ROYAL Voluntary Service in Ceredigion is encouraging more people in the area to discover the joys of volunteering whilst keeping their local community healthy and happy.
The Royal Voluntary Service has been providing invaluable support to people in need in Ceredigion both before and during the coronavirus pandemic. With the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the charity and its volunteers are able to improve health and wellbeing, resilience, confidence and connections of some of Ceredigion’s most vulnerable people.
One of the ways in which local volunteers are improving the lives of people in Ceredigion is by offering Community Transport to help them stay active, independent and social, perhaps by driving them to a community club, an appointment, or taking them home after a stay in hospital.
People are also being encouraged to sign up for a new Emergency Response Volunteer role, to form a team of standby volunteers who will be ready to come to the aid of their communities and their NHS when urgent needs arise. However, it’s not just the people on the receiving end of the support that benefit from volunteering.
As a result of donating their time, Royal Voluntary Service volunteers report better physical health; mental health and wellbeing, with 81% of pandemic volunteers reporting an improvement in this*; new skills and work experience; and a sense of connection to others in their community. In a recent report more than a third (38%) of Royal Voluntary Service volunteers said that volunteering has also improved their confidence**.
More volunteers are needed to continue providing life changing support to vulnerable and isolated people in Ceredigion as we head into autumn. Royal Voluntary Service is encouraging anyone that wants to make a positive difference to their community and experience the countless benefits of volunteering to step forward and find out about roles in their area at royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/volunteering.
Karyn Morris, Commissioned Service Operations Manager for Royal Voluntary Service in Ceredigion said: “The feedback we get from the people that we support is often that the help of our service and our volunteers is a real lifeline for them. Our volunteers are changing and improving people’s lives in Ceredigion every day. They volunteer completely selflessly, but it’s incredible to see how much their service changes their lives too. If you’d like to join our close-knit team of amazing volunteers, any time you can offer will go a long way to supporting your community and you’ll meet some fantastic people along the way.”
Laura Chow, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “Volunteering your time is one of the best things you can do for your community and for yourself. The numerous benefits of volunteering work both ways. By stepping forward this autumn, not only will volunteers be helping those that need extra support to get through the toughest months, but they’ll be boosting their own physical and mental health and wellbeing too.”
Royal Voluntary Service is one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities with volunteers supporting the NHS and thousands of vulnerable people in the community. During the crisis the charity has delivered the NHS Volunteer Responders programme for NHS England enabled by the GoodSAM app with volunteers responding to over 2 million requests for support so far. The charity has also worked in local communities through the crisis running home libraries, companionship support, home from hospital services and patient transport. Its Virtual Village Hall provides live classes and tutorials on Facebook to promote well-being and keep people active and occupied through the pandemic.
Council recognised for its work on domestic violence
CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has once again been recognised for its work to combat domestic abuse.
It has achieved the White Ribbon UK accredited status for the second time running and departments will continue to work to raise awareness around domestic abuse and to contribute to ending male violence against women.
In the last year nearly 2,880 people in Carmarthenshire reported as being a victim of domestic abuse.
The White Ribbon campaign is a global initiative that encourages people, especially men and boys, to individually and collectively take action and change the behaviour and culture that leads to abuse and violence.
Domestic abuse affects both sexes with the largest number of violent incidents involving men against women.
To show its commitment County Hall in Carmarthen will be lit up in purple on White Ribbon Day on November 25 and the White Ribbon flags will be flying in council buildings at Llanelli and Ammanford.
A message will also be printed on staff payslips signposting them to support channels.
Carmarthenshire County Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Rural Affairs and Chair of the Safer Communities Partnership, Cllr Ann Davies, said:
“I am pleased that we were again successful in receiving accreditation from the campaign and recognising the work we have done and also plan to do going forward as part of our commitment to ending domestic violence. The figures in the last 12 months are still too high and that is those that have come forward to seek support. The pandemic has seen a significant rise in the number of referrals so it is vital that we do whatever we can to encourage people not to remain silent and speak out and seek support.”
