Showing posts from June 22, 2014

Cheerleaders bring cheer to Bronglais Hospital

The Aberystwyth Tarannau Cheerleaders have raised £400 for Angharad Ward, Bronglais Hospital.
Aberystwyth Tarannau Cheerleaders is a group of around 45 active members which provides a fun, active sport for the students of Aberystwyth. The group also represents Aberystwyth University on competitions and through community work.
The money was raised by the members doing a bag pack at the local Cooperative Store, a showcase for friends to see their competition routines and a bake sale at the university where over 200 cakes were sold!
Cassi Adelmann, Captain of Aberystwyth Tarannau Cheerleaders, said: “We decided to raise money for Angharad ward as it provides a vital service to the community of Aberystwyth and further afield. We are proud to be supporting such a worthy cause.”
Junior Sister, Sian Southgate, Angharad Ward said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this donation money from Aberystwyth Tarannau Cheerleaders. It is extremely kind of them and we very much appreciate their…

Aberystwyth University is the safest University in Wales

Aberystwyth University is the safest University in Wales according to a report published by The Complete University Guide:
Aberystwyth also retains its position among the top five safest locations in England and Wales to study.
Compiled from official police data, The Complete University Guide gives the clearest picture possible of the crime rates for the communities surrounding almost 140 universities and other higher education institutions in England and Wales.
The report looks at three selected crimes - burglary, robbery and assault – and is based on the cumulative rate of all three crimes occurring over 12 months within a three mile radius of the main campus.
Professor John Grattan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for International and Student Experience at Aberystwyth University, said; “We know from our research that the majority of our students chose to study in Aberystwyth because it’s a safe and friendly place.
“We have also found that when we ask o…

Praise for Carmarthenshire's health service volunteers

Amman Valley Group

Glangwili Group

Llandovery Group

Llanelli Group
Volunteers who help patients and staff at acute and community hospitals across Carmarthenshire have been celebrated as part of National Volunteers Week.
As part of the 30th Anniversary celebrations of National Volunteers Week, volunteers from the university health board’s Volunteering for Health project and from League of Friends attended a special event hosted by Hywel Dda University Health Board Chairman Chris Martin.
The event celebrating the role of volunteers was a great success with other 60 guests in attendance including League of Friends of the Amman Valley Hospital; Friends of Glangwili General Hospital; League of Friends of The Llandovery Hospital; and Llanelli and District League of Hospital Friends.
The Leagues of Friends support the university health board’s acute and community hospitals and received a Chairman’s certificate of commendation for the invaluable support of their fundraising activities over a…

The latest Phil Evans column from the South Wales Evening Post -

The latest Phil Evans column from the South Wales Evening Post - 

Comedian Phil Evans is from Ammanford. He is known as the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into comedy.

It is tempting to put it to the vote and ask you to dial a ‘pay-by-the-minute’ hotline on this topic.
You might agree; you might disagree.
But my mind is made up: I'm not a big fan of TV talent shows (you know the ones: Britain’s Got X Factor Talent Come Dancing With Celebrities).
Yes, judging by the ratings and viewing figures, TV talent shows seem to be very popular.
I dare say that for some, they are compulsive viewing.
But they are not compulsive viewing for Phil Evans, comedian of this parish.
For me, the true talent is out there in the clubs, pubs and theatres every weekend – singers. comedians and entertainers serving their apprenticeship at the showbiz coalface.
That's the way it’s been done down the years – and that’s the way many of the household names we have grown to love over the years did it.
No short cu…

Cycle challenge for Motor Neurone Disease

Cycle riders will be making their way from Llanelli to Aberystwyth as part of a four day challenge to raise vital funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
The group of riders, mainly from the Llanelli area, will leave North Dock Llanelli on Thursday 26 June making their way to Aberystwyth.
Friday 27 June consists of a challenging route through Beddgelert, Llanberis, Bangor and Betws y Coed.
Saturday 28 June will be a ride down to Brecon through Bala and the Bwlch y Groes.
On Sunday 29 June the group will start the day with a hike on foot from Corn Ddu to Penyfan having cycled over 300 miles during the previous three days!
The group will then finish off their challenge with a fancy dress cycle back to Llanelli‘s North Dock over the Black Mountains!
The group has set a fundraising target of £12,000 for the South West Wales branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association. The local branch helps to improve the quality of life of patients living across the Hywel Dda University Heal…

