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Radio Bronglais hits the road

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Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 10.58.43ABERYSTWYTH’S summer entertainment continued on Saturday (Jul 16) as Menter Aberystwyth introduced ‘Radio Bronglais Roadshow’ to the community. 

As part of Menter Aberystwyth’s Summer Entertainment programme, the community of Aberystwyth were able to brave the unfortunate weather forecast and gathered around the Bandstand to be entertained by the radio station from 2pm until 6pm.

The unfortunate weather meant that Menter Aberystwyth had to postpone the ‘Picnic in the Park’ at the Aberystwyth Castle grounds, which promised outdoor activities for children, bring your own picnics and live music.

Menter Aberystwyth covers not only the town of Aberystwyth but also its surrounding villages, as far as Eglwys Fach to the north and Llanrhystud to the south. The area comprises of 13 community councils and Menter Aberystwyth hopes to work in partnership with all of them.

A regeneration partnership for Aberystwyth and its surrounding areas, Menter Aberystwyth concentrates on the building of community ethos, where local people have a chance to address any issues they have regarding changes and solutions to their community. With links to various organisations such as the Aberystwyth Town Council, Ceredigion County Council, Aberystwyth University and BBC News, Menter Aberystwyth thrive on the support on the local community.

Funded by Aberystwyth Town Council and Aberystwyth University, Menter Aberystwyth provides help for other smaller groups in the local area in order for them to develop their own projects. In addition, they also provide guidance for businesses and other groups with regards to funding opportunities and available advice.

Cllr Alun Williams, Vice Chairman of Menter Aberystwyth, spoke to The Herald about the Summer Entertainment Programme 2016: “Events in the last year have included the Switch-on of the town’s Christmas lights and the recent Aber First awards. The Summer Entertainment programme, based at the new bandstand, is a part of that and Menter will be putting on around 40 different events there over the summer. The programme consists of local artists who Menter pay a small amount to perform.

“Unfortunately, I couldn’t be there on Saturday, but the first event of the season was the Dylan Thomas Sound project the previous Saturday. Photos of this are on the Menter Aberystwyth Facebook page.

“Radio Bronglais/RBFM are a hospital radio station based in a building in the grounds of the hospital. As part of Menter’s programme, they presented a four-hour live broadcast road show from the Bandstand last Saturday, supporting the great work of the staff of Bronglais Hospital and various community groups around the area, some of whom were interviewed on the show.”

Due to the success of the event, Radio Bronglais released the following official statement: “Saturday (Jul 16) saw the successful return of everybody’s favourite radio roadshow as ‘RB FM presents…Summer at the Bandstand’ from the Bronglais Hospital community radio station. Radio Bronglais FM kicked off Aberystwyth’s Summer Entertainment Program with a flourish.

“RB FM’s four-hour live broadcast direct from the new Bandstand on the Aberystwyth promenade showcased the range of coverage it provides for its listeners. With a variety of guest speakers from branches of Bronglais Hospital services, associated bodies, and other third sector organisations, coupled with live performances from a diverse demographic of musicians, RB FM celebrated a brilliant afternoon of broadcasting.”

Cllr Williams added: “Aberystwyth Town Mayor Brendan Somers, who opened the event on Saturday, praised the hard work and dedication of all the staff at Bronglais Hospital, and that of the Radio Bronglais volunteers.

“The live broadcast was anchored by RB FM presenter ‘Big Pete’ Evans, and featured presenting slots from regular voices Lewis Harrowing and Gemma Freedman. The show included interviews with representatives from Age Cymru Ceredigion, Sight Cymru Ceredigion, the League of Friends of Bronglais Hospital, and the Mid Wales Healthcare Collaborative, amongst several others, as well as beautiful live performances from AberOpera, folk band Brenig, and regular RB FM presenters Del Whiting and Sean Hicks, the latter of whom also used the event to launch his new EP.”

Al Frean, RB FM Station Manager, was pleased with the success of the event and told The Herald: “It’s great to be out and about doing road shows and broadcasting from outside of the hospital. We get the opportunity to join the dots; showcasing snippets of Bronglais to the community whilst also bringing aspects of the community back to our listeners through our programming platforms.

“We just wish the reliable Welsh weather could have been a bit sunnier on the day! Of course a huge thank you goes out to everyone involved; from our guests to our own volunteers and a special thanks to Aberystwyth Town Council and Menter Aberystwyth for their help and support as organisers of the Summer Entertainment Program. Diolch i chi!”

Radio Bronglais FM is the hospital and community radio station based at Bronglais General Hospital in Aberystwyth. It is a self-funded voluntary branch of the healthcare community which endeavours to provide relief and support first and foremost for the patients and staff of Bronglais Hospital and its associated NHS services through its diverse broadcasting and befriending services.

For more information, tune in and support Radio Bronglais via 87.8FM across Aberystwyth or online via www.rbfmlive.co.uk and the TuneIn Radio app. For more information about Menter Aberystwyth’s Summer Entertainment 2016 programme, search Menter Aberystwyth on Facebook at @menteraberystwyth

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Royals set to visit Ceredigion during summer visit

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AS PART of their annual summer visit to Wales, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will be visiting Ceredigion next month.

From July 2-6, Charles and Camilla will tour the country, undertaking over 20 engagements across the country.

