Showing posts from June 29, 2014

Loud Applause 'summer soiree' is a success at Stradey Castle

Summer Soiree at Stradey Castle, Llanelli, featuring Loud Applause ‘Rising Stars’, including Samuel Morris, Keely Morgan, Nia Rees, Jordan Williams, Liam Reilly, Sophie Maliphant, Angharad Elise Thomas, Daniella Difede and ‘Perfect Harmony’.

There was a touch of class about this summer showcase for young musical talent from West Wales. As intimate concert venues go, you cannot get much better than the Great Hall at Stradey Castle in Llanelli. And, with a dozen ‘Rising Stars’ taking the stage on the magnificent staircase, this was a musical soiree with something for everyone. Cerith Owens, the director of Loud Applause Productions, has set up the ‘Rising Stars’ platform in an effort to encourage and mentor up-and-coming youngsters and give them much-needed  exposure on concert stages. Ysgol y Strade head boy Samuel Morris and Coedcae school pupil Daniella Difede are already familiar figures on concert stages throughout West Wales, but this was an event designed to also showcase the talents …

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.
Only in Wales can you take your T-shirt off after a day in Mumbles and still look like you’ve got a white T-shirt on.
We’re a nation of red faces and arms in this weather: the other white bits don’t get a look in.
There is a sudden urge to bake skin that hasn’t seen sun for months.
And what happens then?
We spend an evening slapping on the ‘after sun’ lotion, moaning like hell and blocking up A&E waiting rooms . . .
The comic punchline is –
Sunburn: It’s getting what you basked for!
Anyone remember the Radio 1 roadshow coming to a seaside town near you?
I can remember having awful sunstroke, feeling like I was going to pass out, knotting a hankie on my head but still managing to complete the ‘Bits and Pieces’ segment like my life depended on it.
By the way, the Radio 1 DJ Peter Powell was a lot shorter in real life, too . . .
How w…

Special care babies to benefit from new nursing services

Residents across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire are set to benefit from two new services as part of the new, modernised special care unit for sick and premature babies being provided by Hywel Dda University Health Board.
The new facilities at Glangwili Hospital will include four cots used solely for the purpose of providing extra care to babies nursed alongside their mothers. Previously this extra care has been provided in the special care unit, now these babies will be able to remain alongside their mothers. For the first time, this will enable their mothers to care for them with the support and expertise of the team responsible for looking after sick and premature babies.
For the first time, a dedicated sick and premature babies special care nursing team will work in the community, visiting homes to support mothers and families to care for their babies at home.
This new ‘neonatal nurse outreach team’ will provide specialist care to babies which was previously only av…

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…

The latest ' Iechyd Da' beer column from the Carmarthen Journal

The latest 'Iechyd Da' Carmarthen Journal beer column by award-winning brewer Simon Buckley, chief executive of Llandeilo-based Evan-Evans Brewery - 
Wimbledon, Henley, Llandeilo Jazz, it’s got to be summer!
This is the time of year to enjoy ‘Golden Beers’ that are light or golden in colour, and that have the fragrance and freshness of a warm summer’s day.
So what should you be looking for?
Light, golden beers, in a nutshell.
Summer beers should be served cooler. Not freezing cold, so you get frostbite from holding the glass, but two to three degrees below normal.
This enhances the flavours and makes the beers even more refreshing.
Temperature is not everything.
A good refreshing summer beer will be brewed with a combination of Pale Ale malt and some Torrified Wheat to give it a tight white head.
Then, depending on what you are trying to create, possibly some Pilsner lager malt. This will give it a light almost continental style of flavour.
Gentle malt flavours supported by a range of …

Whitland visitor centre exhibits historic document

From the start of July through to September, the Hywel Dda Centre will be ready to welcome more visitors than ever to see the copy of the historic Boston Manuscript, a book containing the Laws of King Hywel the Good (Hywel Dda), King of all Wales, who ruled during the first half of the 10th century.
The Boston Manuscript was returned to Wales recently after two centuries in America through the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. The National Library of Wales presented a facsimile of this unique manuscript to the centre. Containing the ancient laws of Hywel Dda, it began life as a working reference book for a lawyer who travelled Wales dispensing the law.
The Hywel Dda Centre, which has a delightful series of themed gardens and a magnificent visitor reception hall, is the only centre in Europe which is dedicated to the law. These laws, known as ‘The laws of Hywel’ were humane and generous in spirit and they led to a peaceful and well-ordered society. The laws are illustra…

