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Ceredigion Workways+ and Kinora working together to improve people lives

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CEREDIGION RESIDENTS Neville Morgan Thomas, Ed Goodliffe and Ian Townrow have all benefited from the help of employment and volunteering support service Workways+ through an outreach programme run by the Cardigan based mental health recovery centre, Kinora.

Kinora hosts a number of outreach programmes that helps support mental health recovery. Workways+ has been part of one of these programmes to help people improve their lives through volunteering, training, work experience and employment opportunities.

Neville, Ed and Ian have all faced challenges in their lives. Neville, aged 55 had a nervous breakdown that led to a suicide attempt. He has not been able to work for 20 years. Ed, aged 38, struggled with drug addiction for over 20 years. Ian aged 56 is autistic and has suffered from severe depression.

Funded by Workways+ with support given from Wendy Fitzpatrick, Workways+ Mentor, both Ed and Neville successfully completed a ‘safe strimmer handling’ training course and are now qualified. In addition, Workways+ helped Ed secure a paid job as a dishwasher in a local café, which he’s delighted with.

Ian benefited from Workways+

Participant Neville said: “It’s been brilliant to be able to get a qualification, it has really made me feel more confident. Workways+ has been great.”

Ed added: “The social part of the course was great and getting the qualification is an achievement. Getting out in the fresh air and helping the community is something I really enjoy. I don’t think I could have done this without the support of Workways+.”

Gary Yeomans, Kinora Centre Manager said: “Kinora has been supported by Workways + over the last year to support people to gain a range of qualifications to improve their confidence and make them ready for volunteering or employment. They have supported people through the whole process from form filling to being there on the day of the training. They have shown dedication, patience and humour in the way they have supported people.”

Kinora, Cardigan-based mental health recovery centre, offers support and advice to anyone who needs it. It’s open four days (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) and one evening a week (Wednesday) and operates as a drop-in centre where everyone is welcome.

Gary Yeomans continued, “Courses completed this year include ‘safe use of strimmer’ a fully accredited qualification and a first aid course. The Workways+ team takes time to select the appropriate training provider to meet service user needs. Gaining qualifications is so important for work readiness but along with this, we have seen confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing improve as a result of achieving qualifications.

“On behalf of Kinora I would like to thank the Workways+ team for all their help and support this year. The project really does make a difference to people’s lives.”

Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, Leader of Ceredigion County Council said: “It is great to see that Ed, Neville and Paul have been given support to help them progress and improve their lives. Workways+ is committed to taking their services into the community and their excellent work with the Cardigan based social enterprise Kinora is a great example of this. I would ask people that are interested in volunteering and employment to contact Workways+ and get the help they need.”

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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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