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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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New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards

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NEW QUAY lifeboat station hosted a special training evening with the lifeboat crew and Ceredigion’s RNLI lifeguards last week.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat helms, worked closely with Ceredigion lifeguard supervisor, Tirion Dowsett, to plan scenarios for the teams to practice working together in casualty care situations.

A large scale scenario included four casualties to be dealt with by the inshore lifeboat crew and two lifeguard teams on a nearby beach, whilst a third lifeguard team and lifeboat crew members dealt with a separate scenario at the lifeboat station.

Pete said: “It was a great evening of training. We had 9 lifeguards and 13 lifeboat crew in attendance.

“The main scenario included casualties suffering from hypothermia and propeller injuries. A second scenario involved a mechanic suffering head injuries in the forepeak of the all-weather lifeboat and requiring extraction on a stretcher.

“On completion of these scenarios we all gathered back at the station where one of our senior crew members sprung a great act at being a diabetic having a hypo, and being suitably angry and aggressive.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: “It was great for our lifeboat crew members to work with the lifeguards as it builds a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and encourages teamwork between us. This is of great benefit when dealing with real life casualty care situations.”

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Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs

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LAST TUESDAY (Aug 27), New Quay RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat, Audrey LJ, was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist the Coastguard with a dog stuck on the cliffs near New Quay.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm with four crew members on board and made their way south down the coast.

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said: “We located the dog on the cliffs by Castell Bach, near Cwmtydu. We stood by while the Coastguard team caught the animal. The dog was unharmed and safe with the Coastguard so we were stood down.

“However, while returning to station we were then tasked to a small vessel with engine failure. We towed the stricken boat with three people on board back to New Quay. We rehoused the inshore lifeboat and it was ready for service by 2.40pm.”

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New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions

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The Ground Maintenance Team has purchased three new lorries to support ground maintenance services in Ceredigion.

The new lorries will move Ceredigion County Council’s Ground Maintenance Service’s equipment to and from the grounds that they look after. The lorries will also take cut grass away for composting. This provides the most efficient way of maintaining the areas that the team is responsible for.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “The new vehicles replace ones which had provided excellent service for almost 20 years. They are fitted with Euro 6 engines which are considerably more efficient and better for the environment.”

The Grounds Maintenance Team is also incrementally introducing electric-powered mowers, blowers, hedge cutters and strimmers into its fleet. This equipment is better for the environment, is easier to use and causes less noise and vibration.

The new lorries support Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon council by 2030.

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