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St David’s Day celebrations set for success

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CERED, Ceredigion’s Welsh Language initiative, will be busy between March 1-4 with events to celebrate St David’s Day in Aberystwyth and Lampeter.

In Lampeter, a parade will be held on Friday, March 2 and hundreds of local residents of all ages are expected to march through the streets of the town, waving flags to the sound of welcoming Welsh music. Amongst the marchers will be schools, societies, clubs and members of the district churches. All the schools and societies have been asked to display their organisations’ flags and wear the traditional Welsh costume or something red.

The parade will begin at 12:45pm at Ysgol Bro Pedr and finish with a special seremony in the Orsedd park where Ben Lake MP, Elin Jones AM and Lampeter Town Council will greet the marchers. The entertainment will consist of speakers, Cwmann and District Choir and an ensemble from Ysgol Bro Pedr. Following the parade, there will be a dance session with Sally Saunders and Sioned Rees for Year 5 and 6 pupils of the district.

Owain Llŷr, Cered’s Senior Development Officer, explained how the plan to hold a parade was developed: “During 2017, Cered held focus groups as part of the Pwerdy Iaith Lampeter and District plan in order to assess the situation of the Welsh Language in the district and think about projects to develop that would boost the language locally. One of the ideas discussed was to establish a St David’s parade through the town by following similar examples in towns such as Aberystwyth and Carmarthen who’ve developed similar parades over the last years. Following on from the focus groups, members of Lampeter Town Council arranged a committee to go ahead and organise the parade. Cered has supported this work as part of its community work initiative.”

As part of the celebrations in Lampeter, all of the town’s café’s will offer Welsh food on St David’s day itself, March 1. A competition is held for the town’s businessess for the best decorated shop window. The winning business will receive a prize donated by the Town Council.

To close the celebrations, a gig will be held on Saturday, March 3, with Fleur de Lys, Mei Emrys a’r Band, Bwca and Ysgol Bro Pedr DJs performing. Tickets can be bought for £8 in advance by contacting Cered on 01545 572350 or email cered@ceredigion.gov.uk and £10 at the door.

The parade is being sponsored by Lampeter Town Council, Cered, LAS, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, W. D. Lewis, Lampeter Rotary Club, Pedr and Lampeter Lunch Club.

As well as playing a leading role in organising the Lampeter St David’s Day celebrations, Cered has also been busy organising special activities in Aberystwyth. On Saturday, March3, Cered will be holding a day of Welsh activities and entertainment for all the family as part of the Aberystwyth Festival Parade day. ‘Cered on the Prom’ will take place between 9.30am and 4pm at the Bandstand and includes a performance by the Welsh Whisperer, the hugely popular entertainer at 2pm.

There will be bands performing from some of the district’s primary schools who have been taking part in composing pop song workshops with Steff Rees from Bwca, also a Community Development Officer for Cered. A number of workshops will be held, all free to attend. Artist Meinir Mathias will be leading an art workshop, a story session for babies, a costume creating workshop with Arad Goch and a children’s clogging workshop with Tasgu.

Ceredigion County Council Leader, Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn said: “The Council is proud to support Cered, who is working hard to influence and develop the use of the Welsh language in Ceredigion. Through events organised such as these, everyone who loves Wales and wants Wales to flourish, whatever their background, can have a chance to celebrate and enjoy St David’s Day together.”

If you would like more information about these events or for the wider work of Cered, like their Facebook page @ceredmenteriaith, follow them on Twitter, @MICered, or visit their website at www.cered.wales.

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Police investigate after child dies in west Wales caravan fire

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DYFED POWYS POLICE is investigating the circumstances around a fire at a caravan in Ceredigion in which a child died.

Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Cockwell said: “We received a call at 5.35am today (Sunday, January 19), reporting a fire at a caravan at Ffair Rhos.

“Enquiries so far lead us to believe that three people were inside the caravan at the time the fire broke out. These were a father and two children – a four-year-old, and a little boy who we believe to have been aged three.

