IT WAS A SPECIAL afternoon for Aberaeron Gateway last Friday (July 28) as they said a fond farewell to their close friend and member Daniel Dodgen, who recently passed away due to complications with an existing condition.
His memory was celebrated with multiple congregations in Aberaeron and Bristol, the two places Daniel frequently visited and made a lot of friends.
Aberaeron Gateway club held a special event in The Prince of Wales in Aberaeron to celebrate Daniel’s life alongside his friends and family. Daniel was a popular figure in Aberaeron and this was reflected in the numbers that turned out for the event, including Aberaeron Town Mayor Rhys Davies, who reflected on the evening.
“It was an evening to remember Daniel Dodgen and he would have loved every moment,” Mayor Davies told the Herald. “The room was full of all his friends, reading tributes to Dan, some singing his favourite songs and everyone recounting their own personal memories. It was a night full of fun and laughter but it was also a night to remember. Daniel will be missed dearly by all his friends and family, he left such a big impression on everyone he met, including me.”
Jan Kench, Mencap Ceredigion Chair, organised the event. “Our members were sad that Dan had died. We discussed together whether or not to cancel Gateway, but we decided we were going to have a special memorial night. We decided not to do something sad, but something he would have liked. He liked karaoke, so we did that. He was a great friend, a great supporter of Gateway, and people are going to miss him. We collected money for Dan’s favourite charities, Bronglais Hospital, Bristol Heart Institute and Air Ambulance Wales – all of which were a great part of Dan’s life. Although it was sad, it was a very happy event of remembering someone who was very special to us.”
Jane Dodgen, Daniel’s mum, was also involved in the event. She described Daniel’s life to those gathered.
“He was a lovely lad. Dan was born in Zambia. He was diagnosed with Downs Syndrome when he was two years old. We moved back to the UK when he was eight. He had three open heart surgeries, and we were well looked after by the cardiac team here (in Bronglais) and in Bristol. From birth Daniel was beset by medical issues that continued throughout his life and defined a huge part of his character – along with his superheroes and the police force. He loved hospitals so much, that he willingly put up with all the pain and discomfort that went along with it.
“He never let anything hold him back. He was able to employ his own personal assistants, so that gave him a really good choice in life about what he wanted to do. He played a huge part in several projects, the allotments, workshop, a gardening service. He was amazing. He was just so confident.
“When his cardiologist in Bristol explained what he was going to do, he was being moved to intensive care, at the end of it he shook the doctor’s hand, and said ‘Thank you Dr. Stewart, you’ve been amazing.”
The evening at The Prince of Wales raised £197 towards Bronglais Hospital, the Welsh Air Ambulance, and Bristol Heart Institute. Aberaeron Gateway will also be holding a disco charity fundraiser on August 12 from 7pm, open to all and children friendly.
Communities and staff thanked for flood support
COMMUNITIES and staff have been thanked for their work during the Storm Callum Floods. The October floods caused great damage to homes, businesses, roads and bridges in the south of Ceredigion. The floods were the biggest flood event in the last 31 years in Ceredigion.
During the flooding, the council supported the emergency services to prioritise the saving of lives. This included making sure that roads and bridges made dangerous by floodwater were closed. The council’s emergency response and recovery procedures were carried out during the event. Multi-agency emergency procedures were also carried out.
Ceredigion County Council Chief Executive, Mr Eifion Evans said, “Council staff went above and beyond their duties over the weekend of the floods. I saw their efforts with my own eyes; staff who weren’t on duty were offering to come in to help our residents. We had to send some staff home as they wanted to work longer than the 12 hour maximum that staff are allowed to work in one shift.
I have also been impressed by the huge efforts made by communities to help each other during, and in the aftermath of the flooding.”
After water levels dropped, council staff from Community Wellbeing, Housing and Highways Teams immediately went to the affected areas to offer practical support and advice. They also saw the extent of the damage that had been caused.
