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UK’s first Wellness Festival designed for queer, questioning and curious women

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THIS June sees the launch of Out & Wild, the UK’s first Wellness Festival designed for queer, questioning and curious women and those who are non-binary. This new and innovative event, celebrating an often-under-represented part of the LGBTQIA community, is being launched to mark the 50th year of Pride.

Out & Wild has been designed to be an inclusive, safe and supportive space to explore new activities and experiences and embrace nature. While the primary focus is on queer, questioning and curious women, the event actively welcomes supportive allies.

Out & Wild features a range of wellness and experience -themed activities including:

● Entertainment, food and drink (music, comedy, DJs, food, bars and stalls)

● Wellness and workouts (including yoga, tai chi, pilates, dance, breath-work, ice baths, massages, meditation and mindfulness)

● Sport (including 5 aside football, guided hikes and runs)

● Out in the water (including wild swimming, paddle boarding)

● Spoken Word and Interactive workshops (including book readings, poetry, foraging, outdoor pursuits, nature, sustainability, crafts)

Polly Shute, co-founder of Out and About LGBTQ, who will be hosting the festival explained: “We are delighted to host the first ever Out & Wild Festival in a stunning location in Wales overlooking the River Cleddau. Our three-day event is packed with experiences, and has been designed specifically to facilitate shared connections, something which our community is crying out for in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.

“The response we have had to date has been incredible! From the quality of the sponsors and partners coming on board to the range of experiences taking place, and the talent that will be performing – not to mention the support we have had from the Welsh Government, which has awarded us a three-year grant as part of its commitment to being the most LGBTQ friendly nation in Europe. We are also proud to have Pink News Group on board as our media partner, the world’s most read and watched LGBTQ publication.

“We are excited to be able to offer three days packed with amazing experiences, all designed by and for queer, questioning and curious women and those that are non-binary.”

The event will be taking place across the three days and nights in Lawrenny, Pembrokeshire, from 10-13th June 2022. First release of early bird tickets have sold out. Second release of early bird tickets are now available to purchase from £120 (excluding booking fee), for three nights from the Out and Wild website.

Key acts and experiences

Wellness and Workouts

Out & Wild is delighted to welcome Luisa Bradshaw White, ex Bad Girls, Holby City, This Life and EastEnders actress who runs LuluOm. Luisa, who trained as a Breathworker in 2002 who will be delivering sessions focused around Soul Breathing.

She explained: “Since my early 20’s I have been on a path of self-discovery taking me all over the world. Breathing at festivals alongside hundreds of other heart-led people in Australia, in waterfalls in Bali and ice baths in the UK!

“I have studied with pioneers of Breathwork including Christabel Zamor, Sondra Ray, Foster Perry and Diana Roberts. As well as leading Breathwork retreats and workshops in the UK and Morocco and working with private clients. I am so excited to be sharing Soul breathing with you. It is hugely transformational, and the breath is powerful medicine”

Music and Comedy

Out & Wild are committed to supporting new and existing female and non-binary talent and are delighted to be partnering with The F-List Directory of UK Female+ Musicians.

We are also keen to promote Welsh talent. We will be announcing acts in the next few weeks.

Vick Bain, Founder of the F List explained: “We are super excited to be working with Polly and the team at Out and Wild, which is a festival set up with exactly the same values we hold; equality, inclusion, respect, and fun! With most festival stages women are in the extreme minority, if present at all, Out and Wild is such a fantastic idea – women rocking on the stages and women rocking in the fields; brilliant!”

Every night DJs will lead silent sets so attendees can dance in the moonlight, overlooking the Cleddau River. Out & Wild is also collaborating with the legendary Club Kali and Mint Events.

Spoken word and Workshops

Zaina Arafat – Award winning LGBTQ Arab- American fiction and non-fiction writer. Author of novel, You Exist Too Much, which won a 2021 Lambda Literary Award.

Annie Garthwaite – Acclaimed historical writer, her book, Cecily, was lauded by Waterstones as best book of 2021.

Workshops will be focused around the core festival areas and also include sessions on sexual health and sexual empowerment.

Sport

Our sport area will be curated by the Director of Pride Sports, Lou Englefield and will include a 5 aside football pitch and tasters of different sports for attendees to sample. There will also be guided walks, runs and hikes.

Lou Englefield explained: “I’m delighted to be an Ambassador for the Out & Wild Festival. During my time as Chair of Pride Cymru one of our pillars of ambition was to showcase Wales to the world. Promoting our creative talents and highlighting our amazing Welsh products, whilst supporting local businesses and the economy to thrive. I am thrilled to see Polly and her team adopt the same ethos and enthusiasm for Wales and join us all in our ambition to make Wales the safest and most inclusive country in Europe for our Queer communities.”

