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MP raising awareness of ‘Everyday Banking’

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CEREDIGION MP Ben Lake has teamed up with the Post Office, UK Finance and 26 banks to raise awareness of the banking services available to constituents at their local Post Office.

The ‘Everyday Banking at the Post Office’ service means customers, including small businesses, can now pay in cash and cheques or take out money from their high street bank account over the counter at the Post Office, helping people have ready access to cash to meet their financial needs and supporting the local economy.

The Post Office has more than 900 branches nationwide, and with 95% of people in Wales living within three miles of a Post Office of people in the UK living within just three miles of a Post Office, there are now more places to bank than ever before for millions of customers. Everyday Banking at the Post Office is supported by the retail banking sector and is complementary to the services available at their branches. The service is available to customers whenever the Post Office is open, which in many locations includes evenings and Sundays. There is no additional cost for personal or business customers, with most customers only needing a card and PIN to withdraw cash and a pre-printed paying-in slip to deposit.

Ben Lake MP said: “This is a really important service for many of my constituents who prefer to do their banking in person rather than online, and especially given the litany of bank closures we have suffered in recent years. In Ceredigion, ‘Everyday Banking at the Post Office’ is available at 50 Post Office branches and has been used 208,135 times in the last year.”

“It is easy to see why this is such an important service to so many, and over the coming months I will be working with the Post Office and the retail banking sector to ensure that this service is developed further for my constituents.”

Martin Kearsley, Banking Services Director at the Post Office, said: “It’s great to have Ben Lake MP highlight the Post Office’s trusted network of 11,500 branches which means we are uniquely placed to bring vital services to local communities right across the country. It’s a responsibility that we take very seriously, and it’s why we have secured continued access to almost every UK bank account through all of our branches, in partnership with the banking industry. So whether there is a bank branch nearby or not, we are here to offer a range of every day banking services in all our Post Office branches. From cash deposits and withdrawals, to balance enquiries, we want to make life as easy as possible; not only for the Ceredigion community, but for the millions of customers and small businesses who use us every day nationwide.”  

Eric Leenders, Managing Director Personal Banking at UK Finance, said: “Helping people manage their money is vitally important. That is why all the major banks offer everyday banking services through thousands of Post Offices, enabling their customers to pay in cash and cheques, check their balance and withdraw money at their local branch. At the same time banks are investing in new technology to give people the option of doing their banking at a time and place that is convenient to them.

“By joining forces with the UK’s retail banks and the Post Office we are hoping to bring Everyday Banking Services to even more customers.”

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Success at Youth Work Excellence nominations

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CEREDIGION Youth Service have been successful in being shortlisted for a number of awards at this year’s National Youth Excellence Awards. The awards will take place on Friday, 28 June at Deganwy, Llandudno. Youth Workers from across Wales will gather to celebrate excellent practice in youth work over the last year.

The Welsh Government’s Youth Work Excellence Awards recognise the value of youth work and youth services from across Wales. The Welsh Government has celebrated excellence in youth work since 1993 and the awards are now in their 25th year. Welsh Government said, “Celebrating Youth Work continues to be a priority, as we know that Youth Work continues to be an important part of many young people’s lives”.

Ceredigion Youth Service will not only be presented with both the Silver and Gold Quality Mark Awards for Youth Work in Wales by Minster for Education, Kirsty Williams at the event, but have also been shortlisted for a number of special awards, in which the winners will be announced on the evening.

Ceredigion Youth Service has been shortlisted for their ‘Prosiect 2050’ under the category; Promoting Heritage & Cultures in Wales and Beyond, their Cooking Club at Ysgol Henry Richard under the category; Promoting Health, Well-being & Active Lifestyles and the Inspire Program under the category; Promoting Engagement with Formal Education, Employment and Training.

In addition, Thomas Evans from Aberaeron Youth Club has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Volunteer in a youth work setting award and Lowri Evans, Ceredigion Youth Service has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Youth Worker award.

Elen James, Corporate Lead Officer with responsibility for Ceredigion Youth Service said, “It comes as no surprise that Ceredigion Youth Service have been shortlisted for such awards. The Youth Service team has achieved all three National Quality Mark Awards, and now having been shortlisted for so many special awards is a tremendous achievement.”

“The awards evening which celebrate outstanding youth work from across the country will be a fantastic opportunity for the Youth Service to receive recognition for their work with young people in Ceredigion. I wish them the very best for the night.”

