A NEW campaign has been launched to encourage people in Carmarthenshire to consider fostering.
The Fostering Network has estimated that 550 foster families will be needed in Wales to keep up with the widespread demand.
Carmarthenshire is one of nine local authorities who have joined forces to create #20Reasons. The campaign uses real foster carers and their motives for fostering to inform and inspire more families to consider looking after a child or young person.
The 20 reasons to foster range from making a difference to a child’s life by giving them a sense of love, belonging and security; to being part of building a positive future and helping to keep a child in their local area so they can stay in school and near their friends.
All types of foster carers are needed but particularly those who would consider fostering teenagers, therapeutic carers, respite carers, emergency carers, sibling groups and children with additional needs.
Tammy, aged 36, is one of the foster carers supporting the campaign. She has been a foster carer for almost seven years. After years of trying to start a family of their own, Tammy and her partner chose to take a different approach through fostering.
Tammy said: “I realised that there are so many children that need a loving home and that I had so much love that I wanted to give to a child so it just made sense that this is how we could build our family.
“I have a really close bond with all of the children that I’ve fostered. One of our foster children is now 17 and doesn’t live with us anymore but still comes over for a Sunday dinner every week. Our current long-term foster children even call us mum and dad, and there’s no better feeling than that really.”
Executive Board Member for Education and Children Cllr Glynog Davies said: “Not many people know the realities of fostering in Carmarthenshire from gaining new skills and qualifications to changing your career and feeling the reward and fulfilment that fostering brings. There are many reasons why people choose to foster and we hope we can inspire more to become the lifeline children and young people in need.”
If you’ve been thinking about fostering or would like more information the fostering recruitment team is holding an information evening on Wednesday, January 15 at Cross Hands Working Men’s Club between 6pm and 8pm; or for more information visit foster.midandwest.wales/carmarthenshire or phone 0800 0933 699.
Here are #20Reasons to foster in 2020:
1. You can help a child who’s had a difficult past
2. You’ll help build positive futures
3. You can help a child reach their full potential
4. Fostering is amazing and rewarding
5. Meet other caring people – just like you
6. You can make a difference locally
7. Choose which type of fostering is right for you
8. Help keep a child in their school
9. Develop new skills and gain qualifications
10. You’ll make a difference that lasts a lifetime
11. It’s a different way to grow your family
12. Become part of our fostering community
13. You’ll be a positive role model
14. Kindness feels good
15. Local children and young people urgently need a home
16. You’ll help build a child’s confidence
17. You can change career
18. You’ll give a child a chance in life
19. Fostering gives you new perspectives
20. You’ll give a child a sense of belonging
Three more food hubs set up for families in need
THE council is providing an additional three food hubs in Carmarthenshire to help families in need as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
The food hubs will open at Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn in Newcastle Emlyn, Ysgol Bro Dinefwr in Llandeilo and Maes Y Gwendreath in Cefneithin from tomorrow, Friday, April 3.
In addition, QE High School will no longer be used as a food hub or as a collection point for free school meals after tomorrow. This will be provided by Ysgol Bro Myrddin instead from Monday, April 6. This is because the kitchens at QE High could be used to support the temporary hospital at Carmarthen Leisure Centre.
The remaining food hubs are located at Bryngwyn School in Llanelli, Ysgol Dyffryn Aman in Ammanford and Ysgol Dyffryn Taf in Whitland.
Children who are entitled to free school meals will also receive dry, tinned and other long-life food supplies to feed the whole family.
They are open Monday to Friday, between 9am and 11.30am and are run by council staff who have been redeployed to help deliver essential services. Please note the food hubs will not be open Good Friday (April 10) and Easter Monday (April 13).
The new hubs have been set up following a successful week-long pilot. We would like to reassure residents that no food is going to waste. Working closely with local food supplier Castell Howell, the council has ordered a three-week supply of food for our community hubs to limit unnecessary travel for families who are benefitting.
Executive Board Member for Communities Cllr Cefin Campbell said: “I am delighted that the pilot has been successful, and we are now able to roll it out to another three locations in Carmarthenshire.
“It is now more important than ever to look after those most in need and we support families who are experiencing financial difficulty and may struggle to put food on the table as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I would like to thank everyone involved in this project. It is at times like these that we see how people pull together to help those most in need, and it is heart-warming to see during such difficult times.”
If you need to contact us about the food hubs, please call 01267 234567, between 8.30am and 6pm, seven days a week.
Kidwelly Tea Dance Club donate £500 to Breast Care Unit Prince Philip Hospital
A big thank you to Kidwelly Tea Dance Club for raising funds for the Breast Care Unit at Prince Philip Hospital.
Sandra Griffiths, Club Secretary said, “We all know someone who has undergone treatment for breast cancer and we would like to support this wonderful service at Prince Philip hospital. We raise funds by selling raffle tickets at our tea dances, which are held every fortnight at the Princess Gwenllian Centre. Everyone is welcome to join us, even if you don’t like dancing, it’s an opportunity to meet socially in a friendly atmosphere.”
