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Church lowers a voting age to sixteen

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church16 AND 17-YEAR-OLDS will now be able to have their say at key church meetings following a motion passed last week. For the first time, under-18s will be able to become members of Diocesan Conferences and play a full part in their decision-making. The motion was passed with strong support by the Church’s Governing Body at its meeting last week.

It had been brought as a Private Members’ motion by the Archdeacon of Montgomery, Dr Peter Pike, and seconded by lay member, Dr Huw Lloyd – both from the Diocese of St Asaph. Proposing the change, Dr Pike referred to the Scottish referendum taking place that day at which younger teenagers were also allowed to vote. He said, “Those between the ages of 16 and 18, who will be voting for the very first time today, are being consulted and invited to make up their minds in a mature manner about a range of complex issues.

They are being respected for the energy and insight that they bring to life in Scotland. “Our Private Members’ Motion asks for something similar: that our young people aged 16 and over have the opportunity to take a full part in our six Diocesan Conferences. He added, “The young people of this age group are established and gifted in life, and have all sorts of perspectives on things which we who are older have either dulled or forgotten. But I wonder if our over cautious, utterly sensible and mildly hierarchical approach to governance in our church life has resulted in a huge blind-spot for those who would have so much to offer?”

During a lively debate, Carol Cobert, a lay representative from Llandaff Diocese, reflected that experience isn’t everything, telling the hall in Lampeter, “We have been making decisions for years and we still get it wrong!” Others commented that lowering the age of service would encourage young people to take part, “Giving young people responsibility will encourage participation, ” said Ros Crawford, a lay member from St Asaph Diocese.

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Community

New healthy heart project to help patients in North Ceredigion

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PATIENTS in North Ceredigion will now benefit from a new project which will offer psychological support to those at risk of heart problems.

Hywel Dda University Health Board has funded this project which offers advice and support for patients with cardiovascular risk factors.

This new Clinical Health Psychology pathway will run the in North Ceredigion Cluster which covers seven surgeries. The scheme aims to prevent the escalation of cardiovascular disease and cardiac events including heart attack and stroke.

Support will be provided in a primary care setting for patients with two or more of the following modifiable risk factors:

Elevated blood pressure

Elevated Cholesterol

Elevated HbA1c

Clinically overweight or obese

Chronic stress

The pathway offers emotional support to help make changes to patients’ lifestyles, including managing stress or improving their health and fitness, ultimately helping to reduce cardiovascular risks.

Rachel Herrick, Clinical Lead Psychologist for the pathway, said: “Anxiety, depression and stress are risk factors for the onset, development and prognosis of cardiac problems. Lifestyle factors including diet, sleep, and activity levels also play a major role in the onset of cardiovascular diseases.

“By providing psychological techniques and therapy, we can prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases. Learning to manage stress, anxiety and depression and following a healthy lifestyle will significantly reduce risk, as well as improve overall quality of life and general health outcomes for our patients in North Ceredigion.”

If you would like to self-refer to this pathway, please telephone and leave a message on 01267 246917 or email clinicalhealth.psychology.hdd@wales.nhs.uk

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Construction work due to begin on transforming Lampeter Leisure Centre next month

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AS PART of Ceredigion County Council’s wider Through-age and Wellbeing Strategy, Lampeter Leisure Centre will transform into a Wellbeing Centre. 

The Wellbeing Centre will provide a wide range of services that consider and improve the physical, mental and social aspects of an individual’s wellbeing. These Through-age services will include skills and employment advice, hardship and housing support, services for young people, support for carers and early support for Mental Health.

The Wellbeing Centre will also provide increased access to information, advice and assistance for residents on all council services. Providing opportunities for people to be physically active will remain a core component of the Wellbeing Centre. The proposed redevelopment will see a new fitness suite created on the ground floor, a spin studio and a multi-purpose room that can accommodate exercise classes on the first floor. 

