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Ceredigion MP supports Action for Children to improve young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing



DURING Children’s Mental Health Week (1-7 February), Ben Lake joined young people and mental health experts from leading UK children’s charity, Action for Children, for an online event to discuss the services which are supporting children across the UK.

Mental health problems affect children of all ages. Worryingly, the latest NHS figures show one in six children had a probable mental health disorder in 2020 – an increase of almost half in three years, with the Covid-19 pandemic likely to have further detrimental effects on mental health.

Action for Children delivers a range of interventions to support and promote good mental health and emotional wellbeing. Programmes such as Bouncing Back and the Blues Programme equip young people with the skills and tools they need to manage their emotional wellbeing and reduce the risk of more intense mental health issues, while Parent Talk offers free online support for parents.

Almost three-quarters (72%) of pupils completing the Blues Programme have improved their mental health and emotional wellbeing, and 87% completing Bouncing Back know when to ask for help.

Attending the event, the Ceredigion MP heard from young people who have taken part in these programmes and pledged to support Action for Children’s efforts to ensure children and young people with mental health difficulties get the support they need, when they need it.

Ben Lake MP said: “The growing number of children and young people facing mental health challenges must be a real concern for us all, and tackling this situation needs to be a priority.

“We know that intervening early can make all the difference, and we need to do everything we can to help those young people struggling with their mental health.

“Charities like Action for Children are working hard to help address the mental health challenges our children face, and I welcome their efforts to provide vital support at such a critical time.”

Melanie Armstrong, Chief Executive of Action for Children, said: “Even before the pandemic, young people were telling us they worried about their mental health. Now, with lockdowns and uncertainty about the future, we know these problems are worsening.

“Our services tell us that young people are struggling at home without their usual support networks, having to cope with the pressures of remote learning, loneliness and family health fears – all the while being bombarded by social media and depressing headlines.

“Support from MPs like Ben means we can equip more young people with the skills they need to manage their mental health and emotional wellbeing, stepping in early to help stop mental health problems in their tracks and supporting those who need our help to bounce back.”

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Stand up for slowing down speed campaign launched



INAPPROPRIATE speed contributes to around 11% of all injury collisions reported to the police, with 15% of collisions resulting in a serious injury and 24% of collisions resulting in fatalities.

Starting on the 26th July, the National Police Chief Council (NPCC) Speed Campaign will kick off across the UK, with GoSafe and the four Welsh Police Forces participating in both engaging with the public about the risks of speeding and enforcing the speed limits on the roads of Wales.

In 2019, 60,073 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) were issued in Wales to drivers/riders for speeding.

Speeding is a major contributing factor to collisions on the roads of Wales. This includes both ‘excessive speed’, where the speed limit is exceeded, as well as driving or riding within the speed limit when this is too fast for the conditions at the time; for example, in poor weather, poor visibility or high pedestrian activity.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, we saw less traffic but higher speeds.  Now our restrictions are lifting, traffic volumes are up and as we are holidaying in the UK more, we are seeing more people speeding on the roads in Wales.  We want to change this, but can only do that with your help.

 Over the next few weeks you will see an increased presence on the road network of Wales as we aim to keep all road users safe and reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.

 We know that the majority of road users comply with the speed limit; but the minority of those who do not increases the risk to the safety of all road users and need to be educated on the risks to their own safety as well as to the safety of those around them. Throughout this campaign, GoSafe and our partners in the Police and Local Authorities will encourage and educate more people to reduce their speed to save lives.

Teresa Ciano, GoSafe Partnership Manager said: “GoSafe enforce at sites across Wales in order to encourage motorists to comply with the speed limits and in turn make our roads and communities safer for everyone. If we all play our part and stand up for slowing down we can make a difference, and we can save lives on the roads of Wales.”

Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Climate Change said: “I am very pleased to support this campaign. Driving at high speeds costs lives and a greater police presence on our roads will mean motorists will be more likely to drive within the speed limits, protecting lives and avoiding a speeding fine.”

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Cardigan man accused of murder in court



John Williams Bell was found murdered in Cardigan

A CARDIGAN man who is accused of stabbing a man to death has appeared in court today (Jul 28).

Ashley Keegan, 22, of Golwyg y Castell, Cardigan, appeared before court via video link where he spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.

Swansea crown court heard how Keegan is accused of stabbing 37-year-old John Williams Bell seven times in the back.

Mr Bell’s body was discovered in the early hours of Wednesday Morning, July 21, on the road to Cardigan Bridge.

The court set a provisional trial date for January 3, 2022.

Keegan will remain remanded into custody until the trial.

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Suspected drink driver tracked for two miles by police dog



A SUSPECTED drink driver was arrested after a police dog tracked him for two miles along a cycle path.

Dyfed-Powys Police dog Storm and his handler PC Mike Barnsley located the driver following a collision between Bont and Tregaron on Sunday, July 25.

Officers had attended the scene of the collision, discovering that a car had hit a tree and overturned – however, the driver was not present.

PC Barnsley said: “There were concerns that the driver could have been injured due to the significant damage to the car, so a search was immediately launched to find them.

“With PD Storm, I focussed on the cycle path running alongside the road, where Storm picked up a track and followed it for around two miles.

“Local response units accessed the cycle path ahead of us, while another unit searched from the main road along an unclassified road in the same direction.”

PC Barnsley and Storm reported a sighting of a man on the cycle path, and he was stopped and arrested on suspicion of drink driving.

Sergeant David Hawksworth said: “This was an excellent demonstration of teamwork and coordination by officers, whose good local knowledge resulted in the suspect being swiftly found and arrested.”

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