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40 years of St Padarn’s Playgroup

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St Padarn’s Playgroup: Celebrating 40 years of childcare

St Padarn’s Playgroup: Celebrating 40 years of childcare

CELEBRATING a 40th Birthday in a sunny playground was a very dif­ferent way to spend a Saturday.

There were many fun-filled prepara­tions taking place at the premises of St Padarn’s school, and the commitment of the St Padarn’s’ playgroup was being demostrated to its fullest. Forty years of unique, fun, and beneficial childcare was celebrated within the community.

Situated on Llanbadarn R oad, Ab­erystwyth, St Padarn’s Playgroup has established itself as a charity which provides excellent childcare with a spe­cial emphasis on education. Through the medium of English and Welsh, the Playgroup gives children a fun experi­ence while they learn through interactive planned activities and free play.

Run by an elected committee of parents, the Playgroup is fully insured through the Wales Pre-School Playgroup Association and also offers an after-school care for St Padarn’s School pupils on the same premises.

The Playgroup also have the policy of allowing parents of current pupils to automatically become members of the charity that run the playgroup, and en­courage all parents to get involved in any way they can.

The community atmosphere was tangible even before the event had be­gun, the many young families helping to set up for this important day. Putting an emphasis on fun activities for children is one of the core principles of the Play­group and continued with the children at the event having had the opportunity to enjoy various happenings such as face painting, Arts and Crafts and a cake competition stall.

While the children had the freedom to alternate between playing with toys scattered along the ground or on the wooden playground equipment, the par­ents showed their support by assisting with the raffle and the food stall.

With contemporary music playing throughout event, there was a special live performance from singer songwriter Callum Duell, entertainment from the Pied Piper and a petting corner, courtesy of Pets at Home in Aberystwyth.

Amber Walker, member of the Play­group PTA and parent said: “The Play­group has never felt like a Playgroup, but an education. The cake stall competition and the event itself is a wonderful way to get the children involved”

Committee-Secretary of the St Pa­darn’s Playgroup, Lisa Jones-Evans further explained while helping with the raffle stall: “My child has been in the playgroup for two years and absolutely loves it”.

The Organisers of the event warmly welcomed present nursery children, staff and committee member to the celebra­tions. Among them was Kath Philips, the playgroups’ longest serving Manager for 27 years, former Playgroup leader Maureen Gallop, former one to one as­sistant Margaret Evans and the former Playgroup Treasurer.

Speaking of her previous role and how the Playgroup formed, Kath ex­plained: “The ethos of the Playgroup changed after a while and focused on navigating towards working parents. The Playgroup thrived and was all about having fun. We were forever having par­ties”

Sitting looking at old photos from 1982-1983 with the group gave a great sense of nostalgia and how the Playgroup formed into a highly affordable and well thought of childcare group under Kath’s leadership: a fantastic way to ensure that children were well looked after and well educated outside of the home.

Leontia Slay, one of the co-founders of the Playgroup, began a child care ser­vice in an old Catholic hall in Aberyst­wyth.

“The Playgroup came from nothing and was so simple when it began. Then it exploded into something special.”

The event included a tour around the Playgroup facilities by current play­group manager of three years, Eleri Barker. Showing me and former staff of the Playgroup around the outdoor fa­cilities, she explained: “Part of the chil­dren’s education at the Playgroup is the gardening. We’ve had a Lottery Grant this year for £5000, and we also relied on sustainability grants to do what we want to do.

“The children enjoy growing a garden and they have a mud garden, a kitchen to play in, a musical stand and a construction corner. We were also very fortunate that Mount Trading in Aberyst­wyth were able to give us gravel for the garden.

“The children have a sensory garden where they have a little shed to grow runner beans, black currents, blueber­ries, lettuces and potatoes.”

Discussing the developments of teaching methods over the years while in the Playgroup classroom, Eleri told The Herald: “The class should be open access all the time, with the castle in the corner and the three little pigs display. The committee are good at looking at what we need and there are always ways for everyone and anyone to fit in”

Pointing to a decoration hanging from the ceiling, she explained that they once built an igloo out of milk cartons and the children loved the bubble wrap icicles hanging from the ceiling so much, they wanted to leave them there.

The event concluded with a presen­tation and a birthday cake for the Play­group in celebration of the high quality childcare and education that it continues to provide.

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Adjustment to Safe Zones

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In August, temporary traffic orders were introduced so that Safe Zones for four Ceredigion towns could remain for up to 18 months subject to regular reviews so minor adjustments can be made.

In line with the evidence collected on the use of the towns, Ceredigion County Council feel the need to keep the safe zones in place for the time being. Aberaeron and New Quay will continue as they are.

In Cardigan the closures will change to 11am until 4:30pm Monday to Saturday. The safe zones will not be in place on a Sunday in Cardigan. These adjustments will come in to force on Sunday morning, 04 October.

In Aberystwyth, additional parking has been implemented for the disabled and blue badge holders in Chalybeate Street close to the Care Society Mobility Centre.

