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Care home residents treated to St David’s Day online concert

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RESIDENTS in care homes across Carmarthenshire are being treated to a free virtual St David’s Day concert.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s theatres have partnered with Loud Applause Productions to produce the online event which will showcase a wealth of Welsh talent on Monday March 1 at 7pm. It will also be free to care home residents in Pembrokeshire.

This is the second time Carmarthenshire Theatres have arranged for care homes in the two counties to access a digital show, with every care home receiving a free copy of a Christmas concert, ‘The West End at Christmas’ over the last festive period.

Filmed at The Ffwrnes Theatre Llanelli, the St David’s Day celebration is a digital 44-minute concert which all audiences can enjoy at home.

It will be presented bilingually by local broadcaster and author, Alun Gibbard and features some traditional Welsh songs that everyone will recognise and enjoy including Ar Hyd Y Nos as well as popular songs from musicals like Bring Him Home from ‘Les Misérables’.

There will be performances from the official harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales, Alis Huws, also a rising star in the world of musical theatre, singer Samuel Wyn-Morris, who’s most recently been performing in the West End production of ‘Les Misérables’.

Carmarthenshire based actor, Julian Lewis Jones, who has appeared in Hollywood film Invictus and is a regular face in the Sky TV series, Stella, will be the guest reader.

The concert will also feature performances from two young local singers, Osian Clarke and Lauren Fisher, both members of the Loud Applause Rising Stars programme.

Last year the council donated over 100 iPads to its care homes so that residents could keep in contact with their loved ones throughout lockdown.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s executive board member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism said: “We are delighted to be able to offer all our care home residents a free viewing of our St David’s Day online concert. This concert promises to be a very exciting one with a wealth of local talent taking part. The Christmas online event was very popular and we hope that as many people as possible will join us from home for this one and show their support for our local artists.”

Tickets for the concert are on also on sale to the public via Carmarthenshire Theatre’s website www.theatrausirgar.co.uk Those purchasing a ticket will receive a direct link to watch the show which will be streamed on the theatre’s website. The concert will be available to view via the link for three weeks following the release. Tickets are priced at £5 per household.

To see the Carmarthenshire Theatre programmes of digital shows visit their website.

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Community

Christmas Toy Box Appeal to support families

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Council staff will purchase gifts and toys and distribute them in the run-up to Christmas.

CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has launched its annual Christmas Toybox Appeal.

The appeal, in its 11th year, helps hundreds of children with families who can’t afford to buy toys or gifts.

Last year saw us help more families than ever who were struggling financially with more than 7,500 gifts were distributed to 1,256 children.

The appeal was launched online for the first time in 2020 following the coronavirus pandemic and people were asked to make a financial donation instead of buying gifts and toys. Given the current situation people are asked to donate in the same way.

Gifts will be bought out of the money donated and given to families who, for a range of reasons, are not able to give their children a Christmas that most of us take for granted.

Schools, family centres and youth workers identify those who are in greatest need of support.

Council staff will purchase gifts and toys and distribute them in the run-up to Christmas.

The council’s executive board member responsible for the Toybox Appeal, Cllr Mair Stephens said: “Last year we saw an unprecedented demand from families struggling to buy their children gifts. The appeal ensured that local children, who might otherwise have received nothing or very little, were given a gift at Christmas. We have always had fantastic support from the public and couldn’t do it without their help. Every donation, no matter how big or small, will make a huge difference to those less fortunate families. So please dig deep and donate to the online Christmas appeal.”

You can make a financial donation by visiting their website

If you have a cash or cheque donation please call 01267 234567.

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Community

Whitland Classic Motor club donates £1,000 to charity

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WHITLAND CLASSIC MOTOR CLUB has donated £1,000 to the Wales Air Ambulance after raising funds through raffles and their organised car ‘runs’.

The group of car enthusiasts, which meet on the last Thursday of each month at Whitland Rugby Club, were unable to arrange their usual fundraising events due to the coronavirus pandemic but raised funds through charging members a £1 a ticket for raffles and £2 per motor for their car runs.

During the warmer and lighter months of the year the club hold regular car ‘runs’ for members, which sees a variety of classic cars, trucks and motorcycles enjoying a drive round the countryside. The members then meet up for either Sunday lunch, afternoon tea or a picnic.

