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The dangers of legal highs

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legalhighsA NEW campaign has been launched to warn teenagers of the dangers of using New Psychoactive Substances, with a message that ‘Just because it’s legal, doesn’t mean it’s safe.’

New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) are drugs made to copy the effects of illegal drugs.

To support their new Key Stage 3 lesson ‘New and Nasty’, which focuses on informing pupils about the harmful effects of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), the All-Wales School Liaison Core Programme are launching a series of posters highlighting the dangers of using New Psychoactive Substances.

Between the November 30 and December 4, six new posters were released on the SchoolBeat social media accounts to raise awareness of the dangers of New Psychoactive Substances.

Some of the messages include:

  • You can’t be sure if it’s legal – it may contain illegal drugs
  • You don’t know what you are taking
  • You have no idea what the effects will be
  • You have no idea what is in a New Psychoactive Substance
  • You can’t be certain it’s safe to take
  • You don’t know how your body will react to a New Psychoactive Substance

Wales’ Deputy Health Minister, Vaughan Gething said: “I’m very pleased to support this new awareness campaign. We take the issue of people taking new psychoactive substances – so-called legal highs – very seriously. We’re supporting a range of initiatives to raise awareness, including DAN 24/7, our bilingual substance misuse helpline.

“We have ensured that the All-Wales Schools Liaison Core Programme, which operates in all primary and secondary schools across Wales, is regularly updated to include specific lessons about new psychoactive substances because of their potential impact on children and young people.

“I have been supportive of the UK Government’s proposal to introduce a blanket ban on new psychoactive substances. However, banning these substances will not work in isolation – we have introduced a number of actions to educate, raise awareness and improve our ability to respond to the emergence of new psychoactive substances.”

The new posters are supported and funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston.

Mr Johnston said: “I hope these posters will play an important role in raising awareness about the dangers of substance abuse amongst school children and young people. We want fewer victims of crime and to protect people from serious harm and this is why I supported and provided funding for this project.

New Psychoactive Substances pose a serious threat to the health and safety of people in our communities. We want to send out the clearest possible message that these substances can be dangerous to people’s health – even fatal. These posters aim to help young people make the right choices if and when the time comes they are offered these substances.”

National Coordinator for the All-Wales School Liaison Core Programme, Faith McCready said: “We hope the All-Wales School Liaison Core Programme New Psychoactive Substances campaign will raise awareness of the risks associated with NPS usage. Each poster presents a key message in an innovative way and has been designed to make young people think about the possible consequences of taking these unregulated substances. We feel it is vital that young people are given accurate information so they can make informed choices.”

During the week, School Community Police Officers will be delivering the lesson ‘New and Nasty’ to students across Wales to raise awareness of New Psychoactive Substances and the awareness campaign.

Show your support for the campaign by downloading the campaign board and taking a picture of yourself using the hashtags #NPSAware and #SSNHysbys and posting it on Twitter.

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Community

Nearly £50,000 of National Lottery funding for community groups in Carmarthenshire

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FIVE local community organisations across Carmarthenshire are celebrating after being awarded a share of £49,575 of funding from The National Lottery Community Fund over the past month.

One successful project was MolTân Makers who will use their £9,820 grant to provide metal working workshops for people wishing to improve their mental health and well-being. The group will reach out to mental health groups and the wider community and also allow people to reconnect with the community following the pandemic.

One participant with MolTân Makers explained, “ The course was professionally run by four hard-working people who helped us with one to one tuition when needed. They were so welcoming and adaptable to individual needs and allowed me to attend the course at different hours due to health reasons.

“They were great company and created an interesting and positive atmosphere to help people with mental and physical health problems feel included and understood and we all took home what we made in the course.”

The Hangout received £10,000 and will help young people improve their mental health and wellbeing through structured outdoor activity programmes. The project will build on a previous pilot project that led to more young people becoming re-engaged in school following the pandemic and continuing to volunteer with the group after the initial sessions finished.

The Alternative Learning Company in Llanelli were awarded £9,955 and will recycle plastic bottles to build full size greenhouses. They will propagate plants for growing schemes in local schools and communities. The project will reduce the levels of plastic sent to landfill or polluting open spaces, and give young people an understanding of the impact of climate change.

Newcastle Emlyn Town Council will build an outdoor structure in collaboration with the community, to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s Jubilee. This £10,000 grant will fund building and design materials, and a water harvesting kit.