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

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

This Healthy Wednesday – make sure you make the most of screening opportunities.
As part of national screening month this Healthy Wednesday we are highlighting the importance of Bowel and Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening.
These are just two types of screening available and more information can be found on all screening opportunities at
Bowel screening reduces your risk of dying from bowel cancer and people aged 60 to 74 are invited to take part every two years. . Screening detects bowel cancer at an early stage, often when there are no symptoms.
You can do this simple screening test in the privacy of your own home.
When you are due for screening you will receive a screening test kit and information pack. You will be asked to collect small samples of your bowel movements (poo) and put it on the test kit provided.
You will need to provide three samples within 10 days …

Improvements to cancer out-patient services

Hywel Dda Health Board and Hywel Dda Community Health Council have been working jointly to improve care for cancer patients.  A number of “quiet rooms” have been made available at Withybush, Glangwili and Prince Philip Hospitals and similar facilities are being sought at Bronglais Hospital. These rooms will be used by patients and their families when they need privacy following diagnosis and discussion of their conditions with health care professionals.
Hywel Dda Health Board is also recruiting Macmillan Information Coordinators for Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion. There is already a Macmillan Information Coordinator in Pembrokeshire.
Additional changes that will benefit cancer patients will be to encourage better arrangements in the out-patient departments so that patients newly diagnosed with cancer will not have to queue for long periods with other patients whilst waiting for blood tests.
Similarly, a new system is being developed so that cancer patients attending A&E can be f…

Red Kite Law team lends support for ‘Myrddin’ appeal in Carmarthen

The Red Kite Law team has backed the popular ‘Myrddin’ appeal in Carmarthen.
The campaign to support the Myrddin Special Needs and Autistic Unit has taken the town by storm in recent months.
The unit won the Times Education Supplement competition for a new £80,000 Clearspace Buildings classroom.
And local campaigners have been busy raising fund for equipment for the new classroom.
In the vanguard of the fund-raising campaign has been Andrew Bassett, a director of Basmac Homes Limited and Bassett and Macgregor Construction Limited.
Andrew, his wife Bridget and their daughters Rachel and Rebecca walked parts of the Great Wall of China to raise money for the Myrddin unit.
Red Kite Law staff rallied around to raise cash to support the appeal and their donations were cash-matched by the firm’s partners to the value of £300.
To date, the Bassett family has raised an incredible £42,000 for the unit.
Mrs Morris said: “Red Kite Law believes in playing its part in the local community and we were all …

Higher Education Academy Senior Fellow award for Dr Debbie Nash

Dr Debbie Nash from Aberystwyth University’s Institute for Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences has been awarded Senior Fellow status with the Higher Education Academy (HEA).
Debbie is a Senior Tutor and Lecturer in Equine & Animal Science at IBERS and is one of only two women to receive the Award at the University, the first being Alison Pierse, Art and Design Coordinator for Lifelong Learning within the School of Education and Lifelong Learning.
The HEA provides a professional framework through which lecturers in higher education can be recognized for good practice, professionalism and excellence in teaching.
There are several, increasing levels of recognition that can be attained.
The Fellow status is commensurate with attaining a PGCE and the PGCE course offered at Aberystwyth University is accredited for this status. Senior Fellow status is achieved by making an evidence-based application which demonstrates leadership and inspiring and supporting others to develop thei…

Desk exercises work a treat for Carmarthenshire council staff

Forget the gym – staff at Carmarthenshire County Council have been exercising at their desks!
The new way of working out has been introduced in some teams following a visit from physiotherapists at BMI Werndale Hospital.
It was part of Workout@Work Day which aimed to help people who lead sedentary lives to think about introducing simple exercises into their working day to improve health and wellbeing.
Physiotherapist Dean Locking said: “Both employees and businesses are impacted by work place stress, injury and illness.
“The aim of ‘Workout at Work’ is about giving sound advice to both employees and employers about how simple steps can improve workplace wellbeing, helping themselves and their teams avoid ill-health.
“We would really like to see as many people as possible developing healthier work habits for the longer term.”
According to health experts, people need 30 minutes of exercise every day to stay healthy.
A recent studyfound short bursts of moderate to vigorous exercise lasting up t…