Over the years Whitland Classic Motor Club has fundraised for different charities including Carmarthenshire Children’s Centre and the Stroke Association. The club originally raised £1,000 for the Wales Air Ambulance during 2008/10 and members elected to support the charity again in 2018.

Now operational 24/7, the Charity needs to raise £8 million every year to keep the helicopters flying.

Secretary and membership secretary for Whitland Classic Motor Club, Xoe Meadows, said: “We originally started raising money two years ago but had to stop during the pandemic and have only recently started up again. Obviously with the situation last year, we couldn’t raise anything but decided that once we were back up and running we could carry on raising funds for Wales Air Ambulance. The public are really supportive when it comes to the Wales Air Ambulance. Although I don’t think they actually realise how much money is needed to have this service.

“The 24/7 service is really important, people don’t just need help from 9am to 5pm. Accidents can happen at any time of night or day, so I feel the 24/7 service is vital.”

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.

Wales Air Ambulance long serving volunteer John Hardwicke attended their recent social event to collect the cheque on behalf of the charity.

John treated the members to a very informative speech on the lifesaving work the charity does for the people of Wales.

Xoe, added: “Mr Hardwicke was an absolute knowledge of information. The speech he gave was very informative and interesting. He is a true and proper gentleman. Thank you so much.”

Katie Macro, the Charity’s South West Wales Community Fundraiser, said: “A huge thank you to everyone at Whitland Classic Motor Club for raising £1,000. We are delighted that the club has continued to support the charity. Over the years Whitland Classic Motor Club has supported the Wales Air Ambulance by raised funds for our lifesaving charity which has helped us be there for the people of Wales when they’ve needed us most.”

There are several ways that the public can continue to support the Wales Air Ambulance.

These include online donations, signing up to the Charity’s Lifesaving Lottery or by coming up with their own innovative ways to fundraise at home. Further information can be found via www.walesairambulance.com

Alternatively, a £5 text-message donation can be made by texting the word HELI to 70711. 

For more information on Whitland Classic Motor Club visit www.whitlandclassicmotorclub.co.uk

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Dispose of batteries safely, Council urges residents

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HOUSEHOLDERS in Carmarthenshire are being urged not to dispose of batteries in black or blue bin bags.

It comes after strong evidence suggests that a fire in Carmarthen’s Nantycaws Recycling Centre last April which caused millions of pounds of damage may have been started by a battery that was disposed of in a blue recycling bag.

The fire destroyed the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) and the recycling centre was forced to close to the public for five days.

Batteries should be removed from any items that contain them such as rechargeable items, mobile phones, electric toothbrushes, toys, television remotes etc and then disposed of separately at a recycling centre or local battery recycling point.

Batteries that are difficult to remove from items can be recycled at the electrical bay at the recycling centre.

In the last five years, fires suspected or proved of being caused by Lithium Ion Batteries have more than doubled with 48% in 2021 compared to 21% in 2016/2017.

The most common inappropriate items within bin bags presented for kerbside collection by residents include electrical waste such as toasters children’s toys, hair styling equipment, separate old batteries ranging from standard cell batteries to rechargeable lithium ion batteries and mobile devices.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Hazel Evans said: “Thankfully no one was injured in the fire in Carmarthen’s Nantycaws Recycling Centre last year. Please do not put loose dead batteries or items that hold batteries in your bin bags with other rubbish, it is extremely dangerous and the consequences can be very serious. All our recycling centres have facilities to dispose of your batteries safely as well as many shops and supermarkets that have battery collection points.”

The batteries are initially compromised when unknowingly crew throw the bags containing electrical items into the vehicles which get compacted, they are then transported to the MRF where they can come into contact with further materials that can result in serious consequences.

Richard Vaughan-Williams, Arson Reduction Manager at Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service added: “Lithium-ion batteries can be found in an increasing number of consumer items and disposing of such items has become a growing concern, especially for our partners who operate waste management facilities. Even small lithium-ion batteries can present a very real danger of an intense fire which can then spread quickly. We advise those looking to dispose of batteries to carefully consult waste instructions from their local authority.”

Last year The Environmental Services Association launched a campaign to raise awareness of incorrectly recycling batteries. Millions of pounds worth of damage caused by discarded batteries happens at recycling centres every year and endangers the lives of people who work in them.

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