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We are investing in the lives of those who need a helping hand

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“WE ARE investing in the lives of young people who need a helping hand to achieve their potential,” Social Justice Minister Jane Hutt has vowed after meeting with those taking part in a Basic Income pilot scheme in North Wales.

Launched in July, the scheme will see more than 500 people turning 18 and leaving care in Wales being offered £1600 each month (before tax) for two years to support them as they make the transition to adult life.

It is hoped the pilot will set care leavers on a path to live healthy, happy and fulfilling lives.

The £20 million pilot, which will run for three years, will be evaluated to carefully examine its effect on the lives of those involved.

In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, it is hoped the lessons learnt from the pilot scheme can benefit future generations to come by helping them overcome barriers they face starting adult life. This could benefit them and wider society.

After launching the scheme with the First Minister and Deputy Minister for Social Services Julie Morgan, Social Justice Minister Jane Hutt and the Deputy Minister met with a number of young people benefitting from the pilot at Conwy Business Centre earlier today (Friday, 28 October) as part of National Care Leavers Week.

“It has been fantastic to hear about how the pilot scheme has already impacted the young lives of those taking part in it,” she said.

“Our ambition for the scheme is that it will allow the young people who are benefitting to make their own choices, whether that means they are able to choose where they live, what jobs they can apply for, whether to continue studying or deciding to go and travel the world. The life choices of looked after children should not be determined by the circumstances of their childhood.

“It is heartening to hear how many have already received support to take the first steps to achieve this and it puts them in good stead for the future.”

She added: “We want them to have independence as they get older, and by giving them a helping hand as they start their adult life we can improve their chances of doing so.

“By providing financial stability to a generation of young people facing huge barriers to reach their full potential, we are giving them the tools to overcome them and thrive.”

Those taking part in the pilot will also receive individual advice and support to help them manage their finances and develop their financial and budgeting skills.

Deputy Minister for Social Services Julie Morgan said: “It has been heartening to hear from the young people the impact the pilot scheme has had on their lives. We’ve learnt a lot from meeting with them today and we appreciate them sharing their thoughts with us

“We are committed to providing support to the most vulnerable in our society, many of whom have grown up without a support network through their formative years.

“We hope this scheme, as well as the advice and information available to them through it, will give them the confidence and strong foundations to achieve their dreams.”

Local authorities will play a key role in supporting them throughout the pilot. Voices from Care Cymru will also work with the young people to give them advice on wellbeing, education, employment and help them plan their future after the pilot.

Emma Phipps-Magill, of Voices from Care Cymru, also attended the meeting and said: “We have already seen the pilot have a positive impact on young care leavers as they adapt to having financial independence.

“We are still at a very early stage of the pilot, but they have grasped the opportunity with both hands and have already made progress with many of their goals.”

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Carmarthenshire Archives’ new building officially opened

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ON MONDAY, November 28, Cllr Rob Evans, Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council, unveiled a specially designed plaque to commemorate the official opening of the brand new Carmarthenshire Archives building.

The official opening was attended by year 6 pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, along with their Headteacher Mr Dylan Evans, who designed the plaque by compiling various artwork and sketches that are housed at the Archives.

Established in 1959, Carmarthenshire Archives is the local authority archive service for the County of Carmarthenshire and the new building is located at St Peter’s Street, Carmarthen. 

The service is home to our extensive collection of historic documents that date from the 13th century to the present day. The collection includes archives, maps, books, photographs, videos and sound recordings. It is the Archives’ mission to preserve and make its documents available for general study and research.

Admission to Carmarthenshire Archives is free and open to anyone who wishes to use the Council’s records. Most of its services are free, but we do charge for some extra services and help.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, Cllr Gareth John commented:

“Congratulations to the pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, they have designed an excellent and appropriate plaque that is inspired by the treasure troves of our archives. It was wonderful to welcome them to the official opening so that they can see their work take pride of place at a building that holds great significance to us in Carmarthenshire. 

“This is a brand new and modern building that is fit to keep and protect our county’s most precious historical documents. 

“But of course, these documents are meant to be viewed and studied by school children, students, academics and anybody who has an interest in Carmarthenshire’s rich history; and this excellent facility provides the perfect space for people to come and view these treasures.”

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Llandeilo gas works to begin say Wales & West Utilities

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WALES & West Utilities will shortly begin work to upgrade gas pipes in Llandeilo.

Wales & West Utilities has liaised with Carmarthenshire County Council to plan the work and it has been agreed that work will commence after the town has celebrated the Festival of Senses.

The £123,000 investment scheme, which is essential to keep the gas flowing safely to heat and power local homes and businesses, will begin in New Road on 21 November. This section of work will be complete before Christmas and Wales & West Utilities will return to the town next year to undertake further work in the Crescent Road area. Barring any engineering difficulties, work in the town will be complete by the end of February next year.

Wales & West Utilities Adam Smith is managing this gas pipe upgrade work. He said: “Working with the Council, we have planned this work to accommodate the needs of the town.

“While most of the gas network is underground and out of sight, it plays a central role in the daily lives of people across Llandeilo. Whether it’s heating your home, making the family dinner or having a hot bath, we understand how important it is for your gas supply to be safe and reliable and there when you need it.

“We know that working in areas like this is not ideal, but it really is essential to make sure we keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future. We’ll have a team of gas engineers on site throughout the project to make sure our work is completed as safely and as quickly as possible while keeping disruption to a minimum.

“This work is essential to keep the gas flowing to local homes and businesses today, and to make sure the gas network is ready to transport hydrogen and biomethane, so we can all play our part in a green future.”

Our Customer Service Team is ready to take your call if you have any questions about our work. You can contact them on freephone 0800 912 2999.

Alternatively, you can contact us on Twitter @WWUtilities or Facebook.com/WWUtilities.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we’ll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We’ll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.

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Police appeal following theft of items from Home Bargains Crosshands

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OFFICERS from Dyfed Powys Police have confirmed that they are investigating the theft of items, including a Christmas Nutcracker Ornament valued at £129.99, from the Home Bargains store in Crosshands, Carmarthenshire.

The theft occurred at about 12:40pm on Tuesday, 27th September 2022.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the people in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the people are, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

This can also be done either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or phoning 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Please quote reference DPP/2006/27/09/2022/02/C

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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