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Cragen calls for clean seas

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ABERPORTH witnessed the first sighting of the mythical Cragen off the Ceredigion coast last Friday (Jul 20).

Hundreds watched on as the 20 metre long sea monster emerged with the message to clean the seas. A beach clean had been organised by Plastic Free Aberporth as onlookers caught a glimpse of Small World Theatre’s new mythological monster, which will appear along Wales’ epic coastline throughout the summer during the Year of the Sea.

Cardigan-based Small World Theatre created the giant sea-faring puppet. The theatre company, established in 1996, is excited about touring its latest giant in Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Isle of Anglesey and Conwy, encouraging people to explore Visit Wales’ newly launched ‘The Wales Way’.

The Wales Way is a new family of three national routes that will lead visitors into the heart of real Wales. The Coastal Way travels the west coast around Cardigan Bay, a 180-mile road-trip between the sea and mountains. The Cambrian Way crosses the spine of Wales for 185 miles between Llandudno and Cardiff. The North Wales Way leads 75 miles into the island of Anglesey.

There are many accounts of sea monsters during ‘The Age of Exploration’ when European explorers sailed into uncharted waters. Their appearances were often thought to be prophetic, the harbingers of doom and disaster, or portents of great change. Cragen is inspired by Swiss naturalist Conrad Gesner’s illustrated book published more than 460 years ago, and held at the Roderic Bowen Research Centre, University Wales Trinity Saint David.

Members of the public are invited to visit Cragen performances between July – December and participate in activities and events alongside the Wales-wide tour, including The Wildlife Trusts ‘Sea Wales 7D’ Augmented Reality Roadshow (where you can learn about some of the incredible marine wildlife that calls Wales home), beach cleans organised by Keep Wales Tidy and National Trust Wales and family activities galore organised by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and others.

Cragen will join in the celebrations at established events such as Sea2shore Food Festival in Aberystwyth, Gwledd Conwy Feast and the Giant Lantern Parade, Cardigan. Cragen is set to attract the support of local businesses and plastic free community groups.

Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, Lord-Elis Thomas said: “The Year of the Sea gives us an excellent opportunity to show our fantastic coastline to the world. From our 50 islands, our 230 beaches with more Blue Flags per mile than anywhere else in Britain – to our world-first 870mile long Wales Coast Path.”

“However, it also gives us a platform to raise awareness of the need to care for our environment – and the impact our activities can have on our seas and coastline. The Welsh Government is committed to reducing the use of single use plastics, and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to support this innovative project by the Small World Theatre.

“Cragen will help raise awareness of the impact of single use plastics and the backdrop of our amazing coastline will be a reminder of the beauty that needs to be kept for future generations.”

The project received funding via the Tourism Product Innovation Fund (TPIF) and is supported through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Welsh Government; the Fund aims to encourage new innovative product ideas working in partnership which will have a greater impact and attract more visitors.

Follow Cragen’s travels online cleanseascragen.wales and share your ‘sighting’ on social media using the hashtags #cleanseascragen #findyourepic #cleanseas.

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Education

Funding for research on unarmed civilian protection in conflict areas

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South Sudan women peacekeeping team (copyright - non-violent peaceforce)

AN INTERNATIONAL research network led by Aberystwyth University is offering funding for research projects focusing on unarmed civilian protection in areas affected by conflict.

The Creating Safer Space network works with communities in conflict-affected regions to enhance and strengthen civilians’ capacities to protect themselves and others. It also aims to create safer spaces in which communities can build infrastructures for sustainable peace and development.

Berit Bliesemann de Guevara, Professor in International Politics at Aberystwyth University explains:  “According to the UN Refugee Agency, there are now a record high of 82.5 million people forcibly displaced by violent conflict, and most deaths in conflicts are of civilians. The protection of civilians from physical harm in contexts of war and other political violence is therefore a pressing humanitarian issue of our time.

“Our Creating Safer Space research network focuses on the protection of civilians by civilians without the use or threat of force. Supporting and enhancing nonviolent protection provided by unarmed civilians has the potential to break cycles of violence and thus contribute to longer-term peacebuilding.

“As a research network, we are excited to be in the position to be able to invite applications for funding for research projects which will enhance our understanding of unarmed civilian protection and self-protection as effective civilian-to-civilian protection strategies; and how these practices can be strengthened to create safer space for more people living in conflict.”

The Creating Safer Space network intends to fund 15-20 research projects, ranging from £20,000 to £100,000 and varying in duration from 6 to 16 months. Projects must be led by organisations in the UK or in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs).

Further information about the grants, and how to apply is available at: 

Creating Safer Space

The deadline for applications is 15 April 2022.

The Creating Safer Space network works with communities in conflict-affected regions in Colombia, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Sudan and elsewhere in the Global South. It also brings together a number of stakeholders including national and international unarmed civilian protection organisations, academics, artists, journalists and filmmakers, and the wider international policy community.

