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Project nominated for major award

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The team: All tooled up

FIX AND SHIFT TRAINING, based in Carmarthenshire, is appealing for votes after reaching the finals of the prestigious National Lottery Awards.

They are competing against six others in the Best Voluntary/ Charity Project category. It beat off stiff competition from more 1,300 organisations to reach the public voting stage in this year’s National Lottery Awards. This was a record number of entries to the annual search for the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects.

The project with the most votes will be crowned the winner in their category. They will receive a £5,000 cash prize to spend on their project, an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy, and they will attend a star-studded glittering Awards ceremony to be broadcast on BBC One in September.

Fix and Shift Training (FAST) started when its manager heard of a vulnerable adult who had sat in the dark for days because he didn’t know how to change a lightbulb, and he didn’t know who to ask to help him.

The community project provides training for vulnerable adults in Carmarthenshire, who then help others, from gardening, decorating, fitting smoke alarms, assembling flat pack furniture, to changing light bulbs for pensioners.

National Lottery funding helps this innovative training programme to help vulnerable people access training, help vulnerable people to feel safer in their own homes, and guides the trainees towards employment. The volunteers have created a Job Club to help each other, and the package of training, real experience and work preparation helps people who pass through the programme to change their lives.

Sarah Phillips from Commodum Ltd said: “We are delighted that Fix and Shift Training has been nominated for a National Lottery Award, and has reached the final public voting round.

“Fix and Shift Training is a DIY service run for vulnerable people by vulnerable people. This public recognition is a real boost for all our trainees, who work so hard to help others.

“It would mean so much to them to win this award, so I’m asking the public to continue to support this project by voting for us as the UK’s best Voluntary/ Charity project in the National Lottery Awards.”

National Lottery Awards spokesperson, Jackie O’Sullivan, added: “National Lottery players raise £30 million every single week for Good Causes across the UK and the work done with that money is truly life-changing.

“The National Lottery Awards celebrate the talent and dedication of the amazing staff and volunteers who run these incredible National Lottery funded projects for the benefit of their communities.

“Fix and Shift Training has worked very hard to become a finalist and they now need your support. So get voting!”

To vote for Fix and Shift Training, please go to lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/ awards or telephone 0844 836 9713 and follow the campaign on Twitter with hashtag #NLAwards. Voting runs for four weeks from 9am on 29 June until midnight on 27 July.

There are seven projects competing for votes across seven categories, reflecting the main areas of National Lottery funding: arts, sport, heritage, health, environment, education and voluntary/charity.

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Community

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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Communities in Carmarthenshire invited to inform next steps to shape Commemorative Woodland

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COMMUNITIES surrounding the Tywi valley in Carmarthenshire, are being invited by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to inform the next steps in shaping the design for the commemorative woodland at Brownhill.

NRW has today (23 June) launched a second consultation to seek people’s feedback on how they will achieve the proposed objectives for the site.

The next round follows on from the feedback received from the first round of public consultation which ran from 1 March – 26 April earlier this year.

Having listened to the responses from first round of public consultation, NRW has set out a proposal for the site. This includes three distinct areas that will prioritise different objectives: a conservation space for wildlife to flourish, a woodland space for commemoration that is fully accessible, and a growing space to deliver sustainable opportunities for food, trees, and nature.

The new woodland will form part of the Welsh Government Woodland Estate, which is managed by NRW on behalf of Welsh Government and the National Forest for Wales.

Residents will also have an opportunity to join staff from NRW at a drop in event 14 of July at Llansadwrn reading room, in Carmarthenshire, to share their feedback.

Miriam Jones-Walters, Specialist Advisor Land Stewardship at Natural Resources Wales said: “We were pleased to be able to engage with so many residents through our initial on-line consultation and community drop-in session at Llangadog in March earlier this year, and have the opportunity to listen to people’s views and ideas on the proposals for Brownhill. 

“It’s crucial for us to provide people living and working in this area with every opportunity to share their views on plans for this site. We have already received some fantastic suggestions about what people would like to see from the site. As a result we have been able to divide it into three main areas, setting out objectives for each.

“We think this is an exciting opportunity to work in partnership (with, for example, a community group, a young farmer or someone else) to test out and demonstrate land use proposals to tackle the climate and nature emergencies,  integrated with productive agriculture.”

“We’re keen to hear people’s feedback on the objectives and would encourage people to come along on the 14 July and talk to us, or take part in our online consultation and have their say.”

