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Ceredigion’s Universities scoop green awards

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Aber’s Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer, Rebecca Davies : Presenting Sport and Exercise Science Technician, Alan Cole, with the Gold Standard Green Impact Award for IBERS (Carwyn James)

Aber’s Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer, Rebecca Davies : Presenting Sport and Exercise Science Technician, Alan Cole, with the Gold Standard Green Impact Award for IBERS (Carwyn James)

ABERYSTWYTH University and UWTSD are celebrating after having more success at the Green Impact Awards, an environmental accreditation and awards scheme run by the National Union of Students, who support teams and departments to make simple and powerful changes in behaviour and policy in order to work towards a more sustainable institution. 

Thirteen teams from different departments across Aberystwyth University took part in the scheme in 2015-16, and were audited by student volunteers in April.

All teams were recognised for their achievements; five were awarded the Gold Standard, six achieved Silver, and two were awarded Bronze.

Achieving the Gold Standard were teams from Human Resources, Estates Sustainability, IBERS (Carwyn James), Information Services and the Institute of Education, Graduate and Professional Development (Cledwyn).

Awarded the Silver Standard were the Earth Observation and Ecosystem Dynamics Research Group, the Institute of Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science, and teams from the Careers Service, Planning and Governance, Psychology, and Research, Business & Innovation.

Estates Grounds and the Aberystwyth Arts Centre were awarded the Bronze standard.

Health, Safety, and Environment Advisor, Dr Heather Crump, stated: “Green Impact, part of the Live Greener behaviour change campaign (e.g. Blackout and Student Switch Off), has grown in popularity over the past three years, with more and more people getting involved and engaged with the scheme.

“With news of it continuing for another year, we hope it continues to gain momentum and even more sustainability initiatives take place. Green Impact is integrated into the university’s drive to achieve the internationally recognised ISO 14001 standard for environmental management.”

At UWTSD, the Green Impact project was able to engage with over 106 staff members from across all three campuses this year, putting 502 actions into place, 329 as a direct result of Green Impact. The dedication of those involved provided a potential savings of almost 9492kg of CO2 and almost £1,397 in savings through waste reduction, energy conservation, and reductions in travel. Furthermore, it provided six students with training and development opportunities during their roles as auditors.

Fiona Wheatley, Sustainability Development Officer, said: “It’s important to promote good environmental behaviour at UWTSD and Green Impact offers a way to incorporate small reminders into the workspace. It’s also a great way to encourage members of staff to work together towards a greater good. I was extremely pleased with the efforts of all the teams this year. The project was very successful and forms a solid foundation for sustainability to continue to grow throughout the university in the future. The project will be beginning again this September and we hope to further its success. We plan on engaging even more staff members.”

UWTSD has been a participant in the NUS Green Impact Project since 2013/14. Initially, the first year saw six teams successfully achieve a Bronze award. During 2014/15, this grew to 16 teams, who achieved a range of awards from Bronze to Gold. This year (2015/16), 15 teams submitted for a range of award from Bronze to Gold, and one team for an excellence award. Arrangement to facilitate Green Impact events and awards are undertaken by the Sustainability Delivery Team at UWTSD.

UWTSD’s strategy also includes key performance indicators on sustainability. Green Impact binds a community of sustainability champions across the university, helping to ensure that it consistently delivers on its sustainability objectives.

At UWTSD, the results were as follows:

Student Experience: Silver Award; Environment Office: Gold Award; SWWCTE Townhill Campus: Silver Award; Team Owen: Bronze Award: HR; Silver Award: Green Business; Bronze Award: SOAC Green Team; Bronze Award: Y Gofrestrfa – The Registry; Bronze Award: SWWCTE Carmarthen (CAADOC-Caerfyrddin); Bronze Award: Corporate Services; Gold Award: Corporate Communications & PR; Bronze Award: INSPIRE; Gold Award: GWLAD; Bronze Award: SSJ&I: Bronze Award; Faculty Office – Lampeter: Bronze Award; Fine Art/ Celf a Dylunio Team Excellence Award: Project – Ground sourced Clay to Ceramics

Sustainability is high on the list of priorities for staff and students. In a 2016 survey completed by the NUS, over 87% of first year students agree that sustainable development is something universities should actively incorporate and promote.

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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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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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