A lady from rural North Wales has proved that charity really does begin at home. 

Nestled away amongst the beautiful coastline and countryside of the Llyn Peninsula is a unique shop that has raised over £53,000 for our hospices.

Run by primary school teaching assistant and lollipop lady, Mair Jones at her home in the shadows of Garn Fadryn, is Cwt Gobaith, an Aladdin's Cave of pre-loved treasures run from a small shed, or Cwt in Welsh.

The unique shop was conceived during the pandemic period when Mair mentioned to her husband, Arthur that she would like a shed. Days later, Arthur, a builder by trade, surprised her with a new shed on their driveway.

Mair Jones at her 'Cwt' with her certificate for raising over £53,000

How it all started

Mair explains how she came to learn of the hospice and what inspired her to begin direct fundraising: “I sadly lost my mother and brother in the same year, aged just 60 and 39.

“In their honour we did the Memory Walk in London, but the money we raised seemed to be going so far away and we wanted also to help local causes.

“I was introduced to Tŷ Gobaith’s work in about 2006 and since then have held many fundraising days at our home for tea and cakes. 120 people came on one day, but then the Covid pandemic hit and brought a stop to those gatherings.”

The colourful sign that welcomes shoppers to Cwt Gobaith

Thanks to the community

It was here in 2021 that Mair opened Cwt Gobaith with some donated homewares and clothes for people to buy out in the fresh air, socially distanced and with an honesty box for payment.

The idea grew quickly with Mair soon receiving bags and bags of donations to sell and the shop becoming a real hit in the rural community with locals and visitors alike.

Mair said: “Without the community I couldn’t do it. People are taking pride in it and enjoy helping such a worthy cause.

“We have had great support and even visits from a bus of school children and Merched Y Wawr.

“Clothes and children’s toys are the best selling items. Last Christmas we handmade 340 wreaths which all sold.”

Scenes from inside the Cwt with its honesty box and pre-loved goods

Royal recognition

In total over the years, the Jones family’s efforts for good causes have raised over £100,000 for several charities – but this is not their only brilliant achievement.

In 2023 Mair was honoured with investiture into the Gorsedd of Bards at the National Eisteddfod in Boduan and also invited for tea at Buckingham Palace just three days before King Charles’ coronation.

“I cried when I received the letters from the Palace and Gorsedd.

“Going to Buckingham Palace was wonderful but entering the Gorsedd at an eisteddfod on the Llyn was very special and a true honour.”

Mair pictured in a phenomenal 2023, left at Buckingham Palace and right with husband Arthur at the Boduan Eisteddfod

Our Gwynedd area fundraiser, Jenny Roberts said: “Cwt Gobaith is an inspirational idea and is so well supported.

“We can’t thank Mair and the community enough for their efforts.

“Every penny raised will help us to continue on our mission of reaching every local family and child in need of care, respite and support.”

The Cwt has become so popular that in fine weather, Mair and Arthur fill rails and tables of clothes outside too alongside the homewares and toys.

You can find Cwt Gobaith at Gwelfor, just outside Llaniestyn, LL53 8PS.

The stunning view towards Garn Fadryn from the Cwt