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Family business Cariad Glass offer lockdown creativity with Make at Home Mosaic kit

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Stained Glass artists Cariad Glass have seen a boost in online sales during lockdown after developing
a fun make at home glass mosaic kit to give crafty customers a creative fix.

The Llandysul business had received a micro loan from the Development Bank of Wales to support
their growth and give them working capital shortly before lockdown was announced.

Husband and wife team Justine and Chris Dodd use traditional methods and techniques to create
bespoke art and glass pieces, specialising in commission and restoration work. They also offer face-
to-face courses at their studio for those who wish to learn more about glass crafts.

Co-owner Justine said: “We realised fairly early on in to the lockdown that we’d need to move
production of our studio. We took home a bench and set up a studio in our log cabin summerhouse
at the bottom of our garden. We had a few commissions to work on, but needed to postpone all of
our classes.”

“Chris was working on a piece that had been pre-ordered for May. I filmed him working so that we
could share this with our customers, many of whom had booked courses with us. That had a good
response and it got us thinking about other things we may be able to offer our customers during
lockdown.”

Keen to offer something to do at home for customers who were missing face-to-face courses, the
pair came up with idea of a small hanging glass mosaic panel that you can make at home. They built
a 20cm by 10cm ready-to-hang frame and cut and leaded glass pieces – the bit that cannot be safely
done in a domestic kitchen. The process of putting together a glass mosaic using domestic
equipment was filmed and they put the video on their Facebook page. They were soon inundated
with requests to buy the £25 kits.

“Our sales of smaller artisan pieces usually comes through galleries and exhibitions which are all on
hold at present. Our website shop, the Stained Glass Emporium has been invaluable – we’ve sold
nearly 200 of these kits since we made that post. There’s been a real appetite for them and people
have loved sharing pictures of their finished creations with us,” added Justine.

“They’ve been so popular that we’ve drafted in our daughter Hattie, who would have been sitting
her A Levels this summer, to take over the boxing and delivery part of the processes. It’s kept us
fresh and busy through the lockdown, keeping creative ideas going is so important for an artisan
businesses like ours. But it’s also been fantastic seeing our customers have fun and learn new

techniques. We love teaching glass making and glass arts and this is a way we’ve been able to carry
on this whilst our studio remains closed to customers.”

The family have recently moved production back from the garden summer house to their studio and
are looking at ways that they can safely re-open to the public when restrictions ease further.
They’ve been supported through lockdown by Development Bank of Wales Portfolio Executive
Donna Williams. She said: “It’s great to see how west Wales businesses are using their ingenuity and
grit to come up with new ways to keep their business going through these uncertain times. Justine,
Chris have been fantastic, offering a new product which has provided a valuable creative and mental
boost to customers.

“Faced with new restrictions and the need to keep their family safe, they moved their operation to
their own home at the peak of the pandemic. Thinking about the needs of their customers first,
many of whom have had face-to-face courses postponed, they developed a fun and flexible new
product. The ‘make your own glass mosaics’ have been selling like hot cakes and have opened up a
new way of doing business for this family team. We’ve been happy to support them and are excited
to see what the future holds as we slowly return to normal.”

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More support for West Wales carers

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A NEW strategy has been launched to improve life for more than 47,000 unpaid carers in west Wales.

Coinciding with Carers Rights Day, the West Wales Care Partnership has launched a five-year plan focused on four key areas to improve the support available for people caring for family or friends.

A carer is anyone, of any age, who provides unpaid care to someone who couldn’t otherwise manage, either because they are ill, frail, disabled, have mental health concerns or have substance misuse issues.

The strategy outlines how support will be provided to help carers maintain education, training and employment opportunities, and support to help them take advantage of digital services.

There will be greater focus on early intervention to identify people as carers and ensuring a range of services are available to support their well-being.

Judith Hardisty Chair of the West Wales Regional Partnership Board and Vice-Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “I’m delighted to be formally launching this regional strategy on Carers Rights Day. Improving lives for Carers is a priority for all members of the Regional Partnership Board as we strive to ensure that everyone lives longer healthier and happier lives and are supported to remain active and independent in their own homes for as long as possible. Our vision is to ensure that Carers are recognised, valued as expert partners in care and supported in their caring role.”

The West Wales Care Partnership covers the counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire and supports transformation and integration of care and support in the region.

