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Perfect send-off for New Quay’s Daniel

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Daniel Dodgen: A life celebrated

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.

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Aberystwyth CID appeal following serious assault

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ABERYSTWYTH CID are investigating a serious assault that occurred in the Castle Street area of Aberystwyth at approx. 4.45pm on Tuesday, June 15 2021. Following medical treatment the victim is recovering at home. Police are appealing for any witnesses to the assault and anyone in the vicinity around this time, or immediately prior to the incident, that may have witnessed people acting suspiciously.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org. Quote reference: DP-20210615-268

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New Quay RNLI’s special artwork to honour local volunteers is unveiled

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ON SUNDAY (June 13) saw a special artwork unveiled at New Quay Lifeboat Station by RNLI’s Director of Lifesaving Operations, John Payne. The artwork was created by local amateur artist and wife of New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mrs Tina Couch who wanted to pay tribute to the special job the volunteers do, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Mrs Couch talking about the artwork said, “Last year some of the volunteers went above and beyond and worked hard in the community by delivering food parcels and medicines to those shielding in the area. I wanted to pay tribute to all the volunteers at New Quay Lifeboat Station so decided to paint a mural with a portrait of each volunteer. This artwork is to recognise all the hard work they did during the lockdown, as well as being on call 24/7 to save lives at sea.” 

John Payne, RNLI’s Director of Lifesaving Operations added, “It was an honour to unveil this wonderful piece of artwork, a great end to celebrating Volunteers’ Week. Our communities benefit enormously from our volunteers’ selflessness and this is a special way to reflect on their achievements. I would like to thank every one of you who make the RNLI what it is today, and recognise the sacrifices and efforts undertaken in giving your time, energy and positivity to the organisation.”  

While Mr Payne was visiting New Quay Lifeboat Station he had another presentation to make, a certificate of thanks to Steffan Williams who raised over £2,200 for the RNLI’s Mayday Mile campaign. Steffan, aged 12, a pupil in Ysgol Bro Teifi, paddleboarded not just one mile but accomplished 10 miles in under four hours and smashed his target of £100.  

Mr Payne said, “This is a great achievement for someone so young. Steffan has shown his determination in being a lifesaver, and he is definitely someone to watch in the future as he continues his volunteering within the RNLI.”  

Steffan recieving award

Steffan said, “I am so pleased that I’ve raised so much for the RNLI and want to thank everyone who has donated. It is a charity close to my heart as my Dad is a crew member and I want to join when I’m older too. They are all volunteers and need our help to pay for equipment and lifeboats.” 

If you would like to volunteer for the RNLI please visit the website to find out more: https://rnli.org/support-us/volunteer/how-you-can-volunteer/be-a-lifeboat-station-volunteer

Or if you would like to donate to New Quay RNLI to help the volunteers save lives at sea please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/new-quay-wales

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Strategic plan to strengthen Welsh medium education

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A CONSULTATION period will be held during the autumn term this year to increase the number of pupils in Ceredigion who will be able to develop and learn through the medium of Welsh.

During a Cabinet meeting held virtually on Tuesday, 15 June 2021, members discussed the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan for 2022-2032. The plan is a 10 year strategy which sets out the requirements to reach the Welsh Government’s target of achieving one million Welsh speakers by 2050.

Cabinet Members agreed to hold a consultation period during the autumn term of 2021 for eight weeks, incorporating views by pupils, parents, schools and governing bodies.

The strategy outlines aims which include increasing the number of nursery and reception age pupils in Welsh medium education; encourage more learners to study Welsh as a subject and subjects through the medium of Welsh; increase the provision of Welsh medium education for pupils with additional learning needs and increase the number of teaching staff who can teach Welsh as a subject and subjects through the medium of Welsh.

Councillor Catrin Miles, Ceredigion County Council’s Cabinet Member for Schools, Lifelong Learning and Skills, Support and Intervention, said: “The Welsh in Education Strategic Plan reinforces Ceredigion County Council’s aspiration to strengthen the position of the Welsh language through its Language Strategy. I’m pleased to see that a consultation period will be held this autumn to gather ideas in order to plan and develop Welsh medium education in our county.”

Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, Leader of Ceredigion County Council, added: “I welcome this draft document which aims to create more opportunities for pupils across the county to take full advantage of Welsh medium education.”

Following the consultation period, feedback will be considered and the plan will be reintroduced to the Healthier Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the full Council for consideration and final decision. The proposal supports the Council’s Strategic Objectives and the Welsh Government’s Million Speakers by 2050 Strategy.

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