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Help and support during predicted heatwave

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COUNCIL teams across the UK will be working to support residents as temperatures are predicted to hit record highs – with plans in place to keep essential services running and extra support for those who are most vulnerable.

A Met Office amber alert is currently in place from Sunday morning, upgraded to the first ever national red alert for extreme heat for Monday and Tuesday.

Welsh Conservative and Shadow Health Minister Russell George MS has issued a warning as temperatures over the coming week are expected to climb as high as 40C.

He said: “While the coming week presents great opportunities to enjoy the sunny weather it is important to take precautions, not only for our own health but, for the smooth-running of the NHS.

“The NHS in Labour-run Wales has record-long treatment waiting lists, sky-high NHS waits, and very long ambulance delays, so we should do our bit to avoid placing unnecessary strain on them.

“So along with keeping hydrated and protected from the sun, make sure to keep an eye on elderly and vulnerable neighbours and do not swim in areas that are not safe.”

The Mayor of London has activated the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol across London boroughs as temperatures are expected to hit 36 degrees or higher on those days.

We’ll be working with our outreach partners, including Streetlink,to step up support for rough sleepers – encouraging them to take up offers of accommodation and shelter from the sun, as well as handing out suncream, sun hats and water.

If you’re concerned about someone sleeping rough you can contact Streetlink – a 24/7 website, or call 0300 500 0914 to send out an alert about the location of someone sleeping rough.

Extreme hot weather can pose a danger to life or potential serious illness. Whether you are going outside or staying indoors, it is important to look after yourself, keep hydrated and to not get too hot. This will help to limit the risk of heatstroke, the need for medical assistance and reduce pressures on our local NHS, which is currently already overstretched.

Everyone is being asked to look out for those who may struggle in the heat. Hot weather can bring real risks to older people, young children, and if you have an underlying health condition. Regularly keep an eye on your pets to ensure they are hydrated and kept cool.

Our council teams will be checking in on elderly and vulnerable residents to ensure they have what they need and are coping well in the extreme hot weather.

You can visit the NHS website for more guidance on keeping safe and well in the summer sun.

The local council will be working to keep essential services running as normal, while taking steps to ensure our staff and our partners are safe while working in the hot weather. However, we are asking residents to please bear with us as the rising temperatures could mean we need to make changes to services.

During the predicted heatwave on Monday and Tuesday, our waste and recycling crews will start their rounds earlier than usual to ensure they stay safe and well. Please leave your bins out the night before and check our website for service updates.

If you are going out, ensure that you check the daily temperature and plan ahead.

We hope that everyone enjoys our parks and open spaces safely. Do keep in the shade between 11am and 3pm, when UV rays are strongest. These areas are likely to be busier than normal, so if bins are full, please be respectful to others and take your rubbish with you to dispose at home.

Also check public transport updates as services could be disrupted or cancelled due to the hot weather.

Rachel Flowers, director of public health, said: “Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it’s too hot for too long, there are health risks. We all need to take particular care during this time. Thousands of people end up in hospital each year because of heat, with conditions including severe sunburn, heat exhaustion and sun and heatstroke, particularly for those who cannot cope well during a heatwave. Be sure to check in on neighbours, friends and relatives who may be more vulnerable in the hot weather. Plan ahead during this time and check on council service updates to ensure that you have what you need to keep safe and well in the heatwave.”

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Charity

Co op helps out two Llandeilo community volunteer groups

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LLANDEILO Co op store manager Chris Rees and Member Pioneer Christoph Fischer successfully secured Co op funding for two Llandeilo community groups: “Friends of Llandyfeisant Church” and the “Dinefwr Orchadeers”.

Friends of Llandyfeisant Church was set up to restore the beautiful Llandyfeisant Church on the Dinefwr Park estate. The volunteers want to bring this unused building back into use for the community. “We’re currently restoring the floor according to the Listed Buildings specification, which is costly and labour intense,” explains Dafydd Thomas from the group. 

“The church is no longer consecrated but it would be wonderful for many other events.”

The group has a busy Facebook page and many supporters, locally and from further afield.

The Dinefwr Orchardeers are a community volunteer group based at Dinefwr Home Farm, looking after a 3-acre orchard of heritage apple and pear trees. They hire out fruit milling and pressing equipment to local fruit tree / orchard owners, run a cider club and recently built a juicing room. The money will be spent on aprons and juicing equipment.

“We would love you to join or observe our weekly orchard management sessions” says Philip James. “You can learn, amongst other activities, to prune, harvest and juice.”

“At the Co op we’re proud to support local initiatives and projects,” says store manager Chris Rees. “We have three local causes every year who get 2% of money spent by members in the store on co op products, but we also can help with ad hoc projects.”

“We encourage local groups to come forward if they wish to apply for either type of funds,” says Member Pioneer Christoph Fischer. “My role in the co op is to liaise with community groups and lend them our support.”