On July 3, The Prince of Wales will visit Dà Mhìle Distillery, Llandysul, the first organic distillery in the UK approved by the Soil Association, where he was previously gifted the thousandth bottle to be produced by Dà Mhìle.

The Prince of Wales will also visit St. Gwenog’s Church, Llanwenog, and view their unique carvings created by Joseph Reubens, a Belgian World War One refugee. His Royal Highness will also meet members of their local community.

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall’s fourteenth annual Summer visit to Wales will feature celebrations to mark the 70th Anniversary of The National Health Service and the marking the 150th anniversary of the Heart of Wales railway line amongst other events.

A Clarence House spokesperson said: “The Prince and The Duchess are really looking forward to their annual summer visit to Wales where they will be celebrating key anniversaries for the National Health Service, the Heart of Wales railway line and the 90th anniversary of Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisation. Their Royal Highnesses relish the opportunity to meet members of the community who are making a difference to Welsh life.”

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Social media used to groom children young as six

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CHILDREN as young as six in Wales have been targeted across an array of online platforms in the first year following the introduction of anti-grooming laws.

A law of Sexual Communication with a Child came into effect in England and Wales on April 3, 2017, after an NSPCC campaign, and in the first year a total of 3,171 crimes were recorded by police forces – amounting to nine grooming offences per day.

A total of 274 offences were recorded across the four Welsh police forces in the same period.

More than half of the offences in Wales were logged by South Wales Police (158) with 53 in North Wales and 44 in the Gwent force area.

Dyfed-Powys Police supplied data for the period between October 2017 and April 2018 when 19 offences were recorded.

In Wales, grooming offences were recorded on 23 different platforms, with Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat comprising the top three most-commonly used with more than 120 taking place using those platforms alone.

Ninety-one crimes were reported in Wales against boys and girls aged between 12 and 15, while 56 offences were recorded against children aged 11 and under. The youngest victim recorded was just six years old.

Following the NSPCC’s #WildWestWeb campaign, the UK Government’s digital secretary Matt Hancock announced that laws will be brought in to regulate social networks, to keep children safe and prevent harms such as grooming.

The charity is now campaigning to ensure those laws are sufficiently robust to prevent grooming and to truly keep children safe.

It is calling on Government Create mandatory safety rules that social networks are legally required to follow; Establish an independent regulator to enforce safety laws and fine non-compliant sites; Require social media sites to publish annual safety reports; Force platforms to develop technology to detect grooming using algorithms.

It comes ahead of the charity’s annual flagship conference How Safe Are Our Children? which begins on Wednesday June 20 in London and has the theme Growing Up Online.

Contact offences such as rape and sexual assault were among those recorded in connection with grooming offences.

Mared Parry, from North Wales, was sent sexual messages from men 10 years older than her on Facebook when she was aged just 14.

Mared, who has waived her right to anonymity, was groomed to send semi-naked pictures to them.

She said: “At the beginning it was messages like ‘Hey, how are you?’ But as the weeks went on, they started sending messages that were more and more sexual. It was so subtle; that’s why it is so easy for an online chat to slip into being so wrong.

“If I didn’t reply or speak the way they wanted me to, then they would say: ‘You’re just too immature for me’. They were so manipulative, but you don’t even notice it.

“Looking back at it now, it’s scary to think that I sent semi-naked pictures to older guys. It could have gone a lot further.”

Peter Wanless, NSPCC chief executive, said: “These numbers are far higher than we had predicted, and every single sexual message from an adult to a child can have a huge impact for years to come.

“Social networks have been self-regulated for a decade and it’s absolutely clear that children have been harmed as a result.

“I urge digital secretary Matt Hancock to follow through on his promise and introduce safety rules backed up in law and enforced by an independent regulator with fining powers.

“Social networks must be forced to design extra protections for children into their platforms, including algorithms to detect grooming to prevent abuse from escalating.”

In Wales, NSPCC Cymru has called for the Welsh Government to co-ordinate and progress efforts to keep children as safe in their online worlds as they are offline.

Last year, Welsh Government announced plans to produce a children and young persons’ online safety action plan.

The NSPCC hopes it will deliver practical help and support for schools, parents and others in Wales involved in child protection online when it is published.

How Safe Are Our Children? takes place at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, in Westminster, London on June 20-21.

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Grant money available to improve play areas in Ceredigion

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CEREDIGION COUNTY COUNCIL has been awarded £100,800 from the Welsh Government’s Rural Communities Development Fund to finance capital works in four play areas across Ceredigion.

On June 19, the Council’s Cabinet authorised the project’s commencement.

The four play areas are Ponterwyd Play Area, Llanon Tennis Courts, Llanddewi Brefi Play Area and Cardigan Skate Park. The money will improve playing and leisure opportunities in these areas.

The full cost of the work is estimated to be £126,000, with the grant contributing 80% of the cost and the town and community councils will provide the remaining 20%.

The Cabinet member responsible for Learning Services and Lifelong Learning, Councillor Catrin Miles, said, “Quality and safe playing opportunities are important to the county’s children as well as for their parents. I’m delighted that the Cabinet could authorise such a project and I’m sure the play areas will be well used after being improved.”

The project may start from July 18, 2018 and must end by April 30, 2019.

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