Out in the Water

Laura Owen Sanderson is a cold water swimmer and the founder and director of WE SWIM WILD who, with the support of a grant from HydroFlask’s Park for All Campaign, will be delivering water safety sessions, wild swims, candle lit starry night swims and environmental talks at Out & Wild. Laura is a firm believer in using adventure activism to highlight issues in the environment.

This year Laura is swimming just under 1000km back to back across all of the U.K National Parks to test for micro plastic pollution. Laura recently won Wales Business Woman of the year for her work at We Swim Wild.

Bars and Foods

Out & Wild will be working with local drinks and food brands to make sure festival goers experience a real taste of Wales. We will have a full bar and pop-up food stalls.

Out & Wild are also delighted to be supported by Club Soda, who will be manning an alcohol-free bar and delivering mindful drinking sessions – to ensure we cater to all tastes.

The venue

Out & Wild will be hosted at Lawrenny in Pembrokeshire, situated at the edge of Pembrokeshire National Park on the site of a former Guardian newspaper’s top 5 Adventure and Wellbeing Festival, The Big Retreat. The main site, which once featured a 19th century castle, overlooks the River Cleddau and was the birthplace of the ‘National Parks’ concept.

Our ethos

Out & Wild has been designed for queer, questioning and curious women and those who are non-binary. It is a festival of experiences, with dozens of activities taking place across the three days and nights covering music, comedy, wellness, sport, wild swimming, spoken word, poetry, and interactive workshops.

Out & Wild is proud to support both existing and new female and non-binary artists and acts from across the UK who are often under-represented at festivals. We are working with The F-List Directory of UK Female+ Musicians to ensure we secure only the very best talent.

Key messages

● Out & Wild is the UK’s first Wellness Festival designed by and for queer, questioning and curious women and those who are non-binary.

● While the primary focus is on queer, questioning and curious women, we actively welcome supportive allies.

● Out & Wild is a festival of experiences designed to facilitate the creation of meaningful connections among an often-under-represented part of the LGBTQIA community.

● Out & Wild is proud to be able to provide a platform to queer female and non-binary talent – as well as welcoming local Welsh performers.

● Out & Wild is proud to have been awarded a three-year grant by the Welsh Government as part of its commitment to being the most LGBTQ friendly nation in Europe.

Spokespeople

Co-Founder – Polly Shute

Polly has spent the last 10 years working on LGBTQI events, including being on the Board of Pride in London up until 2018. A former Marketing and Fundraising Director, working within the commercial and not for profit sector, Polly is a Partnership and Inclusion Consultant and has worked with clients such as The Royal Society of Medicine, Women in Sport, Brentford FC and is part of the EW Group – Full-Service Diversity and Inclusion Consultancy (theewgroup.com).

Polly is a Chartered Institute of Fundraising award winner and was recognised as a leader in Profit for Purpose at the 2019 UK Sponsorship Awards. As part of her D&I focus, Polly was recognised in top 20 LGBT+ leaders list by Outstanding and The FT in 2018 and was on the Pride Power List in association with the Guardian in 2019 and 2020. Polly sits on a number of inclusion committees and is a Director of Trans in the City.

Co-Founder – Becky French

Becky is a veteran of the Royal Air Force, serving abroad on numerous occasions. Upon leaving the service she transitioned into the private security sector where she specialised in operational and event security. Becky’s work involved planning the security architecture for teams in international high-risk countries as well as planning the security for internationally recognised sporting events. Becky is a keen sports woman, having played golf for both the Royal Air Force and Combined Services teams. She also played a lot of squash and rugby during her time in the RAF.

Wellness Curators – Rachael Capper and Isabella Beni

Wellbeing gurus Rach and Issy are behind LGBT FIT, a judgement-free, safe space where people can log on, work out and be part of a like-minded community. Both have been on their own separate journeys of self-acceptance, self-discovery and healing. Together, they have over 16 years’ experience in helping people with all thing’s fitness, nutrition and mindset.

Music and Comedy Curator – Sarah Maslen

Sarah lives on the beach in Llanelli, Southwest Wales. She is part of the Senior Leadership Team of YMCA Swansea and the Deputy CEO of LGBT+ Cymru Helpline. She is a solo Mum to three young children, and they spend as much of their time outside – and wild – as possible, with their ponies exploring and having adventures. She is also a director of Trans in the City. Sarah is passionate about inclusion and empowering others.

Taster of Sport Curator – Lou Englefield

Lou is a founding Director of Pride Sports, a UK LGBTIQ+ sports development and inclusion organisation. Lou has been a leading voice on LGBTIQ+ inclusion in sport & physical activity for more than 10 years. She has directed the international Football v Homophobia campaign since 2012, is Vice Chair of the FARE Network and is Co-Chair of Pride House International. Lou presents and speaks on issues of LGBTIQ+ inclusion in sport and physical activity globally and has ensured that Pride Sports has become a leading authority in the field, at the forefront of insight, policy, and practice.

