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Young carers have a summer to remember

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10m climbing wall: Almost all the young carers made it to the top!

10m climbing wall: Almost all the young carers made it to the top!

ACTION FOR CHILDREN’S Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion young carers have enjoyed an action packed summer, including trips to the new Haverfordwest climbing wall and Cardigan Island Coastal Farm, thanks to the generosity of the Freemasons Guild of Haverfordwest.

Vikki Booth, Young Person’s Worker at Pembrokeshire Young Carers, said: “The young carers really embraced the challenge of the climbing wall with almost all getting to the top of the 10 metre wall and some even tackling the overhang sections. The minibus provided so generously from the Freemasons Guild allowed us to take 16 young carers to Cardigan to see lots of different animals including llamas, seals, peacocks, goats and Shetland ponies.

“The young carers also enjoyed some more relaxing activities, including a trip to Freshwater East beach, a cake baking afternoon in Pembroke Dock and a trip to the newly opened St Davids Bug Farm. All of these activities were attended well and all of the young carers really enjoyed the freedom to be able to play and have fun with other young carers.”

Pembrokeshire young carers also enjoyed days out building dens at Scolton Manor Country Park and National Play Day at Folly Farm, that included cardboard city, messy play, road, sea and sun safety as well as go karts and climbing.

The final week of the holidays saw the young carers meet up again with the Ceredigion group for a day trip to Carmarthen to go to the cinema and have dinner in Frankie and Bennys. Vikki added: “The burden of responsibility these young people face cannot be overestimated in caring for their families. It’s vital we provide some support, respite, fun days out and, critically, the chance to mix with young people who are in similar positions.”

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Ceredigion man runs Cardiff half marathon as thank you to Wales Air Ambulance

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A CEREDIGION man has raised just under £2,000 for the Wales Air Ambulance as a thank you after its crews flew to the aid of him and his brother-in-law following an accident in 2014.

Jason Jarrams from Llwyncelyn was involved in a road traffic collision outside Llanarth, which resulted in him and his brother-in-law Jordan Wilson, being cut out of the wreckage.

Two air ambulances were sent to the scene and both patients were treated by the Wales Air Ambulance medics. Jordan was airlifted to the University Hospital of Wales, in Cardiff due to his head injuries and Jason went to hospital via a road ambulance. It is believed that Jordan was the first Wales Air Ambulance patient to receive a general anaesthetic at the roadside.

As a thank you – Jason, 34, set himself the huge challenge of running the Cardiff Half Marathon for the lifesaving Charity, whilst also trying to lose weight.

Jason, who now lives in Llangeler said: “I’ve run the Cardiff half for the air ambulance because unfortunately their services were required when we had two of their amazing choppers loaded with the best crews there are at our road traffic collision. My brother-in-law required extensive medical care at the roadside with slipped discs in his back, broken ribs, broken eye socket and with loads of cuts and bruises. I suffered with a broken fibula and tibia which required surgery to correct and two broken ribs on the sternum.”

Jason spent 11 days in hospital and Jordan was discharged after four days, Jason said: “Jordan was flown to the University Hospital of Wales due to his head injuries, it took less than half an hour to get there by air ambulance which to me is hard to get my head around.

“This service in Wales is absolutely critical to access remote areas and the speed in which the patient can get to the required specialist hospital is critical. Every second counts and I’m glad to say we can count on Wales Air Ambulance.” 

After the accident Jason lost an incredible six stone and then set his eyes on completing the virtual Cardiff half marathon, which he did in 2 hours and 25 minutes.

He added: “I had two friends run it with me and I set a very respectable time and found it fairly easy. The other two who took part with me are not much short of athletes with one just retired from rugby and the other training to swim the Chanel this year for charity, I kept up well and thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Jason is grateful to everyone who contributed to his fundraiser or supported him with his training or during the virtual Cardiff half Marathon and the recent Cardiff half marathon. He ran the last race by himself.

The utilities operator said: “The support I’ve had from everyone has been nothing shy of incredible, my amazing other half has been with me all the way fully supporting what I’m doing and listening to me rant about my bad runs. My family have been totally amazing with my mum, sister and my other half all coming to Cardiff for the event to watch me start and finish, they all said it was very emotional to see me finally complete the event that had been on my lips for over a year.” 

The Wales Air Ambulance celebrated its 21st anniversary on St David’s Day 2022. Now operational 24/7, the Charity needs to raise £8 million every year to keep its emergency helicopters flying and its RRV’s on the road.

