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Project to support dementia sufferers

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dementia projectAN INNOVATIVE new service to help people with dementia across South West Wales and their carers feel more supported and enjoy a full and active life through activities including art, drama, and photography launched in Llanelli on Friday (15 November).

Alzheimer’s Society will run the ‘Life not just a service’ project across Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Swansea, Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot, after being awarded over £720,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

The project will be delivered through a programme of adult community learning opportunities including art, drama, patchwork quilting, family history, and photography – to name but a few. Each course will run for 10 weeks, with the weekly session operating for three hours in locations across south west Wales.

The event, which highlighted the charity’s support services for people living with dementia in South West Wales, was attended by Jonathan Edwards MP. Speaking at the event he said:

‘In my surgeries I meet many carers who are extremely grateful for the work of Alzheimer’s Society in helping them to adapt to a life-changing condition which impacts not just the individual, but the wider family circle. Amongst other things Alzheimer’s Society offers hope to people that there is life beyond developing dementia.

‘The fact that Alzheimer’s Society has been awarded substantial funding from the Big Lottery is a testament to the confidence stakeholders have in the work the Society undertakes’.

The new funding is one of three Big Lottery projects secured in the last 18 months for Alzheimer’s Society in Wales, totalling £2.75m (£2,750,000).

The advocacy and befriending services, funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s AdvantAGE programme, were officially launched in July 2012 and have since helped to support people across South West Wales who are living with all forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Cheryl James, Operations Manager for Alzheimer’s Society in South West Wales said: ‘There are estimated to be over 44,500 people with dementia in Wales and as the population ages, we all face the risk of one day developing the condition. Through our new project ‘Life Not Just a Service’ we aim to reach out and offer a range of learning opportunities to those who may not have otherwise been able to access our support services.

‘People with dementia and their carers can often experience feelings of loneliness and isolation, especially in the more rural parts of Wales. Alzheimer’s Society is committed to reaching out to all people with dementia and their carers in order to help them and support them to live well with dementia now and in the future.

‘We hope that the new ‘Life Not Just a Service’ will increase public awareness of dementia and give people a better understanding of the condition; reducing the stigma. We also hope that the project will create a sense of community spirit where people with dementia can be active citizens.

‘We are delighted that thanks to the generous support of the Big Lottery Fund, we can bring these much needed services to Wales.’

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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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