NEW QUAY RNLI has met more than 200 children in the past month to promote sea safety advice.
With the summer school holidays commencing and thousands of families flocking to the shores to enjoy the summer sun and water sports, New Quay RNLI Lifeboat Station has been spreading the sea safety message.
In just one month New Quay RNLI has shown over 200 children from six schools and two Scout and Girl Guide groups around the lifeboat station and informed them of the RNLI’s essential safety advice. Not only have schools from Ceredigion been visiting but schools from Carmarthenshire and further afield have also been to see New Quay’s all-weather lifeboat.
Gareth Rhys Jones, Head teacher of Ysgol Llanllwni in Carmarthenshire said: “The children and staff of Ysgol Llanllwni had a fantastic day at New Quay whilst visiting the RNLI boathouse. The children had the opportunity to talk to the RNLI staff regarding offshore and onshore safety and also had an opportunity to see the all-weather lifeboat and the smaller inshore lifeboat.
“The visit was extremely beneficial to the school and it has inspired the pupils to create art and written work based on the theme of the seaside. I would like to thank the staff of the RNLI for their time and for their enthusiasm during the visit. We look forward to visiting again in the future.”
To round off the busy summer school term New Quay RNLI attended Ysgol Ceinewydd’s Emergency Services’ morning at New Quay Fire Station. They joined the Coastguard, Fire Service, Dyfed Powys Police, Wales Air Ambulance and the RNLI Lifeguards.
Pete Yates, New Quay RNLI Inshore Lifeboat Helm and parent of two New Quay School pupils said: “It was a good opportunity for the children to see the lifeboat, learn about sea safety, and see how the different emergency services work together. Hopefully some will join the crew in future.”
Watersports and coastal activities are at their height during the summer months and New Quay’s RNLI team have been echoing the RNLI’s ‘Float to Live’ campaign, urging anyone who finds themselves in trouble in cold water to stay calm and float.
Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: “Over half of the people who lost their lives on the coast of Wales last year had not intended to go into the water. This year the charity is calling on the public to practice the ‘float’ survival skill – a simple skill that could mean the difference between life and death – and to share this lifesaving knowledge with others.
“If you get into trouble in cold water, the RNLI’s advice is to float on your back for a short time to regain control of your breathing. And if you see someone else in danger in the water at the coast, fight your instinct to go in and try to rescue them yourself, instead call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.
“Every year New Quay RNLI engages with hundreds of school children, families and local groups to promote sea safety and demonstrate the lifesaving capabilities of the all-weather and inshore lifeboats we have stationed here in New Quay.
“We also carry out regular exercises with all the rowing clubs in Ceredigion and also coming up we have a joint exercise with the local RNLI lifeguards.”
New Quay RNLI Lifeboat Station will be open to the public every day over the summer holidays and there will be regular exercise launches to watch.
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Elin Jones backs calls for business rates holiday extension for independent businesses
CEREDIGION’S Member of the Senedd, Elin Jones, has backed calls by the British Independent Retail Association for the extension of the current rates holiday for non-essential businesses in 2021/22.
Many local independent businesses have been closed for the best part of a year, and many will be in a more precarious situation now than when the initial rates holiday was announced last year. Many businesses will be looking forward to the easing of restrictions over the next few months, but Elin Jones warned that many would benefit from the continued business rates holiday.
Elin Jones said:
“Every effort must be made to secure the future of independent businesses in Ceredigion. They are such an important feature of life in Ceredigion, both as employers, and as a draw for people to our towns and villages.
“Normal trading will eventually resume, and these businesses will be able to flourish again, but local businesses owners know that this cannot be rushed. Therefore we must continue to sustain our businesses until they are once again back on an even keel.
“It will take a while for footfall to resume, and extending the business rates holiday is one way to help in this time of need.”
MP makes Budget case for support for self-employed and small businesses in Ceredigion
BEN LAKE MP has called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend the government’s financial support package for businesses and self-employed workers in next week’s Budget as many struggle to stay afloat during continued lockdown restrictions.
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak is to set out the UK Government’s budget on Wednesday 3 March, almost a year since the last Budget on 11 March 2020.
To help businesses and our local high streets over coming months, the Ceredigion MP has called on the Chancellor to extend the lowered rate of VAT at 5% for hospitality and tourism for a year to March 2022 and to extend the business rates relief package.
Mr Lake also called on the Chancellor to retain the furlough scheme for the duration of pandemic restrictions, as recent figures show more than 178,000* in Wales are still receiving government help from the CJRS. He also urged the Chancellor to expand the existing eligibility criteria for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme in order to offer some help to the many individuals who have not received a penny in Government support thus far.
Ben Lake MP said: “For many businesses and self-employed workers, the financial support government has offered over the last 12 months has been a lifeline. Now, as we are finally starting to see light at the end of the lockdown tunnel, we cannot remove this lifeline prematurely. Extending this help for a little longer, and expanding the criteria to help those that have been excluded thus far, would offer small businesses the support they require to ‘bounce back’ from the pandemic.”
Many businesses who are still not open due to lockdown measures are also now expected to start repaying their Bounce Back Loans. This is despite their situation largely remaining unchanged since they took out the loan, or in some unfortunate instances, worsened as they have not yet been able to trade.
UKHospitality has estimated that the hospitality sector lost around £72 billion in sales in 2020 and faces, frankly, a debt mountain, including £4.2 billion in state-backed loans.
Mr Lake said: “It is important that businesses that took out bounce back loans and CBILS are required to pay only when they are in a position to do so – once they have ‘bounced back’ from the pandemic. Affording such a level of flexibility, and thus preventing avoidable business failures, would protect jobs, the taxpayer’s investment in the recovery, and the integrity of our financial system.
“We remain in the early stages of a vaccine-led recovery, and it is likely that we will have some form of restrictions for many months to come. Having done so much to protect the economy and the workforce, we must not withdraw support prematurely, as to do so would risk throwing away the investment taxpayers have made in the last year, and potentially our economic recovery.”
Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50
EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.
While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.
Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:
- Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
- Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
- Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
- Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
- Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April
The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.
Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.
People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.
Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While our programme has had to slow due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.
“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.
“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.
“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.
“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”
People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.
The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.
Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.
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