“While the father and the eldest child were able to get out of the caravan, the younger of the siblings was tragically found deceased inside.

“Our thoughts are with his family at this extremely difficult and traumatic time, and specialist officers have been put in place to support them.

“The father is currently in a stable condition in hospital, while the four-year-old is critical but stable. Both suffered burns.

“The Criminal Investigation Department is investigating the cause of the fire, and a major incident room has been set up at Aberystwyth Police Station.

“We are also working closely with Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, who were in attendance when our officers arrived. We would like to thank our colleagues at the fire service for their professionalism in dealing with what turned out to be a highly traumatic incident.

“We would like to speak to anyone who was in the Ffair Rhos area around the time of the fire, who might have information that could help our investigation.

“This was a tragic incident, and we will be doing all we can to find answers for the family, whose world will have been torn apart by this morning’s events.”

If you have any information that could help officers, call the Criminal Investigation Department on 101, using Storm reference 39 of January 19.

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Police issue warning to community over ‘fake beggars’

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POLICE in Aberystwyth are warning the community about a fraudulent group who have been travelling to the area to beg.

Many residents and visitors have donated cash believing members of the group are genuinely in need.

PC Phil Woodland: “I’m proud to work in a town where people want to help each other, but in this case, their kindness is being exploited.

“We’ve tried working with the group to ensure they have the support they need, and through this effort it’s become clear they are not genuinely homeless. We are using legal powers where possible and necessary to deal with the issue.

“Giving money to someone who is begging is a personal choice, however, on this occasion the community is being misled. At the end of the day, these people are returning to their homes – they are essentially scamming people.”

Those involved are described as men and women of Romanian descent, aged between 30 and 50. Police say they visit Aberystwyth on the train or bus, and return home to Cardiff at the end of the day.

The situation is being monitored by the neighbourhood policing team, and anyone with information is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police online: http://bit.ly/dppReportOnline, by email: contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

If you are concerned about someone you believe is sleeping rough, StreetLink exists to help connect them with the local services that can provide support: https://www.streetlink.org.uk/

Shelter Cymru offers practical advice on how to help someone who is begging, or you believe is homeless, on their website: https://sheltercymru.org.uk/7-ways/

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RNLI in Wales urges people to stay safe as Storm Brendan hits

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is urging people to stay safe near the Welsh coast as severe weather could make our seas and coastlines particularly dangerous.

Lifesaving charity, the RNLI, is encouraging people to exercise extreme caution if visiting the shoreline, especially along exposed cliffs, seafronts and piers.

The expected strong winds and severe gales pose a severe safety risk to those visiting the coast.

Named Storm Brendan by Met Eireann, it swept eastwards across Ireland before making its way through the rest of the UK this morning with yellow wind warning in place for most of the Welsh coast.

Chris Cousens, RNLI Regional Water Safety Lead for Wales said:

‘This rough weather could make visiting parts of the Welsh coastline treacherous and bring very dangerous sea conditions.

‘Sadly, around 150 people lose their lives on British and Irish coasts each year and over half of these people didn’t plan on ever entering the water. Slips, trips and falls can be a major factor in these kinds of incidents.’

If you see someone else in danger in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. If you have something that floats that they can hold on to, throw it to them. Don’t go in the water yourself – too many people drown trying to save others.

The charity, which provides a search and rescue service around the UK and Ireland, is facing its own Perfect Storm as demand for its services has increased but it is facing a shortfall in funds. This past year, the RNLI has been busier than ever, and stormy conditions can mean additional call outs for the already extremely busy volunteer crews. Whatever the weather, RNLI volunteers will still be on call to rescue those at difficulty at sea.

The RNLI’s major new fundraising appeal, The Perfect Storm, which aims to help the charity get back to living within its means, is running throughout November and December. To find out more or to donate visit RNLI.org/ThePerfect Storm.

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