International Conference at Aberystwyth: ‘A Child's World – Next Steps’

An international conference aimed at enhancing collaborative working amongst professionals in child education, creating effective policy and sharing best practice in childhood studies opens today (25 June) at Aberystwyth University.
The conference, ‘A Child's World – Next Steps’, runs over three days – 25 to 27 June 2014. Full conference programme is available here.
Building on the success of the 2012 conference ‘A Child’s World: Working Together for a Better Future’, the conference focuses on new concepts in Raising Standards, Curriculum Development, Safeguarding Children and sharing best practice in childhood studies within an international strategic dimension.
Organised by the University’s School of Education and Lifelong Learning, the conference will include contributions by experts from around the world with more than 100 papers presented over the three days.
Countries represented will include Australia, Canada, USA, China, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Finland, France, South Africa…

The latest 'On Song' column from the Llanelli Star

The latest 'On Song' column (about the choral scene in and around Llanelli) from the Llanelli Star -

Côr Meibion Llanelli choristers are currently looking forward to their next ‘away day’ in Surrey.
The choir has agreed to make a return visit to Hersham in Surrey on Saturday, July 12.
“Our visit there last year was a great success, with the organisers saying they could have sold tickets for the venue twice over,” said choir chairman Mel Harries.
“On our last visit we raised a huge amount of cash for the Royal Marsden cancer hospital. This year, we will be raising funds for the church roof in Hersham.”
Other events scheduled for the year include a trip to Salzburg in Austria in November.
This year is Côr Meibion Llanelli’s 50th anniversary year.
“It’s a great year to be a member of the choir,” said choir chairman Mr Harries.
“We are always on the look-out for new members. Anyone interested can pop along to one of our weekly rehearsal sessions to meet members and get a feel for what it …

Annie gets a special visit on her 100th birthday

Mrs Annie Davies of Abergwili is still Chair of the local pensioners club at the tender age of 100!
Mrs Davies celebrated her centenary last week when she received a telegram from the Queen, visit from the Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council Cllr Daff Davies and a surprise visit from Abergwili School pupils.
Next door neighbour Mrs Mary Davies said: “She is still Chair of the Evergreen local old age pensioners group at 100. She will be finishing in July.”

Meeting to discuss future of Llandeilo Community Education Centre

Users of Llandeilo’s Community Education Centre and members of the community, are being invited to a meeting to discuss its future.
The meeting has been organised in response to concerns about the site, and will be held at the centre on Thursday, July 10, at 6.30pm.
It will be an opportunity for members of the community to ask questions, whilst giving council officers a chance to explain the current challenges for adult community learning and how these services might be run in the future.
In recent weeks, Carmarthenshire County Council has reassured users that whilst there have been some operational and staffing changes at the centre, it is business as usual for courses and lettings at the site.
Matt Morden, Lifelong Learning Networks Manager, explained that while four of the staff based at the centre are being relocated to other sites, the centre will remain open for the forthcoming academic year.
“We welcome this opportunity to meet with users and other interested parties so that we can …

Organic farming does not always lead to more biodiversity - report

A new report published in the scientific journal Nature Communications states that targeted action for biodiversity is needed for organic agriculture as well as conventional farming systems.
An international team led by Agroscope in Switzerland including an Aberystwyth University research team led by IBERS scientist Dr Peter Dennis working on the BioBio project, investigated the contribution of organic farming to conserving farmland biodiversity.
The study investigated farms in ten European and two African regions with different production systems. In each region, twelve to twenty farms were selected randomly, half of them certified organic for at least five years. No constraints were set on the other farms.
The paper “Gains to species diversity in organically farmed fields are not propagated at the farm level” Schneider M.K. et al. (2014) is available online at
The work started in 2010 with all results collated and…

