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Tasty event for parish members

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Local and international cuisine: Brought to the event

MEMBERS of an Aberystwyth Parish gathered together over the weekend for a social event while having a huge sele​​ction of delicious dishes to dine with.

‘The Taste of the Parish’ event, held at St. Padarn’s Catholic Primary school ​last Saturday (Sept 16), brought many parishioners of the Catholic parish of Aberystwyth together for an evening of laughter and an opportunity to get know one another over tasty home-cooked food.

Parishioners were invited to attend the delightful event with their favourite home-cooked cuisine, with those willing to participate having the chance to win a special prize for the ‘Best Dish’.

The wide selection of homemade local and international dishes included pizza, sandwiches, chicken curry, cheesecake​,​ and sweet treats to satisfy everyone.

Kevin McMulkin, one of the organisers and a member of the parish, told The Herald:​ ​“Gina Callanan and I had the idea of hosting a ‘bring and share’ style event in St Padarns School Hall with the aim of bringing people together and strengthening our parish community.

“We thought it would be something fun and a good chance for people to reunite with each other since so many of our congregation have been away on holiday during the summer months.

“We also thought it would be a good opportunity to get to know more people within our congregation.

“I think there is a tendency in the parish and indeed in all walks of life for people to stay in their own friendship groups and not meet new people unless an opportunity arises. So we thought why don’t we create that opportunity?”

He added:​ “We also decided we wanted to go further, instead of it being just a ‘bring and share’ event it could be an opportunity for parishioners to bring and share their favourite dishes and it might give them a chance to share recipes, ideas and hopefully to create friendships and strengthen others.

“We are extremely lucky to have such an ethnically diverse parish in Aberystwyth, one that reflects the diverse nature of the Catholic Church throughout the world. We thought we could tap into this too and have a wide range of local and international dishes for people to sink their teeth into!

“So we advertised in the parish newsletter and by word of mouth, although I have to be honest I didn’t think anyone would be there.

“Events such as these are difficult to gauge, will people want to come? Will they have other plans and not be able to attend?​ You really have to hope for the best. From the way the event went all our preparation seemed to have pulled off.

“A good number of people attended, around forty (which is great for the time of day and considering how changeable the weather has been lately) and we were blessed with a wide range of dishes with delicious cheesecake, quiche-lorraine, homemade pizza and various other nibbles.

“We also had a homemade curry dish from one of our Indian parishioners that really hit the spot and some other dishes that will feature in an upcoming parish cookbook. At the same time as we were feasting some people decided to add to the atmosphere by playing traditional Irish music; it became as much the organisers event as those that attended, which is really what you want!”

Kevin concluded by telling The Herald:​ ​“Originally we had planned for the event to be a contest where parishioners could battle it out to see who had the best dish; but after things got going we felt that this wasn’t needed and that people were already having fun sharing food and enjoying each others company.

“I have to say the evening went really well and was genuinely enjoyable. I felt we made good use of the opportunity to combine our parishes’ varied culture and varied food, to create something memorable​.​

“We are even hoping to hold it more regularly, perhaps even bi-monthly if parishioners are interested and invite not only those within the congregation but people from the local area”.

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Community

Porth Cymorth Cynnar supporting residents in Ceredigion

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During this challenging period, Porth Cymorth Cynnar has established a virtual platform to ensure that we are able to keep in touch with vulnerable residents across Ceredigion.

Due to the restrictions introduced to safeguard our communities against COVID-19, many residents are not able to access their usual provision or support such as parent groups or GP Referral Exercise Classes. Instead, we are ensuring that all residents whom are known to our services, and others, are kept in touch with, through regular welfare calls, should they wish.

Around 2000 residents from young people to families to carers, who may require or benefit from regular contact whilst their service is not operating in its usual form, will receive communication from our staff.

To date, almost 2000 welfare calls have been made, and have been well received by people across Ceredigion. Residents have said that it is great that someone is keeping in touch with them, to give them an opportunity to have a weekly phone call and someone to talk to.

Mrs Jones* (name changed for anonymity) who is 92 and lives alone, is used to receiving regular visits from Ceredigion’s mobile library was identified as benefiting from a weekly phone call, to check how she was doing, now that her usual library service would not be visiting for a while. Porth Cymorth Cynnar aimed to get in touch with Mrs Jones, but did not have a contact number. After tracking down a contact number through the local directory, a member of the Porth y Gymuned team was able to make contact. Luckily Mrs Jones has the support of family and neighbours to collect groceries, but nonetheless was extremely grateful to have someone to talk to, and to check that she is OK. A weekly phone check in has been organised with Mrs Jones, to ensure that she is doing well and to organise if she is in need of anything.

