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Ceredigion’s Universities scoop green awards

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Aber’s Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer, Rebecca Davies : Presenting Sport and Exercise Science Technician, Alan Cole, with the Gold Standard Green Impact Award for IBERS (Carwyn James)

Aber’s Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer, Rebecca Davies : Presenting Sport and Exercise Science Technician, Alan Cole, with the Gold Standard Green Impact Award for IBERS (Carwyn James)

ABERYSTWYTH University and UWTSD are celebrating after having more success at the Green Impact Awards, an environmental accreditation and awards scheme run by the National Union of Students, who support teams and departments to make simple and powerful changes in behaviour and policy in order to work towards a more sustainable institution. 

Thirteen teams from different departments across Aberystwyth University took part in the scheme in 2015-16, and were audited by student volunteers in April.

All teams were recognised for their achievements; five were awarded the Gold Standard, six achieved Silver, and two were awarded Bronze.

Achieving the Gold Standard were teams from Human Resources, Estates Sustainability, IBERS (Carwyn James), Information Services and the Institute of Education, Graduate and Professional Development (Cledwyn).

Awarded the Silver Standard were the Earth Observation and Ecosystem Dynamics Research Group, the Institute of Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science, and teams from the Careers Service, Planning and Governance, Psychology, and Research, Business & Innovation.

Estates Grounds and the Aberystwyth Arts Centre were awarded the Bronze standard.

Health, Safety, and Environment Advisor, Dr Heather Crump, stated: “Green Impact, part of the Live Greener behaviour change campaign (e.g. Blackout and Student Switch Off), has grown in popularity over the past three years, with more and more people getting involved and engaged with the scheme.

“With news of it continuing for another year, we hope it continues to gain momentum and even more sustainability initiatives take place. Green Impact is integrated into the university’s drive to achieve the internationally recognised ISO 14001 standard for environmental management.”

At UWTSD, the Green Impact project was able to engage with over 106 staff members from across all three campuses this year, putting 502 actions into place, 329 as a direct result of Green Impact. The dedication of those involved provided a potential savings of almost 9492kg of CO2 and almost £1,397 in savings through waste reduction, energy conservation, and reductions in travel. Furthermore, it provided six students with training and development opportunities during their roles as auditors.

Fiona Wheatley, Sustainability Development Officer, said: “It’s important to promote good environmental behaviour at UWTSD and Green Impact offers a way to incorporate small reminders into the workspace. It’s also a great way to encourage members of staff to work together towards a greater good. I was extremely pleased with the efforts of all the teams this year. The project was very successful and forms a solid foundation for sustainability to continue to grow throughout the university in the future. The project will be beginning again this September and we hope to further its success. We plan on engaging even more staff members.”

UWTSD has been a participant in the NUS Green Impact Project since 2013/14. Initially, the first year saw six teams successfully achieve a Bronze award. During 2014/15, this grew to 16 teams, who achieved a range of awards from Bronze to Gold. This year (2015/16), 15 teams submitted for a range of award from Bronze to Gold, and one team for an excellence award. Arrangement to facilitate Green Impact events and awards are undertaken by the Sustainability Delivery Team at UWTSD.

UWTSD’s strategy also includes key performance indicators on sustainability. Green Impact binds a community of sustainability champions across the university, helping to ensure that it consistently delivers on its sustainability objectives.

At UWTSD, the results were as follows:

Student Experience: Silver Award; Environment Office: Gold Award; SWWCTE Townhill Campus: Silver Award; Team Owen: Bronze Award: HR; Silver Award: Green Business; Bronze Award: SOAC Green Team; Bronze Award: Y Gofrestrfa – The Registry; Bronze Award: SWWCTE Carmarthen (CAADOC-Caerfyrddin); Bronze Award: Corporate Services; Gold Award: Corporate Communications & PR; Bronze Award: INSPIRE; Gold Award: GWLAD; Bronze Award: SSJ&I: Bronze Award; Faculty Office – Lampeter: Bronze Award; Fine Art/ Celf a Dylunio Team Excellence Award: Project – Ground sourced Clay to Ceramics

Sustainability is high on the list of priorities for staff and students. In a 2016 survey completed by the NUS, over 87% of first year students agree that sustainable development is something universities should actively incorporate and promote.

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Public urged to enjoy dolphin sightings at a distance

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WITH summer on the way, bringing visitors enjoying Ceredigion’s wildlife rich coastline, the Council is urging members of the public to enjoy coastal activities without disturbing Cardigan Bay’s special wildlife and habitats. The call comes after individuals recently approached and swam with dolphins in Cardigan Bay.

The Ceredigion Marine Code of Conduct asks water users to stay 100 metres away from dolphins and porpoises encountered at sea, and to keep a distance of 50 metres from seals and nesting sea birds.

In no circumstances should the public attempt to feed, swim with or touch the dolphins. These are wild animals. Dolphins are large and powerful and can grow up to four metres long. As well as causing significant disturbance to the animals and pushing them off important feeding sites, close contact can also result in exposure to diseases to both humans and animals.

