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Citizens Advice receives recognition for volunteers

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VOLUNTEERS at Citizens Advice Ceredigion have been delighted by the news that they have been given the ‘Achieving Investors in Volunteers’ award this month, recognising the hard work and commitment put in by all the volunteers and staff and emphasising the importance of volunteers. 

The organisation will be celebrating their five year anniversary this year, marking the date of the merger between Cardigan CAB and Aberystwyth CAB – established in the early 80s and 90s respectively.

Citizens Advice Ceredigion provides free, confidential and independent advice to anyone, on a range of subjects from problems at work, to money issues, housing, energy bills or mobile phone contracts, and host of other issues. The volunteer receptionists and advisers offer a non-judgemental and practical support service face-to-face and over the phone.

Aberystywth Advice Manager, Sandra Arnold, has commented on the award stating: “Volunteers have always been at the head of everything that we do, and this award is a welcome recognition of the effort that goes into recruitment, induction, training, support and development of volunteers and their roles.”

Cardigan Advice Manager, Sophie Francis, added: “Our clients are always amazed to hear that the high-quality service we deliver is underpinned by those that are unpaid and our volunteers help us to have a real stake in the communities we serve.”

Quality and Training Manager, Glynis Llewelyn, then continued: “The process of applying for this award has been really useful for us. We’ve been able to take a fresh look at how we do things and make sure our procedures and the roles we offer are fit for 2016 and beyond. We hope it will give others the confidence to get in touch and find out more about volunteering with us, knowing that we put time and resources into supporting volunteers and that we view this as a genuine investment.”

Over 80% of Citizens Advice Ceredigion’s paid staff have previously been volunteers with the company and it’s clear that they value the progression of their volunteers. Of those that go on to paid work outside the organisation, many say that the training and experience they gained were invaluable in finding a job.

Chairman Paul Hinge concluded, stating: “We are very fortunate to have a large proportion of volunteers that stay with us for many years – with two of our volunteers celebrating 15 years, three 10 years and one even 35 years of involvement with our Citizens Advice this year. Achieving Investors in Volunteers in 2016 is the icing on the cake!”

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Community

Time given to develop Parc Natur Penglais

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New steps: At 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.”

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Community

​RSPCA aim for Christmas number one​

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'Stars' by Lucy Ellie​: Help it get to number one

M​USIC 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

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Community

Charity games raise over £2000

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Team Tesco: Raised over £2000 through three football games

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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