Everyone who has been in touch with the council has been offered help with housing, including being offered emergency temporary accommodation where needed. The Housing Team have worked with local landlords and B&B owners to provide additional accommodation, and to provide ongoing support for people who have been affected by the flood.
The Community Wellbeing Team have also provided advice and specialist equipment to residents to help to begin to dry out their homes. This support is ongoing.
The council organised drop-in sessions in Lampeter, Newcastle Emlyn, Llandysul and Llechryd. The sessions were attended by many organisations that can offer support and advice. The sessions gave residents the chance to ask the organisations any questions they had about recovering from the flood.
The Highways Team have arranged a free service to pick-up and dispose of flood damaged materials and have put skips in local household waste sites for flood damaged possessions. The team also cleared 100 tons of earth from the B4459 near Capel Dewi after a landslide covered the road. The Highways Team also repaired damaged roads and bridges.
Mr Evans continued, “The council is dedicated to helping our residents recover from the devastating effects of the recent floods. I understand that the impact is still very raw for people who have been affected, especially those who have been made homeless. I want to reassure every resident that our committed staff are working hard to help you. Despite severe pressure on council budgets, we will do everything in our power to continue to offer practical help to residents.”
A flood recovery group has met regularly to look at how the Council can target help in the most effective way. A further flood newsletter will be published in the near future. The Council will also be hosting flood advice surgeries and building on the work of developing emergency support groups for flooding.
More information about the help the council can offer is available on the website on www.ceredigion.gov.uk/stormcallumfloods
Training company enjoy successful open evening
HYFFORDDIANT CEREDIGION TRAINING (HCT) enjoyed a successful open evening on November 7 as it opened its doors to the public.
Opening HCT’s doors gave people the opportunity to see the fantastic range of training opportunities available for them. This included opportunities for young people who are interested in seeing what apprenticeships HCT has to offer.
Mark Gleeson, Manager for Post 14 Vocational Learning said, “It is important that HCT holds open evenings to showcase different learning opportunities that are available to all learners. HCT offers a large number of apprenticeships which ensures that the next generation of skilled workforce is being trained and employed by local companies. This is very important to the economy of Ceredigion.”
There was an opportunity to have a tour of the building, to speak to tutors, to have a look at the workshops, and to see trainees and apprentices in action. This gave a flavour of the kind of work that is done daily at the training centre.
Traineeships and apprenticeships, but also evening classes, are taught at HCT, as Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet Member for Learning Service and Lifelong Learning explains, “If studying towards a full qualification in a given trade is not what you are after, but you want to gain some of the basic skills in the various routes HCT specialises in, why not join an evening class? The next round of evening courses are beginning now. So, what are you waiting for? Contact HCT to see what it has to offer you.”
Evening classes run for six weeks and HCT offers these 2-3 times per year. HCT offers a range of vocational courses for people of all ages, including Hairdressing, Childcare, Business Administration, Information Technology, Carpentry, Plumbing, Electrics, Blacksmithing, Agriculture, Motor Mechanics and Welding.
For more information, find ‘Hyfforddiant Ceredigion Training’ on Facebook, or visit the website, http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/public-it/hct/index.html
Vandalism at coastguard lookout point
POLICE are investigating vandalism at the old coastguard lookout point at Bird’s Rock.
A council spokesperson said: “We’re very sad to see vandalism to the old coastguard look out at Bird’s Rock on the coastal path a mile to the west of New Quay last week.
“All five windows was smashed – some even had their wooden frames ripped out.”
Melanie Heath, Ceredigion County Council’s Marine Protected Area Officer, added: “This act of vandalism is so distressing to see. The look-out was restored thanks to a special grant from the Crown Estate. It is used by our Dolphin and Porpoise Watch volunteers throughout the monitoring season. It is also a special place for many local people and visitors alike to sit for a while and take in the spectacular views of Cardigan Bay.”
If anyone has any information, contact Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police on 101
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