Spoken Word Curators – Zoë Berryman and Nicola Cottington

Zoë is passionate about all things literary. She works for a charity providing supported learning and activities for vulnerable adults with learning disabilities and mental health issues, something she is very passionate about. She is also the co-chair of the DIVA Book Club together with Nicola Cottington. Nicola is a Chief Operating Officer at an NHS Trust in the East of England.

She also runs the Cancer Survivors Book Club.

Ambassadors

● Bobbi Pickard – CEO of Trans in the City

● Lu Thomas – Ex Chair of Pride Cymru

● Rachel Ashe – Founder Mental Health Swims

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Three charged with Aberaeron robbery

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FOLLOWING reports of a robbery in Aberaeron in July 17, along with an incident involving a knife on September 11, we can confirm that two men and a youth have been arrested and charged.

Dylan Tapp, aged 18 of Bow Street, and Christopher Samuel, aged 18 of Heol Isfoel, Llanrhystud, have been charged with robbery. Both have been remanded in custody.

A 17-year-old has also been charged and released on bail.

Our enquiries are ongoing. If anyone has any information about these incidents that they have not yet shared with us, please get in touch with Aberaeron CID:

Report online: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline

Email: 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk

Call: 101

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908

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Health

Local Businesses help raise astonishing £10,000 for Cardio-Respiratory Ward at Bronglais Hospital

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THE ORGANISERS of the 2021 Aberystwyth Businesspersons’ Lunch have donated the £10,000 proceeds to the Cardio-Respiratory Ward at Bronglais Hospital.

Consultant Cardiologist Dr Donogh McKeogh; Aled and Rose Rowlands;

John Davies’ widow Ann; Frank Bridle; John’s daughter and son, Angharad

and Rhodri; and Iestyn Leyshon

The lunch last December was in memory of well-known local businessman, jeweller and musician John Davies, who had helped organise the annual lunch for many years but sadly passed away just a few months before.

“John was such a lovely man, a pillar of the town and so well thought of, that we decided it was fitting that the lunch should be in his memory and that the proceeds should go to the cardiac unit where he had been treated for so many years,” said Aled Rowlands, who organised the lunch along with Frank Bridle, Layla Mangan, Gary Pemberthy, Huw Bates and Iestyn Leyshon.

“It was a very successful day, with nearly 200 people enjoying a lunch, comedian, band, auction and raffle. It was a fitting tribute to John who was such a big part of the town.”

John Davies joined his parents’ business at T J Davies at the age of 16 where he worked for 64 years after leaving Llandaff Cathedral School. He passed away in August 2021, at the age of 80.

John’s wife Ann and children Angharad and Rhodri said: “We were delighted at the generous amount that was raised in his memory at the Businesspersons Christmas lunch.

“Charity work was important to John, through his membership of the Lions Club and it is fitting that the money raised went to a department where he personally received such care and attention from Dr McKeogh and his team.

“John will be remembered not only as a businessman but also as a keen and talented trumpeter, playing with Aberystwyth Town Band, Aber Jazz and Philomusica, to name but a few, as well as playing carols with the Town Band every Christmas Day around Bronglais Hospital wards and care homes in the town.”

Pictured at the cheque presentation at Bronglais Hospital are (from left) Consultant Cardiologist Dr Donogh McKeogh; Aled and Rose Rowlands; John Davies’ widow Ann; Frank Bridle; John’s daughter and son, Angharad and Rhodri; and Iestyn Leyshon.

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Wales stands firm in support for Ukraine

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IN THE latest update on the Ukraine crisis, Wales’s Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt thanked all those households across Wales who have come forward to offer their homes to Ukrainians fleeing the War and encouraged more households to provide this vital support.

APPEAL FOR MORE HOST FAMILIES

The Minister for Social Justice said: “I’m delighted to say that over 5,650 people from Ukraine, sponsored by the Welsh Government and Welsh households, have already arrived in the UK.
“More than 8,200 visas have now been issued to people from Ukraine who have sponsors in Wales, so we expect the number of arrivals to continue to grow in the coming weeks.
“Thousands of Welsh households sponsored Ukrainians to arrive in Wales and committed to hosting them for at least six months.
“As we move into the autumn, we approach the end of that initial period.
“We hope hosts and Ukrainians will agree to extend many of those placements, but we need additional hosts to support those who cannot continue living where they are.
“To ensure a warm welcome to Wales, I’m inviting households across Wales to come forward and open their homes to welcome those seeking sanctuary.
“We’re immensely thankful to all those across Wales acting as hosts to Ukrainians, but more households must come forward.
“I completely understand that there are those who want to help but may not have the resources to do so, given the circumstances we’re all facing with the cost-of-living crisis.”