Pembrokeshire health service volunteers celebrated

Volunteers from Pembrokeshire who help patients and staff at Withybush Hospital have been celebrated as part of National Volunteers Week.
As part of the 30th Anniversary celebrations of National Volunteers Week, volunteers from the university health board’s Volunteering for Health project and from Withybush Hospital League of Friends attended a special event hosted by Chairman Chris Martin.
The Leagues of Friends support the university health board’s acute and community hospitals and received a Chairman’s certificate of commendation for the invaluable support of their fundraising activities over a number of years which has helped to improve patient services and experiences at all hospitals.
The Chairman of Hywel Dda University Health Board, usually awards commendations to staff who work above and beyond their call of duty to help to improve services. This is the first time that anyone other than a staff member has received a Certificate of Commendation from the Chairman.
Mr Martin sai…

Latest 'Healthy Wednesday' advice from the Hywel Dda Health Board

Latest 'Healthy Wednesday' advice from the Hywel Dda University Health Board - 

This Healthy Wednesday - did you know there are five ways to wellbeing?
The Five Ways to Wellbeing are a wellbeing equivalent of ‘five fruit and veg a day’!
This Healthy Wednesday we are urging you to look at what you may currently do and to look at what you could do to improve your wellbeing.
So what are the five ways?
Connect… with people around. Building connections will help support and enrich your life. Make the effort to speak to family, neighbours, work colleagues and friends more often. Be active… being active can make you feel good. Do something you will enjoy like walking, cycling or even playing a game. Take Notice … be aware of what is around you and how you feeling. How many of us didn’t notice the flowers when we drove to work or the birds singing in the trees? Keep learning .. learning new things can help make you confident. It doesn’t have to be something academic why not learn to fi…

Call to share 'best practice' on festivals and cultural events in Wales

The Welsh Assembly Government today debated the support that the Government in Cardiff gives to local, festivals and events that drive tourism and support the rural economy.
William Powell, Lib Dem AM for Mid Wales, questioned the level of support that was available for a rural festival. Mr Powell made reference to the Llandeilo Jazz Festival (Jazz@Llandeilo), which is now in its third year and going from strength to strength.
Mr Powell paid tribute to the local people and businesses - notably the Evan-Evans Brewery- who worked tirelessly to stage the festival. The AM then called for more to be done to put 'best-practice' guidelines in place for summer festivals. He said that the Government should ensure that such cultural events – especially those primarily funded and run by private individuals and communities – were able to access the advice and support they needed, so that best practice could be shared across Wales.
Simon Buckley, the organiser of Jazz@Llandeilo and owner of …

'RUCK' workshops to upskill UK’s software development industry

Software Alliance Wales will deliver a smorgasbord of workshops on the 25th and 26th June at Aberystwyth University; providing a forum for developers and company owners to talk tech while gaining practical knowledge and skills to build strong and sustainable IT-based businesses.
Across the two days there will be an array of speakers delivering tutorials developed specifically for the UK software development community.
Professor Chris Price, event organiser and head of computer science teaching at Aberystwyth University said, “Software Alliance Wales’ boasts a wealth of experience in developing and delivering ‘hands-on’ training courses for the community of developers committed to maintaining their highly valued skills.
“The RUCK (Really Useful Computer Knowledge) workshops will build on this success by bringing it all together into one neatly-packaged event with practical tutorials delivered by experts with an insatiable passion for skills transfer and all things tech.”
Web programmer…

Llanelli mother is raising awareness of meningitis

A Llanelli mother is raising awareness of meningitis and raising money for the ward her son was treated on.
Claire John’s son Liam was struck down with meningitis in April 2014 but luckily has made a full recovery.
Her friends and family have helped her raise £555 for Cilgerran ward in Glangwili Hospital after her son was treated on the ward. This amount is also being match-funded by Barclay Bank’s Community Investment Programme bringing the total raised to £1,100.
Claire and her family are also keen to raise awareness of the illness. Claire said: "The word Meningitis is a word all parents dread to hear. Liam was rushed to Glangwili Hospital where the team were fantastic and sorted Liam out. They kept updating us in what they were doing and we stayed at Liam’s side the whole time."
Following his admission to Glangwili Hospital Liam was moved to Paediatric Intensive Care at the Heath Hospital Cardiff where he spent three days before being moved onto a ward. Liam then returne…

