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Religious walking routes to boost heritage tourism on Ceredigion coast

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WORKING in partnership with the National Churches Trust, the Wales Coast Path has today (14 May) released a unique series of walking itineraries to showcase some of the finest sacred spaces and hidden spiritual gems of Wales.

Featuring the unmistakeable coastlines of Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and the Llŷn Peninsula, the brand-new collection of  itineraries will offer the people of Wales — and the wider UK — the chance to discover nine historical treasures along the Wales Coast Path.

Flat Hom Island credit @Flatholmers Twitter

Entitled ‘Sacred Heritage Places’, the new itineraries have been released in support of ‘Experiencing Sacred Wales’ — an initiative led by the National Churches Trust.

The programme aims to shine a spotlight on the country’s historical abbeys, churches and traditional Welsh chapels — to ensure that they remain a key part of the country’s tourism offer during 2021 and beyond.

Featuring everything from St Ffraid’s Church and St Michaels Church in Ceredigion to St Dogmael’s Abbey in Pembrokeshire, it is hoped that the new itineraries will inspire Wales Coast Path visitors to explore quieter stretches of coastline this summer — in a bid to avoid over-crowding at more popular coastal locations.

This aligns with Visit Wales’s Addo campaign — which encourages us to make a promise to care for each other and the wider communities of Wales as they continue to return to their favourite outdoor spaces and attractions across the country. It is hoped that this initiative will help encourage everyone to behave safely and responsibly while exploring the Wales Coast Path.

Mindfulness Llansteffan

Huw Edwards, broadcaster, journalist and Vice President of National Churches Trust said: “The churches and chapels of Wales are some of the most beautiful religious buildings anywhere in the world. 

“Many of them can be found near the Wales Coast Path and the nine new walking routes make it easy to discover magnificent sacred heritage which tells the story of Wales.”

Eve Nicholson of Wales Coast Path said: “Attracting more people to visit the churches and chapels of Wales is key to ensuring their long term sustainability, which is why we are proud to be supporting the ‘Experiencing Sacred Wales’ programme with a band new collection of bespoke walking itineraries.

“Not only do we hope that these new walking adventures will help to boost tourism and raise awareness of Wales’s sacred heritage, but we hope they will also encourage people to consider exploring quieter stretches of Wales’ coastline this summer.

“Too often, visitors from Wales and beyond swarm to the same stretches of the Wales Coast Path — meaning there are so many more beautiful miles yet to be discovered by so many.

“Therefore, I strongly encourage everyone to try a new walking route this year and discover the abundance of hidden treasures that can be found along the way — our new ‘Sacred Heritage Places itineraries’ are a great place to start!”

To find out more about the new ‘Scared Heritage Places’ walking itineraries, created by Wales Coast Path in partnership with the National Churches Trust, please visit: walescoastpath.gov.uk/plan-your-visit/itineraries/scared-heritage-places/.

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Aberystwyth CID appeal following serious assault

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ABERYSTWYTH CID are investigating a serious assault that occurred in the Castle Street area of Aberystwyth at approx. 4.45pm on Tuesday, June 15 2021. Following medical treatment the victim is recovering at home. Police are appealing for any witnesses to the assault and anyone in the vicinity around this time, or immediately prior to the incident, that may have witnessed people acting suspiciously.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org. Quote reference: DP-20210615-268

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New Quay RNLI’s special artwork to honour local volunteers is unveiled

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ON SUNDAY (June 13) saw a special artwork unveiled at New Quay Lifeboat Station by RNLI’s Director of Lifesaving Operations, John Payne. The artwork was created by local amateur artist and wife of New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mrs Tina Couch who wanted to pay tribute to the special job the volunteers do, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Mrs Couch talking about the artwork said, “Last year some of the volunteers went above and beyond and worked hard in the community by delivering food parcels and medicines to those shielding in the area. I wanted to pay tribute to all the volunteers at New Quay Lifeboat Station so decided to paint a mural with a portrait of each volunteer. This artwork is to recognise all the hard work they did during the lockdown, as well as being on call 24/7 to save lives at sea.” 

John Payne, RNLI’s Director of Lifesaving Operations added, “It was an honour to unveil this wonderful piece of artwork, a great end to celebrating Volunteers’ Week. Our communities benefit enormously from our volunteers’ selflessness and this is a special way to reflect on their achievements. I would like to thank every one of you who make the RNLI what it is today, and recognise the sacrifices and efforts undertaken in giving your time, energy and positivity to the organisation.”  

While Mr Payne was visiting New Quay Lifeboat Station he had another presentation to make, a certificate of thanks to Steffan Williams who raised over £2,200 for the RNLI’s Mayday Mile campaign. Steffan, aged 12, a pupil in Ysgol Bro Teifi, paddleboarded not just one mile but accomplished 10 miles in under four hours and smashed his target of £100.  

Mr Payne said, “This is a great achievement for someone so young. Steffan has shown his determination in being a lifesaver, and he is definitely someone to watch in the future as he continues his volunteering within the RNLI.”  

Steffan recieving award

Steffan said, “I am so pleased that I’ve raised so much for the RNLI and want to thank everyone who has donated. It is a charity close to my heart as my Dad is a crew member and I want to join when I’m older too. They are all volunteers and need our help to pay for equipment and lifeboats.” 

If you would like to volunteer for the RNLI please visit the website to find out more: https://rnli.org/support-us/volunteer/how-you-can-volunteer/be-a-lifeboat-station-volunteer

Or if you would like to donate to New Quay RNLI to help the volunteers save lives at sea please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/new-quay-wales

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Strategic plan to strengthen Welsh medium education

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A CONSULTATION period will be held during the autumn term this year to increase the number of pupils in Ceredigion who will be able to develop and learn through the medium of Welsh.

During a Cabinet meeting held virtually on Tuesday, 15 June 2021, members discussed the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan for 2022-2032. The plan is a 10 year strategy which sets out the requirements to reach the Welsh Government’s target of achieving one million Welsh speakers by 2050.

Cabinet Members agreed to hold a consultation period during the autumn term of 2021 for eight weeks, incorporating views by pupils, parents, schools and governing bodies.

The strategy outlines aims which include increasing the number of nursery and reception age pupils in Welsh medium education; encourage more learners to study Welsh as a subject and subjects through the medium of Welsh; increase the provision of Welsh medium education for pupils with additional learning needs and increase the number of teaching staff who can teach Welsh as a subject and subjects through the medium of Welsh.

Councillor Catrin Miles, Ceredigion County Council’s Cabinet Member for Schools, Lifelong Learning and Skills, Support and Intervention, said: “The Welsh in Education Strategic Plan reinforces Ceredigion County Council’s aspiration to strengthen the position of the Welsh language through its Language Strategy. I’m pleased to see that a consultation period will be held this autumn to gather ideas in order to plan and develop Welsh medium education in our county.”

Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, Leader of Ceredigion County Council, added: “I welcome this draft document which aims to create more opportunities for pupils across the county to take full advantage of Welsh medium education.”

Following the consultation period, feedback will be considered and the plan will be reintroduced to the Healthier Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the full Council for consideration and final decision. The proposal supports the Council’s Strategic Objectives and the Welsh Government’s Million Speakers by 2050 Strategy.

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