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Project to support dementia sufferers

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dementia projectAN INNOVATIVE new service to help people with dementia across South West Wales and their carers feel more supported and enjoy a full and active life through activities including art, drama, and photography launched in Llanelli on Friday (15 November).

Alzheimer’s Society will run the ‘Life not just a service’ project across Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Swansea, Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot, after being awarded over £720,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

The project will be delivered through a programme of adult community learning opportunities including art, drama, patchwork quilting, family history, and photography – to name but a few. Each course will run for 10 weeks, with the weekly session operating for three hours in locations across south west Wales.

The event, which highlighted the charity’s support services for people living with dementia in South West Wales, was attended by Jonathan Edwards MP. Speaking at the event he said:

‘In my surgeries I meet many carers who are extremely grateful for the work of Alzheimer’s Society in helping them to adapt to a life-changing condition which impacts not just the individual, but the wider family circle. Amongst other things Alzheimer’s Society offers hope to people that there is life beyond developing dementia.

‘The fact that Alzheimer’s Society has been awarded substantial funding from the Big Lottery is a testament to the confidence stakeholders have in the work the Society undertakes’.

The new funding is one of three Big Lottery projects secured in the last 18 months for Alzheimer’s Society in Wales, totalling £2.75m (£2,750,000).

The advocacy and befriending services, funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s AdvantAGE programme, were officially launched in July 2012 and have since helped to support people across South West Wales who are living with all forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Cheryl James, Operations Manager for Alzheimer’s Society in South West Wales said: ‘There are estimated to be over 44,500 people with dementia in Wales and as the population ages, we all face the risk of one day developing the condition. Through our new project ‘Life Not Just a Service’ we aim to reach out and offer a range of learning opportunities to those who may not have otherwise been able to access our support services.

‘People with dementia and their carers can often experience feelings of loneliness and isolation, especially in the more rural parts of Wales. Alzheimer’s Society is committed to reaching out to all people with dementia and their carers in order to help them and support them to live well with dementia now and in the future.

‘We hope that the new ‘Life Not Just a Service’ will increase public awareness of dementia and give people a better understanding of the condition; reducing the stigma. We also hope that the project will create a sense of community spirit where people with dementia can be active citizens.

‘We are delighted that thanks to the generous support of the Big Lottery Fund, we can bring these much needed services to Wales.’

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Cardigan: Welsh language nursery’s treasurer stole £16,336 from coffers

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A FORMER treasurer of Cylch Meithrin Penparc in Cardigan has been jailed today for a fraud that brought the Welsh language nursery to its knees.
Catrin Davies, a 33 year old single mother of two daughters, cheated the organisation out of £16,336.
After she left the post the nursery struggled to pay debts and at one stage was left with £1.84p in its bank.
Davies, of Bwthyn Lleine, Ferwig, admitted fraud and was jailed for eight months.
Judge Geraint Walters, sitting at Swansea Crown Court, told her the offending was too series for the sentence to be suspended.
Craig Jones, prosecuting, said Davies was appointed treasurer in September, 2015, and left the post in December 2016.
The new treasurer noticed discrepancies in the accounts. Davies tried to cover them up by sticking pieces of paper onto bank statements to blank out figures, photocopying them, and then carefully typing in new and bogus figures.
By then Davies had failed to pay money into the account and withdrawn some herself.
Mr Jones said that at one stage the nursery had to pay a roof repair bill. Davies knew there wasn’t enough money in the account but to keep the fraud going and to avoid detection she actually paid the bill out of her own money.
Mr Jones said after the true financial situation had been established Cylch Meithrin Penparc was at risk of closure. Internet access was cut off because the telephone bill could not be paid and staff found themselves buying essential items out of their own money.
And there was still a fear, he added, that the nursery would struggle to overcome the blow and to recover the confidence of parents.
Janet Gedrych, representing Davies, said she had suffered a devastating fall from grace.
Davies ran the Pink Orchid florists in Priory Street, Cardigan, for nine years and had a good reputation in the town.
But her partner left her and his debts behind and ran up more and she owed £30,000 in personal and business debts. By October, 2015, debt collectors were knocking on her door and she defrauded Cylch Meithrin Penparc to pay them off.
Judge Walters said the nursery provided a hugely valuable service to parents who wanted their children to learn Welsh and Davies had helped herself to money they had paid in.
“Your activity has reduced its ability to operate. It has not closed but it’s hanging by a thread.”
Judge Walters said he accepted that Davies had found herself squeezed financially, but many people struggled under similar circumstances.

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Police appeal for information about Cardigan crash

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CARDIGAN police are appealing for information about an RTC involving two cars, on the A487 Cardigan to Tanygroes, at around 5:45pm on Monday (Nov 13).

A white Mitsubishi Shogun and a blue/silver Fiat Bravo were involved in the collision, on the bypass near Cardigan Tesco. The two drivers were taken to hospital; one has since been released.

Anyone who witnessed the collision, or was driving along the road around the time, is asked to contact Ceredigion Roads Policing Unit by calling 101.

If you are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908, quoting Ref: 326 of 13 November.

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Police reaffirms commitment to a safe working environment

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE has pledged to maintain its ongoing work to provide a safe working environment for all its staff.

Following the high profile accusations against members of the entertainment industry and reports that have subsequently followed from all corners of society, the force has taken action to ensure its staff and officers are aware of the existing support and mechanisms available to them.

While much work has already been – and continues to be – undertaken to tackle and eliminate unacceptable behaviour within Dyfed-Powys Police, chief officers are actively developing a culture where all members of staff are confident in speaking out.

An open letter has been issued to all employees, in which Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Claire Parmenter has reaffirmed that ensuring all staff can work in a fair and safe environment remains a key priority.

In it, she says: “The chief officer group wants to reassure you all that in Dyfed-Powys Police we hold our staff at the heart of our service and we will do everything we can to provide a safe working environment where everyone has the equal right to respect and dignity.

“The #MeToo Campaign was re-launched in the wake of the early allegations and has since been used by millions of women and men as an instantly recognisable method of removing the stigma that surrounds sexual harassment, by both victims and supporters of the campaign.

“While much work has already been undertaken to tackle and eliminate harassment, bullying and discrimination, work in this area is never done. Therefore, ensuring a fair, safe and equitable working environment for our staff in Dyfed-Powys Police remains an absolute priority.

“I have pledged my support to ongoing work aimed at reminding all officers and staff of the existing support and mechanisms available by which Dyfed-Powys Police encourages the reporting of wrong-doing. We will be reviewing policy, procedure and practice to ensure they remain current and that they are both supportive of victims and alleged perpetrators.

“We will also engage with staff associations and networks, the Police Federation and Unison to better understand staff concerns, embed high standards of conduct and reduce fear experienced by victims.”

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