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Cwmaman aims to create community hub

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Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 11.43.16CROWDS gathered in Cwmamman Community Centre last Thursday (Aug 11) for an open day, at which residents were able to sign up to community education courses and for clubs, or to begin their own clubs. 

The event and the courses and clubs are part of the process to reinstate the centre as a hub of any community activity and to develop community capacity.

Mayor of Cwmamman, Cllr Kevin Madge, said:

“Community education doesn’t only help improve the skills locally, it plays an important role in the social lives and personal well-being of the individuals that engage with it. In Cwmamman, we hope to provide access to enjoyable social activity and to support developing skills in equal measure. We have a number of excellent partner providers onboard and I am looking forward to the exciting times ahead.”

Over a period of time, the council have been working closely with their partner providers who include WEA Cymru, Coleg Sir Gar, Learn Direct and Swansea University (DACE). Through this, they will be able to ensure that the council can provide access to a broad range of topics. Due to their efforts, they are delighted to announce that they have found more partners, providing courses in needlecraft, history, counselling and woodcarving.

The council have also been working to ensure that there is a full range of levels of courses available, from entry level to part-time degree level qualifications, as this will ensure that all residents can access the service at a level appropriate to their needs. Due to the links that have been developed with key providers within the local area, the council are now in a position to support local residents in developing the skills that they need to move on to access higher level qualifications at colleges or universities.

Cwmamman Town Council recognises the role that education, skills and qualifications can play in a person’s life chances. They hope to work with their partner providers and local residents to ensure that they can provide access to a variety of courses.

Community Development Officer, Rob Venus, said: “Having worked in education for a number of years, this is a topic that is very close to my heart. I have seen first-hand the impact that a robust community education service can have on the lives of individuals and it has an important role to play as a stepping stone, a source of encouragement and confidence, for people to move forward into college and university.”

Some of the organisations that were at the event included the Alzheimer’s Society, Menter, Girl Guides, Army Cadets, Coleg Sir Gar, Swansea University and WEA Cymr u.

During the event. there were several activities for children, which included arts and crafts and a bouncy castle. which was a hit. Organisers were asking children about what they would like to see in the community. When asked this question by The Herald, responses included a museum, more swings and a skate park. Their parents gave ideas for art and craft and dance classes for children’s clubs. Food and refreshments were provided by local cafe, Pantycelyn.

Visitors to the event were positive about the event, as well as the future of the centre, when asked by The Herald.

Comments included: ‘It’s good’, ‘the bouncy castle is a hit’, ‘it has been well advertised but it could have done with a performance’.

A visitor told The Herald: “The food from Pantycelyn is lovely and it’s nice to see the children getting involved in activities. It’s nice to see things beginning to happen again.’’

“The turnout has been great – people have enjoyed seeing what is available and what is potentially available in the centre.”

Residents are encouraged to send their ideas of what they would like to see in the centre and within the community to Community Development Officer, Rob Venus, at education@cwmamantc.org.

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Community

Environment hero helps to keep Carmarthenshire clean

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A young volunteer has been praised by Carmarthenshire County Council for his environmental work in the Whitland area. 

10-year-old Leon litter picks his local area every day, helping to keep the area clean and tidy. As a reward for his fantastic work Leon was invited on a behind the scenes tour of Nantycaws recycling centre and Canolfan Eto.

During the visit, Leon saw the different processes that Carmarthenshire’s household recycling goes through as well as seeing the transformation of items at Canolfan Eto re-use project.

Cllr Edward Thomas, Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste and Infrastructure Services said: “Leon has done a wonderful job in helping to keep Whitland clean and tidy and I’m delighted that we were able to recognise his efforts with a visit to Nantycaws.

“Carmarthenshire is very lucky to have an excellent group of volunteers who are a real asset to the community, giving up their precious time to help keep Carmarthenshire clean. Thank you to everyone who dedicates their time to helping us.” 

Businesses can also support their local environment by becoming a custodian of a ‘2 minute clean’ board. These A-frame boards are equipped with everything needed to clean the area including litter pickers and bags.

For information on becoming a 2 minute clean board custodian or to organise a litter pick please e-mail prideinyourpatch@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

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‘People are booking the test when they’re not ready, and the pass rate is actually declining’

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THE CEO of one of the UK’s biggest driving schools has revealed that learner drivers are still facing massive driving test delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking to GB News presenters Esther Vey and Philip Davies, Seb Goldin said: “It depends where you are in the country, but the backlog is really not being got through at any rate from Covid. We’re hearing six, seven, eight and nine months now.

