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Radio Bronglais hits the road

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Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 10.58.43ABERYSTWYTH’S summer entertainment continued on Saturday (Jul 16) as Menter Aberystwyth introduced ‘Radio Bronglais Roadshow’ to the community. 

As part of Menter Aberystwyth’s Summer Entertainment programme, the community of Aberystwyth were able to brave the unfortunate weather forecast and gathered around the Bandstand to be entertained by the radio station from 2pm until 6pm.

The unfortunate weather meant that Menter Aberystwyth had to postpone the ‘Picnic in the Park’ at the Aberystwyth Castle grounds, which promised outdoor activities for children, bring your own picnics and live music.

Menter Aberystwyth covers not only the town of Aberystwyth but also its surrounding villages, as far as Eglwys Fach to the north and Llanrhystud to the south. The area comprises of 13 community councils and Menter Aberystwyth hopes to work in partnership with all of them.

A regeneration partnership for Aberystwyth and its surrounding areas, Menter Aberystwyth concentrates on the building of community ethos, where local people have a chance to address any issues they have regarding changes and solutions to their community. With links to various organisations such as the Aberystwyth Town Council, Ceredigion County Council, Aberystwyth University and BBC News, Menter Aberystwyth thrive on the support on the local community.

Funded by Aberystwyth Town Council and Aberystwyth University, Menter Aberystwyth provides help for other smaller groups in the local area in order for them to develop their own projects. In addition, they also provide guidance for businesses and other groups with regards to funding opportunities and available advice.

Cllr Alun Williams, Vice Chairman of Menter Aberystwyth, spoke to The Herald about the Summer Entertainment Programme 2016: “Events in the last year have included the Switch-on of the town’s Christmas lights and the recent Aber First awards. The Summer Entertainment programme, based at the new bandstand, is a part of that and Menter will be putting on around 40 different events there over the summer. The programme consists of local artists who Menter pay a small amount to perform.

“Unfortunately, I couldn’t be there on Saturday, but the first event of the season was the Dylan Thomas Sound project the previous Saturday. Photos of this are on the Menter Aberystwyth Facebook page.

“Radio Bronglais/RBFM are a hospital radio station based in a building in the grounds of the hospital. As part of Menter’s programme, they presented a four-hour live broadcast road show from the Bandstand last Saturday, supporting the great work of the staff of Bronglais Hospital and various community groups around the area, some of whom were interviewed on the show.”

Due to the success of the event, Radio Bronglais released the following official statement: “Saturday (Jul 16) saw the successful return of everybody’s favourite radio roadshow as ‘RB FM presents…Summer at the Bandstand’ from the Bronglais Hospital community radio station. Radio Bronglais FM kicked off Aberystwyth’s Summer Entertainment Program with a flourish.

“RB FM’s four-hour live broadcast direct from the new Bandstand on the Aberystwyth promenade showcased the range of coverage it provides for its listeners. With a variety of guest speakers from branches of Bronglais Hospital services, associated bodies, and other third sector organisations, coupled with live performances from a diverse demographic of musicians, RB FM celebrated a brilliant afternoon of broadcasting.”

Cllr Williams added: “Aberystwyth Town Mayor Brendan Somers, who opened the event on Saturday, praised the hard work and dedication of all the staff at Bronglais Hospital, and that of the Radio Bronglais volunteers.

“The live broadcast was anchored by RB FM presenter ‘Big Pete’ Evans, and featured presenting slots from regular voices Lewis Harrowing and Gemma Freedman. The show included interviews with representatives from Age Cymru Ceredigion, Sight Cymru Ceredigion, the League of Friends of Bronglais Hospital, and the Mid Wales Healthcare Collaborative, amongst several others, as well as beautiful live performances from AberOpera, folk band Brenig, and regular RB FM presenters Del Whiting and Sean Hicks, the latter of whom also used the event to launch his new EP.”

Al Frean, RB FM Station Manager, was pleased with the success of the event and told The Herald: “It’s great to be out and about doing road shows and broadcasting from outside of the hospital. We get the opportunity to join the dots; showcasing snippets of Bronglais to the community whilst also bringing aspects of the community back to our listeners through our programming platforms.

