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Start saving for Christmas now, urges Credit Unions of Wales

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credit unionHAVING passed the halfway to Christmas mark, the Credit Unions of Wales are encouraging families to start saving now to put a stop to money worries during this year’s festive season. People in Wales are the second highest Christmas spenders in the UK, with the average Welsh household spending £596 on gifts each year. By setting aside £24 a week from this week on, families will be able to save their annual spend in advance of Christmas. This way they can avoid falling into debt and will only pay as much as they spend, rather than having to pay back interest on top of a loan to help them cover the cost. There are 21 credit unions in Wales and many of them offer special Christmas Saver accounts which ‘lock’ your monthly savings until November. This means you can only access your savings when it’s time for present shopping and won’t be tempted to spend them on something else before Christmas arrives. Several also offer incentives, such as a £10 bonus so people can start saving straight away or entering all account holders into a December prize draw. Many credit unions across Wales also offer low-interest Christmas loans which can be paid off within a year with small weekly payments. One example is Cardigan-based West Wales Credit Union which offers a £100 Christmas loan with weekly payments of £2.33 and a total repayment of £112.70. The Credit Unions of Wales have recently joined forces to participate in a Wales-wide marketing campaign to encourage more people to save, borrow or invest with their local credit union. Campaign spokesperson and General Manager of North Wales Credit Union, Barry Roberts, said: “Thousands of households across Wales struggle to balance their gift budgets with paying bills on time, but thankfully Christmas isn’t one of those unforeseen expenses such as a broken boiler or car repairs so you can prepare for it. “We’d always recommend saving in advance for such occasions so that you’ve already covered the cost before you incur it and by starting now you’ll be well ahead. “If you don’t manage to save everything you need in time, we also offer Christmas loans with much lower interest rates than payday lenders and we make sure you only borrow as much as you can afford. “With all of the sales on over the summer, it’s even worth thinking about taking out a loan now so that you can get your gifts at a better price and pay off the cost before Christmas arrives.” Credit unions are regulated by the same supervisory bodies as banks and customers’ savings are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, but credit unions offer additional member benefits such as no hidden admin costs, set-up fees or early repayment charges. Credit unions have no third party shareholders which means dividends are paid to savers instead, and they don’t rely on automated credit checks so all loan decisions are ultimately made by a real person. There are 21 Credit Unions across Wales, which means that everyone in Wales has a local credit union they can join. To find yours, visit www. creditunionsofwales.co.uk

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Community

Council celebrates success of Apprenticeship Scheme

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Four people from Ceredigion have now completed apprenticeships with Ceredigion County Council.

Gareth John, Ceri-Anne Hughes, Alanah Lloyd and Sam Pinnel-Hirst were the first recruits onto the Council’s new scheme established in November 2018 and have spent the last 12 months earning a wage while they learn new skills.

Sam and Alanah completed qualifications in Business Administration, Gareth in Youth Work and Ceri-Ann in Health and Social Care. All four have since successfully secured employment. Gareth, Alanah and Ceri-Anne will continue their careers with Ceredigion Council and Sam is moving onto work with Powys County Council.

Debbie Ayriss, Learning and Development Manager said: “We are really pleased we have been able to offer these apprenticeship opportunities. This year, our scheme received a significant increase in enquiries and applications and we are looking forward to four more apprentices starting their careers with us soon.”

More information on the apprenticeship scheme can be found at: https://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/resident/jobs-careers/apprenticeships/

Cyngor yn dathlu llwyddiant Cynllun Prentisiaethau

Mae pedwar person wedi llwyddo i gwblhau prentisiaethau gyda Chyngor Sir Ceredigion.

Gareth John, Ceri-Anne Hughes, Alanah Lloyd a Sam Pinnell-Hirst oedd y rhai cyntaf i gael eu recriwtio i gynllun newydd y Cyngor a sefydlwyd ym mis Tachwedd 2018, ac maen nhw wedi treulio’r 12 mis diwethaf yn ennill cyflog wrth iddyn nhw ddysgu sgiliau newydd.

Cwblhaodd Sam ac Alanah gymwysterau mewn Gweinyddu Busnes, cwblhaodd Gareth gymhwyster mewn Gwaith Ieuenctid a Ceri-Anne gymhwyster mewn Iechyd a Gofal Cymdeithasol. Ers hynny, mae’r pedwar wedi llwyddo i gael gwaith a buon nhw’n dathlu eu llwyddiant yn ddiweddar. Bydd Gareth, Alanah a Ceri-Anne yn parhau â’u gyrfaoedd gyda Chyngor Ceredigion a bydd Sam yn symud i weithio gyda Chyngor Sir Powys.

