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.
Young women in Ceredigion make their voices heard
PERIOD poverty, access to mental health services and equal pay were among the issues raised by young women on International Women’s Day 2019.
On 8 March, in collaboration with the Young Women’s Trust, Ben Lake MP hosted a ‘Real Talk’ workshop aimed at young women aged 16 to 30 years old. Young women from all walks of life came together at the Coliseum Coffee House to voice their concerns and share their hopes for the future with the local MP.
Ben Lake said: “It was great to hear new ideas for change and to discuss ways in which we can improve the lives of young people in Ceredigion. The experiences of women and girls must be heard, both locally and nationally. After all, it is impossible for policies to be truly effective if they do not reflect the wishes, and address the challenges faced by all in society.”
The young women set out three priorities for Ben Lake to campaign for on their behalf at Westminster:
1. Education: ensure that equality issues and mental health awareness training is included on all PGCE courses
2. Increase the national minimum wage for apprentices and roll out National Living Wage for under-25s
3. Period poverty: campaign, raise awareness and look to introduce policies to mitigate the effects of period poverty
Period poverty in particular, was an issue that the young women felt needed tackling as a matter of urgency. A recent report from FreedomforGirls* found that period poverty has a direct impact on education, with pupils in the UK missing class every month due to their periods. A RightsInfo investigation** discovered thousands of women were relying on food banks to get through their monthly periods.
In an attempt to tackle period poverty, the UK Chancellor confirmed in his Spring Statement that secondary schools in England will start providing menstrual products free of charge to girls from September onwards. Ben Lake MP has encouraged the Welsh Government to follow suit.
Ben Lake said: “All women, regardless of age, social status or background, should be able to easily access the menstrual products they need.
“Too many girls miss out on vital education each month as a lack of access to menstrual products forces them to miss school. Even those pupils who do not suffer period poverty will benefit from free access to sanitary products, ensuring no child is without protection during what can be a very stressful and vulnerable time.”
New Welsh language resources for Ceredigion childminders
FROM April this year, childminders across Ceredigion will have the chance to use the special Welsh ‘Sach Stori’ resource. This aims to promote Welsh language skills to children in the county.
Cered: Menter Iaith Ceredigion has been working with Ceredigion County Council’s Childcare Unit to develop story packs which include a Welsh/bilingual story and a pack of resources that will be available to registered childminders in Ceredigion. The project has been in development for the last two years. The finished packs will be available to the county’s childminders from 18 March. The resource will be officially launched at a story session in Awen Teifi, Cardigan on 3 April at 10am.
Llinos Hallgarth, Cered’s Development Officer said, “This is an exciting project based on a period of co-operation with the county’s childminders to ensure a package that will be of particular benefit to them. The pack contains a story as well as educational materials that can reinforce the story or message of the story, all of which are in Welsh.”
“In order to encourage their use, we will be holding practical sessions for childminders across the county so that they can familiarise themselves with the finished pack and methods of presenting it.”
Emma Poole from the Childcare Unit said, “Sach Stori will be a great help to the Welsh and Non-Welsh speaking childminders to try and integrate the Welsh language into everyday life. This project will help childminders to deliver the Welsh language in an enjoyable way within the home.”
This project reinforces the work the Childcare Unit is aiming to do to raise awareness of the use of the Welsh language within childcare settings. This project will help settings to meet the requirements of the Care Inspectorate Wales and also support Welsh Government’s efforts to reach a million Welsh speakers by 2050.
The 10 ‘Sach Stori’ will be available to childminders and will be regularly renewed to keep them updated.
For further information contact Llinos Hallgarth at Cered: Menter Iaith Ceredigion on 01545 572 358 or call the Contact Centre on 01545 570 881 and ask to speak to Emma Poole at the Childcare Unit.
Council preparing for Brexit
WITH Brexit discussions ongoing and regularly in the headlines, Ceredigion County Council has been preparing for a range of potential impacts of Brexit. The preparations are designed to minimise any negative effects that Brexit could have on Ceredigion residents.
Eifion Evans is the Chief Executive of Ceredigion County Council. He said, “We don’t know how Brexit is going to pan out. We hope that there will be little or no disruption to residents or council services. However, we are making careful preparations to minimise any negative impacts that Brexit could have.”
The council has been preparing in many different ways. Some of these include:
Working with companies that provide food to schools and canteens to see how different kinds of Brexit could affect their ability to provide ingredients. Plans have been made to replace ingredients that can’t be sourced to others if Brexit affects food coming into the country.
Council Social Care Officers have been working closely with companies who carry out social care services for the council. The officers have been helping companies to plan for Brexit situations with or without a deal. Common themes that the companies have been discussing surround medical and food supplies and staffing.
Human Resources have been identifying EU nationals who work for the council and who work for services commissioned by the council. Plans are being made to help them apply for settled status when the process starts on 29 March. Plans are also being made to help residents from EU countries to apply.
Environmental Health Officers have looked into the likely impact on officers to provide additional export licensing to companies exporting certain foods to EU countries after Brexit.
The council is contributing fully as an active member of the Dyfed Powys Local Resilience Forum. The multi-agency forum covers the Dyfed Powys Police area. It is responsible for managing serious risks to the community on a joint basis.
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