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Press releases

Carmarthenshire Council launches first round of Events Support Fund

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Carmarthenshire County Council has launched the first round of its Events Support Fund by supporting 14 events across the county.

Events ranging from a Promotion of the Tour of Britain Festival, celebrating the visit of the well-known national cycling event to the county in September, to the Welsh Dairy Show and a Year of the Sea themed carnival in Laugharne are amongst the successful applicants benefitting from the fund.

More than £12,000 has been committed across the 14 events in the first round.

In order to qualify, applicants must hit certain criteria such as meeting priorities within local and national strategies and showing how their event will benefit the local economy.

Last year, the £20,000 pot was awarded to 16 events which contributed over £1.17 million to the county’s economy.

Executive board member for culture, sport and tourism, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, said: “We recognise the importance of events in supporting our communities and towns, the contribution they can make to the local economy and how they attract visitors to Carmarthenshire.

“This fund is just one way we are supporting events in our county which have the most potential to meet our objectives.

“We would urge those interested who meet the criteria to apply.”


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Press releases

Youth honoured for more than 500 hours volunteering

Posted By Robert Lloyd

A young person from Garnant has become the first in the county to be honoured for volunteering more than 500 hours.

Brittany Alsop-Bingham, aged 20, was presented with the first Carmarthenshire’s 500 hour Youth Volunteering Certificate.

The award was launched at the Carmarthenshire Youth Council (CYC) 2018 Annual General Meeting.

The certificate recognises Brittany’s commitment to share the most precious of resources – her time – to make a difference in the county and her great generosity has had a profound and lasting impact on children and young people in Carmarthenshire.

Brittany has volunteered her time with Carmarthenshire Youth Council, she has been chairperson for the past three years and has lead on the planning of the Youth Conference and other events.

CYC chairperson Brittany Alsop-Bingham said: “I feel very honoured to be awarded with Carmarthenshire’s 500 hours Certificate. I feel I have gained a number of skills volunteering with Carmarthenshire Youth Council and my role as chair has increased my confidence with public speaking and my communication skills. I would encourage everyone to volunteer.”

Executive board member for education and children’s services, Cllr Glynog Davies, said: “Brittany has shown great dedication in giving up more than 500 hours of her time to help out with Carmarthenshire Youth Council. This award is just a token of our appreciation for her time and I would like to thank her for this, although I’m sure that during her volunteering Brittany has learnt and gained a lot from her experiences.”

If you would like to find out more about Carmarthenshire Youth Council and their volunteering scheme, please go to www.youthsirgar.org.uk

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Press releases

Nursery places now open for Ysgol Parc y Tywyn School

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Parents have until July 31 to apply for part time places at a new nursery class which opens in Ysgol Parc y Tywyn School, Burry Port, this September.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s full council has today (June 13) approved that part time nursery provision be introduced at the new Parc y Tywyn school building in Burry Port.

From September 4, part-time nursery provision will be provided at the school, which up until now has only accepted pupils from the age of four.

The new provision will provide 45 part time nursery places.

Cllr Glynog Davies, executive board member for education and children’s services, said: “Providing part time nursery provision at Ysgol Parc y Tywyn ensures that the school falls in line with all the other primary schools in the area.

“The new provision will ensure that children in the area have a smooth transition into the foundation phase, giving them the best possible start to their education.”

Current pupils will be moving into the new school building from Monday, July 9.

Parents have until July 31 to apply for a place for their children to start part-time this September.

Internet link to apply for a school pace –


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Press releases

Carmarthenshire councillors call for integrated health care model

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Carmarthenshire County Council will ask Welsh Government to facilitate the creation of an integrated social model for health and care throughout the Hywel Dda area.

Councillors took part in a lengthy debate at full council on Wednesday (June 13) following a notice of motion submitted by Carmarthen south councillor Gareth John who said health services in the area have become ‘increasingly fragile’.

He put it to council that an integrated community care model, with democratically elected representatives, would be an effective way of relieving pressure on the NHS.

Part of the motion read: “For integrated care to become a reality the capacity within primary, community and social care must be significantly increased and work seamlessly across boundaries. Integrated primary healthcare and public health teams comprising of a comprehensive range of clinical, non-medical and social care professionals would be in a far better position to address the challenges of an ageing population than the inconsistent nature of the existing organisational arrangements.”

