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Carmarthenshire celebrates Sustainable Food Place success

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CARMARTHENSHIRE has become the newest member of the UK’s pioneering Sustainable Food Places network which aims to improve people’s lives and reduce our impact on the planet through food.

Bwyd Sir Gâr Food is a vibrant cross-sector food partnership bringing together members of the Public Services Board, including Carmarthenshire County Council and Hywel Dda University Health Board, and the Carmarthenshire Food Network, as well as grassroots community organisations, businesses, and residents from across the county to work towards a healthy and sustainable food system.

Joining the ranks of Food Cardiff, Food Vale, RCT Food, Blaenau Gwent Food Partnership, Monmouthshire Food Partnership and North Powys Food Partnership, Bwyd Sir Gâr Food is Wales’s seventh Sustainable Food Places (SFP) member.

Sustainable Food Places is about working across all aspects of the food system to solve some of today’s most pressing social, environmental and economic issues. It aims to establish cross-sector food partnerships to transform local food systems and to encourage simple actions to tackle the climate and nature emergency through food.

Bwyd Sir Gâr Food is delighted to be part of the network which will bring many benefits and opportunities.

Sustainable Food Places Officer for Carmarthenshire Augusta Lewis was instrumental in developing the application for SFP membership. She has recently fulfilled an appointment as Carmarthenshire’s Food Network Assistant, based with CAVS. She said: “I have been delighted by the passion and enthusiasm that people across Carmarthenshire have for creating a healthy and accessible food system.

“Working with the cluster groups within Carmarthenshire Food Network, such as professional growers and farmers, chefs championing short-supply chains and community food providers, and linking to the Public Services Board, provides some exciting opportunities.

“It offers scope to work towards a healthy localised food system reflective of the unique cultural and geographical characteristics of the county, fit for the 21st century and future generations.”

Katie Palmer from Food Sense Wales, the organisation leading on the Sustainable Food Places programme in Wales, said: “I’m so pleased that Bwyd Sir Gâr Food has joined the growing Sustainable Food Places network in Wales.

Pictured (from left) are: Cefin Campbell AS/MS, Programme Manager for Food Sense Wales Katie Palmer,  Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council Cllr Darren Price, Cabinet Member for Rural Affairs and Planning Policy Cllr Ann Davies.

“It’s inspirational to see how quickly the partnership has developed, demonstrating the need to bring stakeholders together and the appetite on the ground to work collectively around a joint vision.

“Bwyd Sir Gâr Food has acted as a catalyst to drive strategic change in the county, helping to create a better-connected local food system – one which considers health and wellbeing; the environment and our economy; promotes collaboration and inclusivity and builds resilience across communities.”

Food Sense Wales recently hosted a Food in Communities Conference at Yr Egin in Carmarthen bringing together food leaders from across Wales to connect with each other, to share experiences, and inspire change.

Speaking at the conference Carmarthenshire County Council Leader Cllr Darren Price said: “The council is delighted to play a key role in this partnership and is keen to work with all stakeholders to further develop and enhance our already rich food system in Carmarthenshire.

“We recognise the key part that sustainable food production and supply can have on a number of key societal issues from climate to health and cost of living. We’re looking forward to working with partners to make progress on this really important agenda.”

Chairman of Carmarthenshire Public Services Board Barry Liles added: “The PSB is really pleased to support Bwyd Sir Gâr Food and gaining recognition as a Sustainable Food Place is the first step in this partnership journey.

“There’s already a lot of activity in Carmarthenshire but we also recognise that there’s plenty more to do and we’re looking forward to working together to make a real difference to our local food system.”

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Education

Children at Richmond Park Primary in Carmarthen receive enterprise education programme

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Kayleigh Ball, Social Value Co-Ordinator Vinci Construction Uk with children from Richmond Park School

CHILDREN at Richmond Park Primary in Carmarthen have embarked on an enterprise education programme provided to the school by VINCI Building, the UK construction division of VINCI Construction, which is delivering upgrades and infrastructure works at Withybush General Hospital under the joint venture IHP, the alliance between VINCI Construction UK and Sir Robert McAlpine.

VINCI Building has partnered with 2B Enterprising to provide the children with an innovative enterprise skills programme called The Bumbles of Honeywood. This programme is exclusively focussed on primary education and is delivered in collaboration with commercial business partners through the 2B Enterprising Corporate Engagement Partner programme. To date this unique model has partnered 70 businesses with 170 schools across the country educating over 10,000 children.

The aim is to help children develop enterprise skills from an early age and to boost awareness of the careers available in construction. As well as supplying the package, VINCI Building’s team have visited the school to talk about their work and have arranged for pupils to visit VINCI Building at work.

The Bumbles of Honeywood programme has been developed by entrepreneurial business leaders and experienced educators with extensive input from teachers. Cultivating entrepreneurship and enterprise skills from a young age shows huge value in equipping pupils for their future lives and careers. Lesson plans have been created to ensure teachers can map the learning to their curriculum – not only hitting entrepreneurial skills criteria but supporting other areas of learning such as Oracy, Literacy, Numeracy and Modern and Foreign Languages.

