A NEW community-focused group has been created on the Flintshire/Wrexham border in memory of a much-missed local man.

Spicy Socials has been launched by a dedicated team of volunteers in Llanfynydd, and aims to connect like-minded individuals through regular gatherings, to explore the beautiful scenery found right on our doorstep and to foster a sense of community.

Spicy Socials invites participants to join various organised outdoor activities, all free of charge, while encouraging small donations to their chosen charity, Welsh Air Ambulance.

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This cause holds a special place in the community's heart, in memory of Mark Steene, a beloved local figure and friend who died in 2021 at the age of 54 following a road bike accident.

Known affectionately as 'Spicy Mark' by his friends, Mark was an avid outdoorsman who continued to embrace personal challenges, even after life-changing injuries. His spirit and love for the North Wales countryside inspire the group's mission and name.

The organisation is spearheaded by three passionate volunteers: Gareth Kirkham, Clare Bradshaw and Andy Roberts. They have curated an array of engaging outdoor activities, including walks, hikes, runs, road bike routes, and mountain bike loops, ensuring there are options suitable for all fitness levels.

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All events start and finish at The Cross Keys, Llanfynydd, a recently refurbished pub that remains a cornerstone of the village and part of Mark's enduring legacy. With the support of landlord Patryk Kapelinski, The Cross Keys generously offers complimentary hot beverages and their now locally famous freshly-made flapjacks for participants to enjoy at the end of each social activity.

Clare said: "Everyone is welcome to join the socials, and no one will ever be left behind.

"Staying active and social is beneficial for both physical and mental health. We feel privileged to give back to our community in this way.

"It's something we're sure Mark would have loved, and it's a small way to keep his memory alive today."

For updates and to get involved in any of the upcoming events, join the Spicy Socials Facebook group.