Claire Rumble, Carmarthenshire Fundraising Officer said “Thank you for inviting me to your tea dance and presenting the £500 donation, it really will make a difference to our local Breast Care Unit – thank you and keep dancing!”
First dog breeder signs up to Buy With Confidence scheme
CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has become the first in the UK to bring a dog breeder on to the national Buy With Confidence Scheme.
Knocking Stone Kennels, of Mynydd Y Garreg, has signed up to the scheme, which provides consumers with a list of local businesses that have given their commitment to trading responsibly and fairly.
Every business the council signs up undergoes a rigorous vetting process before being approved as a member of the scheme.
Becoming a member allows the business to display the Trading Standards Approved Badge, and provides their customers with additional reassurance that they are buying or commissioning services from a responsible trader.
Carmarthenshire County Council has a strong and proactive approach to enforcing dog breeding standards.
Bringing responsible breeders on board with the Buy With Confidence scheme allows the council to further strengthen the standards it expects from breeders.
The council’s executive board member for public protection, Cllr Philip Hughes said: “This scheme helps protect customers from rogue traders and illegitimate businesses. It also gives them peace of mind about the products and services they are purchasing.
“Our animal health team proactively enforces dog breeding standards in Carmarthenshire and are constantly striving to improve conditions in this industry. Bringing breeders on board with the Buy With Confidence scheme is another way of encouraging licensed breeders to be responsible, and is in addition to the process of vetting and inspections with standard licensing.
“We have worked closely with Knocking Stone Kennels to bring them on board with this scheme, and hope that they will be the first of many.”
Knocking Stone Kennels has been established for 50 years, specialising in Yorkshire Terriers and other toy breeds.
Owner, Linda Baxter said: “We are delighted to become a member of the Trading Standards Buy with Confidence Scheme and to be approved and accepted as the very first dog breeder on the scheme in Carmarthenshire, Wales and UK. A big thank you to the council’s animal welfare team for their help and guidance through the process and to Trading Standards for entrusting us on the scheme.”
Carmarthenshire County Council licenses over 80 dog breeders across the county, allowing them to enforce standards and carry out regular inspections.
The council employs a qualified vet to complete inspections and dedicated investigation officers proactively monitor selling sites and visit premises to pursue action.
Over the last year, the council has prosecuted four breeders, confiscating over £275,000 by means of Proceeds of Crime which has been reinvested into the pursuit of illegal activity and substandard licensed conditions.
It is now working to encourage other breeders to come on board with the Buy With Confidence scheme to provide added reassurance to their customers.
Anyone who would like further information about joining the scheme, or who is looking for a registered trader, can visit www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk
Lee Waters MS and Cllr Tina Higgins have backed a commitment by the Welsh Labour Government to improve welfare standards for dogs at breeding premises in Wales.
Welsh Labour’s Minister for the Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths has said she will act immediately to strengthen how the law is applied across Wales.
And she has re-confirmed the Welsh Government will take forward Lucy’s Law and ban third party puppy and kitten sales.
It comes as a review of the existing laws by the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group, called for greater consistency in the inspection and enforcement of breeding regulations and a review of the licensing process, including application of a staff to adult dog ratio appropriate to the breeding premises. These actions can quickly improve the welfare of dogs in Wales. The Group also recognised the need for better welfare standards for all breeding dogs in Wales rather than only those at licensed premises.
All of these changes can be implemented straight away, and should improve animal welfare quickly. A bill to ban third party puppy and kitten sales will be introduced to implement Lucy’s Law.
Last year, Councillor Tina Higgins successfully brought a motion to the full Carmarthenshire County Council calling on the council to support Lucy’s Law, a national campaign calling for a ban on puppies being sold by dealers and other third parties. The motion was successfully carried, and Cllr Higgins has led the campaign for better animal welfare standards in Carmarthenshire.
Lee Waters MS said:
“I welcome the commitment made by the Welsh Labour Government to drive up the welfare standards for dogs at breeding premises – it’s something I have long campaigned for.
“We all want to see the highest welfare standards for animals in Wales. So it’s good news some of the recommendations can be delivered through existing legislation and enacted quickly.
“The combination of new regulations on pet sales and dedicated funding for enforcement and delivery of the breeding regulations will result in lasting improvements to the welfare standards of puppies bred in Wales.”
Cllr Tina Higgins said:
“I’m absolutely delighted that the Welsh Government have taken action to strengthen and implement Lucy’s Law here in Wales, and drive up standards for all dogs being used for breeding.
“We can learn from elsewhere and help make sure that Wales has the best animal welfare standards in the UK.”
“I’ll be making sure Carmarthenshire Council is ready to use its powers to protect animals being bred here.”
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