Support and advice for anyone affected by domestic abuse is available by calling Live Fear Free on 0808 80 10 800.
For local advice you can contact Threshold (Llanelli) on 01554 752 422; Calan DVS (Ammanford) on 01269 597 474 Carmarthen Domestic Abuse Service (CarmDAS) on 01267 238 410 who provide support to both men and women 9am-5pm.
More information on the campaign can be found on the White Ribbon website
Let’s get digital – Ceredigital
A NEW section, ‘Ceredigital’ dedicated to digital services, is now available on Ceredigion County Council’s website.
Ceredigital aims to provide clear information upon how digital technology can be used to support business growth, the economy, the quality of life for residents, tourism and the environment.
It covers a range of work and projects that the Council is currently involved with to improve the provision of digital technology across the county.
Information on the following services is included in the new section:
- Digital Skills
- Public Wi-Fi
It also includes information on the creation of a LoRaWAN network that the Council has been creating across the county which will accelerate the ‘Internet of Things’ innovation within the region; an open network used to improve business efficiencies.
Councillor Clive Davies, Digital Champion for Ceredigion County Council said: “Having access to affordable and reliable high-speed broadband and mobile connectivity has quickly become essential for everyone. The last two years have seen more people working from home than ever before, and the only way many of us have kept in contact with friends and family is through online catch-ups. It can be confusing and time consuming when you have connectivity issues and don’t know what support is out there.
“I’m very happy to announce that this new section is available. This resource can assist residents and businesses in finding out how to improve connectivity, funding that is available to do this, brushing up on digital skills, as well as providing details upon fixed and wireless projects that are currently being undertaken with Ceredigion.
With a county-wide LoRaWAN Internet of Things network, the largest in Wales, now is the time to focus on data innovation. This is no longer the gift of large organisations, or so called “Smart Cities”, we have the solid foundations of a rural smart network available right now, that can enable data driven decision making to take place right here in Ceredigion, enabling efficiency savings, and new product offering and opportunities as we recover from COVID-19”.
So, if you or your business is not reaching its digital potential for one reason or other, head over to Ceredigital to see what options are available to you right now.”
The new Ceredigital section can be found here: www.ceredigion.gov.uk/business/ceredigital.
Helping you to make a difference in your community
THE CYNNAL y Cardi Local Action Group is launching a new Grant Fund, as part of the Cynnal y Cardi LEADER scheme, which will support small scale LEADER activity in Ceredigion.
The fund will provide small-scale financial revenue to support pilot projects, feasibility studies, facilitation, networking activities and training and mentoring ideas. Applications are welcomed from organisations in the third, public and private sectors. They must meet the criteria and priorities of the Local Action Group.
The Grant Fund will focus on the following priorities from the Cynnal y Cardi Local Development Strategy:
- supporting activity with the aim of strengthening opportunities for developing Ceredigion’s circular economy
- supporting early intervention for the development of pre-commercial activity with the aim of developing entrepreneurial activity
- strengthening community resilience activity with a focus on the role of Town and Community Councils in supporting and engaging with their communities
- developing opportunities for re-engaging people and reinvigorating community activity following COVID-19 and piloting innovative uses for community facilities
The Cynnal y Cardi LEADER Grant Fund, which is administered by Ceredigion County Council, is supported through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
Councillor Rhodri Evans, Cabinet Member with responsibility for the Economy and Regeneration, said: “We understand that COVID-19 has made the past two years a tough time for the county, and in light of the pandemic, the priorities for Ceredigion’s Local Development Strategy have been reviewed in September 2020. This new grant scheme provides opportunities for us to tackle the issues and build on the opportunities following COVID-19 within our communities in order to strengthen our resilience. I urge you to take full advantage of this opportunity.”
The first closing date for submitting your applications is 17 January 2022. Submissions are welcome in Welsh or English. You will need to discuss your ideas with the team. Contact the team by email at email@example.com or visit www.cynnalycardi.org.uk for more information.
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