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Journey of respect and tribute

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pc_Walkers-Pembrokeshire-Coast-Path-above-Marloes-SandsA special Pembrokeshire Herald report by Dennis O’Connor
IF A tribute to the bravery of our armed forces can be measured in miles, then the rugged beauty of the 870 mile Welsh coastline will bear witness to a unique and moving tribute over the next few months as eleven teams of four men and women embark on a personal journey of respect and tribute. 
Fifty young Welsh Guardsmen have lost their lives whilst on active duty since the end of WWII. Jan Koops and David (Dai) Graham are both veteran Welsh Guards who served in the Falklands War.
They are aware of the devastating impact that active service can have on soldiers and their families as they cope with bereavement and these two men are the driving force behind the team organising the Walk on Wales (WOW) challenge which aims to raise one million pounds for the benefit of two charities, the Welsh Guards Afghanistan Appeal and the Combat Stress Charity.
Each name, rank and number of the fallen has been inscribed on a specially commissioned silver baton which also conceals the names of a further eight soldiers from other regiments and Corps who were killed on active duty whilst attached to the Welsh Guards. The baton will pass from team to team along the coast for the duration of the walk (August 25th – November 2nd) before finally being delivered to its resting place at Llandaf Cathedral.
Both charities provide essential support. Many have returned safe from battle but have suffered and continue to suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which severely inhibits their ability to lead “normal” lives.
In preparation for the event, the teams have undertaken months of arduous training out on the coast in all weather conditions. Each mile completed in training has been considered as a small sacrifice to those who have given so much more.
The WOW logistic team based in Cardiff has been busy ensuring that the success of the event and safety and welfare of the teams and guest walkers remains a priority. This has been aided greatly by significant sponsorship by large companies including Bluestone and Radio Pembrokeshire.
The Pembrokeshire coast bears host to the Walk on Wales teams as they enter St. Dogmaels on October 3rd before continuing along the whole of the coast towards the Carmarthenshire border. 
Team 7 (New Quay to Whitesands Bay) is led by Jim Salmon, who is from St. Davids and Team 9 (Freshwater West to Burry Port) is headed by another local man, Rob Davies from Letterston.
Both men are veteran Welsh Guards, and Jim says: "I'm privileged to be part of a team involved in raising funds for these two charities.” Rob Davies added,  ‘I loved my  time in the Regiment and really enjoy getting involved with all  things to do with the Welsh Guards, so when the message came to me that Walk on Wales was looking for someone to lead a team from Freshwater West to Burry Port, I jumped at the chance.”
Throughout the challenge, the teams will be joined by some well-known faces including including MPs Stephen Crabb and Simon Hart. Members of the public who want to pay their own personal respects are welcomed and encouraged to sign up to take part in this unique event. Registration is easy through the Walk on Wales website. You can walk any distance of your choice on any day or week stage.
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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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Community

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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