Council gives pledge on Parc Howard's future

Carmarthenshire Council leisure chiefs have reinforced their commitment to keeping Llanelli’s Parc Howard open.
They have also vowed to continue seeking grants to secure its future and are asking for the public’s support in this.
The move follows concern that the popular facility is at risk after a multi-million-pound grant bid was turned down.
Carmarthenshire County Council put the bid together to help secure the park’s future through major investment and development of new facilities.
However, the Heritage Lottery fund did not approve it, a decision described as a ‘devastating blow’ to the park.
It costs around £106,000 a year to maintain the park and mansion house, a sum which the authority has to reduce given the severe financial pressure it is under.
The council needs to save over £30million over the next three years, and cuts are being made across the board.
However, officers were keen to stress that the commitment for the future of the park was as strong as ever.
Head of Leisure Ian Jo…

Llanelli children get a taste of Africa at library

A group of Llanelli school children have been treated to a taste of Africa at their local library.
The reception class at Ysgol Ffwrnes enjoyed an interactive Handa’s surprise story session at Llanelli children’s library this week.
Upon their arrival pupils were greeted by the sounds of African music. To help them get into character the children wore masks and during the story joined in by acting out parts of the book.
From the library the children made a detour via a local supermarket to purchase some of the fruits mentioned in the story to make fruit kebabs back at school.
Children’s Librarian, Catrin Simon, said:“As well as being an engaging story with lovely illustrations, Handa’s Surprise - or Syrpreis Handa in Welsh - helps children discover another culture through its setting and the wild animals and food it introduces.”
Carmarthenshire Libraries host many events throughout the year, make sure you don’t miss out by following them on Facebook or Twitter alternatively call 01267 22482…

Take care when preparing your 'beach body'

For those getting ready to holiday, a sunbed session or other beauty treatment may be on the cards, but Carmarthenshire County Council’s public protection department is reminding people to take care when preparing their ‘beach-bodies’.
Customers visiting a tanning salon should check that the sun bed is fitted with tubes that comply with European legislation – that is, with a UV output of 0.3 or less.
Customers should always be provided with eye protection, health information for using the sun bed and be assisted with assessing their skin type.
All sun bed premises should display the relevant yellow warning posters and manage the sun beds appropriately, which includes excluding under 18s, as required by law.
The council’s trading standards team carries out checks to ensure beds are tested and verified. Any sun bed operators that have not yet registered with the council should make contact.
Summer is also a popular time of year for people to have body piercings, tattoos, and beauty treatme…

Llandovery’s x-ray machine appeal all set for the final push!

All eyes were on Llandovery Hospital as the hospital’s League of Friends launched the final push for their X-Ray appeal with the help of local rugby hero Rob McCusker.
The Scarlets captain and Wales international player was on hand to unveil a new eye catching board outside the hospital that will track the progress of the final stages of the appeal as it gets ever closer to its target of £225,000.
The Llandovery Hospital League of Friends launched the appeal in August 2013 to raise funds for a new state of the art x-ray machine for the benefit of local patients. And in preparation for the new technology the university health board’s in-house design team have been hard at work to ensure the department will provide the best patient and staff environment possible.
Rob McCusker, said: "It is a great honour to have been invited here today to help support what is a great cause. The League of Friends have worked tirelessly to raise much needed funds in order to purchase and install the…

Computer sessions in the pub in Bancyfelin

St Clears’ mayor Cllr Graham Edwards inaugurates the first of a series of computer sessions held at the Fox and Hounds Inn in Bancyfelin. Also standing in the picture is Clare Pilborough, who organises the sessions through KITe, a digital skills development scheme which helps older people keep in touch.

Copperworks Infant School has gone Platinum.