If you, or anyone you know would benefit from the Keeping in Touch Service, please get in touch with our Customer Services team on 01545 570881 or clic@ceredigion.gov.uk who will triage your query to Porth Cymorth Cynnar.

Porth Cymorth Cynnar are also regularly updating resource lists which are available on the Ceredigion County Council website here: http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/coronavirus

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The latest on plastic free Ceredigion

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At its meeting held on 17 March, the Council’s Cabinet received an activity update from the Plastic Free Ceredigion Task and Finish Group, which was set up after full Council approved a motion on 22 February 2018.

Full Council approved the ‘Plastic Free campaigns throughout the County, including Plastic Free Aberporth and Plastic Free Aberystwyth’ motion to ensure that the Council helps to reduce the amount of single use plastics used in our day to day operations.

The motion involved a number of factors including; reducing single-use plastics within Council facilities and offices and encouraging local businesses, organisations, schools and communities to move away from single-use plastics and use sustainable alternatives. Promoting the use of sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics at all Council supported events, supporting beach cleans and any other events which aim to raise awareness of the issues of single-use plastics.

Since 22 February 2018, the Council have removed 5 single-use plastic that were used across the local authority, implemented projects in conjunction with NRW with local primary schools, worked closely with communities throughout Ceredigion and commenced the provision of Water bottle re-fills on request to all visitors to our public facing buildings.

In January 2020, the Schools Service were successful in bidding for funding from the Circular Economy Capital Fund, which allows for the purchasing of milk dispensers which will remove the need for the provision of plastic milk bottles and straws by 1,979 pupils at Foundation and Key Stage 2. This is equivalent to a reduction of 376,010 plastic milk bottles per school year.

Councillor Alun Williams, Member Champion for Sustainability said, “These are initiatives which, together, make a real difference to the amount of single-use plastics going into the waste stream from Council activities. Whilst it’s important that everyone seeks to minimise their use of single-use plastics, it’s particularly important that large organisations like councils take these kinds of actions because they can have a wider effect which, in turn, can lead to industry changing to more sustainable practices. Ceredigion Council is trying to lead the way in showing what’s possible within an organisation.”

This supports one of the Council’s corporate priority of Promoting Environmental and Community Resilience.

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WASPI women help MP take pensions case to House of Commons

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WASPI women have helped Ben Lake, Ceredigion Plaid Cymru MP, to take the case for 1950s women’s pension injustice to Parliament at a packed out Drop-In information session at Westminster on Wednesday 4th March.

“It was a pleasure to co-host this important event, bringing WASPI representatives from across the UK to Westminster to meet MPs of all parties face-to-face,” said Mr Lake. “It gave the WASPI women a chance to share their personal experiences and to show how these unfair pension changes have impacted upon the lives of 1950s women.

Unfortunately, despite being invited, Stephen Crabb MP (also Chair of the Welsh Affairs Committee) and Simon Hart MP (also Secretary of State for Wales), failed to attend. Across their Constituencies there are over 10,000 1950s women affected and many were left disappointed that their MPs did not support them at this event.

After the Drop In Session, Ben Lake took the WASPI women around the Houses of Parliament. He was a very knowledgeable guide and told the ladies some interesting stories. They saw some of Prime Minister’s Questions and a House of Lords debate. It really was a day to remember!”

Pembrokeshire WASPI along with multiple 1950s campaign groups from across the UK will travel to London on 21st July for a mass rally to support the appeal for pension justice, at the Supreme Court. For the first time in this 9 year campaign, a coach will depart from Haverfordwest.

A local spokesperson for Pembrokeshire WASPI said “Whilst our WASPI aim is to achieve fair transitional state pension arrangements and compensation for all 1950s women who have been affected by the 1995 and 2011 Acts, we support the Backto60s with their appeal. Over 10,000 women are affected across the two Pembrokeshire constituencies and they want this issue resolved. To date there has been too many words and not enough action. Successive governments have failed to address the injustice done to the 1950s women. At least 82,000 women between the age of 60 and 65 have died since the fight for justice started including members of Pembrokeshire WASPI. Others have been plunged into poverty or are having to work longer in physically demanding jobs which is having an impact on their health. The appeal will see the collective voice of 1950s women groups pulling together for the first time ever to support the Backto60s and to let the Conservative Government know that we are NOT going away. Hopefully the outcome of the appeal will be in the favour of the 3.8 million women affected”.

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