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Local Carmarthenshire projects awarded £59,000 from BBC Children in Need

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Carmarthen Youth Project and Carmarthenshire Youth & Children’s Association have been awarded funding from BBC Children in Need to support disadvantaged children and young people locally.

Today, (Monday 22 June), BBC Children in Need has announced that it has awarded new grants totalling £59,670 to two local projects working with disadvantaged children and young people in Carmarthenshire.

The new funding awards – made possible following BBC Children in Need’s 2019 Appeal in November – will support the delivery of vital services to young people in the area and means that the charity now has more than £949,000 invested locally.

Carmarthen Youth Project has been awarded a three-year grant of £29,670 to provide a child and parent group for disadvantaged children living in areas of deprivation. In addition, the funding will support the project to deliver a weekly session for eight to eleven year olds, to aid the transition from Primary to Secondary education. Through the programme of support the project aims to improve family relationships whilst increasing the children’s overall wellbeing and reducing their feelings of isolation.

Gayle Harris, Youth Project Manager at Carmarthen Youth Project, said of the funding award: “With this funding we will provide a safe place for parents to simply play with their children and enjoy their company without stress or worry. It sounds simple, but it is hugely impactful. In addition, we will be able to support young people as they make the transition to Secondary Education, which is often a daunting time in their lives. Thank you, BBC Children in Need.”

Elsewhere, Carmarthenshire Youth & Children’s Association has been allocated a three-year grant of £30,000 to provide online safety sessions for disadvantaged young people who might be vulnerable to exploitation. Through the programme of support the project aims to support young people to be better able to keep themselves safe online and build their resilience, whilst reducing their anxiety and supporting them to better understand their feelings.

Tracy Pike MBE, CEO of Carmarthenshire Youth & Children’s Association, commented on the funding award, saying: “This funding will enable us to employ a part-time Digital Resiliency Officer to deliver training workshops to children at risk of being exploited online. Without our services, hundreds of children throughout Carmarthenshire would not access the support they need to ensure they are kept safe from harm – thank you, BBC Children in Need.”

Speaking of the new grants, Melinda Connelly, BBC Children in Need National Head of Wales said: “At BBC Children in Need we fund projects making a real difference to disadvantaged young lives, and we’re delighted to be awarding this new funding locally. With this money, projects will deliver support to children and young people locally who need it most. During these unprecedented times, where many of our projects are having to adapt and find new ways of supporting children and young people in need of help, we are more grateful than ever for the generosity shown by our supporters, who made these funding awards possible. Thank you all.”

Simon Antrobus, Chief Executive of BBC Children in Need, said: “During these exceptional times I am delighted to be awarding funding which will positively impact young lives when they need it most. An enormous thank you must go to our incredible supporters, without whom these grants simply wouldn’t be possible.”

In addition to these grants, BBC Children in Need has launched two dedicated COVID-19 Response Programmes, following The Big Night In appeal on 23 April, which brought BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief together for the first time. These new grant programmes have been developed in response to the current crisis to support local charities and organisations across the UK who are providing essential help to children and young people in urgent need of support and funding has already begun to be distributed. For more information on these funding programmes please visit the BBC Children in Need website.

Across Carmarthenshire, BBC Children in Need is currently funding 19 projects to a value of £949,000.

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Carmarthenshire hometown heroes & lockdown legends sought for 2020 National Lottery Awards

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The National Lottery Awards 2019 winners on stage, including Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson from Wales, the first ever recipient of The National Lottery's Lifetime Achievement Award.

THE National Lottery is searching for your ‘hometown hero’ or ‘lockdown legend’ as part of the 2020 National Lottery Awards.

This year the annual search for the UK’s most popular National Lottery funded projects will, for the first time, honour individuals who have made an extraordinary impact in their community, especially those who have adapted during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

New figures reveal more than £3.2 million of National Lottery funding has been invested in good causes in Carmarthenshire in 2018/19 alone.

A total of 158 National Lottery grants were awarded in the region during the previous financial year, providing vital support to arts, sports, heritage and community projects.

From today, The National Lottery are calling for nominations of people who have done amazing things with the help of National Lottery funding and are an inspiration to us all.

Winners in each category will receive a £3,000 cash prize for their organisation and a coveted National Lottery Awards trophy.

Jonathan Tuchner from The National Lottery is encouraging the people of Carmarthenshire to make their nominations.

He said: “The National Lottery continues to have a positive impact on life across the UK. Thanks to National Lottery players thousands of projects are making an incredible difference to their local communities.

Now, more than ever, people have rallied together, and individuals are performing inspirational acts and extraordinary endeavors to help in cities, towns and villages up and down the country.