Copperworks Infant School has gone Platinum.
Staff and pupils are celebrating after achieving the highest accolade possible under the Eco Schools programme.
The Platinum award is the equivalent of four Green Flags and is only given to schools that have demonstrated a real commitment to the environment.
Eco school’s co-ordinator Jane Beynon Morgan said: “We are all very pleased and proud to achieve this prestigious award. The children, who are only aged 3-7, have worked very diligently to achieve the award by embedding many eco initiatives into the school curriculum. By engaging and promoting these important issues the children are learning the importance of recycling from an early age. They take these important issues home and into the wider community.”
The Llanelli school has held a “Flush the Loo Day” where all the children and staff counted the number of times the toilet was used ad then calculated the amount of water used. The eco committee installed hippo bags in all the toilets to r…

Countdown to Carmarthenshire Eisteddfod begins in earnest

The 2014 Carmarthenshire National Eisteddfod is getting close.
Work is under way preparing the site at Festival Fields, Llanelli, for the Festival taking place from August 1-9.
The Eisteddfod is returning to the county and the site for the first time since 2000.
Carmarthenshire County Council is looking forward to welcoming around 150,000 visitors to the county for a week to remember and to celebrate the Welsh language and culture.
The council’s executive board member with responsibility for the Eisteddfod Councillor Keith Davies said: “I'm looking forward to the Carmarthenshire National Eisteddfod, and to see this spectacular event returning to the county. It is an honour for us in Carmarthenshire to be hosting the Eisteddfod."
You can visit the Eisteddfod’s website, if you would like more information about the festival and the week’s events.
The main Eisteddfod Maes will be on the Millennium Festival Fields off Sandy Road as it was in 2000. This is where the…

World War One memorabilia exhibition in Carmarthen

A display of World War One memorabilia is being held at Carmarthen Library next month.
The exhibition will contain newspapers from that era, with stories about local people who served in the war, and its effect on the community.
There will also be photographs and books from the library’s local collection.
The exhibition is taking place at the county council facility in King Street from July 14.
It is one of many events taking place across the country to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Great War.
Libraries executive board member Cllr Meryl Gravell said: “I am sure this exhibition will be very informative.
“It will be interesting to see the news in and around Carmarthen at the time the country was at war, and to see how it affected local people and communities.”
For more information on the exhibition or events at Carmarthen Library go to

E-cigarettes fire hazard warning in Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire residents are being urged to take care following several incidents involving e-cigarettes, their batteries and chargers.
There are growing reports across the UK of e-cigarettes that have ignited while in use or being charged.
At least one house fire in Carmarthenshire has been attributed to a faulty charger.
Incidents have also been reported of e-cigarettes exploding, especially when being used in an oxygen-rich environment.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s trading standards team is currently looking in to the issue, and in the meantime are urging people to be more aware of the hazards.
Cllr Jim Jones, executive board member for public protection, said: “These reports are worrying, particularly since our colleagues in the fire service believe that a house fire in Llanelli, in which a woman sustained a significant injury, was started because of a faulty charger.
“Our trading standards team is looking in to the issue locally, and whilst we’re aware that some devices and charge…

It's Wales Against Fracking Day on Saturday

This Saturday (5 July) will see street stalls and events all around the country [1], as thousands of people are expected to join environmental groups in demanding the Welsh Government bans fracking.
More than a million people in Wales live in areas at risk from the controversial process used to exploit shale gas [2], and there have already been a number of applications for test drillings.
Friends of the Earth local groups are co-ordinating many of the actions for Wales Against Fracking Day [3], though other groups have already joined the campaign.
Gareth Clubb, Director of Friends of the Earth Cymru, said: “Fracking is terrible news for climate change and the environment, and it’s not welcomed by communities. And even fracking companies admit it won’t lower fuel bills [4].
“Instead of drilling under our houses, towns and countryside for every last drop of fossil fuel, we should be cutting energy waste and developing Wales’ huge potential for clean power from the sun, wind and waves.

New Hywel Dda University Health Board Chair starts in post

Tomorrow, July 1,  Bernardine Rees will take up the role of Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board.
Born in Fishguard, Bernardine trained as a nurse in Carmarthen and has lived in Ceredigion for the last 19 years. She retired from the NHS after 42 years working in Wales, some of her local roles in the west included Director of Nursing in Ceredigion, Chief Executive in Pembrokeshire Local Health Board and Director of Primary Community and Mental Health Services in the newly formed Hywel Dda, as well as way many other posts in different parts of Wales.
Bernardine said “The values that brought me, and I’m sure most of our NHS staff, in to the NHS are still the ones I believe to be the drivers for the future. We all want to give the best outcomes to our patients in the safest possible way, with compassion that ensures that our population, wherever they access our services in primary, community or acute, get a good experience.
“I am full of admiration for all of our staff working in …