Carmarthenshire Council’s executive board member for social care, Cllr Jane Tremlett said: “Caring for someone can be both challenging and rewarding. Some carers provide around the clock care which can be a huge struggle, exhausting and very demanding. Others have the added hardship of working whilst caring for a loved one. Many carers experience isolation, physical health problems and emotional issues such as anxiety and stress and balancing the caring role whilst juggling other commitments can be extremely hard. Thousands of unpaid carers in West Wales are helping to look after relatives, friends or neighbours, and without their dedication the burden on our health and social care services would be huge. This Strategy will put greater focus on what can be done to support them in as many ways as possible.”

For further information about the regional Carers Strategy contact the Strategic Partnership, Diversity and Inclusion Team by emailing inclusion.hdd@wales.nhs.uk

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Police and Crime Commissioner to broadcast live conversation with Health Board

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ON WEDNESDAY evening, November 25, Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn will broadcast a live conversation with Hywel Dda University Health Board Chief Executive, Steve Moore on social media.

Steve Moore will be PCC Llywelyn’s fourth guest on his fortnightly Facebook live broadcast series, Commissioner in Conversation following on from previous broadcasts with Dyfed-Powys Chief Constable Mark Collins, Superintendent Ifan Charles, and Deputy Chief Constable Claire Parmenter.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn, said; “It will be a privilege for me to have Steve Moore as a guest on my next Commissioner in Conversation broadcast.  This year has been such a challenging year for our Health Board, and the NHS across the UK, with their staff being at the frontline, working hard to fight the pandemic, and saving lives on the way.

“This broadcast will be an opportunity for me to have an informal conversation with Steve to hear about his personal experiences of recent months, how the Health Board has dealt with all the challenges and the pressure, and to celebrate the fantastic work of his staff.

“We will not only concentrate on the COVID-19 pandemic, we will also discuss some partnership working between the NHS and the Police, how we often support each other, and as usual, I will try to get to know a little more about the person behind the name, his background and his journey to reach the position of Chief Executive at Hywel Dda University Health Board.”

Steve was appointed as Chief Executive at Hywel Dda UHB in 2014 following a career within both the public and private sectors. Like the rest of the UK, the NHS here in Dyfed Powys has seen significant challenges during the past few years but also significant advancements in care and outcomes for patients.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive Hywel Dda Health Board said: “The NHS is an institution that most of us hold very dear as it supports us from cradle to grave and can have a huge impact on our lives.

“I’m really looking forward to my conversation with the Commissioner as so many of our challenges, and indeed opportunities, are shared; and I’m particularly looking forward to receiving questions or input from social media users as well. COVID-19 has made us all look to new ways of connecting and I hope this provides an opportunity for people to find out more and for us to listen to the views of our communities and individuals.”

PCC Dafydd Llywelyn added; “This, again, will be a live broadcast, so please join us on our Facebook page, and feel free to leave your comments and questions, and as usual, we will try to reply best we can during the conversation.

Commissioner in Conversation with Steve Moore will be broadcasted live on www.facebook.com/DPOPCC  at 8pm on November 25, on the eve of Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn’s November virtual Community Engagement Day, where he will be spending the day meeting with several partners and organisations as well as community representatives.

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New ‘world class’ facilities for Carmarthen Leisure Centre

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WORK has been completed at Carmarthen Leisure Centre following a £1.5 million investment by Carmarthenshire County Council.

The improvements works which include a new eight-lane athletics track and a world class 2G astro turf pitch surface have been funded under the council’s capital works programme.

Features of the upgraded competition spec track include two 100m sprint tracks, a 400m track, startrack system and a complete lighting system replacement.

The four tennis courts have also undergone a ground respray with new netting and additional access and exit points.

Additional parking has been provided to meet current demand and a one way system has been introduced which will ease traffic flow.

More fencing and goal storage has been built around the 2G pitch to allow safe use of the facility for multiple sports, along with new light bases, spectator rails and rebound fencing.The council’s executive board member, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, said: “We are pleased that we have been able to make this significant investment available for our leisure centre. 

“More people than ever are using the centres to get more active and healthy, so it is critical that we are able to provide them with modern facilities that compete with a busy private sector market. If we don’t invest we face the possibility of losing our customers which would have a long term effect on the viability of our leisure centres. This investment will benefit our members and the local community and schools.”

Over £3 million has being ploughed into Carmarthen and Ammanford centres to ensure sport facilities are fit for the future.

Cllr Hughes Griffiths added: The new pitch will offer people a world-class facility for people to enjoy in all weathers, throughout the day and evening and will be open for hire by the public, clubs, schools and others for soccer, hockey and a range of sports and activities.”

 

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