Thanks to National Lottery players, up to £600 million has been made available to support communities throughout the UK amid the coronavirus crisis. People have used National Lottery funding in amazing ways during these challenging times. We want to honour them as part of this year’s National Lottery Awards and recognise their selfless dedication and thank them for their fantastic work.”

Encompassing all aspects of National Lottery good causes funding, the 2020 National Lottery Awards are seeking to recognise outstanding individuals in the following sectors:

And there will be a special Young Hero Award for someone under the age of 18 who has gone that extra mile in their organisation. All nominees must work or act for a National Lottery funded organisation or have received National Lottery funding.

To make your nomination for this year’s National Lottery Awards, tweet @LottoGoodCauses with your suggestions or complete an entry form through our website www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards . Entries must be received by midnight on 19th August 2020.

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Chancellors economic update includes VAT cut for hospitality sector, and customer discounts

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The Chancellor had set out his coronavirus recovery package today.

Rishi Sunak set out the measures in his summer economic update in the House of Commons on Wednesday (Jun 8), as he faces pressure to assist those who are most vulnerable to the financial crisis.

The Chancellor said he will cut VAT from 20% to 5% for food if people eat out to help those businesses which he said had been hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The chancellor announced discount to encourage people to eat out in August.

He says restaurants, pubs, bars and hotels as well as other attractions will be able to claim the money back within five days. It had been reported he was considering giving all UK adults a £500 voucher to spent with companies hit by coronavirus, but the Chancellor has decided not to go ahead with that proposal.

Instead Sunak announced a discount worth up to £10 per head for eating out in August. He said his final measure has never been tried in this country. It is an “eat out to help out scheme”, offering customers as discount worth up to £10 per head when they eat out from Monday to Wednesday in August.

Speaking in the Commons today, he said: “Our plan has clear goals, to protect, support and retain jobs.”

Regards furlough scheme, he said it must wind down, adding: “flexibly and gradually supporting people through to October” but that he is introducing a bonus for employers who bring staff back from furlough.

Employers who bring someone back from furlough and employ them through to January, paying them a minimum of £520 a month, will receive a £1,000 bonus.

He says that “in total we have provided £49bn to support public services since the pandemic began”.

He added: “No nationalist can ignore that this help has only been possible because we are a United Kingdom.”

Mr Sunak says the UK economy has already shrunk by 25% – the same amount it grew in the previous 18 years.

He also announced:

A £2bn kickstart scheme paying employers to take on unemployed 16 to 24 year olds for a minimum of 25 hours a week – he says the Treasury will pay those wages for six months plus a sum for overheads. He says there is no cap. This will apply in England and Wales.

VAT on food from restaurants, cafes, pubs and hotels will be cut until January 12 from 20% to 5%
Funding for apprenticeships and traineeships in England, there will be a separate announcement for Wales.

£1bn for the DWP to support millions of people back to work through Job Centres. A £2bn green homes grant in England to cover two thirds of the cost, up to £5,000, for energy efficient home improvements. Again the Welsh Government will have their own proposals on this given time.

A temporary cut to stamp duty in England and Northern Ireland.

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Calls for Amman Valley rail line to be mothballed

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CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL today passed a motion tabled to investigate the opportunity to mothball the Amman Valley rail line until a Metro for the region can be established.

With the Amman Valley Railway line coal transportation coming to the end of its life, Carmarthenshire Council agreed there should be a feasibility study of the railway line, to see if we could do a modern environmentally-friendly green railway. The modern rail bus would connect the Amman Valley and the Gwendrarth Valley with Llanelli and Swansea.

This motion follows on from a motion tabled by Carmarthenshire Council nearly three years ago on the need for sustainable, environmentally-friendly and cheap public transport within Carmarthenshire, under the umbrella of a Swansea Bay Metro.

As part of the discussion, it was revealed that a feasibility study into the Swansea Bay Metro has now moved to Transport for Wales for competition after a delay in its competition.

Cllr Rob James, Leader of Carmarthenshire Labour, stated: “Like many communities in Carmarthenshire, residents in the Amman Valleys are unable to catch a bus a lot of time, when they do they realise the costs of ticket and it’s our town centres that are suffering as a result.

“There is a need arising with opencast mining ceasing in the near future to mothball the Amman Valley railway line until plans can be furthered on the Swansea Bay Metro proposal.

“We know from experience that attempting to bring lines back into use after years of neglect is extremely costly and as a result, makes infrastructure projects, such as this, less desirable for Governments.

“We cannot afford to sit on our hands and hope others will pick up the slack if we are to sort out public transport in Carmarthenshire.”

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