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Schemes commended for commitment to promoting energy efficiency

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CEREDIGION COUNTY COUNCIL were commended at an awards ceremony for their efforts based on a number of schemes and interventions which have been delivered within the County.

Nominated by Warm Wales, the Council were commended for an Energy Efficiency Award at the Regional (Wales) event which was held in Cardiff at the start of February. This award was given for the Council or Local Authority Body for showing a true commitment to promoting energy efficiency within their region.

Ceredigion has seen a number of schemes being delivered that were commended.

Applications were submitted to Welsh Government for the Warm Homes Arbed schemes and areas decided on based on the need. Llandysul, Llanarth and Cardigan were the areas that were successful for the scheme. The works included the installation of external wall insulation and other minor measures, such as loft insulation and upgrading heating systems within 212 properties.

Within the Warm Homes Arbed scheme, Citizens Advice was employed to deliver energy advice and raise awareness of energy efficient measures in the home to reduce carbon emissions and in turn, global warming. They also supported householders with advice and interventions that would increase household income and reduce expenditure, to make warmth more affordable and help improve householders’ and their families’ health and wellbeing, thereby preventing and alleviating fuel poverty.

There were 3 successful National Energy Action schemes. These included the installation of 16 biomass and solar panels in Tregaron and Hinterland area; 40 draught proofing installations in properties in the Borth area; and 100 heated seat covers for vulnerable residents targeting Disabled Facilities applications.

Ceredigion was with the first Council to launch the ECO Flexibility scheme in Wales and undertook a procurement exercise to produce a framework for companies to deliver the works. OFGEM realised that Councils are better able to identify fuel poverty within their areas. The ECO Flexibility was introduced where Councils can relax the ECO criteria and establish their own criteria that would benefit the fuel poor and vulnerable households within their areas. The scheme included distributing letters to households living in energy inefficient properties with an Energy Performance Certificate with a Band E, F or G. A great deal of interest was generated and many households are benefiting from heating systems/upgrades and loft insulation. The scheme was deemed very successful in Ceredigion and other Councils have been in contact to share best practice, criteria and Framework.

Councillor Rhodri Evans, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Lifestyle Services said, “Receiving this commendation for the hard work that has been put into schemes to promote energy efficiency within Ceredigion at a regional event is wonderful and shows the hard work of our staff. I would like to thank these members of staff for their hard work in ensuring these schemes are delivered in rural West Wales to provide a healthy and happy lifestyle for our residents.”

The Judges considered the nature, scale and scope of the work carried out, based on factors including the impact that the work has had on the local community; satisfaction of customers and local community; the level of expertise possessed within the team; and the priority the Council gives to tackling fuel poverty within its plans.

Over the past few years, the Council have also launched the Oil Syndicate for all areas of the County as well as delivering various other energy efficiency schemes and advice.

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Ceredigion Youth Service’s Summer Activity Programme

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THIS YEAR, Ceredigion Youth Service’s Summer Programme offers a wide range of activities over a period of four weeks during the summer holidays. There are 19 different projects, activities, workshops and events planned for young people aged 11-25 from across the county.

Activities this year focus on topics such as employability and upskilling, health and wellbeing, participation, sport and leisure and the environment. Young People will have the opportunity to develop new and existing skills including self-esteem, confidence, communication and problem-solving. They’ll all be held in fun environments where they’re able to meet new people, gain accreditation and participate in a range of activities.

Activities include a summer camp, an adventure residential stay, mountain biking, trips, taster workshops and more.

Gethin Jones is Ceredigion Youth Service’s Principal Youth Officer. He said: “The Summer Programme has been a big success for a number of years. It is of great importance to us that we continue to offer both targeted and open access opportunities for young people during school holidays, as well as term time so that support and engagement is available to young people throughout the year.

“The program offers a range of fantastic opportunities for young people from all across the county to get involved with, providing them with valuable opportunities and experiences that educate, build skills and develop confidence and esteem.”

Councillor Catrin Miles is the Cabinet member responsible for Learning Services, Lifelong Learning & Leisure. She said: “The Ceredigion Youth Service is providing a quality service which is clearly beneficial to our young people over the summer. The activities are great opportunities not only to enjoy but also to develop educationally, personally and socially.”

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Ceredigion Autism Conference 2019

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ON JULY 5, 2019, Ceredigion Autism Spectrum Team and Aberystwyth University Accessibility Services hosted the Ceredigion Autism Conference at Aberystwyth University.

At the sixth annual conference, autistic people focused on what is important to them about how other people think about autism. They also looked at how they are supported if and when they need support, and how other people can help them to build self-esteem, confidence and identity.

The conference was attended by over 130 people, bringing together autistic people, parents, carers and professionals from health, education and social care services and the voluntary sector. The agenda promoted our shared ethos and vision of understanding autism as a different way of thinking, learning and being; different but equally valuable.

Councillor Alun Williams, Ceredigion County Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for Adult’s Services and Champion for people with learning disabilities co-chaired the conference with John Harrington Head of Accessibility Services, Aberystwyth University. The conference was opened by Carys James, Corporate Lead Officer for Children and Adult Services.

Councillor Williams said: “This was the sixth autism conference to be held in Aberystwyth and once again was very well attended. Whilst the audience was a healthy mix of autistic people, friends and carers alongside professionals working in related fields, the speakers and panellists were all autistic people. This allowed them to set the agenda and provided a unique learning opportunity for professionals to better understand the kind of support that can make a positive difference and to further improve the services we provide in Ceredigion.”

John Harrington said: “It is always an immense privilege to co-host the Ceredigion Autism Conference at Aberystwyth University. This year’s line-up of key note speakers were all inspirational and thought provoking about their autistic journeys through life.”

Key notes speakers this year were Chris Bonnello, who gave his 11 top tips for building autistic adults and children; Marianthi Kourti, who spoke about the challenges of being an autistic autism professional; and Kieran Rose, who gave a moving and insightful presentation about the effects of ‘masking’ and about what needs to change for autistic people to be fully accepted and supported.

For the closing session of the day, local autistic individuals joined the key speakers to form an expert panel, giving their experiences and perspectives of support services and answering questions from the audience.

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Ceredigion Leisure Centres Summer holiday programme

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A BUSY TIMETABLE of inclusive summer holiday activities for children has been organised across all Ceredigion County Council-run leisure centres in the county.

From football to bouncy castle sessions, from cycling skills to archery, there’s a wide variety of activities to choose from over the course of the summer.

There will also be day camps and multi-skills activity days available at some of the leisure centres, for children to attend for the whole day. There’s even a day trip to the beach with Teifi Leisure Centre!

A range of learning to swim programmes are available at Lampeter Swimming Pool and Plascrug Leisure Centre across the summer holidays. A week of swimming lessons will be delivered solely through the medium of Welsh in Plascrug Leisure Centre starting on 5 August.

Councillor Catrin Miles is the council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for Leisure Services. She said: “Ceredigion Actif is once again providing a busy timetable of fun activities during the summer. It’s a healthy and worthwhile way for children to spend their time during the summer.”

Booking for sessions is essential and staff at leisure centres reserve the right to cancel any session if attendance is too low.

For further information on the summer holiday activities planned, visit the Ceredigion Actif website.

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