To join or meet the Orchadeers, please call Philip on 01558 685746.

To become a member or volunteer with Friends of Llandyfeisant Church, visit their Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/280218132732204 or email info@friendsofllandyfeisantchurch.org

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Education

St. Michaels School celebrates excellent A-Level results

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St. Michael’s pupils with their A-Level results

ST. MICHAEL’S School, Llanelli, is extremely pleased to announce another year of successful A-Level results, with 80.2% of all grades awarded either an A* or A grade.

The vast majority of pupils have earned a place at their chosen university to study courses such as Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Economics.

This is the first year that traditional exams have resumed since the Covid-19 pandemic began with the majority of lessons in the first part of the A-Level being delivered online rather than in a classroom environment. This makes the results even more of an achievement considering the circumstances.

Headmaster Mr Benson Ferrari said: “We offer our sincere congratulations to our outgoing Year 13 class on the publication of their A-Level results, demonstrating that our pupils have worked so hard despite the challenges of returning to a conventional assessment approach.

“They approached the situation with resilience and dedication, which has resulted in grades that are truly representative of their ability.  I am confident that they will all go onto achieve great things at university and in their working lives.  

“We wish them the best as they move to this new and exciting stage of their education.  The preparation which St. Michael’s has provided will be built upon, along with our values and principles providing a lasting framework to tackle the challenges ahead.”

In 2020, St. Michael’s School was awarded The Sunday Times Welsh Independent School of the Decade and this was in part due to the excellent exam results that the school receives each year. 

St. Michael’s was also ranked 13th in The Times 2019 Co Ed League Table for UK Independent Schools, which was the last time that the results were published. The school hopes that this year’s results will continue to secure their place in the 2022 league table which will be published later this year.

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News

Former Debenhams building to be used to bring together key public services all under one roof

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Former Debenhams store

LOCAL public service providers are working together on an exciting new venture to take over the former Debenhams building in Carmarthen.

The Carmarthen Hwb aims to bring health, wellbeing, learning and cultural services all under one roof.

Carmarthenshire County Council and Pembrokeshire County Council have secured £19.9million from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund to create town centre hubs in South West Wales.

The hubs will benefit local residents, businesses, and visitors, and create a more diverse and sustainable mix of uses for Carmarthen and Pembroke town centres.

The Carmarthen Hwb will be developed in the former Debenhams building in St Catherine’s Walk, in partnership with Hywel Dda University Health Board and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David alongside other service providers.

It will be the first venture of its kind in Carmarthenshire, bringing together a range of key public services under one roof providing convenience and a space for people to relax and enjoy their leisure time.

The proposals include state-of-the-art leisure, culture and exhibition space alongside health and tourist information, customer services as well as access to further and higher education delivered by the UWTSD Group, which includes Coleg Sir Gâr.

The aim is to complement what is already on offer in the town centre and to increase footfall for local businesses.

The project will receive £3.5million match funding from the council’s capital budget.

Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure Culture and Tourism Cllr Gareth John said: “We are delighted to be working with our public sector partners on this ground-breaking project which will bring this prime commercial space back into use to help boost the local economy and transform the town centre.

“One of the main aims of our post-pandemic economic recovery plan is to strengthen the vitality and longevity of our town centres and by delivering a new mix of services to the traditional high street, we can attract more people and help to increase footfall for neighbouring shops and businesses.

“People will be able to call in to the Carmarthen Hwb to access health and social care services, a state-of-the-art town centre gym, access to employment support and public services, as well as university facilities and lifelong learning opportunities.

“It could also provide a more central home for some of our museum collections, with exhibition space, and act as a welcome point for visitors to the town.

“It is important that we work with local businesses on this project which will add value to the products and services already on offer in the town centre to encourage more people into town, and in turn increase trade for everyone.”

Lee Davies, Executive Director of Strategic Development and Operational Planning at Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “We’re excited to be working with our partners on the Carmarthen Hwb development. The new facility is an important part of our strategy for a healthier mid and west Wales, bringing health and well-being closer to home for our communities. It will provide a range of health, well-being, learning and cultural services to help people of all ages access key services all in one place.”

Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor of the UWTSD Group said: “The University is delighted to be part of this exciting project. It offers a unique opportunity to collaborate with partners to revitalise our town centres by offering a mix of leisure, cultural and education opportunities to benefit residents and businesses.  The University looks forward to working with Carmarthenshire County Council on realising the vision for the Carmarthen Hwb.”

The project is complementary to a similar scheme at South Quay, in Pembroke town centre, which formed part of the bid to the Levelling Up Fund.

Both projects aim to bring health and wellbeing into the centres of the two neighbouring towns, creating an inclusive public service offer that meets changing local needs and which helps drive footfall and environmental benefit.

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