West Wales European Centre pop-up shop is a hit

The West Wales European Centre (WWEC) has hosted a pop-up shop at St Catherine’s Walk in Carmarthen to promote its work.
The pop-up shop was used to showcase externally-funded projects and provide advice on external funding for new projects.
Part of Carmarthenshire County Council’s Economic Development service, WWEC help to monitor, develop and attract external and European funding for the area.
In Carmarthenshire, a total of £114m is being invested as a direct result of the Convergence programme with a further £23m from the Rural Development plan.
The current Convergence programme has put emphasis on collaboration and as a result the authority has worked closely with neighbouring authorities in Pembrokeshire, Swansea and Neath Port Talbot in delivering joint initiatives. Collectively, this collaboration has helped secure some £156m into the West Wales economy.
A busy programme of activities was organised throughout the week alongside information stalls ranging from business support, grant…

Construction course launched at Trimsaran Family Centre

People from Llanelli have been offered the chance to improve their skills with a new scheme.
Carmarthenshire Communities First has teamed up Coleg Sir Gar to run a construction course giving unemployed people the skills they need to gain a job in the construction trade.
The programme gives unemployed people a 10-week training experience, covering the basic essentials of a career in the construction industry.
The course takes place at Trimsaran Family Centre and participants will be taught skills that they can put into practice, including how to tile and grout and how to complete a plumbing project on a tiled area.
Communities First Family Learning Worker, Rhian Richards, said: ”This 10-week taster course gives people interested construction the opportunity to have an insight to aspects of construction industry.”
Communities First is a community focused programme that supports the Welsh Government's Tackling Poverty programme. The programme supports the most disadvantaged people in th…

Investment in new facilities for mums and babies in 'Hywel Dda'

Residents across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire will benefit from new facilities for mums and babies.
The Hywel Dda University Health Board has already significantly invested in a new unit maternity unit at Bronglais Hospital and this investment continues in new and refurbished facilities at Glangwili and Withybush Hospitals.
A new unit for premature and sick newborn babies at Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen will have four high dependency cots, eight special care cots and one stabilisation cot.
The new facilities will also have specialist teams offering premature and sick newborn babies the best levels of care for them and their families.
New modern midwife led units are also been created at Glangwili and Withybush Hospitals with four additional delivery suites being built at Glangwili Hospital.
Work is also ongoing to create three new high dependency unit beds and build a disabled bathroom and shower room on the children’s ward at Glangwili Hospital.
Head of Materni…

Communities encouraged to 'dress-up' for the Eisteddfod

Communities in Carmarthenshire are being given an opportunity to show that they live in the loveliest area in the county.
Carmarthenshire’s Loveliest Locality Competition aims to encourage communities throughout the county to dress their area up in readiness for the arrival of this year’s National Eisteddfod.
The council’s executive board member with responsibility for the Eisteddfod Cllr Keith Davies said: “It has been such an achievement for the majority of appeal committees to have reached and exceeded their targets. This is our opportunity to celebrate their hard work and enthusiasm.
“The aim of this competition is to ensure that Carmarthenshire gives the National Eisteddfod a true Welsh welcome. All those visiting the area can be confident that, from whatever direction they come, they will see flowers, pretty shop windows, plenty of colour and of course bunting.”
The competition will be judged on Monday July 28 when the Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council Cllr Daff Davies will be…

Dylan's Boathouse given excellence award by Trip Advisor

The Dylan Thomas Boathouse in Laugharne has been given an excellence award by Trip Advisor.
The travel website hands out annual accolades to those places which achieve consistently outstanding customer reviews.
Now the Boathouse has joined its prestigious ranks after scoring highly from 95 traveller testimonies.
Of those, around 78% gave the iconic building a positive rating with 52 reviewers saying the attraction was excellent and 22 saying it was very good.
One of the comments, posted along with an excellent rating, stated: “There can be few houses in Wales with such a beautiful location. It is nicely presented as a reminder to what it would have looked liked in Dylan's time with some original artefacts. It is small and doesn't take long to look around but it is worth lingering for the tea and cakes and the views over the estuary. Don't forget to visit his writing shed.”
The Boathouse is owned and managed by Carmarthenshire County Council and has been preserved as a museum an…

