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Woodwork course provided at Canolfan Meugan

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TIR COED tutors Kelly Cutler and Eifion Wakefield have been leading service users in woodworking activities at Canolfan Meugan, a community support base which supports both adults with learning disabilities and the elderly in Cardigan.

During the course, which took place on one day a week over six weeks, the group whose participants ranged in age from 30 to 96, constructed bird boxes and bird feeders which will be sited within the grounds. They then embarked on making some festive reindeers using traditional woodworking techniques.

This course followed on from a similarly successful course run at Canolfan Padarn community support base in Aberystwyth. Over 10 weeks service users at the centre created insect hotels (or “Bee B&Bs”) to generate habitats for the more than 200 species of solitary bees present in the British Isles. Populations of these crucial pollinators are on the decline, and one of the most direct ways that we can combat this is the generation of suitable habitats around the garden. The variety of tunnel apertures and nesting materials in the boxes creates spaces for a variety of insects, which will hopefully prove to be cosy homes around the garden at the centre.

Tir Coed is a charity and social enterprise that engages people with woodlands through volunteering, training and bespoke activities that develop skills and improve woodlands for the benefit of everyone. Both courses were very well received. The success of both was largely due to the rapport developed between the tutors, service users and support staff.

Janet Broome, Support Worker at Canolfan Meugan said: “The course was of particular benefit to the older people in reigniting their memories of previous experiences and enabling them to work with their hands again after many years of retirement.”

The course was funded by Ceredigion County Council, via the Welsh Government’s Environment and Sustainable Development Grant administered by Rachel Mills from the Environmental Control Team.

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Caru Ceredigion: Keeping our county clean

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As part of Caru Ceredigion everyone can play their part in helping keep our county clean.

As some lockdown restrictions have been eased, some places have seen thousands of people flocking to the beaches. What they left behind was tonnes of rubbish!

Although some COVID-19 restrictions may be relaxing, Council services are still trying to cope with the added pressure that Coronavirus has brought, whilst keeping our communities and staff safe and Ceredigion clean.

Simple things that everyone can do to help include:

  • Using a litter bin if there is one available or taking your rubbish home with you.  Recycle it if you can.
  • Cleaning up after your dog…Your Dog Your Job! Remember that bagged dog waste can be put in any general waste street litter bin in Ceredigion.
  • Only presenting the right waste for collection in the right way by 08:00 on the right day. This includes recycling as much of your waste as possible by making full use of the clear bag recycling, food caddy and glass box collections.  To find out more please visit  www.ceredigion.gov.uk/recycling

By doing these small things you will be making a big difference to the environment as well as not putting those who have to clean up at unnecessary risk.

Ceredigion’s villages and towns, coastline, rivers and lakes, woods and countryside are stunning – let’s keep them that way.

Thank you for playing your part and working with us to keep Ceredigion clean!

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Council provides feminine hygiene products to local communities

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CEREDIGION COUNTY COUNCIL in partnership with local community groups and services are ensuring that women and girls have access to feminine hygiene products.

A number of local groups and organisations have received a stock of feminine hygiene products which are available to be distributed to individuals facing hardship within our communities.

Ceredigion County Council’s aim is to ensure that tampons, sanitary towels, or sustainable alternatives are available for women and girls from low income households in Ceredigion who cannot afford them.

Local community support groups and organisations have a wealth of knowledge of their local areas, and will be able to support those in need through ensuring they receive these products at this particularly challenging time.

To find out which groups or organisations hold a stock in your local area, please contact porthcymorthcynnar@ceredigion.gov.uk.

To learn more about other grants and assistance available to those facing hardship, go to the benefits section on the Council’s website: http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/resident/coronavirus-covid-19/benefits/.

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Education Minister announces ‘back to school’ plans for September

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DECISION backed with £29 million to recruit, recover and raise standards

The Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, has today confirmed that all pupils will be able to return to school in September.

“plan to open in September with 100% of pupils physically present on school sites, subject to a continuing, steady decline in the presence of COVID-19 in the community.”

The Minister announced that:

  • Schools will return to full capacity, with only limited social distancing within contact groups.
  • At full operations, a contact group should consist of around 30 children. Some direct or indirect mixing between children in different contact groups will also be unavoidable, such as on transport, receiving specialist teaching or due to staffing constraints.
  • Social distancing for adults should remain in line with regulations and guidance.
  • Schools will be required to minimise the risk of transmission by taking other mitigating measures using the hierarchy of risk controls.
  • Every school should continue to be “Covid Protected” – having carried out risk assessments and mitigated them with a combination of controls such as hand and surface hygiene, one-way systems and so forth.
  • If early warning information shows a local incident or outbreak then nearby schools should implement appropriate restriction measures.
  • Each school will be provided with a supply of home testing kits.

The Minister confirmed that the autumn term will start on 1 st  September and schools that can accommodate all pupils from the start of the term should do so.

The Minister outlined plans just hours after confirming the Welsh Government would make £29m available to ‘recruit, recover and raise standards’ in Welsh schools in response to the impact still felt from the pandemic.

Commenting on the additional funding announced, the Minister added: “We will recruit, recover and continue to raise standards.”

It is thought that there will be around 800 newly qualified teachers in September and around 800 supply staff currently working within Wales.

“With this funding, we will recruit the equivalent of 600 extra teachers and 300 teaching assistants throughout the next school year.

“We will target extra support at Years 11, 12 and 13, as well as disadvantaged and vulnerable learners of all ages.

“The support package, provided at a school level, could include extra coaching support, personalised learning programmes and additional time and resources for exam year pupils.

“We must never lower our expectations for any of our young people, no matter their background.

“Together, we will continue to raise standards for all, reduce the attainment gap and ensure we have a system that is a source of pride and public confidence.”

Councillor Ian Roberts, WLGA Spokesperson for Education, said: “Since schools closed at the start of the crisis, many children and young people have felt anxious about loss of learning and not being able to see their friends.

The Minister’s plan today will enable schools to safely reopen classrooms from September. Local authorities will work closely with their schools to make sure that necessary arrangements are in place to abide by Welsh Government guidance.

“Our schools have been hit by severe disruption during this pandemic, and we welcome the £29m pledged by the Minister for targeted support to minimise the effects of the past few months on pupils. We will continue to work together in partnership the safest and best possible learning experiences for our children and young people, especially in such challenging circumstances.”

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