“We just wish the reliable Welsh weather could have been a bit sunnier on the day! Of course a huge thank you goes out to everyone involved; from our guests to our own volunteers and a special thanks to Aberystwyth Town Council and Menter Aberystwyth for their help and support as organisers of the Summer Entertainment Program. Diolch i chi!”

Radio Bronglais FM is the hospital and community radio station based at Bronglais General Hospital in Aberystwyth. It is a self-funded voluntary branch of the healthcare community which endeavours to provide relief and support first and foremost for the patients and staff of Bronglais Hospital and its associated NHS services through its diverse broadcasting and befriending services.

For more information, tune in and support Radio Bronglais via 87.8FM across Aberystwyth or online via www.rbfmlive.co.uk and the TuneIn Radio app. For more information about Menter Aberystwyth’s Summer Entertainment 2016 programme, search Menter Aberystwyth on Facebook at @menteraberystwyth

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Health

Give someone “the best gift” this Christmas by giving blood in West Wales

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A MOTHER who needed in-the-womb blood transfusions during her pregnancy and a man who depends on regular, lifesaving blood donations are encouraging communities across Wales to give “the best gift” this Christmas by donating blood.

The Welsh Blood Service is preparing to face Winter pressures on its services and is hoping their new Christmas campaign, “the best gift” will raise awareness about the importance of donating blood and the lifesaving difference it makes.

Last December over 900 donations of blood and blood products were needed across Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire to provide care to patients at Prince Philip, Withybush, Bronglais and Glangwili hospital. 

These donations play a vital role by supporting a range of treatments from helping recovering accident victims and patients with blood cancers to supporting mothers and new-born babies during childbirth.

Blood donations were needed during both pregnancies for mother of two, Shelley Parry. After her own life was saved during her first pregnancy, Shelley received several more blood transfusions directly into her womb to keep her youngest daughter alive.

Shelley explains: “Receiving blood is truly the best gift we have ever received. We’re forever indebted as a family to those who have taken the time to donate. Without the generosity of blood donors, quite simply, we wouldn’t be parents. Thanks to their selfless act, we can look forward to Christmas together as a family.

“It only takes one hour of your time to donate, if you can, please consider donating.”

Giggs and his daughter

Also supporting the campaign is blood recipient Giggs Kanias. Since birth, Giggs has received over 1,000 blood transfusions as part of his treatment for beta thalassaemia major, a severe blood disorder. Thanks to blood donors, Giggs is looking forward to celebrating Christmas with his family.

Giggs said: “I am so thankful to the incredible people who give blood. When I’m in hospital, I stare at the bags of blood being transfused into me and always wonder, who is the person that has helped me?

“I know the difference these people have made to my life and I’m so grateful to each and every one of them. Without their generosity, I wouldn’t be here today, I wouldn’t be a dad, or have had the opportunity to see my daughter grow up. Receiving blood is truly the best gift anyone could ever receive.”

Alan Prosser, Director of the Welsh Blood Service, said: “For patients like Giggs, receiving blood will be the best gift they receive this Christmas. It truly is the best gift you can give.

“Blood products have a short shelf life and is needed by hospitals 365 days a year, including Christmas day, to help support patients in need, which is why we can’t stop collecting.”

The Welsh Blood Service provides lifesaving blood products to 20 hospitals across Wales and four Wales Air Ambulance aircraft for use in emergencies.

Alan continues: “It is critical the service prepares. We need to build up blood stocks ahead of a potentially challenging winter, where seasonal illnesses and Covid-19 may exacerbate the usual winter pressures faced by the NHS.

“We are reaching out to communities across Wales to ask them to make a lifesaving blood donation and give “the best gift” this festive season.”

Do something amazing this Christmas. Give someone the best gift. Give blood. If you are aged 17 or over, book to give blood at: www.wbs.wales/Xmas21 or call 0800 252 266 today.

Appointments are available in Pembrokeshire on 7 December and January 6 and 20 in Tenby, 16 December and 27 January in Crymych, 20 December and 17 January in Haverfordwest, 10 January in Letterston Village Hall and 21 January in Milford Haven. 

Appointments are available in Carmarthenshire on 10 December in Pontyberum, 29 December and 13 January in Carmarthen, 28 January in Kidwelly Community Hall, 23 and 24 December and 4, 12 and 25 January in Parc Y Scarlets and 31 January in Llandeilo.