Dywedodd Debbie Ayriss, Rheolwr Dysgu a Datblygu: “Rydym yn falch iawn o fod wedi gallu cynnig y prentisiaethau hyn. Eleni bu cynnydd mawr o ran ymholiadau a cheisiadau i’n cynllun ac rydym yn edrych ymlaen at weld pedwar prentis arall yn dechrau ar eu gyrfaoedd gyda ni yn fuan.”

Gall dod o hyd i ragor o wybodaeth ar gynllun prentisiaethau ar: https://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/preswyliwr/swyddi-a-gyrfaoedd/prentisiaethau/

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Staff experience what dementia may feel like

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During Autumn 2019 Ceredigion County Council staff and elected members were given the opportunity to take part in a Virtual Dementia Tour (VDT). By using specialist equipment and creating a simulated environment, the experience gave an insight into what dementia might feel like.

Donna Pritchard, Corporate Lead Officer Porth Ceredigion and Deputy Statutory Director for Social Services said: “This has been a very thought-provoking experience. It’s allowed participants to physically and emotionally feel what it would be like to live with Dementia and to acknowledge the challenges to overcome that sensory loss brings.”

Dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning. This may include problems with memory loss, thinking speed, mental sharpness and quickness, language, understanding judgement, mood, movement and difficulties carrying out daily activities.

Donna continued: “The Virtual Dementia Tour identifies ways to improve communication for people living with dementia and ways that care and support staff can change their practice to improve their lives and help them achieve positive outcomes. All our staff at residential homes have been trained to ensure that people with dementia are supported in an inclusive environment.”

Staff yn cael profiad o’r hyn y gall dementia deimlo fel

Yn ystod yr Hydref 2019 rhoddwyd cyfle i staff ac aelodau etholedig Cyngor Sir Ceredigion gymryd rhan mewn ‘Virtual Dementia Tour‘ (VDT). Drwy ddefnyddio offer arbenigol a chreu amgylchedd ffug, roedd y profiad yn rhoi cipolwg ar yr hyn y gallai dementia ei deimlo.

Dywedodd Donna Pritchard, Swyddog Arweiniol Corfforaethol Porth Ceredigion a Dirprwy Gyfarwyddwr Statudol Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol: “Mae hwn wedi bod yn brofiad sy’n ysgogi’r meddwl. Mae’n caniatáu i gyfranogwyr deimlo sut beth fyddai fyw gyda dementia, yn gorfforol ac yn emosiynol, a chydnabod yr heriau i oresgyn y golled synhwyraidd honno.”

Mae dementia yn syndrom (grŵp o symptomau cysylltiedig) sy’n gysylltiedig â dirywiad parhaus o ran gweithrediad yr ymennydd. Gall hyn gynnwys problemau o ran colli cof, cyflymder meddwl, miniogrwydd meddwl a chyflymdra, iaith, deall dyfarniad, hwyliau, symud ac anawsterau’n cyflawni gweithgareddau dyddiol.

Parhaodd Donna: “Mae’r ‘Virtual Dementia Tour’ yn nodi ffyrdd o wella’r cyfathrebu ar gyfer pobl sy’n byw gyda dementia a ffyrdd y gall staff gofal a chymorth newid eu hymarfer i wella eu bywydau a’u helpu i gyflawni canlyniadau cadarnhaol. Mae pob un o’n staff mewn cartrefi preswyl wedi cael eu hyfforddi i sicrhau bod pobl â dementia yn cael eu cefnogi mewn amgylchedd cynhwysol.”

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Quadruple success for Ceredigion in Estyn Excellence Awards

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FOUR Ceredigion organisations were successful in the Estyn Excellence Awards in October.

Aberporth Bilingual Playgroup and Cylch Meithrin Talgarreg made up half of the nurseries that were recognised for excellence.

Ysgol Dyffryn Cledlyn and Ysgol Mynach were two of 29 primary schools recognised on the night.

Councillor Catrin Miles is the Cabinet member responsible for Learning Services. She said: “We are extremely proud of the recognition by Estyn of the excellence achieved at these schools and settings. I offer my sincere congratulations to all staff, pupils, governors and parents.”

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