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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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Man arrested for illegal fishing in Teifi valley

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A MAN has been arrested after environmental crime officers from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) spotted an illegal net in a mid-Wales river.

The officers were conducting a routine patrol of the River Teifi on Thursday (May 14) when they came across a net in the water.

Following an investigation carried out in partnership with Dyfed Powys Police, a man was arrested on suspicion of illegal fisheries offences in the Teifi valley.

At the scene, officers retrieved the net which contained seven dead sea trout.

David Lee, NRW’s North and Mid Wales Operations Team Leader, said:

“Thanks to the excellent work of our officers and Dyfed Powys Police we were able to prevent further damage to the Teifi sea trout population.

“We take any activity that threatens sea trout and salmon extremely seriously and this is especially true of illegal fishing.

“Nets can potentially capture large numbers of fish and given the current challenges facing stock numbers currently every sea trout or salmon taken represents another blow to our efforts to protect these iconic fish.”

Despite the current Coronavirus lockdown, NRW officers are continuing to patrol Welsh rivers and people are encouraged to check that fish they buy locally – particularly through social media – are from a legitimate source.

If you see any suspicious or illegal activity on our rivers please report it to the NRW incident hotline on 0300 065 3000.

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Mother-daughter foot patrol brings 30 year career to a poignant end for Chief Inspector

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AS Chief Inspector Nicky Carter ended a 30 year career in policing, there was no better way to do it than going out on patrol with her daughter.

And for PCSO Charlotte, taking to the streets of Lampeter with her mum was a fitting way to mark her first six months at Dyfed-Powys Police.

Patrolling together in uniform was something the mother-daughter pair had long imagined, with PCSO Carter wanting to join the police from a young age.

The 19-year-old said: “I joined in September 2019, and have wanted to be a part of Dyfed-Powys Police since I can remember. I was inspired by my mum working in the force, and thought it would be a great career.

“I’m really glad I joined before she retired, as it gave us the opportunity to go out on foot patrol in the town where mum had been the local Inspector. It was really lovely.”

Embarking on a career she’d planned since childhood, PCSO Carter took the chance to gain valuable advice from her mum – whose experiences on the frontline inspired her to join.

“Mum has told me to always treat people as I would wish to be treated,” she said. “That’s something I’ll take forward with me.”

“I’m six months in now, and I enjoy dealing with the public and offering reassurance to people in the communities of Lampeter town and surrounding areas.”

For former CI Carter, the foot patrol drew a 30-year career – starting at North Wales Police – to a poignant close.

She ended her time at Dyfed-Powys Police in her home division of Ceredigion, transferring to Aberystwyth in 2006 to take up an inspector post.

Despite admitting there will be concerns for her only child as policing inevitably comes with risks, it was a career she encouraged.

She said: “I was very proud of Charlotte wishing to join Dyfed-Powys. As I retire I still consider that policing offers tremendous job satisfaction and I know that the organisation looks after and cares for its staff.

“I encouraged her to find out about the PCSO role before she applied, and also encouraged her to attend an open evening in Ceredigion to speak to staff. I wanted her to make an informed decision to join the organisation.

“As a parent and a former officer, it is natural to be concerned about what may occur when Charlotte is at work. However, the training, mentoring and support from staff and supervisors is second to none, so that offers me reassurance.”

Looking back at 30 years in policing, CI Carter has achieved plenty to inspire her daughter – and other women thinking of joining. From being a founding member of female networks in two forces, and a committee member of the British Association of Women in Policing, she has also proudly contributed to local and national work to ensure all staff reach their full potential.

She was humbled to receive a leadership award from Chwarae Teg in 2017, and represented chief officers at the International Association of Women Police awards in Alaska in 2019, where two Ceredigion officers were rewarded for their bravery.

When it comes to passing on her wealth of experience to her daughter, the former CI urged her to always consider her own wellbeing as well as that of the community.

“The most important advice I have given Charlotte is to look after herself and her wellbeing as whilst policing is a very rewarding role, it is one that can be both challenging and stressful at times,” she said.

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Ben Lake MP “disappointed” after Agriculture Bill amendment on the standard of food and agricultural imports is rejected by House of Commons

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The UK’s new Agriculture Bill was put before MPs on Wednesday (13 May) for the final time as it reached the Report Stage and Third Reading.

Alongside farming unions and campaign groups, Ben Lake MP has lobbied for the Bill to include a number of important amendments. One of the amendments sought to introduce a legal requirement that agricultural or food products imported into the UK under future trade agreements would need to be produced or processed according to equivalent animal health, welfare and environmental standards as those required of UK prodcuers.

This amendment, in the form of New Clause 2, and which was tabled by the Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Neil Parish MP, was rejected by the Commons. All Plaid Cymru MPs supported the amendment and Ben Lake MP said he was “disappointed” that the house did not vote in favour of an amendment to prevent the importation of products produced to lower animal health and environmental standards, and which in turn would have supported the high standards of Welsh produce.

Ben Lake MP said:

“Without this amendment there remains no legal requirement for future UK trade agreements to ensure that any agricultural or food imports are produced to the same standards as those required of domestic producers.

“Farmers in Wales strive to produce quality food in a sustainable manner, but the failure to include this amendment to the Agriculture Bill risks undermining these efforts by keeping the door open to imports produced to lower environmental and animal welfare standards.

“I have always argued that in order to protect our own high standards it is crucial that a level playing-field is maintained in relation to imports, and that farmers in Wales are not put at a disadvantage by having to compete with imports that are produced to lower standards. I sincerely hope that this amendment will be adopted by the House of Lords, so that the House of Commons has another opportunity to support it.”

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