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Former Olympian visits local schools

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TWO projects in Ceredigion have been successful in gaining support from a former Olympic and Commonwealth Games swimmer as part of the ‘Sky Sports: Living for Sport’ initiative.

Tom Haffield was a professional swimmer and competitor at the Beijing Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and Glasgow.

He is now an ambassador, alongside 100 other world-class athletes from a range of different sports who are delivering free visits to schools to share their inspiring stories of success and support.

The ‘Sky Sports: Living for Sport’ initiative is a free initiative open to UK and Ireland secondary schools that utilise sports stars and the skills learn ed through sport to build confidence and develop life skills. As an ambassador, Tom visited two projects in Ceredigion in March – Canolfan Bro Steffan Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) in Cribyn and Canolfan Aeron PRU in Aberaeron.

Tom visited Canolfan Bro Steffan and worked with groups of pupils aged between 13 and 15 to develop their health and wellbeing awareness. Tom shared his story about how he competed in the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, and discussed how the pupils could improve their own health and wellbeing.

Councillor Hag Harris, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Learning Services, Children and Young People’s Partnership, said: “This was a great opportunity for the young people to see what exactly it takes to be a professional sports player and see the dedication and ambition to perform at that level.”

He added: “They also had the opportunity to enjoy a session on team work and communication skills by swimming with Tom. We hope this will inspire the pupils and give them some confidence to achieve whatever they put their mind to.”

Tom also visited pupils aged between 15-16 at Canolfan Aeron PRU in Aberaeron to develop their literacy skills. As part of this project, he accompanied the pupils on a visit to Radio Ceredigion in Narberth, where the pupils were given the chance to interview him.

Hag Harris said: “Liam, David and Daniel prepared excellent questions and demonstrated fabulous potential as future interviewers. The day really helped with their literacy skills and gave them a taste of what it’s like to be a radio presenter.”

The interview went live on Radio Ceredigion and can still be listened to as a podcast via the website: radioceredigion.wales.

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Christmas gift fair returns

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Last year at the Food Fair: The annual Christmas celebrations return this year

NEXT Friday (Oct 20), the annual craft and gifts extravaganza will return to Aberystwyth Arts Centre to get the locals in the mood for Christmas.

The Winter Craft & Gift Fair is sure to get visitors feeling festive in the run up to Christmas with over 80 stalls selling a wonderful array of crafts and gifts, many produced by local makers from Ceredigion and mid Wales.

This year will feature many regular stalls, as well as some who will be selling at the fair for the first time, so prepare to discover the unusual and unexpected at this year’s fair with it’s new layout and products for 2017.

The fair will be open from 10am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday and 12 to 5.30pm on Sundays all the way up until December 23.

On Saturday​,​ ​November ​​25, ​the Arts Centre’s Christmas Food Fair will take over the Great Hall for the day. There will be the very best of Welsh produce with cheese, meats, fish, wine, cider, pastries, puddings, jams and much, much more from many local producers. The Food Fair is the perfect place to stock up on a few gastronomic goodies in the run up to Christmas. There will also be live musical entertainment to get you in the Christmassy mood! The fair will be on 10am-4pm and entry is free!

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‘​I​t’s ok to say’

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FUW raise awareness: Urging people to 'say' on World Mental Health Day​

​ON WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY, farmers across Wales are being reminded that ‘it’s ok to say’ and the Farmers’ Union of Wales is urging them not to hide problems from themselves, their families and friends and to talk about their personal feelings.

The FUW made a commitment at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show in July to continue raising awareness of mental health problems in rural communities and is therefore renewing the call for those who might be suffering from mental health problems to seek help.

“The focus of this year’s World Mental Health day is on mental health in the workplace and farms are just that. In our places of work we’ve faced some pretty low-points in the last few years. Bovine TB, price volatility and uncertainty about our future post-Brexit, this all puts a strain on our resolve and will have many feeling stressed and under immense pressure,” said Union President Glyn Roberts​.​

“But we must break the stigma attached to mental health, so if you’re feeling vulnerable, please open-up and speak to someone. That doesn’t just mean today, but always. Farmers and farming families need to continue talking openly about what they are experiencing and the FUW strongly encourages anyone who is worried about their own mental health or a loved-one, to seek help from the Farming Community Network, Tir Dewi, The DPJ Foundation, Mind Cymru or Call Helpline Wales,” added Glyn Roberts.

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Scholarship scheme funds student’s Masters

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One of the chosen few: Stella Foster (Pic. Mark Woodward)

A TALYBONT native is one of just 28 people in the UK to be awarded a scholarship granted by energy company ScottishPower.

Stella Foster, 32, gratefully received the grant from the Scottish Power Foundation for the 2017/18 academic year.

Having just completed an undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of York, Stella will begin her Masters in Environmental Sciences this week at the University of East Anglia. Environmental science degrees integrate biology, physical science and information sciences to examine environmental systems (air, water, etc.) and how they interact.

The sought-after scholarship covers full enrolment costs as well as a living allowance. On top of this, the scholars will receive unique opportunities including meeting leading industry professionals.

“Travelling around the world and living in China before I started my undergraduate studies made me aware of the astounding change of pace in urbanisation; the two-hour bus ride from where I lived to Shanghai, there wasn’t a moment where you couldn’t see a construction site,” Stella said.

“This fast and dramatic development creates issues with the environment, and I’m really excited to learn about the creative and fascinating solutions out there, and hopefully come up with some of my own,” she added.

Since it was launched in 2010, the ScottishPower Foundation scholarships programme has provided £1.5m in grants towards training the next generation in their chosen field.

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