Repeated disturbance could cause the dolphins to leave important feeding sites to search for quieter areas.

Disruption to feeding, resting and nursing behaviour could have a long-term impact on the health and wellbeing of individual dolphins and populations.

The Cabinet member responsible for Economy and Regeneration, Councillor Rhodri Evans said: “Cardigan Bay’s wildlife is a great asset to the economy of our coastal communities and is also important in its own right. It is because of this that we ask residents and visitors to enjoy dolphin, and other wildlife sightings at a safe distance. Although the temptation to have a close-up view is understandable, we can’t risk disturbing Cardigan Bay’s wildlife and possibly driving them away. It’s the last thing anyone wants.”

The Ceredigion Marine Code of Conduct was established by Ceredigion County Council over twenty years ago, in response to local community concerns that the bottlenose dolphins that use these waters to feed, socialise and breed were experiencing greater pressures from disturbance by those enjoying recreational water-based activities.

The Ceredigion Marine Code of Conduct can be found online on http://www.cardiganbaysac.org.uk/?page_id=583

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Have you seen this rainbow coloured AA van around the coast?

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DRIVERS who break down along the Ceredigion coast may well find the gold (or yellow) at the end of the rainbow as a distinctly colourful AA van has been spotted driving around the area.

Cardigan-based Russ Williams, who has been an AA patrol for eight years, has won an AA-wide competition to emblazon his van with an eye-catching rainbow livery in support of Pride in London.

He is one of eight AA patrols across the UK who will be rescuing members in these special vans throughout the summer. In addition, two AA Signs vans will also be sporting the vibrant design. The vans will also feature in the Pride in London event on Saturday, July 7.

Russ, 39, said: “I’m really excited to have been chosen to support Pride with the colourful rainbow livery.

“It looks great on the van and I’m looking forward to chatting about it to members as they get out and about this summer.”

To celebrate Pride, the AA is also launching a competition* for both members and non-members from June 18.

Anybody who spots one of the 10 rainbow vans can enter by safely snapping a picture and sharing it on the AA’s Facebook page with hashtag #SpotThePrideVan, as well as the location and time they saw it. There are 10 prizes up for grabs, ranging from a VIP shopping experience to theme park tickets and restaurant vouchers.

Edmund King, AA president, said: “Visibility of our vans is always important as they need to stand out and be seen. These limited edition rainbow vans are a welcome addition to our fleet and certainly make a positive statement.

“We’re honoured to be adding a big splash of colour and all things rainbow to our summer this year by supporting Pride. It is an uplifting celebration of diversity and our support underlines our fundamental commitment to ensuring equality is embedded within the AA.”

The vans have already begun to cause a stir on social media, with TheGayUK Magazine tweeting: ‘The motoring section of @TheGayUK is loving the @TheAA_UK new livery to commemorate London #Pride 2018’.

The annual Pride in London event will take place on Saturday, July 7, this year. In addition to supporting, the AA will also be taking part in the parade with an army of AA volunteers walking alongside an inspirational float.

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65 ‘never events’ in Welsh hospitals over three years

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A TOTAL of 65 ‘never events’ have occurred in Welsh hospitals over the last three years, including: surgery on the wrong eye, foreign objects left in patients after surgery, and a hip replacement on the incorrect hip.

So-called ‘never events’ are incidents which should never happen in a clinical environment, and a worrying 21 were recorded in 2017/18.

It follows 21 in 2016/17 and 23 in 2015/16.

Almost a third of all ‘never events’ over the last three years (20 of 65) were recorded as a result of foreign objects being left in patients after surgical procedures, and there have been a shocking 16 incidences of surgery having been carried out on the wrong site – including an incorrect hip replacement, and surgery in the wrong part of a patient’s spine. There was also an incident in 2015/16 where a patient fell out of a ‘poorly constructed’ window.

The annual reports show that over the last three years Abertawe Bro Morgannwg and Cardiff and Vale health boards recorded the most never events – 18 and 16, respectively.

They were followed by Betsi Cadwaladr (11), Cwm Taf (8), Aneurin Bevan (7), and Hywel Dda (4) health boards. Last year, Public Health Wales also had once never event. Powys have had none.

Shadow Health Secretary, Angela Burns, said: “There’s always the potential for human error, but when NHS staff are under immense pressure – dealing with more patients than ever whilst being under-resourced – that margin for error widens.

“Fortunately, the vast majority of patients receive extremely high levels of compassionate care when encountering the NHS. But these figures remain stubbornly high, and patient safety has been seriously jeopardised on occasions.

“These are ‘never events’ – incidents that should never have occurred. But they are continuing to happen, leaving lasting, potentially life changing consequences on individuals. This is unacceptable and we need to greater instil a culture of learning, responsibility and accountability in to our NHS as we transform our services for the future.”

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