Llandeilo gears up for Jazz@Llandeilo 2014

With the sun blazing and the countdown on to the start of Jazz@Llandeilo 2014, the town is gearing up for what will be the third annual jazz festival (July 4-6).
With two main venues - the Angel Hotel and the new outdoor arena at the rear of the White Horse Inn - the festival is set to attract jazz lovers from all over Wales.
Continuing the international theme of previous years, the festival will feature traditional New Orleans style jazz from the French band Zauto Stompers.
Returning for the third year will be Cardiff singing legend Li Harding and her trio.
This year The Jiveoholics are back following their debut in 2012, along with 20 other bands, and more than 70 performers from all over Wales.
This year, there is a greater emphasis on providing opportunities for local musicians to play on the village green and for buskers to come and play in the side streets of town.
Festival organiser Simon Buckley, chief executive of the Llandeilo-based Evan-Evans brewery, said: “Whatever the weather…

Latest news from the 'Jazz Club' team at Brecon

Latest news from the 'Jazz Club' team at Brecon

Details of next Club gig (Tues 15 July), Jazz buffet, and August (Sun 10th) -
'Shades of Shearing' is an apt title for the sounds of the highly acclaimed jazz artists Trefor Owen and Andy Hulme, as they performed numbers such as "Lullaby of Birdland", “East of the Sun and West of the Moon”, “Laura” and Duke Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood” at the Club's 2013 Brecon Jazz Festival.
Here, as a guitar duo, they return to Brecon Jazz Club to delight with this wonderful programme - Tuesday 15 July, Brecon Jazz Club, in the 'Festival Bar' of Theatr Brycheiniog,at 8pm.
Trefor Owen is one of Wales’s premier jazz guitarists, and has performed extensively in the USA, appearing in San Francisco and LA, at the Classic American Guitar Show, New York and the prestigious Jazz Cafe, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. He has also toured the UK with such American guitar greats as Mundell Lowe and Randy Johnston,…

Carmarthenshire is in the vanguard for food safety

Carmarthenshire has been named as one of the best performing councils across the UK for food standards interventions by Which?.
The nationwide consumer advice, research, testing and ratings organisation has identified Carmarthenshire County Council as one of the best for its interventions to ensure food standards and safety, and also as one of the councils who have carried out the most number of test samples.
Food standard interventions are designed to monitor, support and increase food law compliance within food establishments, and include activities such as surveillance, verification, audit, inspection, intelligence gathering, advice, education, sampling and analysis.
The council achieved 99.63% of standards according to FSA statistics for the latest year available.
In terms of the samples it has taken, in the last year alone the council has conducted 341 of standards sampling, equating to 1.85 per 1000 population, according to the FSA data.
Sampling is important to verify, throu…

New online system helps you register to vote

Registering to vote is now simpler than ever under a new online system which has been launched today by Minister of State for Cities and the Constitution Greg Clark.
From today, people will be able to register to vote online in just three minutes by simply providing a name, address, date of birth and National Insurance number.
The online registration service has been extensively tested with real users over many months and today’s live service is compatible with all platforms, including smartphones and tablets, meaning maximum convenience when registering.
Minister of State at the Cabinet Office Greg Clark said:
“This service will bring voter registration into the 21st century and make it easier, simpler and faster for people to register to vote.
“Putting public services online is saving taxpayers money and giving people access
to services when and where they need them.”
The launch of the new online tool is part of a wider move to Individual Electoral Registration (IER), where the old…

Latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery

Latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery -

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Ty Hafan charity concert a hit for Loud Applause productions

Ty Hafan Youth Gala Concert at Grand Theatre, Swansea, featuring, Only (West) Boys Aloud, Ariosa Singers, Hywel Girls' Choir and Hywel Boy Singers, Daniella Difede and Samuel Morris. Compere: Kevin Johns MBE.

It was only right and proper that the spotlight was very much on youth in this dazzling charity fund-raiser staged at the Grand Theatre, Swansea.
The average age of the artistes was somewhere in the lower teens, showing that West is Best when it comes to up-and-coming talent.
The evening showcased the talents of Only (West) Boys Aloud, the Ariosa Singers and the Hywel Girls' Choir and Hywel Boy Singers.
It also gave a great Grand Theatre opportunity to two rising stars from Llanelli, 18-year-old Ysgol y Strade pupil Samuel Morris and 16-year-old Coedcae student Daniella Difede.
Samuel displays a maturity beyond his years in his handling of some great musical theatre show-stoppers.
This time around, it was Bring Him Home, from Les Miserables, and Buo Doi, from Miss Saigon.