Wales & West Utilities Francis Kirk & Matthew Rees (fluorescent jacket) with Messy Monsters Amy Mostert & Sian Islam (l-r)

A Newport playgroup has been given a new lease of life after Wales & West Utilities stepped in to find an alternative venue – and now the group is thriving.

Messy Monsters, the brainchild of young mums Amy Mostert and Sian Islam, had just started running its weekly sensory play sessions in Bassaleg Community Hall at the same time as Wales & West Utilities started working on its gas pipe investment programme on Caerphilly Road. Due to traffic lights at the work, visitors found it hard to get to the sessions on time and Amy and Sian took the hard decision to put the sessions on hold.

Putting the notice on its social media channels, Amy and Sian were thrilled to receive contact from Wales & West Utilities offering help in sourcing an alternative venue so that the playgroup could continue.

Amy, who is mother to Andre age 1 and Leigh age 3, said: “We started this business as a way of working around our children. We have two young children each and had noticed a gap in the sensory play market in the Newport area. We did lots of research into venues and settled on the community centre, so you can imagine our disappointment to have to pull the classes.”

Wales & West Utilities worked with Amy and Sian and managed to source an alternative venue for their weekly Messy Monster classes.

Amy continued: “We had originally wanted to run the sessions in the Rivermead Centre in Rogerstone but the price was too high for us starting out. We were absolutely thrilled to receive the good news that Wales & West Utilities was happy to relocate us here and pay some of our rental costs, as a way of us being able to continue.

“We really thought the group was over before it had even begun and want to thank Wales & West Utilities for their support in helping us to continue. We have seen our numbers grow week on week and we are now planning to stay at the centre in the immediate future. Thanks to the help from Wales & West Utilities, we have managed to put a big smile on many people’s faces.”

Rob Long, Wales & West Utilities Programme Director, with responsibility for our gas pipe replacement programme added:

“We know our gas pipe replacement work can be inconvenient, and we do all we can to keep this to a minimum. When we found out about Messy Monsters situation we were keen to help – and it’s good to see the group going from strength to strength.”

Messy Monsters runs every Wednesday between 9.45am-10.45am at Rivermead Centre, Rogerstone. It is open for parents and children from 6 months to five years of age.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across Wales and the south west of England. If anyone smells gas, thinks they have a gas leak, or suspects carbon monoxide poisoning, they should call us on 0800 111 999 and our engineers will be there to help, day or night. 

The company also has a multi-million pound, 30-year gas pipe investment programme which began in 2002. Old metal pipes within 30 metres of buildings are being replaced with new long-lasting plastic pipes with a lifespan of more than 80 years, to make sure homes and businesses continue to receive a safe and reliable gas supply now and in the future.