Appointments are available in Ceredigion on 14 December in Newcastle Emlyn, 14 January in Aberaeron and 18 January in Lampeter.

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The west Wales family on standby to save lives at sea this Christmas

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VOLUNTEERING with the RNLI is a real family affair for the Barbers from Cardigan, with all four family members prepared to swap turkey and tinsel for turbulent seas this Christmas.  The RNLI is calling on the public to support them and the thousands of other volunteer crew on call by giving to the charity’s Christmas appeal.

For mum Amanda and daughter Madeleine, 18, it will be their very first Christmas on call. Both have followed in the footsteps of proud dad Tony who has volunteered on the crew of Cardigan RNLI for the past 12 years and son Leo, 20, who joined the RNLI following his 17th Birthday. The family will be spending their Christmas Day at nearby ‘New Life Church’, ensuring those who are in need of a meal on 25 December have food and company. However, they will have the perfect excuse to leave the washing up should they all have to leave in a hurry to respond to an emergency at sea.

Later in the afternoon, they plan to get together and enjoy a Christmas meal at home, but with a watchful eye on their pagers.

Madeleine says: ‘I realise our Christmas may not be a traditional one and to my friends it seems strange that we may all have to dash down to the station whatever time of day or night the call may come. I don’t really give it a second thought; I’m actually looking forward to being on call for the first time this Christmas and being able to help someone in need.

‘Previously when the pager goes off, dad, Leo and I have left mum at home. She’s so proud of us all but obviously is filled with apprehension as to when we may be back. We’re thrilled she’s decided to join us too and volunteer as part of the shore crew.

‘Being part of the RNLI is something Leo and I have always wanted to do as soon as we turned 17. Hearing dad talk about successful shouts has really motivated us all to want to get involved. We’re so thankful for all the support we have from the community and it is humbling to think people give so generously to enable us to do what we do.’

I would like to thank everyone in advance who gives towards our Christmas appeal this year.

‘This year, I hope people can do what they can to support the Christmas campaign and help the RNLI to save every one.’

The family run a boat trip business not too far away from the station, which means they are all ideally placed to be close by should the pagers sound. In the winter months, Madeleine works opposite the station at a local café, Crwst, who are very supportive allowing her to leave and attend shouts whilst at work.

Amanda says: ‘With the rest of the family on the crew, I know how vital, challenging, yet rewarding volunteering with the RNLI is. After many years of watching Tony run from the house at a moment’s notice and in the years that followed Leo, then Madeleine; I no longer had a reason not to join them. Now, rather than waiting and wondering what the outcome of a shout is, I can be on hand at the station supporting them and the rest of the team together, serving the mission of saving lives at sea. This Christmas if the pagers go off at least I won’t be left home alone holding the turkey!’

Over the past decade, RNLI lifeboats have launched over 1,200 times during the festive period. But these rescues would not be possible without donations from the RNLI’s generous supporters, helping to fund the essential kit, training and equipment needed by lifeboat crews all year round.

With thousands of volunteers around the UK and Ireland, each RNLI crew member signs up to save every one from drowning – it has been the charity’s mission since 1824.

Matt Crofts, RNLI Lifesaving Manager for Wales says: ‘With the increase in staycations and more people than ever heading to the coast, it has been an exceptionally busy year for our crews.

‘Even at Christmas, our lifesavers are ready to drop everything at a moment’s notice and rush to the aid of someone in trouble on the water. At this time of year, the weather’s at its worst and lives are on the line.

‘We know that every time our crews go out they hope for a good outcome, but sadly this sometimes isn’t the case. We hope that this year’s Christmas appeal will show people just how tough it can be, but also that with their help we can get so much closer to our goal of saving every one.’

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Health

Council makes available wellbeing and mental health support for social care providers

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The programme will run until March 2022

IN RECOGNITION of the important work of the social care sector and impact of the Covid pandemic on social care providers and their staff, Ceredigion County Council has made available a programme of wellbeing and mental health support sessions.

The programme consists of Wellbeing and Mental health Awareness, Mental Health First Aid (Adults and Youth) and also offers facilitated support sessions.

The programme of events will run from December through to March 2022.

Any social care provider, carer or personal assistant can request more information or book a place on these sessions by emailing Dysgu@ceredigion.gov.uk

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