A CEREDIGION pool has been shortlisted for an award which could see them winning up to £25,000.
Llandysul Aqua Centre has been nominated for a ‘Britain Has Spirit’ award, which promises community groups across Britain a chance of securing £1,000 for each regional winner and a £25,000 prize for the winner of the final.
Britain Has Spirit was launched by TV personality Gabby Logan, with the purpose of rewarding community groups and volunteers, as well as encouraging people to take part in the local activities.
Five different community groups across Wales made it to the shortlist, with the winner spending their £1,000 winnings on a street party to thank their supporters.
The winner will then go onto the overall British round, where the £25,000 grand prize will be up for grabs to spend on facilities.
Iestyn ap Dafydd, Treasurer of Llandysul Swimming Pool, said: “The town had a shock two years ago when we heard that an annual grant from the council was being scrapped.
“For a while, nobody thought it would be possible for the pool to stay open. But the community came to the rescue – something Llandysul is very good at – and we suddenly found ourselves running the pool without official assistance.
“It’s been hard work, but the unstinting support of the community, which raises some £20,000 a year, just keeps the pool going.
“We’re coming into a new, exciting phase now. We’re in discussions with the council that may allow the trustees to search for grants to renovate the building and heating system.
“There are more possibilities coming along as the County Council look for a community group to run the leisure centre.
“The pool is a symbol of what rural communities can do when they have to. And it’s a symbol, really, of the strength of Llandysul and Ceredigion as we face the spending cuts that are being forced on us on a regular basis, it seems.
“Winning the Welsh round would raise our profile, and show to the whole of Wales that the spirit of the town and the county is far from beaten. It would show our pride to the nation.
“Of course, the £1,000 party to thank our supporters would be worth having too!
“Winning the final British round, and the £25,000, would make a real difference at a critical time for us, and really set Llandysul on the map.
“I’m sure that we deserve to go through to the final round – what we have achieved with the pool so far is remarkable. But we need to win the Welsh round first!
“So, I’m appealing to everyone who wants to see the pool succeed to vote on the Britain Has Spirit website, and do so every day until the contest is over. Thank you very much!”
Llandysul Aqua Centre has recently celebrated its 40 year anniversary since it was built and opened by the community.
The pool has a ‘Swim School’ that provides weekly swimming lessons to around 200 children, and a new Swimming Club, which is going from strength to strength.
The pool provides important employment opportunities for local sixth form pupils, as well as being a hub for the town’s recreational activities, including pool parties and aqua aerobics sessions.
The winners of the competition will be decided by public vote online at the Britain Has Spirit website, where supporters will be able to vote once a day until Friday June 17.
Time given to develop Parc Natur Penglais
VOLUNTEERS, including students, have given around 500 hours of their time to develop Parc Natur Penglais.
Along with support from Ceredigion County Council, the Group have built around 100 steps in 5 different places which has made the park a great place to walk, play and enjoy around a number of safe paths.
Councillor Mark Strong said: “Knowing that we have the support of the local community makes such a difference to peoples’ enthusiasm and having the grant from Aberystwyth Town Council, Cambrian News and Tesco made it possible. Volunteers can make a relatively small sum of money go long way.”
RSPCA aim for Christmas number one
MUSIC fans across Wales can help the RSPCA secure the Christmas number one slot, and provide vital support for animals in need across the country.
The animal welfare charity has thrown its hat into the ring to claim the festive chart accolade – as up-and-coming singer Lucy Ellie covers Simply Red’s hit song ’Stars’ in aid of the RSPCA.
‘Stars’ is the soundtrack to the charity’s ‘Kindness at Christmas’ video, which has already gone viral with over two million views online across a variety of platforms.
The tear-jerking video tells the story of Woody the Christmas toy pup who who is thrown out with the rubbish before being rescued and taken in for care by the RSPCA.
Proceeds from the single are being donated to the RSPCA to help in their work rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming thousands of animals every year.
RSPCA Cymru is again bracing itself for a busy festive period. In December 2016 and January 2017 alone, in Wales, 5,932 incidents were reported to the RSPCA – with 141 of these on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Lucy Ellie Cooper, who works at the charity, said: “This was a lovely opportunity for me to combine my two loves – animals and music.
“Outside of my job at the RSPCA I am a country music singer and songwriter, so when the chance came up to record such a fantastic and well-known song for the charity’s Christmas video, I jumped at it. I really hope people will take Woody’s story into their hearts and support the RSPCA this winter.”
You can help the RSPCA rescue, rehabilitate and re-home animals in desperate need of care, and support the charity’s ‘kindness’ campaign online
Charity games raise over £2000
NOT all heroes wear capes and Tesco Aberystwyth’s very own Community Champion, Natasha Worrall has proven this raising a staggering £2,096.27 for local and national charities.
Natasha, the brainchild behind the charity football events, came up with the idea first off by challenging Tesco’s neighbours, Marks and Spencer’s, to a football match, she quickly set her powers to work and contacted Aberystwyth Football club who were more than happy to help and allowed use of the pitch.
The Big Day arrived, there was a lot of tension and passion on the pitch that night, it was more than just about winning a match it was the status, the pride and most of all bringing people together to raise money for three great causes; Diabetes UK, British Heart Foundation and Mind. Hundreds of supporters braved the cold October evening to support the players and Tesco stole the show with a 7-1 victory and an amazing £607 was raised.
Natasha now had a taste of success under her cape and wanted to really get this event of the ground and challenged supermarket rivals, Morrisons to a match! The response for Tesco vs Morrisons was just what Natasha wanted and a November date was set.
Tesco now had experience in their boots and both teams had everything to play for. Victory once again went to Tesco who pipped Morrisons at the post and clawed back to a 5-4 victory raising a further £648.15 for Diabetes UK, British Heart Foundation and Clic Sargent.
In true football fashion Natasha wanted a hat trick but could Team Tesco achieve this? Last Sunday (Dec 3) seemed the perfect opportunity and the opponents who were up for the challenge came from Bronglais Hospital and their chosen charity Pila Pala, Llwyn yr Eos. What a match! And what great team to take victory, Hywel Dda 2 – Tesco – 0. A rematch could certainly be on the cards especially as they raised the biggest amount ever of £841.12.
Behind every success there is always great team and working with Natasha and the players a number of local heroes who helped, Ruth’s kitchen provided heroic meals for all the players for a £1 donation, Aberystwyth women’s Team loaned their footballs, the Referees, linesmen, stewards, security, first aiders and ball boys and girls who all donated their time free of charge.
Team Tesco are looking for more opponents to play and raise even more money for local charities, if you are interested please call into Tesco store and see Natasha.
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