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Children help to clean up the Afon Aeron during Spring Clean Cymru

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Yuk! The youth of Aberaeron show the way forward by tackling plastic pollution

HELPING to highlight the plight of our region’s beautiful rivers, children from years five and six of Ysgol Gynradd Aberaeron dedicated a morning to collecting litter from the Afon Aeron with the West Wales Rivers Trust.

The children take part in regular litter-picks with Keep Wales Tidy so when the West Wales Rivers Trust were scouting for volunteers to help them with Spring Clean Cymru the school were eager to do their bit.

Starting in the harbour at low tide on Friday 29th March the children helped to remove fragmented plastics, ropes and even large metal items from the tidal area before walking alongside the bank of the river to prevent more litter entering the waterway. The event was supported by Keep Wales Tidy who brought along their expertise and equipment and the Rotary Club of Aberaeron who marshalled and got thoroughly stuck in.

“The children were incredibly enthusiastic and thorough” says Kathy James, Trust Development Officer for the West Wales Rivers Trust. “We’d like to take them on a tour of West Wales as we couldn’t ask for a better clean-up team!”

The West Wales Rivers Trust was formed in 2017 as an amalgamation of various smaller local groups. The Trust is concerned with river conservation, preserving habitats for wildlife to flourish and educating people about the issues rivers face and the wonders they can contain.

In West Wales, pollution from agricultural run-off and plastics are a particular issue for our river systems. The charity works alongside farmers in the area to encourage best practice for water quality, with fishermen to improve habitat’s for wildlife and with local volunteers to monitor river health. This recent effort from Ysgol Gynradd Aberaeron kickstarts the organisation’s ‘Prosiect Aeron Project’.

“Removing litter from the waterway we are able to show a visible improvement. Now we hope to thoroughly survey the river from source to sea to identify any less visible improvements needed for optimal water quality and habitat. We are currently looking for local businesses to help fund this process” adds Kathy.

Any businesses interested in sponsoring ‘Prosiect Aeron Project’ should get in touch with Kathy directly on Kathy@westwalesriverstrust.org to discuss how they may be able to help.

If you’re feeling inspired to undertake a litter-pick for yourself, Spring Clean Cymru runs until 23rd April. More details can be found on the Keep Wales Tidy website.

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Ceredigion Youth Service’s Summer Activity Programme

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THIS YEAR, Ceredigion Youth Service’s Summer Programme offers a wide range of activities over a period of four weeks during the summer holidays. There are 19 different projects, activities, workshops and events planned for young people aged 11-25 from across the county.

Activities this year focus on topics such as employability and upskilling, health and wellbeing, participation, sport and leisure and the environment. Young People will have the opportunity to develop new and existing skills including self-esteem, confidence, communication and problem-solving. They’ll all be held in fun environments where they’re able to meet new people, gain accreditation and participate in a range of activities.

Activities include a summer camp, an adventure residential stay, mountain biking, trips, taster workshops and more.

Gethin Jones is Ceredigion Youth Service’s Principal Youth Officer. He said: “The Summer Programme has been a big success for a number of years. It is of great importance to us that we continue to offer both targeted and open access opportunities for young people during school holidays, as well as term time so that support and engagement is available to young people throughout the year.

“The program offers a range of fantastic opportunities for young people from all across the county to get involved with, providing them with valuable opportunities and experiences that educate, build skills and develop confidence and esteem.”

Councillor Catrin Miles is the Cabinet member responsible for Learning Services, Lifelong Learning & Leisure. She said: “The Ceredigion Youth Service is providing a quality service which is clearly beneficial to our young people over the summer. The activities are great opportunities not only to enjoy but also to develop educationally, personally and socially.”

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Ceredigion Autism Conference 2019

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ON JULY 5, 2019, Ceredigion Autism Spectrum Team and Aberystwyth University Accessibility Services hosted the Ceredigion Autism Conference at Aberystwyth University.

At the sixth annual conference, autistic people focused on what is important to them about how other people think about autism. They also looked at how they are supported if and when they need support, and how other people can help them to build self-esteem, confidence and identity.

The conference was attended by over 130 people, bringing together autistic people, parents, carers and professionals from health, education and social care services and the voluntary sector. The agenda promoted our shared ethos and vision of understanding autism as a different way of thinking, learning and being; different but equally valuable.

Councillor Alun Williams, Ceredigion County Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for Adult’s Services and Champion for people with learning disabilities co-chaired the conference with John Harrington Head of Accessibility Services, Aberystwyth University. The conference was opened by Carys James, Corporate Lead Officer for Children and Adult Services.

Councillor Williams said: “This was the sixth autism conference to be held in Aberystwyth and once again was very well attended. Whilst the audience was a healthy mix of autistic people, friends and carers alongside professionals working in related fields, the speakers and panellists were all autistic people. This allowed them to set the agenda and provided a unique learning opportunity for professionals to better understand the kind of support that can make a positive difference and to further improve the services we provide in Ceredigion.”

John Harrington said: “It is always an immense privilege to co-host the Ceredigion Autism Conference at Aberystwyth University. This year’s line-up of key note speakers were all inspirational and thought provoking about their autistic journeys through life.”

Key notes speakers this year were Chris Bonnello, who gave his 11 top tips for building autistic adults and children; Marianthi Kourti, who spoke about the challenges of being an autistic autism professional; and Kieran Rose, who gave a moving and insightful presentation about the effects of ‘masking’ and about what needs to change for autistic people to be fully accepted and supported.

For the closing session of the day, local autistic individuals joined the key speakers to form an expert panel, giving their experiences and perspectives of support services and answering questions from the audience.

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Ceredigion Leisure Centres Summer holiday programme

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A BUSY TIMETABLE of inclusive summer holiday activities for children has been organised across all Ceredigion County Council-run leisure centres in the county.

From football to bouncy castle sessions, from cycling skills to archery, there’s a wide variety of activities to choose from over the course of the summer.

There will also be day camps and multi-skills activity days available at some of the leisure centres, for children to attend for the whole day. There’s even a day trip to the beach with Teifi Leisure Centre!

A range of learning to swim programmes are available at Lampeter Swimming Pool and Plascrug Leisure Centre across the summer holidays. A week of swimming lessons will be delivered solely through the medium of Welsh in Plascrug Leisure Centre starting on 5 August.

Councillor Catrin Miles is the council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for Leisure Services. She said: “Ceredigion Actif is once again providing a busy timetable of fun activities during the summer. It’s a healthy and worthwhile way for children to spend their time during the summer.”

Booking for sessions is essential and staff at leisure centres reserve the right to cancel any session if attendance is too low.

For further information on the summer holiday activities planned, visit the Ceredigion Actif website.

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