WALES WILL STEP UP TO THE PLATE

Jane Hutt continued: “What we all know, and has been proven countless times, is that the people of Wales are one of the most generous across the globe, and I’m sure we will step up to the plate once again.
“The idea of hosting can be daunting. That’s why we have funded Housing Justice Cymru to provide a Host Support service which includes expert and reliable information, training, advice, and guidance for people hosting, or those considering hosting, Ukrainians in Wales.
“More information on sessions and training can be found on the Housing Justice Cymru website. We also publish regularly updated guidance for hosts and sponsors at gov. wales/ukraine.
“We still need many more households to consider whether they could provide a home for those in need. This would normally be a commitment to hosting for 6 to 12 months.
“If anyone is considering this, we encourage them to register their interest at gov.wales/offerhome, and to attend one of the ‘Introduction to Hosting’ sessions, facilitated by Housing Justice Cymru. You won’t need to continue the process if you decide it is not for you.
“We have also partnered with Airbnb.org to ensure very short-term emergency placements can be provided to prevent homelessness.
“If you cannot host for more than 6 months but you could offer your property for up to 30 days at a time, you may also be able to contribute. Visit gov.wales/offerhome and follow the link to the Airbnb.org platform.”
Finally, the Minister stated: “We will continue to communicate with those who host Ukrainians, with updated guidance and information to support the valuable role you are undertaking.
“To all those that are already hosting and to those that are considering hosting, thank you, we owe you all a huge debt of gratitude.”

WESTMINSTER MUST BACK HOSTS
DURING COST-OF-LIVING CRISIS

Conservative MS Mark Isherwood raised how the cost-of-living crisis affects Ukrainian refugees.
Where families had taken in those fleeing Russian aggression, he noted a risk of sponsorships not continuing beyond six months because the hosts cannot afford the rise in fuel costs.
He asked the Minister what discussions she’d had with the UK Government about increasing the £350 contribution to households who’d taken in Ukrainian refugees.
The Minister agreed with Mark Isherwood that ending a specific ministerial post dealing with refugees was regrettable.
She noted a lack of information from the UK Government over the summer months and since Liz Truss replaced Boris Johnson as head of the Conservative Government.
Ms Hutt said: “We asked for an increase at least to £500, or up again, doubling to £700 per month. An urgent decision is needed regarding this as they reach the end of their six-month period.
“That period is underway, so we’re writing to all hosts to see if they will continue.”

UK GOVERNMENT URGED
TO PICK UP THE PHONE

The Minister thanked Mark Isherwood for introducing her to a charity offering support in North Wales, Link, and hoped that he and his colleagues would bring pressure to bear on their Westminster colleagues to ensure those in need from Ukraine and those in Wales helping them received support.
She added: “I look forward perhaps that we might have some telephone calls from the Prime Minister and other Ministers to us in Government. We must engage with them and follow this through.
“There is a huge job of work to be done here. We’re taking responsibility in the way I’ve outlined, funding our welcome centres and paying thank-you payments to hosts if they support a family who initially arrived in Wales under the Ukraine family scheme.
“That’s not happening in England. The commitment that we’re making is considerable.
“I hope everyone will join us today, saying that we need to press for those answers in terms of financial support.”

THE THREAT OF HOMELESSNESS

Sioned Williams of Plaid Cymru raised the spectre of Ukrainian refugees becoming homeless in Wales due to a lack of financial support and the end of existing hosting and housing placements.
The Minister praised the work of local authorities across Wales supporting refugees.
She said: “There are very imaginative programmes. That includes a whole range of issues like repurposing empty buildings.
“Local authorities are really coming up with a whole range of ways in which we can support people, perhaps, from a welcome centre, or a host family, into that intermediate accommodation, and then on to other longer-term accommodation.”
Pembrokeshire currently houses around 200 Ukrainian refugees, with the demand for assistance outstripping the availability of suitable accommodation.

NOT ONE PENNY FROM WESTMINSTER
TO SUPPORT FAMILIES FLEEING WAR

Responding to a question from Mabon ap Gwynfor about problems housing family groups, Jane Hutt hit out at the lack of support from the UK Government and how it’s u-turned on a commitment to help families.
“The UK Government has never given a penny towards the family scheme.
“The former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, in one of his last PMQs, actually said that he thought the Ukraine family scheme should get the same funding and support as the Homes for Ukraine scheme. It’s never happened.
“We have provided thank-you payments to people who are hosting Ukrainian families. It’s all Welsh Government money; it’s not UK Government, because they don’t provide a penny. And also, the British Red Cross—£246,000—who are actually supporting Ukrainian families who are hosting family members under the Ukrainian family scheme.”
On Wednesday, September 28, Eluned Morgan, Wales’s Health Minister, announced the continuation of free healthcare in Wales to Ukrainian residents displaced by the ongoing conflict.
The exemption will continue to apply unless there’s a significant change in circumstances in Ukraine.

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