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Ceredigion Museum’s Café Manager – Special Feature

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SAM JOB is the Café Manager at the Coliseum Coffee House, Ceredigion Museum. Here she give an insight into her role: “The first thing that needs doing in the morning is to switch on all the appliances. Making sure that we have enough cakes in stock for the day is the next on my list, all our cakes are made in house so we’re always well-stocked. We get lots of compliments on our cakes, pop in if you haven’t tried one yet.

Next, it’s time to check the grind of the coffee – daily temperature fluctuations and other factors can affect a coffee grind throughout the day, so it’s really important to do regular checks – we’re very meticulous in ensuring we serve that perfect cuppa every time.

At 10am, it’s time to open up. We serve breakfast from 10 until 12. Some of the popular choices on the menu is our avocado and poached egg on toast, oh and of course – our giant tea cakes.

From 11:30am until 3pm, our main lunch menu is available. Afternoon teas and high teas need to be booked 24 hours in advance and are available between 12 and 4pm Monday to Saturday. Coffee, tea and cakes are available at all times.

I’ve always had an interested in hospitality, I’m a bubbly, sociable person and tend to get on with everyone.

Originally from Shrewsbury, I started waitressing when I was 15 years old. Since then, I’ve had experience in bartending and silver service for weddings. I relocated to Aberystwyth a few years back and started my own printing business (more about that later on!). At the same time, I also secured the role as supervisor here. I was told regularly that I was good in my role – this really boosted my confidence in my capabilities which ultimately gave me the push that I needed to go for the Manager’s role.

When the Council took over ownership of the café towards the end of 2018, I succeeded in getting the Manager’s role. I’ve loved being part of this exciting new venture from the very beginning.

I’ve had really good support and mentorship, enabling me to settle in to the role. It can be challenging, of course but it’s given me the opportunity to gain new skills, such as managing staff, bookkeeping and project planning.

I take pride in ensuring that the café is a success; knowing that the customers are happy and are receiving the best service is what drives me. It’s lovely to see so many of our customers return daily for their favourites.

I’m a Welsh learner, as is a couple of my staff here. If a customer starts talking to me in Welsh, I make every attempt to keep the conversation going in their mother tongue; our customers really appreciate that effort and always show encouragement. We have a lot of Welsh learners come in on a regular basis – the café’s an ideal opportunity to practise real everyday Welsh – a nice change from the classroom environment.

It’s not just Welsh we hear being spoken in the café, our customers come from all corners of the world. As the Tourist Information Centre is situated here, we meet lots of people who may be visiting Ceredigion for the first time. Lately, I’ve talked to tourists from New Zealand, Germany and Japan – it’s great to hear about their adventures and what brings them here – they always say how different Ceredigion is from anywhere else in the world – they love our uniqueness.

We also get lots of groups from the local community meet up at the café – our play vintage café corner is a big hit with both children and the occasional adult!

We can accommodate coach trips, birthday parties and cater for larger catering events too – did you know that the museum is now a licenced wedding venue. It’s been lots of fun being part of the tasting sessions in the run up to some weddings that are to be held this year.

As Manager, I’m also am in charge of the marketing side of the cafe – managing our Facebook page, designing leaflets, tokens and vouchers. It’s handy that I already have experience with designing products; in my own time, I run a small design and print business, ‘Self-addiction designs’ where I print onto t-shirts, cups and placemats. I also do commission work and have created logos for local businesses. I love that I can be creative both in and outside of work.

With summer approaching, I’m excited to announce that during July we’ll be making our menu more accessible by introducing ‘Beach boxes’ – biodegradable takeaway packaging that will allow customers to buy anything from our menu, including smoothies, milkshakes to enjoy outside at the beach or at the park, so customers can make the most of any summer sun coming our way.”

Follow the café on Facebook – Coliseum Coffee House, Ceredigion Museum, Aberystwyth for the latest news and offers.

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A level results still high in Ceredigion

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THE ‘A’ level examination results published today by the WJEC (15 August) show that high standards are being achieved in Ceredigion schools once again. 97.9% of entries for WJEC examinations were graded A* to E, with 27.9% of the entries achieving the top ’A’ grades.

Ceredigion pupils continue to outperform the Welsh average. More pupils in Ceredigion achieve the top ’A’ grades and A* to E grades. The below table shows a comparison with average Welsh figures. These don’t include Welsh Baccalaureate results and those from examination bodies other than WJEC.