For more information or to find out what opportunities are available to you, head over to their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages at @GICeredigionYS or contact the team on youth@ceredigion.gov.uk

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Local MP pledges to be a Bowel Cancer Champion

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BEN LAKE, Member of Parliament for Ceredigion, has pledged to become a Bowel Cancer Champion to lead the change in Parliament for people affected by the disease.

Someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer every 15 minutes, making it the UK’s fourth most common cancer. It’s also the second biggest cancer killer, nearly 16,000 people die from the disease every year. Yet bowel cancer is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. However, only 15% are diagnosed at the earliest stage of the disease when the chance of survival is highest.

As a Bowel Cancer Champion, Ben Lake MP, will work with Bowel Cancer UK – the UK’s leading bowel cancer charity – to increase early diagnosis and improve access to best treatment and care both in Ceredigion and nationally. By working together with people affected by the disease and the clinical and research community, as well as MPs, the charity’s ambition is that by 2025, survival rates can be transformed from 60% of people surviving bowel cancer to 75%.

Ben Lake MP says: “It simply isn’t acceptable that so many people die from bowel cancer each year. That’s why I’m proud to be working with Bowel Cancer UK and helping them make real change happen through my role as a Bowel Cancer Champion. I look forward to using my position in Parliament to call for changes which can improve outcomes for patients with bowel cancer in Ceredigion. Together we can stop bowel cancer.”

Lisa Wilde, Director of Research and External Affairs at Bowel Cancer UK, says: “I’m delighted that Ben Lake has pledged to become a Bowel Cancer Champion. Ben will serve as a valuable ally in helping us to put bowel cancer firmly on the political agenda and campaigning for crucial improvements to services for bowel cancer patients both nationally and in Ceredigion.”

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Ceredigion Youth Service Awards Night Success

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Ysgol Henry Richard pupils receiving certificates.

ON Tuesday, 9 April, over 220 young people and their families, from across Ceredigion joined Ceredigion Youth Service to celebrate their annual Awards Night. The evening was an opportunity to celebrate and recognise the achievements and successes of all young people who have engaged with Ceredigion Youth Service during the past year.

Young people attended from each Secondary School in Ceredigion, Coleg Ceredigion, Ceredigion Training, young people working with the outreach service, and all the young people who attend youth clubs, youth projects and holiday provisions. There has been a wide variety of projects, activities and events held again this year, with up to 5,000 young people in attendance. These have been successful due to the commitment and enthusiasm shown by the young people from all over Ceredigion.

The special awards presented during the evening included awards for Young Volunteer of the Year, Outstanding Contribution awards, Campaign of the Year, Special Achievements and Community Engagement awards. In addition to the special award categories, numerous local certificates were celebrated and distributed to young people achieving national accreditations or to those who have participated in various clubs and projects.

Beca Fflur Williams, Chair of Ceredigion Youth Council leading the evening.

Catrin Miles, Cabinet member for Learning Services opened the evening. The evening was then hosted by Beca Fflur Williams, Chair of Ceredigion Youth Council. Guest speakers included Ashlie Day, Chloe Toose and Thomas Evans, Ceredigion Youth Service Young Volunteers. The awards were presented by Ellen ap Gwynn, Leader of Ceredigion County Council, Eifion Evans, Chief Executive of Ceredigion County Council and Hag Harris, Chairman of Ceredigion County Council. Clips were shown on the screen including a message from MP Ben Lake. The night was closed by Chelsea Jones and Louise Bryan, members of Penparcau Youth Club.

Elen James, Corporate Lead Officer for Lifelong Learning and Culture said, “Both Ceredigion Youth Service and the Council are extremely proud that over 400 young people have achieved awards through the Youth Service during the past year. Youth Service provision is hugely valuable to young people’s development as they transition into adulthood. Our youth clubs, outreach provision, work within schools and holiday programs offer a variety of opportunities for young people to be a part of something that supports and interests them.”

“The number of young people achieving awards, accreditation and certificates this year is a reflection of our young people’s commitment and enthusiasm across the county and it was a pleasure to welcome so many young people and their families to celebrate with us in Theatr Felinfach. Congratulations to you all!”

For more information or to find out what opportunities are available to you, head over to their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages at @GICeredigionYS or contact the team on youth@ceredigion.gov.uk.

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