“It’s made worse because people are just trying to book a test when they’re perhaps not even test ready. And then the pass rate is actually declining at the moment, so then tests are just not available for those who would be ready, which is exacerbating the problem.

“We’d say take your lessons, book the test but only when your instructor tells you that you’re test ready.”

Discussing the possible introduction of self driving cars on UK roads and into driving lessons, Goldin explained: “I think with all technology, where there’s such a step-change from human behaviour to machine behaviour, if we could flick a switch overnight and say everyone’s driving autonomous cars then it would be a very easy segway and move on through. But when you’re gonna have human behaviour on the road with semi or fully autonomous cars, that’s where the challenge is gonna be. We expect to be very busy for the next few years at least.”

He added: “Your car even now compared to what you had ten years ago has so much more technology. One of the challenges that we think is that people are not given instruction or coaching in what a car can do and what it can’t do.

“So for example, if you got a new car with cruise control with a radar at the front which manages the distance which is fine if you get used to it. But if you get a bit of road grime on the front of the car it packs up and then suddenly you have to drive normally again, and if you’re not ready for it or not used to it it can be a challenge. So we’re really excited about integrating technology into driving lessons and we’re working with the government and DVSA to help improve and change the curriculum as technology comes through.”

Whilst self driving cars are not fully on the roads, Goldin explained a driver would still be needed behind the wheel: “There are various steps of autonomy. So at the moment, we have cars on what we call Level 1 and Level 2. What the government is taking about is Level 3, where the car can actually be fully in control of the vehicle without the driver needing to have hands on the wheel or control.

“An analogy is if you think of pilots in big ships or aeroplanes, they still have to be trained in how to manually control them if the technology fails. It’s exactly the same with driving.

“All technology that we work with, trust has to grow and we need to understand what it does, and there’s very much back to the point of teaching people and coaching people to drive. Even when people have passed the driving test, you’re not necessarily a ‘safe driver’ you’ve just passed the driving test. So there’s very much a coaching and a learning role as technology comes on.

“When you get a new car from a car dealer, a lot of them are very good at selling you on the finance but perhaps not so much on what the car can do and more importantly, what it can’t do.”

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Communities for Work Plus is on hand to assist with disability support

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CONGRATULATIONS to Tina Evans who has recently joined the BBC Wales presenting team and is currently covering the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

In preparation for starting her new job, Tina sought the services of Carmarthenshire County Council’s Communities for Work Plus programme to help overcome multiple barriers such as access to work and communicating with social services.

Tina, who is from Pontyberem originally, faces numerous challenges, due to long-term health conditions and disabilities, and requires a lot of support in relation to mobility and everyday care, as she is a wheelchair user.

Writing ahead of starting her new role with the BBC, Tina said “I had been offered work with BBC Wales, as part of the presenting team, and needed to sort out support during my role. As I was tight against time, I accessed the Communities for Work Plus hub in Carmarthen with the hope to speed things up. This was the best decision I made. After speaking with their team, I felt a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders as I, now, wasn’t sorting things alone.

“I would especially like to thank Desiree from the Communities for Work Plus team. She supported me through telephone calls with access to work and social services and liaised with them to make sure we met the deadlines required. There were a few barriers to overcome along the way, but with Desiree’s support and determination, we hurdled over them. I must admit, her support was invaluable in gaining access to work and without it, I would have given up.

“I can now look forward with excitement for this opportunity, knowing that I have the support I need.”

Desiree De Mouilpied, Community Employment Officer/Disability Specialist said “It’s been a privilege to assist Tina with her journey to accessing work. Her character and determination, to pursue her dreams and overcome complex barriers into employment, have been inspiring. We all wish her the best of luck in her new job.”

Communities for Work Plus provides the infrastructure to support the ongoing delivery of Communities for Work. The programme enhances the employment-focused support for those, often with complex barriers, who are furthest from the labour market into training and future employment with a holistic and person-centred approach.

Carmarthenshire County Council coordinate employment support from its Llanelli Hwb and office, which are based in the middle of Llanelli Town Centre.

For further information about the Communities For Work Plus programme, please visit https://www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/home/council-services/jobs-careers/help-to-find-a-job/ or email c4wplus@carmarthenshire.gov.uk or phone 01554 784847.

Cllr Gareth John, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism said “We’re delighted for Tina and proud of her success in gaining employment with BBC Wales.

“I would urge people in our county, who are looking to get into work, to take advantage of the support that Carmarthenshire County Council can give to you. Our employment support teams can help you identify training opportunities, provide you with a personal mentor, work with you to develop a job action plan, help you to build your confidence and help with writing a CV and completing job applications.

We want to support more people, like Tina, to overcome barriers to get into work.”

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