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Warning to look after your mental health this Christmas and New Year

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COVID-19 continues to impact our daily lives and the emergence of the Omicron variant is once again a stark reminder that the pandemic is not yet over. I want people to know support is available for them 24/7.

Our health has for nearly two years been at the forefront of all our minds, both physical and mental.

The pandemic has affected many of us over the last few years, including our emotional and mental wellbeing. Christmas and New Year can also be a difficult time for some and I want to highlight the range of easy to access support available to people ahead of the festive period.

If you need any help for anything that maybe causing you anxiety you can contact our CALL mental health advice line, which is open 24/7. Call 0800 132 737 or text ‘help’ to 8106. Additionally, people can visit the Silvercloud website, where they can access Cognitive Behavioural Therapy online. Further information on the range of support available can be found at the NHS Wales 111 website.

We continue to work with mental health charities who all play such an important role in providing support for people with mental health issues. Samaritans Cymru are one of those partners providing support that people may need. Samaritans provides confidential emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress and despair, including those which could lead to suicide. You can contact Samaritans by telephone by calling 116123 free of charge or by emailing jo@samaritans.org.

Additionally, veterans can access Veterans’ NHS Wales. Veterans and their families can refer themselves directly via the Veterans NHS Wales website: Home – Veterans Wales or be referred by a GP or third sector organisation.

Papyrus Prevention of Young Suicide runs HOPELINEUK (0800 068 4141 every day 9 to midnight ) for anyone under the age of 35 who is experiencing thoughts of suicide or anyone concerned about them.

This year has been a real challenge for us all and our children and young people have particularly been affected. Our Young Person’s Mental Health Toolkit is there to help, available via the Hwb platform and provides details of a range of resources, including helplines and websites. Welsh: Repository – Hwb (gov.wales) English: Repository – Hwb (gov.wales)

We also know that Christmas can be a difficult time for those living with an eating disorder, help and support can be accessed via beateatingdisorders.org.uk/support-services

These are really challenging times and it’s important to look out for one and other, playing our part in encouraging people to talk about what worries them and to seek help.

I want to take this opportunity to show my gratitude to everyone who is providing mental health support, to every individual and organisation playing their part, thank you.

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Police launch public appeal following Carmarthenshire burglary

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating a burglary at a property in Ponthenry.

People broke into a shed at a home in Victoria Road at around 8.30pm on Monday, 31 October, before leaving after spotting a CCTV camera.

They returned at around 10.15pm and again at around 10.55pm.

During their raids they tooka green Wolf motocross helmet with a full face with a peak and line green motocross goggles.

Officers are appealing for help to identify two people they would like to speak to over the incident.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DPP/0756/01/11/2022/02/C. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Morrisons Foundation supports children’s charity with grant for vital equipment

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The Morrisons Foundation supports registered charities that make a positive difference. They recently awarded national children’s disability charity, Cerebra, based in Carmarthen, a grant of £11,109.

This will fund the creation of writing slopes through the Cerebra Innovation Centre, which is partnered with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and designs wonderful toys and equipment to help children living with a brain condition to learn and play.

The writing slopes are designed to help children who struggle with posture and fine motor skills. They also aid children with writing, drawing and hand control. Ross Head, Product Design Manager at the Cerebra Innovation Centre explains;

‘The slopes include a lovely wipe-clean surface for children to experiment with mark making, their own set of pens and a clever lid-free pen store to remove the challenge of removing lids for some children. We are so lucky to be able to do what we do and funding like this is so important to allow us to push boundaries and provide vital equipment that looks beautiful.’

At the start of 2022, the Cerebra Innovation Centre highlighted that they anticipated the need for an additional 20 writing slopes for children. Cerebra Fundraising Manager, James Hay then worked with the grants team at the Morrisons Foundation, who were delighted to support this project. David Scott, Morrisons Foundation Trustee said:

‘Cerebra is dedicated to helping families who have a child with a brain condition to discover a better life together, that’s why I’m delighted that we’ve been able to provide this support. The specialised writing slopes will make a huge positive impact on children with sensory and mobility issues, providing a great opportunity to develop their skills, which will last a lifetime.’

Grants like this are a vital source of funding for Cerebra so that they are able to continue to support children living with a brain condition and their families who face challenges every day. The Cerebra Innovation Centre is one of the many support services provided by the charity that so many families have come to rely on. James Hay adds;

‘Thank you so much to the Morrisons Foundation for this generous grant! We are over the moon as we know how much this project will change young lives. These are particularly challenging times for charities and so this funding from Morrisons for the creation of 20 writing slopes is warmly welcomed.’

You can find out more about Cerebra and how they help children and families by visiting www.cerebra.org.uk 

Writing Slope
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White Ribbon campaign supported by Carmarthenshire County Council

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CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL says it is again showing its support for the White Ribbon campaign, which takes place on Friday, November 25 and is followed by 16 Days of Action.

White Ribbon is the UK’s leading charity engaging men and boys to end violence against women and girls.

While domestic abuse affects both sexes, the largest number of violent incidents involve men against women. But ultimately male violence against women is everyone’s issue, not just women’s.

The council was awarded White Ribbon UK accredited status for the first time in 2018 and is continuing to work to tackle such violence.

White Ribbon flags will be flying at County Hall in Carmarthen and town halls in Llanelli and Ammanford on White Ribbon Day (Friday, November 25). County Hall will also be lit up on the evening to show support.

The council is working alongside partners to raise awareness of the campaign across the county – from sports clubs, joint visits with the Police to licensed premises, our leisure centres and libraries to bus stations.

With this year’s White Ribbon Day falling on the same week as the start of the FIFA men’s World Cup, there has never been a better time to come together and start playing as a team to end violence against women and girls.

The council will be raising awareness of the campaign at special events including a Walking Football session at Amman Valley Leisure Centre on November 30 and at “An Evening with Sam Warburton” at the Lyric Theatre in Carmarthen on White Ribbon Day (November 25).

Cabinet Member responsible for Community Safety, Cllr Philip Hughes, said: “It’s vital that we raise more awareness about domestic abuse so that anyone affected can get help and support from one of our local services.”

Support locally can be found at: Threshold (Llanelli) on 01554 752 422 or www.threshold-das.org.uk; Calan DVS (Ammanford) on 01269 597 474 or www.calandvs.org.uk; Carmarthen Domestic Abuse Service on 01267 238 410 or www.carmdas.org and Goleudy on 0300 123 2996 or www.goleudyvictimandwitnessservice.org.uk or call the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800 or visit https://gov.wales/live-fear-free for free advice and support 24/7

For more information on the White Ribbon campaign visit www.whiteribbon.org.uk

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