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Disability sport festival takes place

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Photo time: Participants grab a photo with member of the Ospreys wheelchair rugby team and Welsh Rugby players .

Photo time: Participants grab a photo with member of the Ospreys
wheelchair rugby team and Welsh Rugby players .

THE FIRST Disability in sport Festival was hosted in Haverfordwest Leisure Centre on Saturday (Jun 20) and was the first of its kind in West Wales.

It was the brainchild of Peter O’Shea, owner of Snowdrop Independent Living. It was an event aimed to encourage those with impairments to try a wide range of sports, from target shooting, table tennis and powerlifting to edgier activities such as wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby (formerly known as murderball).

The organisation was a joint effort between The Haverfordwest Leisure Centre management staff, Angela Miles, Disability Sports officer for Pembrokeshire and Snowdrop Independent Living. Sports clubs were encouraged to take part and to demonstrate their activities and the expertise; and the manpower and equipment of Disability Sports Wales played a vital part in enabling many of the activities to take place.

The event saw a few well-known faces in attendance, from members of the Welsh rugby squad, sponsored by Oil4Wales, the Osprey’s wheelchair rugby team – some of whom participated in the London 2012 Olympic Games, world record holding athlete Nathan Stephens as well as the Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb.

The activities, all of which catered for those with disabilities, were split into different sections throughout the leisure centre, one room having the option of activities such as boccia, table tennis, and powerlifting with Simon Roach of Strength Academy Wales.

The gym hosted gymnastics in one half, and in the other half wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby took place in intervals, coaching for the latter being led by members of the Osprey’s Wheelchair Rugby Team. Bikeability had a large range of adapted bikes available to try, and swimming, target shooting and other disciplines were held throughout the day.

Ospreys wheelchair rugby chairman Rev. Steven Jones was encouraged by what he had seen saying: “People are taking part, some having a go for the very first time, we hope that perhaps it’s the start, that perhaps there will be some future wheelchair rugby players here today.”

Paul Jenkins, Head Coach for the Osprey’s Wheelchair Rugby team was enthused for both the event and the brilliant opportunities created for the disabled through sports such as wheelchair rugby.

He said: “It’s a tremendous game, a tremendous sport for everyone; you can play whether you’re slightly able, physically or mentally, it doesn’t matter, we can get you in and have a go at the sport, and the more we can have down to have a go the better.”

Participant Sarah Davies also praised the event: “It’s out of my comfort zone but a good new experience.”

The event was kindly sponsored by Valero and Snowdrop Independent Living who provide mobility aids, stairlifts and disabled access equipment to help people stay independent within their homes.

Pictures and footage of the event can be found on Snowdrop Independent Living’s Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as their website.

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Community

Cost of living support available at Carmarthenshire’s customer service Hwbs

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FROM Thursday, December 1, Carmarthenshire County Council’s customer service Hwbs in Carmarthen, Ammanford and Llanelli will offer an enhanced range of support, advice and services to residents. 

This additional service has been introduced from an action taken at a recent cost of living collaboration event that was hosted by Carmarthenshire County Council that saw stakeholders gather to discuss ways of helping the people of Carmarthenshire with the increasing cost of living. 

The Council’s team of Hwb advisers will be available every day, along with housing officers and employability advisers, to provide tailored packages of support to residents, with advice and guidance on what our residents are entitled to claim, based on their individual circumstances. Visitors to the Hwbs can also access information on the services available to support them as the cost of living increases.

The aim is to also work closely with specific third sector organisations such as Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Careers Wales to support this work and by also being present in the Hwbs to provide even further advice to residents.

Targeted support will also be available at every Hwb, with each day dedicated to a service area that matters most to residents. Officers from various Council service areas, will be on hand to answer questions and offer support and advice to residents in need.

The services available at Hwbs on particular days are:

Monday – Recycling and waste advice

Tuesday – Trading Standards

Wednesday – Employability

Thursday – Housing

Friday – Various services

The information and advice offered on a Friday will differ from week to week and will be dictated by the needs of residents and other factors.

Cllr Linda Evans, Deputy Leader and Cabinet lead said: “Since April, our Hwb Advisers have helped over 800 Carmarthenshire residents by providing advice and support on accessing a range of council and third-party support schemes, including blue badges for disabled parking, council tax discounts, school meals and uniform grants, referrals to employability schemes and much more.

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Community

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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Community

Llandeilo Festival publishes its Entertainment schedule

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“CHILDREN AND families are at the heart of our festival this year,” announces festival vice chair Debbie Ince. “On Friday 18th November the festival stalls will start trading at 10am but in the evening there will be the official opening, followed at 6:15pm by Santa coming through the town on his sleigh. A children’s Lantern procession from CK to King Street led by Llandeilo Primary School’s Samba group will meet Santa on King Street to tunes by the Llandeilo Town Band and bilingual hymn singer Ffion Haf. Once the children had their fill of Santa, the Christmas Lights will be switched on by Mayor Gordon Kilby. Local legend singer and actor Harry Luke and Ffion Haf will entertain the crowd until 8pm.”

People enjoying the festival

A spectacular and pet-friendly Laser Show will replace the controversial fireworks at 8pm. “There’s also a tea cup ride on King Street for kids,” adds Ince. “On Saturday and Sunday kids can go to Santa’s Grotto 10 – 4, and on Saturday to St Teilo’s Church or Hengwrt for activities. At our park and ride on Beechwood Estate ‘Sgiliau’ will be open for our youngest visitors.”

“There is of course plenty of entertainment for adults, too,” adds festival chair Christoph Fischer. “From Davies & Co Station Road to Flows on Market Street, most Llandeilo venues will play indoor music, many day and night. The stage will host a variety of acts: from school and adult choirs, bands, solo singers and dance groups, such as Mixed Youth Group, Lotus Sisters Belly dancers and Sunflowers Wales. Cooking demonstrations on Saturday and a Santa Run on Sunday morning round up the festival programme. You can find updates on the Llandeilo Town App Dyma Llandeilo.”

Santa at the Parade

“With our wide selection of street food, arts-,crafts-, fashion- and food stalls there should be something for everyone,” adds stalls coordinator and treasurer Mered Williams. “See you all on the 18th.!”

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