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Pensioner helps launch thermometer cards reminding older people to keep their homes safe and warm

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Abergavenny based pensioner Margaret Smeed, is this week helping to launch a simple to use thermometer card that reminds older people about the importance of keeping their homes warm and safe throughout the year.

The specially designed card, developed jointly by the older people’s charity Age Cymru and electricity distribution company Western Power Distribution (WPD), warns older people when their homes become too cold and thereby a potential risk to their health. Research has shown that there is a direct link between excess winter deaths and cold homes.

Margaret said: “These thermometer cards are such a simple but effective way to remind older people to keep their homes warm. I would urge everyone to place a card in their main living room as a useful reminder of the indoor temperature.”

In line with the World Health Organisation, Age Cymru recommends that indoor temperatures are maintained at 21 degrees in living rooms and 18 degrees in bedrooms for at least 9 hours a day.

The thermometer card warns that cold homes can lead to a respiratory illness and in extreme cases heart attacks, stroke arthritis, rheumatism and even hypothermia amongst older people who may not be able to regulate their body temperature as well as younger people.

Age Cymru’s Health Initiatives Officer, Angharad Phillips, says: “Even though we are heading out of winter and into spring, the weather can still be totally unpredictable and deliver cold snaps so unexpectedly. I’m sure we can all remember the arctic conditions we experienced last March. We also know that flu and other viruses are still circulating in Wales, so it’s important for older people to keep their homes warm at a safe and stable temperature to protect their health.”

The thermometer card also has a list of handy tips on how to prepare for a power cut. It encourages older people to have access to a telephone that will remain working during a power cut as many digital or cordless telephones may not work.

The card also urges older people to maintain a battery operated torch and radio so they can move around the home safely and keep in touch with news bulletins and updates.

WPD’s Network Service Manager Sean Sullivan says: “We always tell our customers in advance of any planned power cuts that take place as a result of us undertaking essential maintenance or repairs to our network. However, now and then power cuts can happen due to circumstances beyond our control, such as severe weather, so it’s important to be prepared. The thermometer cards are an ideal way of reminding older people how best to prepare.”

To obtain a free thermometer card call 029 2043 1555. For more information about keeping safe and warm visit: www.agecymru.org.uk/spreadthewarmth

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Former headteacher of Llandysul Primary School jailed for child sex offences

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A FORMER headteacher of primary schools in west Wales who was awarded the MBE for services to education has been jailed for child sex offences.

David Watkin Bundock, aged 74, admitted six offences–one of them committed after he had been arrested and granted bail.

Judge Keith Thomas, sitting at Swansea crown court, told Bundock he had achieved a great deal during his professional career but had then gone on to behave in a way that was the exact opposite to the moral values he had once championed.

Bundock, once the head of Llandysul Primary School, admitted four offences of possessing indecent images of children.

He also admitted attempting to communicate with a child aged under 16 for sexual reasons and, on January 27, 2019, attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.

Bundock was jailed for two years and three months. He was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and banned from ever working with children and must register with the police as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Jim Davis, prosecuting, said Bundock came to be of interest to the police after his telephone number was found on the mobile of a man arrested for indecent images offences.

But after being granted bail he was then snared by paedophile hunters who created an Internet account of a fictional 15 year old boy.

Bundock swapped indecent messages with the “boy” and travelled to a park in Carmarthen hoping to meet him.

But when he arrived he was confronted by members of the group and arrested later that day for a second time.

Bundock’s barrister, India Cox, said his offending was completely out of character and difficult to explain.

Judge Thomas described the offences as appalling.

The offences took place place in Carmarthenshire and at his home at Valetta House, Cardiff.

Bundock went on to become a senior adviser with Ceredigion County Council’s education department. In 2004 he was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

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£24m health centre project will not stop following Interserve problems

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FOLLOWING the collapse of Interserve, health officials have said they are confident it will not affect Cardigan’s £24m health care centre.

Interserve, the government outsourcer to complete the works, ran into financial difficulty and was rescued from administration last Friday by banks and hedge funds. This has left many of it’s key suppliers now facing large financial losses.

With 69,000 staff worldwide, the takeover will ensure they will remain working and with most suppliers trading as usual.

The bailout follows fears that the company could follow in the footstep’s of rival contractor Carillion.

Carillion’s collapse last year left worker’s, pension’s and lender’s with huge financial losses. Forcing the Government to step in and deliver the services.

A Hywel Dda health board spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Interserve will continue to deliver both the Cardigan Integrated Care Centre and the Women’s and Children’s Phase 2 project at Glangwili General Hospital as planned.”

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Young women in Ceredigion make their voices heard

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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.”

(Credited to Lauren Garside, Year 1 Coleg Ceredigion Media Production student) The ‘Real Talk’ workshop held on International Women’s Day at Ceredigion Museum.

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.”

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