Further enhancements to provide better access for the disabled and blue badge holders will also continue to be explored.

Safe zones were introduced in Aberaeron, Aberystwyth, Cardigan and New Quay on 13 July to create safe and spacious areas for the public to visit and provide the confidence that social distancing can be maintained in these areas.

Safe zones will be in place until at least 01 November 2020 and reviewed fortnightly in line with the infection rate and available evidence.

More information can be seen on the safe zones web page: www.ceredigion.gov.uk/SafeZones

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Our responsibility to follow the new Wales coronavirus measures in order to Keep Ceredigion Safe

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The Welsh Government is bringing in new coronavirus measures to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus.

To help further prevent the spread of coronavirus, new measures were announced by the First Minister which will come into force at 6pm on Thursday, September 24, 2020:

· Hospitality businesses in Wales will have to close at 10pm and provide table service only.

· All off-licences, including supermarkets, will have to stop selling alcohol at 10pm.

We are also being asked to think carefully about making journeys: only travel where it is essential to do so. The fewer people we meet and the fewer journeys we make, the safer we all are.

The Welsh Government have also introduced the following measures:

· A new £500 payment to support people on low incomes who are asked to self-isolate if they have coronavirus;

· Strengthened regulations to ensure employers support people who need to self-isolate.

The new measures are part of a package of co-ordinated actions to control the spread of coronavirus and it is essential that we all play our part in order to keep Ceredigion safe.

These new measures are to be introduced alongside those that are already in place:

· Keep a 2m social distance from each other when out and about.

· Wash your hands regularly.

· Wear a mask in indoor public places, shops and on public transport

· Only meet 6 people indoors from your extended household (not including children 11 and under).

· Do not meet with more than 30 people outdoors.

· Work from home, wherever possible.

· Think carefully about making journeys: only travel where you need to do so. The fewer people we meet and the fewer journeys we make, the safer we all are.

We need everyone to follow the rules and guidance and to take the steps to protect them and their loved ones.

Together, we can keep Ceredigion safe.

All the latest information and advice regarding the coronavirus can be found on Ceredigion County Council’s website: www.ceredigion.gov.uk/Coronavirus. The Council’s Corporate Contact Centre number is 01545 570881.

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NHS COVID-19 app launches across Wales

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People are being urged to download the NHS COVID-19 app to help stop the spread of coronavirus and protect themselves and their loved ones as case numbers rise.

The app launches today [Thursday 24] after positive trials and will be a useful tool when used alongside Wales’ successful manual contact tracing system.

It will be available to those aged 16 and over, and forms a central part of the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect programme identifying contacts of those who have tested positive for coronavirus.

The roll-out of the app in Wales coincides with a national campaign around how people in Wales can best support the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect programme, including only getting a test if they are showing symptoms; self-isolating when required; and working with local contact tracers if they are contacted.

Wales’ contact tracing system – which is a publicly-run service and locally delivered – is working well and has seen a very high contract and trace rate. Latest stats show 94% of cases are being successfully contacted.

The app works by logging the amount of time you spend near other app users, and the distance between you, so it can alert you if someone you have been close to later tests positive for COVID-19 – even if you don’t know each other.

The app will advise you to self-isolate if you have been in close contact with a confirmed case. It will also enable you to check symptoms, book a test if needed and get your test results.

Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething said:

“The launch of the NHS COVID-19 app is an important part of Wales’ coronavirus response, supporting the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect programme. The more people who download and use this app, the more it will help us to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We have worked closely with the app development team to ensure it works seamlessly across Wales and England, providing people with the right advice based on where they live. In Wales, the app will complement our existing contact tracing and testing services and will further support our co-ordinated response to COVID-19 at both a local and national level.

“I strongly encourage everyone in Wales to download and use the app to keep Wales safe.”

The app has been designed with user privacy in mind, so it tracks the virus, not people and uses the latest in data security technology to protect privacy. The system generates a random ID for an individual’s device, which can be exchanged between devices via Bluetooth. These unique random IDs regenerate frequently to add an extra layer of security and preserve anonymity.

The app does not hold personal information such as your name, address or date of birth, and only requires the first half of your postcode to ensure local outbreaks can be managed.

Today the UK’s major mobile network operators, including Vodafone, Three, EE and O2, Sky and Virgin, have confirmed that all in-app activity will not come out of customers’ data allowance.

In a joint statement Apple and Google said:

“We built the exposure notifications system to enable public health authorities in their efforts to develop apps to help reduce the spread of the virus while ensuring people can trust in the privacy-preserving design. We are committed to supporting the government’s effort to launch an app based on this technology.”

Whilst the app will be a major support for the contact tracing system, Welsh residents are being reminded to continue to keep Wales safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19 by:

• Always keeping a distance
• Washing hands regularly
• Working from home wherever possible
• Following local restrictions
• Following the rules about meeting people
• Staying at home if you or anyone in your extended household has symptoms.

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