To aid the transformation, Lampeter Leisure Centre will have to close to ensure that the essential building work can begin. The work is due to begin mid-July 2022.

An agreement has been put in place with the University of Wales Trinity St David’s to use their leisure facilities on their Lampeter campus while the work is being undertaken, meaning that all current users of the Leisure Centre will be accommodated.

The Council and the University are committed to continuing to work together even after the construction of the Wellbeing Centre, to ensure that there is provision within Lampeter for all sports and activities currently being played at the Leisure Centre to continue and develop.

Catrin M.S. Davies, Ceredigion County Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Customer Services, said: “This significant capital investment in Lampeter Leisure Centre will ensure the future of the Centre for years and will meet the growing needs of children, young people, individuals and families in Lampeter and the surrounding area.” 

Use of the facilities at the Lampeter Campus will start week commencing Monday 11 July 2022 and will continue until the building work is complete which will be early in 2023.

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New grants scheme launched to break barriers to accessing nature

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A £2MILLION funding pot designed to bolster community resilience by harnessing the power of nature is set to be launched by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) this summer.  

The launch of the Resilient Communities Grant Programme stems from calls for a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic – a recovery which places a stronger focus on action for nature and a recovery that spreads to every part of society.

 The Welsh Government’s declaration of a Climate and Nature Emergency has also galvanised communities, businesses and public bodies in Wales to work together to mitigate against and adapt to the impacts of climate change, now and in the future.

The Resilient Communities Grant will provide communities with the opportunities to restore and enhance nature in their local areas, particularly in Wales’ most disadvantaged communities, and those with little access to nature. Supporting the provision of more green space will also support the changes needed to make to society to respond to the challenges of the climate emergency and reverse the decline in biodiversity.

 With applications set to open in July, NRW is urging projects from across Wales to develop and submit proposals that have at their heart:

  • Opportunities to promote diversity and inclusion, particularly amongst communities that have less access to quality green spaces.
  • Creative ways to reconnect people with nature and their local environment to improve physical and mental health, confidence, self-esteem and encourage ‘green behaviours’.
  • Promoting health and wellbeing through therapy and nature, particularly interventions that tackle health inequalities.
  • Nature-based solutions that help communities feel safer and secure, for example improving greenspaces blighted by criminal activity.
  • Creating more opportunities to access nature, especially where this need is reflected in future development planning.
  • Opportunities to improving community awareness and understanding of climate risks, empowering communities to be involved in decision-making and taking action to tackle climate change impacts.
  • Ensuring communities feel a sense of connection and empowerment with their natural environment and have an active role over how it is managed and improved.
  • Creating opportunities for education and involvement in citizen science so communities have a better connection and greater understanding of their local environment and the benefits that a healthy environment can bring.

Gareth O’Shea, Director of Operations for NRW, said: “We have seen people connecting with nature during the Covid-19 pandemic and a greater appreciation of the way in which it underpins our health, our economy and our wider wellbeing.

“There has also been increasing recognition that the climate and nature emergencies are upon us, and its impacts are being felt amongst the parts of society that have contributed least to its acceleration. More needs to be done to mitigate and adapt now.

“Our Resilient Communities Grant Programme seeks to support that effort – providing communities with the opportunities to meet these challenges in a number of ways.

“From promoting the benefits of greater access to nature, tackling loneliness and exclusion and empowering people to influence the decisions made in their local areas, we’re encouraging people to submit proposals that can make a significant difference to the health, wellbeing and resilience of current and future generations.”

The Resilient Communities Grant Programme can provide 100% funding and applications are welcomed for amounts from £10,000 to £250,000. Applications can be made across different places and address multiple themes. Applicants who collaborate with other partners to submit joint applications are also warmly welcomed.

For further information on NRW’s Resilient Communities Grant Programme and the upcoming webinar, please visit: Natural Resources Wales / Current grant funding opportunities or contact grants.enquiries@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk

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