the park with BBQ and musicians planned for July 6.

For more details about the events, contact Shirley Tidswell by emailing nantglynrag@gmail.com.