FIREFIGHTERS from the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service have launched their bid to reach the top of the chart and achieve a Christmas number one single.
The group, formed under the name ‘The Fire Tones’, was the vision of Welshpool Firefighter, Chris Birdsell-Jones, who dreamt of a band of firefighters reaching the top of the charts with the classic Christmas hit ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’.
The single is set to raise money for the Firefighters Charity and the Band-Aid Charity Trust.
Firefighter Chris Birdsell-Jones said: “It started when we were in a bar in Welshpool around this time last year – the first song that came on was ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’
“As we sat there, everyone in the bar was singing along or tapping the bar and it got me wondering if we could do something for charity.
“I said it out loud and everyone told me I was dreaming! But a couple of days later there was a film on called ‘Daddy’s Home 2’ and the song is on the soundtrack, so I took it as a sign and got to work.”
Chris set about widening the search for talent from other UK Fire and Rescue Services to contribute to the single.
Interest and momentum quickly gathered, leading to an offer of a recording session at the BIMM Music College, Birmingham, in the newly built recording studio. From across the UK, firefighters travelled to Birmingham to record the vocals in a hectic 12-hour recording session, masterminded by producer Steve Osborne and expert vocal arranger Louise Warren.
Chris added: “We wanted to honour the spirit of the original recording, so we wanted to get it all done in one day, just as they did with the original Live Aid single.
“I must admit, I was nervous on the day because you’ve put all this work in and you’re wondering things like ‘is that person going to turn up?’ and ‘is this actually going to work? But on the day, it was just incredible, they played it back to us in the studio and it was ‘wow’, this isn’t just a bit of fun, they can really sing.
“We are doing this to raise money for two fantastic causes. I’m over the moon to have worked with such a talented group of people, and I feel proud and honoured to have been involved with such a fantastic project, whatever we manage to raise.
“The Fire Tones boast over 40 Fire Service personnel within its ranks. During the recording, we had to move out of the studio and go on a stage to record the chorus parts.”
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Rob Quin, Mid and West Wales Fire Service said: “This is a wonderful initiative by our firefighters in Welshpool, which has snowballed across our Service and across to other Fire and Rescue Services.
“I’m extremely proud of Mid and West Wales firefighters as our Fire and Rescue Service is amongst the highest contributors to the Fire Fighters Charity. Our firefighters and support staff are constantly fundraising to this fantastic cause, be it through traditional methods, such of hosting car washes and selling cakes, or highly ambitious projects such as The Fire Tones.
“I can’t wait to hear the song, buy it and show my support to the Fire Tones, Fire Fighters Charity and Band-Aid.”
The Fire Tones’ single is available on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music.
Ceredigion Youth Service’s Summer Activity Programme
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.”
Ceredigion Autism Conference 2019
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.
Ceredigion Leisure Centres Summer holiday programme
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.
Popular This Week
News3 days ago
Success for Communities for Work Plus project in it’s first 12 months
Sport6 days ago
Large crowds expected for Junior tournament
News2 weeks ago
Aberystwyth: 14-year-old accused of raping a boy and a girl under 13
News1 week ago
Shoppers to help deliver Tesco Centenary Grants in Mid and West Wales
News1 week ago
Climate change protest outside Aberystwyth Barclays
News3 days ago
New Quay RNLI tasked to suspected fishing boat in distress
News5 days ago
Summer Reading Challenge for children at Ceredigion Libraries
News2 weeks ago
Youth Service celebrates Youth Work Week 2019