The consultation opens on 23 June and closes on 28 July. 

The community drop-in event will be held 12:00 – 7:00pm  on 14 of July at Llansadwrn reading room, SA19 8HH in Carmarthenshire. 

To find out more about the plans for the woodland and have your say please visit:

Commemorative woodland at Brownhill – next phase of consultation – Natural Resources Wales Citizen Space – Citizen Space (cyfoethnaturiol.cymru)

Alternatively, residents can call 0300 065 3000 to request a hard copy of the consultation.

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Ceredigion man runs Cardiff half marathon as thank you to Wales Air Ambulance

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A CEREDIGION man has raised just under £2,000 for the Wales Air Ambulance as a thank you after its crews flew to the aid of him and his brother-in-law following an accident in 2014.

Jason Jarrams from Llwyncelyn was involved in a road traffic collision outside Llanarth, which resulted in him and his brother-in-law Jordan Wilson, being cut out of the wreckage.

Two air ambulances were sent to the scene and both patients were treated by the Wales Air Ambulance medics. Jordan was airlifted to the University Hospital of Wales, in Cardiff due to his head injuries and Jason went to hospital via a road ambulance. It is believed that Jordan was the first Wales Air Ambulance patient to receive a general anaesthetic at the roadside.

As a thank you – Jason, 34, set himself the huge challenge of running the Cardiff Half Marathon for the lifesaving Charity, whilst also trying to lose weight.

Jason, who now lives in Llangeler said: “I’ve run the Cardiff half for the air ambulance because unfortunately their services were required when we had two of their amazing choppers loaded with the best crews there are at our road traffic collision. My brother-in-law required extensive medical care at the roadside with slipped discs in his back, broken ribs, broken eye socket and with loads of cuts and bruises. I suffered with a broken fibula and tibia which required surgery to correct and two broken ribs on the sternum.”

Jason spent 11 days in hospital and Jordan was discharged after four days, Jason said: “Jordan was flown to the University Hospital of Wales due to his head injuries, it took less than half an hour to get there by air ambulance which to me is hard to get my head around.

“This service in Wales is absolutely critical to access remote areas and the speed in which the patient can get to the required specialist hospital is critical. Every second counts and I’m glad to say we can count on Wales Air Ambulance.” 

After the accident Jason lost an incredible six stone and then set his eyes on completing the virtual Cardiff half marathon, which he did in 2 hours and 25 minutes.

He added: “I had two friends run it with me and I set a very respectable time and found it fairly easy. The other two who took part with me are not much short of athletes with one just retired from rugby and the other training to swim the Chanel this year for charity, I kept up well and thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Jason is grateful to everyone who contributed to his fundraiser or supported him with his training or during the virtual Cardiff half Marathon and the recent Cardiff half marathon. He ran the last race by himself.

The utilities operator said: “The support I’ve had from everyone has been nothing shy of incredible, my amazing other half has been with me all the way fully supporting what I’m doing and listening to me rant about my bad runs. My family have been totally amazing with my mum, sister and my other half all coming to Cardiff for the event to watch me start and finish, they all said it was very emotional to see me finally complete the event that had been on my lips for over a year.” 

The Wales Air Ambulance celebrated its 21st anniversary on St David’s Day 2022. Now operational 24/7, the Charity needs to raise £8 million every year to keep its emergency helicopters flying and its RRV’s on the road.

Jason’s employer Volac facilitated £1,000 from a charity fund set up by the company’s founder he added: “I was totally taken aback by it and respect the company I work for doing this.”

Katie Macro, Campaigns Manager for Wales Air Ambulance, said: “It is always heartwarming when we hear stories of former patients who go on to fundraise for the Charity after they’ve experienced how essential our service is. A huge thank you to Jason for completing the Cardiff Half Marathon in aid of our lifesaving Charity and to everyone, especially his employers, who have supported him in his fundraising and weight loss journey. Donations like this one will help us to continue to be there for the people of Wales when they need us most, whether that is by air or via our rapid response vehicles. Your support is much appreciated.”

Wales Air Ambulance offers advanced critical care and is often described as a ‘Flying ED’.

The on-board consultants and critical care practitioners are highly skilled and carry some of the most pioneering medical equipment in the world. They can deliver blood transfusions, administer anaesthesia, and undertake emergency operations at the scene of the incident, before flying the patient directly to specialist care.

There’s still time to show your support to Jason by donating to his Just Giving page Jason Jarrams www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jason-jarrams

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