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Children’s Commissioner visits Ceredigion

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dsc004461ON OCTOBER 28, the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Sally Holland, met with over 30 young people from across Ceredigion at an event during half term. The visit took place in Aberaeron Rugby Club as a part of a broader afternoon of activities for young people of the county.

After lunch the Commissioner had the opportunity to see the work and exhibitions of local groups that support young people, showing local activities and discussed the issues that young people face. The Commissioner also found out more about the services that are available in Ceredigion.

A workshop was organised by the Children’s Commissioner to discuss bullying and wellbeing which was followed by a question and answer session.

The workshop is part of an ongoing project to find out about young people’s experiences of bullying and what they think can be done to tackle or prevent it.  The Children’s Commissioner is currently gathering this data from schools, and also working with specific groups of young people.

The Commissioner said: “It’s been wonderful to meet children from all walks of life to listen to what is important to them. It’s interesting to hear that they share many concerns with children across Wales but also have concerns specific to Ceredigion.”

Films prepared by groups of young people were shown about subjects important to them. A film about bullying made by by Ser Saff – the Junior Local Safeguarding Board supported by Tros Gynnal – was played. Another short film called ‘Muddy Banks’  was played which showed the importance of local play resources for children which was filmed by RAY Ceredigion.

Councillor Hag Harris, the cabinet member responsible for Learning Services, Children and Young People’s Partnership said: “It’s important to listen to our young people, so it’s good that the Commissioner has come to speak with the young people of the county; I’m sure the opportunity to question the Commissioner has been interesting for the young people.”

The Children and Young People Partnership – including Ceredigion County Council, RAY Ceredigion, Tros Gynnal & Action for Children Young Carer Support Service organised the afternoon of activities during half term.

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A brand new Welsh language ukulele orchestra

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CAN you play the ukulele and would like to join a ukulele orchestra? Or would you like to learn a new skill and to socialise in a Welsh-speaking environment? Why not join Cerddorfa Iwcs a Hwyl?

On Monday, October 15, Cered: Menter Iaith Ceredigion, Aberystwyth Arts Centre and Learn Welsh will launch Cerddorfa Iwcs a Hwyl which is a brand new, Welsh language ukulele orchestra in Aberystwyth for free, for those aged 16+.

Cerddorfa Iwcs a Hwyl will practice weekly between 6pm and 7:30pm every Monday night during the school term and practices will take place at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre. There is no need for any experience or ability on the ukulele and there will be instruments available to borrow so that you can have a taste before buying your own ukulele.

Welsh will be the main language of Cerddorfa Iwcs a Hwyl but there is a warm welcome to everyone whatever your level of proficiency in Welsh. Cerddorfa Iwcs a Hwyl is supported by Learn Welsh as a great activity for learners to practice their Welsh outside the classroom in a fun and new way.

Cerddorfa Iwcs a Hwyl’s conductor will be Steffan Rees who has held a number of Iwcs a Hwyl workshops over the last year as Cered’s Community Development Officer. Steffan is also a musician who composes and performs as “Bwca” and he has been playing the ukulele for years.

Steffan said, “I have really wanted to start a Welsh ukulele orchestra in Ceredigion for a while having seen the successes and popularity of those in Cardiff and South East Wales. The ukulele is an instrument that excites people of all ages and with some patience and perseverance, it is an easy enough instrument to master. I’m looking forward to developing a repertoire with the orchestra and play a few gigs; the National Eisteddfod in Tregaron in 2020 perhaps!”

Numbers for the first term of the orchestra are limited so contact the Arts Centre Box Office on 01970 632 232 to book your place in Cerddorfa Iwcs a Hwyl.

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Hanes Llambed meeting held

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THE FIRST meeting of Hanes Llambed of the 2018/19 year was held in Lampeter’s Trinity Saint David’s Old Hall this week.

There was a good attendance as Cwrtnewydd resident Simon Evans gave the first of what will eventually be two talks about his home parish of Llanwenog.

Mr Evans spoke of how the parish was defined by the Afon Cledlyn and its tributaries, describing the region’s history from the Stone Age to the present day. The talk spoke of the several hill forts of the area, as well as Llanwenog church, founded around 500 AD, before it was built in its current form in the 14th century.

The Battle of Llanwenog in 981 AD between the Welsh and invading Danes was detailed, before the speaker went on to describe the Puritan struggle and the Civil War.

The talk then went on to the establishment of private academies by nonconformist ministers from 1750 onwards, and the founding of Unitarian chapels in the early 19th century.

The terrible agricultural situation of the 1840s was described, followed by the bad harvests, which led directly to the Rebecca Riots and emigration to the USA and elsewhere in Britain.

The next meeting of Hanes Llambed will take place in October when the subject will be the Cardiganshire War Tribunals of the First World War.

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Former AM charged with child porn offences

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SIMON THOMAS, the former Plaid Cymru AM for Mid & West Wales has been charged with three offences of making indecent images of children.

Mr Thomas, aged 54, was charged with the offences earlier today (Sept 18) at Aberystwyth Police Station.

He has been bailed to appear at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, October 3.

At the time of his arrest, Mr Thomas was his Party’s spokesperson on Rural Affairs and Energy policy and had recently taken up a role which would have seen him perform a significant role in Plaid Cymru’s future campaigns.

His arrest in July was a shock both to his political allies and those in other parties in the Assembly.

Following his arrest, Mr Thomas resigned immediately as an Assembly Member and from Plaid Cymru. He was replaced as regional AM by Helen Mary Jones.

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