The programme is built around a series of beautifully illustrated books and interactive extension activities that explore the enterprising nature of honeybees and other characters to help children develop skills such as resilience, problem solving, leadership, communication, and teamwork.

Russell Flowers, regional director for VINCI Building, said: “This is an exciting programme that raises awareness about careers and supports the communities we work in. We want to encourage more young people, in particular more young women, to consider careers in construction, and this programme will help us to achieve that. Our teams really enjoy their visits to the schools and are impressed by the children’s energy and enthusiasm. This is a great investment in our future generations.” 

Helen Wyn Luff, Headteacher at Richmond Park Primary said: “As a Carmarthen school, very local to Glangwili Hospital, we have been thrilled to be able to welcome VINCI Building and The Bumbles of Honeywood into our school. 

“The children adore the characters in The Bumbles of Honeywood programme which is thoughtfully devised and provides the children with stories and activities which are both fun and informative.  

“VINCI Building have also supported us in our Maths Week – a week where all classes focussed fully on developing both practical and reasoning skills. A visit from staff at VINCI Building really helped bring aspects of this week to life. The children were very enthusiastic about this project and about meeting people from VINCI Building to find out more about their work. This programme not only gives the pupils vital skills for their future lives; it also gets them thinking about what career they could aspire to. 

“We look forward to exploring the Bumbles of Honeywood further and working closely with VINCI Building.” 

Jayne Brewer, 2B Enterprising CEO, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with VINCI Building to bring The Bumbles of Honeywood into five more schools. Enterprise education is increasingly being recognised as a key requirement, and something that should start from a young age. Our Corporate Engagement Partners play a vital part in this, helping to inspire and educate pupils by giving them real life examples of enterprise in action. As well as helping the pupils gain valuable life skills, VINCI Building are introducing them to the wide array of job opportunities that exist in construction and raising awareness of the exciting building projects happening in their area.”

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Education

Carmarthenshire’s Welsh in Education Strategic Plan approved by Welsh Government

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A PLAN to develop Welsh language skills in children and young people in Carmarthenshire over the next 10 years has been approved by Welsh Government.

The Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP) sets out how Carmarthenshire County Council will increase bilingual education in schools across the county.

Minister for Education and Welsh Language Jeremy Miles MS has approved the plan which

shows how the council will develop Welsh language provision in its schools.

Based on outcomes and targets set by Welsh Government, it includes more nursery and reception children being taught through the medium of Welsh; more young people studying for qualifications in Welsh as a subject, and subjects through the medium of Welsh; increasing provision for learners with Additional Learning Needs; and increasing the number of teachers able to teach Welsh and through the medium of Welsh – with continuing support to develop staff through a comprehensive and flexible training programme.

Carmarthenshire, like all local authorities in Wales, have to submit the plans to Welsh Government as part of its target to have one million Welsh speakers by 2050.

Cabinet Member for Education and Welsh Language Cllr Glynog Davies said: “ I am delighted that the Minister has approved our plan ready for September. However, it is important to stress that this will be a gradual journey over the next 10 years.

“This plan is about increasing the opportunities for children and young people to become bilingual, and all the benefits that brings with it.”

The council will be working closely with schools and local communities to implement the plan which will see 10 schools moving to becoming Welsh language education over the next 10 years creating an opportunity for at least a further 300 learners to be educated bilingually.

Cllr Davies added: “We want to build on the excellent work that has already been carried out in our schools, increasing the number of people of all ages who can speak Welsh, and creating strong and sustainable bilingual communities.”

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Education

Join in the fun with Carmarthenshire libraries’ Summer Reading Challenge

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CHILDREN in Carmarthenshire are being urged to take part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge which is all about science and innovation.

Visit any of Carmarthenshire’s libraries during the school summer holidays to meet the Gadgeteers.

Through an exciting book collection and accompanying activities, the Gadgeteers will help spark children’s curiosity about the world around them and encourage them to feed their imagination. They will be boggled by brilliant facts and be inspired by tales of creativity and invention.

The Summer Reading Challenge is open to all primary school-aged children aged four to 11 and combines free access to books, and fun, creative activities during the summer holidays.

Children can sign up through their local library where they will receive their Gadgeteers core pack poster. They can set a reading goal and borrow and read books of their own choice.

Children who complete the Summer Reading Challenge are presented with a certificate and a medal.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure Culture and Tourism Cllr Gareth John (pictured at Carmarthen Library with children from Ysgol Y Dderwen) said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is a fun initiative for families during the summer holidays, and it’s free to take part.

“It can help children to improve their reading skills and confidence before they return to school in September, and it is also a good opportunity for families to explore the range of books available at our libraries.

“With plenty of options across picture books, early readers and middle grade books,

there is lots to keep children busy.”

The Summer Reading Challenge, a unique partnership between The Reading Agency and public libraries across the UK.

Children are also encouraged to explore the dedicated Summer Reading Challenge website, where they can take part in the digital Challenge and explore various online activities.

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