Creating Safer Space is led by Aberystwyth University in collaboration with the University of Antioquia (Colombia), Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), City University of New York (USA), Durham University, Leeds Beckett University and Strathmore University (Kenya).

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Business

Applications open for emergency financial support from Economic Resilience Fund

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Eligible businesses can apply for grants of between £2,500 to £25,000

BUSINESSES in Wales impacted by the rapid spread of the Omicron virus can now apply for emergency financial support from the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund (ERF).

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething previously said £120 million would be available for retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism business and their supply chains affected by the move to alert level 2 announced by the First Minister on Wednesday 22 December.

Eligible businesses can apply for grants of between £2,500 to £25,000, with grants dependent on their size and number of employees.

The application window will be open for two weeks, with payments starting to reach businesses within days.

Vaughan Gething

Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said:

“Following positive engagement with businesses, trades unions and other partners, we recently changed the eligibility criteria for the ERF support. The ERF grant is a Wales-only top up payment that currently supports eligible businesses who have seen a 60% drop in their income between December and February compared with the same period two years ago. The new criteria means that businesses in these sectors who have seen a 50% reduction in their turnover will now also be able to access the ERF.

“This means more businesses will receive more support from the Welsh Government.”

Non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses in Wales can also receive support from the Non Domestic Rates (NDR) linked grant which is being administered by local authorities. Businesses will be entitled to a payment of £2,000, £4,000 or £6,000 depending on their rateable value.

Local authorities are also administrating a discretionary fund for sole traders, freelancers and taxi drivers and businesses that employ people but do not pay business rates. Last week this was doubled to £1,000.

The Welsh Government has provided in excess of £2.5bn funding to Welsh businesses since the start of the pandemic. Focused particularly on backing small businesses and Welsh communities, it’s targeted approach has helped protect in excess of 160,000 Welsh jobs which might otherwise have been lost.

Apply for Economic Resilience Fund support here:

COVID-19 Support for Business | Business Wales (gov.wales)

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Health

Same Day Urgent Care at Cardigan Integrated Care Centre

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CARDIGAN’S Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) and Same Day Urgent Care service (SDUC) will once again open for walk-in appointments this weekend (22/23 January 2022) after providing care and treatment for nearly 30 patients who would otherwise have gone to A&E or their GP.

As part of a new trial to help relieve pressures on our hospital A&E departments, the nurse-led services – which are based in Cardigan Integrated Care Centre – opened for weekend walk-ins without prior appointment between 15 and 16 January, with our staff seeing and treating a number of patients over the two days.

The services are led by Advanced Nurse Practitioners who can assess, diagnose and treat walk-in patients who are then able to return home the same day, with a plan of care involving referrals to other services if necessary.

Our hospitals are currently dealing with unprecedented demand, which is leading to significant delays in care provision and long waits in A&E. If you have a condition which could be seen and treated at Cardigan’s Integrated Care Centre, we would strongly encourage you to attend as you can be seen more quickly, as well as helping to relieve pressure on the hospital system.

The type of conditions our Advanced Nurse Practitioners can see and treat include:

  • Chest Infections
  • Wound Infections
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Tonsillitis / sore throat
  • Ear Infections
  • Minor Chest/Hip/Pelvic/Back injuries – Patient must be able to mobilise
  • Minor Head Injury
  • Non-cardiac chest pain
  • Skin complaints including rashes, infections, and sunburn
  • Sprains, strains & soft tissue injuries
  • Hay fever, Mild allergic reactions
  • Minor injuries – cuts, wounds
  • Minor eye injuries, complaints and irritations requiring irrigation, and Chemical eye injury
  • Emergency contraception
  • Suspected fractures and injuries to knee, lower leg, ankle, and feet
  • Suspected fractures and injuries to arms
  • Animal, insect, or human bites
  • Minor burns & scalds
  • Removal of foreign bodies from eyes, ears, nose & skin

In patient feedback given to our nurses over the weekend of 15 and 16 January, all patients agreed or strongly agreed that staff had explained the service; that they were satisfied with their treatment plan, and that they had the opportunity to raise questions or concerns.

Patients also reported feeling more confident about managing their symptoms and being satisfied with the service to the point of recommending it to others. 

Sian Lewis, Clinical Lead Nurse for Ceredigion Community, said: “Our Advanced Nurses were really pleased to be able to see and treat so many patients last weekend – particularly given that many of them would have otherwise faced long waits in A&E for the type of conditions that our teams here are well equipped to deal with.

“Please give us a call, or come down to the Integrated Care Centre in Cardigan if you need care and you think we can help – you don’t need an appointment, we can provide a quick service and you can be on your way home on the same day with a care plan if you need it.”

Cardigan Integrated Care Centre is located at Rhodfa’r Felin, Cardigan SA43 1JX. If you would like to speak with a triage nurse at the centre first to discuss your condition, please call 01239 803 075. 

If you have a more urgent care need or in a medical emergency, please dial 999.

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