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Ceredigion Youth Service awarded Gold Quality Mark Award

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(1st left) Chairman of Ceredigion County Council, Councillor Hag Harries with Ceredigion Youth Service Team; (3rd from right) Elen James, Corporate Lead Officer for Lifelong Learning and Culture; (2nd from right) Leader of Ceredigion County Council, Councillor Ellen Ap Gwynn; (3rd from left ) Cabinet Member for Learning Service, Councillor Catrin Miles and (1st from right) Eifion Evans, Chief Executive, Ceredigion County Council

IN MARCH, Ceredigion Youth Service has achieved the prestigious Gold Quality Mark for Youth Work in Wales. The Gold Quality Mark of Youth Work in Wales has only been achieved by two other Local Authority Youth Services to date.

In 2017, Ceredigion Youth Service was awarded the Bronze Award. At the beginning of 2019, the Service progressed in achieving the Silver Quality Mark. Soon after, the Service was assessed again and awarded the Gold Award.

Lead Assessor and Director of Atkin Associates, Louise Atkin, said how she was “particularly impressed with the way in which the Youth Service has grown and developed since achieving the Bronze Award in 2017.”

The final report identified that Ceredigion Youth Service offered a high quality youth work offer covering 16 core areas including; Recognising Young People’s Achievement and Progress, Management Information and Partnership and Resources.

The report also highlighted that the ‘determination and creativity of the Ceredigion Youth Service team puts young people at the centre of what is a vibrant and creative youth service, valued by young people who are supported and challenged to be positive and move forward in their lives.’

The report noted that there is ‘very good leadership and management within the service and that partnerships are a particular strength, with assessors experiencing the largest support across Wales from partner services and organisations during their visit meetings. The assessors felt that there is a strong culture of celebrating young people’s achievements in all aspects of the service.’

Ceredigion County Council’s Corporate Lead Officer for Lifelong Learning and Culture, Elen James said, “To have been awarded the Bronze, Silver and Gold Quality Marks for Youth Work in Wales is a tremendous achievement for the Service. It’s great recognition for the commitment and hard work of the team in supporting and providing opportunities for young people across the county, well done to all of the team. This award shows that Ceredigion Youth Service continues to deliver an outstanding service to young people every year.”

The Welsh Government launched the Quality Mark for Youth Work in Wales in October 2015 to provide a robust, independent, external assessment of the quality and performance of organisations that deliver Youth Work in Wales.

On 28 June 2019, both the Silver and Gold Quality Mark Awards will be presented to Ceredigion Youth Service by Kirsty Williams, Minister for Education at the National Youth Excellence Awards.

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Ceredigion Museum to reopen with a new exhibition

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CEREDIGION Museum in Aberystwyth is to reopen its doors to the public on August 12 after being closed due to the pandemic.

It will reopen with Human Threads; a stunning exhibition of historic quilts, with the addition of two new quilts – one digital and one physical – made by Ceredigion residents to record their experiences of the pandemic. 

Staff say they are excited to be reopening with a wonderful exhibition, having missed visitors and access to the museum for more than a year.

The museum will initially be open from Thursday to Saturday each week, from 11am until 4pm. 

Research by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions shows that 75% of respondents want visitor attractions to retain Covid-19 safety measures, so the museum has put in place a booking system to limit the numbers of visitors at any one time. There will also be lots of opportunities to sanitise hands and visitors will be asked to social distance and wear masks for the foreseeable future.

Initially, visitors will only have access to the shop and the first floor of the museum. As key café staff were redeployed into new jobs to support schools and care homes and they are still needed in these vital roles, the café won’t be reopening for the time being.

The museum shop, however, will be open and full of lovely new products, many designed especially for the quilt exhibition.

The website will have full details of the exhibition. People will be able to book their visit from August 5 at www.ceredigionmuseum.wales

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Llandeilo going for Fair Trade Status

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A NEW steering group has formed in Llandeilo to achieve Fair Trade status for the town.

“Many of our local shops and venues already stock or serve Fair Trade products and I believe Llandeilo deserves to be officially recognised for this,” says co-founder town councillor Christoph Fischer.

“It’s fantastic to see so many businesses and stakeholders committed to Fair Trade in Llandeilo,” says Candace Browne of Y Pantri Glas, Llandeilo’s Zero Waste and Natural Foods store. “However, for me Fair Trade extends beyond insuring workers growing imported exotic produce like bananas and chocolate are treated fairly but also to trading fairly with our local producers and sourcing good food locally. As Chair of Slow Food Cymru, Slow Food Town status with a shared vision of “Good Fair Food for All” would also be great for businesses to work towards for our community.”

The group, which has representatives of several businesses and interested individuals, are currently mapping all products that local shops, schools, groups and organisations offer and are lobbying the town council and other bodies to get behind the movement by declaring their own commitment to Fair Trade.

“As town councillor and as individual I feel this initiative fits perfectly well with the trend in town for fair trade,” says Fischer. “As Member Pioneer for the Llandeilo Coop part of my role is to initiate projects like this and bring all parts of the community together. We already had positive replies from Café 139, The Lighthouse, Heavenly, Ikigai, CK’s, Crown Stores, Umami and Llandeilo Primary.”

If you and your organisation want to commit to Fair Trade or are stocking Fair Trade products, please contact ChristophFFischer@googlemail.com

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RNLI lifeguards and lifeboat crew to be awarded for brave Ceredigion rescue

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THREE RNLI lifeguards from Ceredigion have been recognised with a bravery award for saving the lives of a man and his 10-year-old son. 

With assistance from Cardigan and New Quay RNLI lifeboats, the lifeguards rescued the two kayakers who were caught in a strong offshore wind and being swept out to sea. 

For their brave actions during the rescue, the three lifeguards are to receive the prestigious Alison Saunders award, which is awarded each year to recognise the skill and bravery of lifeguards.

The pair of kayakers were rescued at Tresaith last September, having capsized 800m offshore in strong winds and bad sea conditions. Seasonal RNLI Supervisor Sam Bailey and RNLI Lifeguard Macsen Mather demonstrated remarkable courage and selflessness in entering the water, in the full knowledge that they would not be able to return to the shore unassisted, due to the wind and sea state. They were well aware they would be spending a prolonged period of time in the water in cold conditions.

Senior Lifeguard Lowri Davies remained ashore to co-ordinate the rescue with HM Coastguard, who requested that both New Quay all-weather lifeboat and Cardigan inshore RNLI lifeboat launch to support the lifeguards. Despite it being her first season as a senior lifeguard, Lowri executed her role with confidence and assurance, managing communications between lifeguards, lifeboats, and HM Coastguard, and offering reassurance to her colleagues in the water throughout the rescue. 

Having reached the kayakers, Sam and Macsen used their rescue boards to secure the casualties out of the water in order to keep them safe until the lifeboats arrived to recover the whole group.

By the time New Quay and Cardigan lifeboats arrived at Tresaith, the group had drifted over 1.5 miles out to sea. Cardigan RNLI volunteer crew transported the group to shore where the casualties received further medical attention from HM Coastguard for the effects of the cold. Both lifeboat crews will receive a letter from the RNLI’s Chairman for their part in the rescue. 

Roger Smith, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager says: “This rescue was a superb team effort, with RNLI lifeboat crews launching in direct support of their lifeguard colleagues. We are massively proud of our lifeguards, who showed great bravery and resolve during this rescue. They entered the water to save lives, in the full knowledge that they would be unable to return to shore unaided, trusting our lifeboats to back them up. The awards recognise their collective courage and professionalism. Working together, our team saved two people from drowning that day.”

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