Messy Projects will use their £9,800 grant to run the activities and events they missed due to the pandemic. Activities will include celebrating the Queens platinum jubilee, a BBQ, and a Bonfire party.

John Rose, Wales Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said “These groups play a vital role in supporting their communities and these grants will allow them to continue being there for people in future. 

 ”National Lottery players raise more than £30 million each week for good causes across the UK and the projects funded over the past month show the crucial difference players make through their tickets. I look forward to following all of their progress.”  

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Tesco makes it even easier for shoppers in South Wales to help local food banks

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TESCO is making it easier than ever for shoppers to give a helping hand to food banks and charities feeding people in their local community, with ready-prepared donation bags at local stores in South Wales this summer.

The Tesco Food Collection is taking place in every large Tesco store across the UK from Thursday, June 30 until Saturday, July 2, and shoppers are being urged to donate long-life food to support local food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network and thousands of frontline charities supplied by FareShare. Tesco will top up all food donations made during the collection with an extra 20% cash donation to support the two charities.

The pre-filled donation bags, available during the collection, will contain items that are most-needed by the local Trussell Trust foodbank or frontline charities supplied by FareShare.

Shoppers will be able to scan the contents at the till as part of their usual shop before dropping the bag into the food collection donation trolley.

It is one of a number of new ways that customers can give their support during this summer’s food collection. Shoppers can also for the first time round up their bill at the checkout to make a small donation to both the charities.

From this week it is also easier for customers who shop in Express stores to support the charities, with new permanent donation points being placed in every Tesco Express store in the UK for the first time, meaning shoppers will now be able to donate at Express stores year-round.

Shoppers can also donate their Tesco Clubcard points online to either of the charities.

Tesco Head of Community Claire de Silva said, “This collection marks ten years of us working with the Trussell Trust and FareShare. During that decade our customers have been amazingly generous, donating more than 100 million meals during our food collections and at permanent collection points in stores. This summer we wanted to make it even easier for customers to donate as we know that every can donated really does help.”

Donations are more important than ever as the charities have reported increasing need for food.

Sarah Germain, CEO at FareShare Cymru, said: “Our charities are telling us that the need for food has vastly increased as a result of the cost-of-living crisis, and over the last year we’ve continued to deliver four meals every second to people facing food insecurity across the UK.

“That’s why we would be immensely grateful to anyone who is able to donate a bag of pasta or tin of vegetables over the Tesco Food Collection weekend – your generous donations will help us continue providing vital support to families struggling to cope this summer.”

Emma Shepherd, Project Manager at the Trussell Trust Cardiff Foodbank, and Becky Morgan, Manager at the Trussell Trust Vale Foodbank, added: “Every year, we are amazed by the generosity of Tesco customers who donate to the Food Collection. We know that many families on the very lowest incomes have been forced to the doors of food banks to get by, as the nation faces a rapid rise in the cost of living and continues to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic. So, once again, we are calling on shoppers to give generously and make a difference to people who need our support over the coming weeks and months.”

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Hywel Dda Health Charities’ annual Pet Competition is back

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HYWEL DDA HEALTH CHARITIES, the official charity of Hywel Dda University Health Board, has launched its 2022 Pet Competition.

The competition gives members of the public the opportunity to win prizes while also helping the charity to raise funds which make a positive difference to the lives of NHS patients, service users and staff in the Hywel Dda area.

Owners of fabulous felines, perfect pooches, gorgeous guinea pigs or beautiful budgies are invited to enter the annual competition.

Pet-owners can enter as many times as they like in the categories of Cutest Dog, Cutest Cat and Cutest Other Pet. Each photo entry costs £3.

It’s easy to take part, all participants need to do is send a photo of their pet to fundraising.hyweldda@wales.nhs.uk and follow the instructions in this link: https://hyweldda.enthuse.com/cf/pet-competition.

The competition is open to everyone in the Health Board area. Entries close on 30th June 2022. The final three in each category will be chosen by the Hywel Dda Health Charities team. The winners are then chosen by an online voting poll and will be announced in July.

There are 1st place prizes in each category donated by Wynnstay, Burns Pet Food and Vincent Davies Department Stores.

Diane Henry, fundraising support officer, said: “Each time people enter our Pet Competition with pictures of their fabulous pets, they are helping us to provide services and activities above and beyond what the NHS can provide.. Thank you for your continued support.”

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