Jason’s employer Volac facilitated £1,000 from a charity fund set up by the company’s founder he added: “I was totally taken aback by it and respect the company I work for doing this.”

Katie Macro, Campaigns Manager for Wales Air Ambulance, said: “It is always heartwarming when we hear stories of former patients who go on to fundraise for the Charity after they’ve experienced how essential our service is. A huge thank you to Jason for completing the Cardiff Half Marathon in aid of our lifesaving Charity and to everyone, especially his employers, who have supported him in his fundraising and weight loss journey. Donations like this one will help us to continue to be there for the people of Wales when they need us most, whether that is by air or via our rapid response vehicles. Your support is much appreciated.”

Wales Air Ambulance offers advanced critical care and is often described as a ‘Flying ED’.

The on-board consultants and critical care practitioners are highly skilled and carry some of the most pioneering medical equipment in the world. They can deliver blood transfusions, administer anaesthesia, and undertake emergency operations at the scene of the incident, before flying the patient directly to specialist care.

There’s still time to show your support to Jason by donating to his Just Giving page Jason Jarrams www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jason-jarrams

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Ben Lake MP joins Mencap in celebrating Learning Disability Week

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CEREDIGION MP, Ben Lake is backing ‘Listen To Us’ – an ambitious new mental health campaign by the learning disability charity Mencap.

New research by the charity reveals that people with a learning disability in the UK are facing a mental health crisis in the wake of the pandemic, with 88% of families and carers surveyed saying their loved one was always or very often felt sad, and 82% felt lonely due to rarely being able to leave their homes.

At a parliamentary reception held yesterday in Westminster, MPs heard how people with a learning disability were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and how they continue to face barriers in reconnecting with their communities.

Attendees also discussed Mencap’s new report exploring isolation and loneliness, which was funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). People with a learning disability who were interviewed for the report described their lives as a “prison,” with limited social contact during the pandemic causing them to feel suicidal.

Speaking at the event, Brendan Chivasa, 28, a Mencap campaigner who has cerebral palsy and a learning disability, shared how he became depressed during the pandemic and is still dealing with the repercussions:

“Mencap’s report shows lots of stories like mine. The pandemic has had a huge impact on people with a learning disability because there was not enough support for us. We need the government to make sure people with a learning disability can get the support they need, like respite care and day services. Lots of day services which provide activities locally and social opportunities for people with a learning disability have still not opened fully. But we need them open so they can help people to overcome loneliness and promote positive mental health.”

Mencap’s reception was attended by MPs and peers from across all political parties alongside campaigners with a learning disability, and their supporters, from across country.

The event also comes ahead of Learning Disability Week 2022 (20-26th June), Mencap’s annual campaign to make sure the world understands what life is like for people with a learning disability.

After attending the reception Ben Lake MP said:

“Meeting and hearing stories from people with a learning disability and their families about their experiences during the pandemic shows the reality behind the shocking statistics we’ve seen around the impact of loneliness and isolation.

“I’m supporting Mencap’s ‘Listen To Us’ campaign to ensure we can combat loneliness through preventative measures such as community services and activities, alongside better support aimed at treating and managing poor mental health for people with a learning disability.

“I look forward to working with Mencap to reduce poor mental health and to enable people with a learning disability to access the urgent support they need and deserve.”

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RNLI releases vital beach safety advice in the South Wales as temperatures set to rise

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WITH temperatures forecast to hit mid-20s in some parts of the South Wales, the RNLI charity is offering lifesaving advice to anyone heading to the area’s coastline. 

With the Met Office prediction of a warm weekend, the charity’s advice to those visiting the coast is to choose lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags. We encourage you to visit our website to find details of their nearest lifeguarded beaches. 

Figures released show that RNLI lifeguards in Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Swansea, Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend and Denbighshire aided 888 children and 715 teenagers in 2020 

The RNLI, with the support of HM Coastguard, is urging everyone to remember to Float to Live if they get into trouble in the water. To do this: lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. In a coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 for the Coastguard. 

RNLI Water Safety Lead Chris Cousens said: “Our main advice is to visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags. RNLI lifeguards will be patrolling around 245 beaches this summer to offer advice on how to stay safe and they are also there to help anyone who gets into trouble. 

“Children should be supervised at all times and people of all ages should avoid swimming alone. 

“We want people to enjoy the coast but urge everyone to respect the water, think about their own safety and know what to do in an emergency.”

For further information on the water safety campaign visit: RNLI.org/FloatWales2022

Interviews with an RNLI spokesperson are available.

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