Wales 2019             Ceredigion 2019

Grade A* – A           27.92%                    27.0%

Grade A* – B           56.0%                      n/a

Grade A* – C          77.5%                        n/a

Grade A* – E          97.9%                       97.6%

Councillor Catrin Miles is the Cabinet member responsible for Learning Services. She said, “I would like to extend my warmest congratulations once again to Ceredigion’s sixth form students for their successes in this year’s A Level and AS examinations.

These results are the culmination of a long journey through school life which has seen them nurture and develop the academic and interpersonal skills that will enable them to move confidently into higher education, training or employment in fields of their choice. I wish them good luck for the future and would like to sincerely thank all who have contributed to their school journey in any way.”

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MP Ben Lake calls for reform of police funding

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HAVING recently shadowed Dyfed Powys Police officers in Aberystwyth, the Ceredigion MP has again urged the UK Government to review the police funding formula for rural areas.

Mr Lake visited Aberystwyth police station as part of the #GiveADayToPolicing campaign, a scheme for Members of Parliament to better understand the challenges currently facing police forces across the UK.

During his visit Mr Lake had the opportunity to experience a variety of aspects of local policing – from spending time with the neighbourhood policing team, meeting officers from different departments, and discussing policing challenges with front-line police officers.

Mr Lake has challenged the UK Government on several occasions to reform the formula for police funding – highlighting the need for the funding formula to take into consideration the seasonal pressures on forces, particularly the significant increase to the population of coastal areas during the summer months.

Mr Lake said: “I am very grateful to the officers of Aberystwyth police station for their welcome, and for taking the time to speak with me. I now have a better understanding of the challenges our police officers face, as well as a deeper level of respect and admiration of their work and commitment to public safety.

“As I have previously stated, we cannot expect a one size fits all approach to work effectively across the whole of the UK, and as such, it is imperative that the criteria used to allocate the Home Office police grant are revised so that they reflect the increased demands and unique challenges facing rural forces in areas such as Ceredigion, especially during summer months.”

Mr Lake added: “It is widely acknowledged that Welsh police forces have suffered under the present funding formula, and so it is high time that the UK Government either amends the formula accordingly, or devolves the responsibility for policing to the Welsh Government so that they may do so themselves.”

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New waste trial launched in Aberystwyth

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A NEW trial has been launched in Aberystwyth as part of the Caru Aber campaign, to help keep the town centre clean on waste collection days.

Heavy duty sacks will be placed on Aberystwyth streets on Monday afternoons before the black bag collection on Tuesdays in the following streets; Portland Street, Portland Road, Queen Street, Corporation Street, Eastgate Street, New Street and Cambrian Place.

Black bags should be put in the sacks by 8am on Tuesday mornings for collection. The intention is that the sacks contain the waste until it is collected. The sacks will be retrieved after the waste has been collected to avoid clutter and obstruction on the streets.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “We see this trial as a practical and relatively cost effective way of responding to long standing issues relating to domestic waste presentation in Aberystwyth town centre. The sacks will also provide a visible reminder to residents in the town centre on what days to present their black bags.

“The trial forms part of the Caru Aber campaign, and the wider Caru Ceredigion campaign, where the council looks to work with local communities to address issues which are of concern or are important to them.

“This innovative approach is another example of positive proactive action the council is taking. We hope that the residents of the town centre will play their part by making good use of the sacks as this will be the critical factor in measuring the success of the scheme.”

Clean recycling and food waste should continue to be presented on a weekly basis in the containers that the council already provides through clear bags and food caddies.

Ensuring that the right waste is presented in the right way and on the right day will help to make sure that the town’s streets are kept clean and that the waste is contained, managed and treated in the most cost effective and environmentally friendly way as possible.

The sacks were first used in readiness for waste collections on Tuesday 6 August 2019. The initial feedback is positive as they have worked to contain the waste on the streets, which were noticeably cleaner.

This latest initiative is developing on feedback and experience from two other trials undertaken. The success of the trial will be monitored on an ongoing basis and reviewed to reflect the experience which will include looking at ways of engaging all residents.

For more information about the new scheme, please contact the Customer Services Contact Centre on 01545 570 881 or by e-mail on clic@ceredigion.gov.uk.

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