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr John added: “This seeks to build on a general consensus for a locally based community health and social care service to take the pressure of our A&E and wards.

“This motion doesn’t need legal change. If the will is there it could happen tomorrow. Our people need the best, they deserve the best, and they expect the best – let’s get on and deliver it.”

The motion was backed by the majority of the councillors although not by the opposition who had wanted council to consider an amended notice of motion, disallowed by the Chair Cllr Mansel Charles.

Leader of the Opposition, Cllr Rob James, said: “What you are proposing is unfunded – it’s another layer to the NHS. I don’t believe that this is the best way.”

The full notice of motion can be seen as part of the full council agenda, as well as a webcast archive of the debate, on the council’s website, www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales

Internet link –

Full council meeting June 13

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Press releases

Aberystwyth University celebrates UK Robotics Week

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Budding robot engineers and builders of all ages are invited to take part in Aberystwyth Robotics Week which takes place on 25-30 June 2018.

Hosted by Aberystwyth University’s Departments of Computer Science and Physics, the week-long programme of events forms part of UK Robotics Week.

At the University’s Old College there will be robot crafting sessions for everyone, robot olympics for schools and an evening to celebrate Aberystwyth’s space robotics work.

Aberystwyth Arts Centre’s cinema also features on the programme with a special screening of the 2015 sci-fi feature film Ex_Machina, followed by a discussion on the latest developments in artificial intelligence and robotics.

The week culminates with the highly popular Beach Lab at Aberystwyth Bandstand where visitors will be able to learn about, and play with, robots of all kinds in the company of the Aberystwyth Robotics Club.

There are also opportunities to take part in two competitions. Entries are invited for a short story competition, a 400 word piece on ‘Living in the future with robots’, ‘An adventure with a robot’ or ‘My friend is a robot’.

And for those who would prefer to design a poster, the themes are ‘An outdoor robot’, A space robot’ or ‘A companion robot’.

Entries should be submitted by e-mail to roboticsweek@aber.ac.uk by Friday 22 June 2018, with the winners announced on Friday 29 June at the Old College space robotics evening. Further details are available online here.

Robotics Week co-ordinator Dr Patricia Shaw said: “We are delighted to be part of a UK wide celebration of all things robotics this year. The aim of Aberystwyth Robotics Week is to inspire people’s interest in robotics and give them the opportunity to find out more about the developments taking place here at Aberystwyth University. All the events are open to everyone.”

Aberystwyth Robotics Week 2018 Programme:

  • Monday 25 until Friday 29 June, 10:00am–4:00pm, Old College
    Robotics Exhibition
    There will be a growing exhibition featuring the robotics and space science research, robot crafts and a selection of the competition entries.
  • Monday 25 June, 1:00-3:00pm, Old College
    The Robot Olympics
    A competition for teams from local primary schools to engineer a robot to take part in a series of robotics challenges.
  • Tuesday 26 and Thursday 28 June, 4:00-6:00pm, Old College
    Robot Craft
    An opportunity to craft your own robot from whatever parts you can find in our scrapheap of paper, pens, and craft supplies. Robots can be displayed as part of the exhibition. Price: £1 per robot.
  • Wednesday 27 June, 4:00-9:00pm, Aberystwyth Arts Centre
    From Fiction to Reality: a special screening of sci-fi feature film Ex_Machinafollowed by a round table discussion about the latest developments in artificial intelligence and robotics. An exhibition and free pizza will be provided. Tickets available from Aberystwyth Arts Centre.
  • Friday 29 June, 4:00-9:00pm, Old College
    An Evening of Space Robotics
    Researchers at Aberystwyth University have a long and distinguished involvement with space exploration. Aberystwyth scientists played a leading role in Beagle2 and feature prominently in the development of the ESA/Roscosmos ExoMars Rovermission which is due to launch in 2020. The evening will feature a presentation by Sue Horne MBE, UKSA Head of Space Exploration and the unveiling of a life size model of the ExoMars Rover for outreach. Tickets are free and can be booked online here.
  • Saturday 30 June, 10:00am-4:00pm, Aberystwyth Bandstand
    Beach Lab
    The highly popular Beach Lab returns offering a day at the beach with robots and humans from the Aberystwyth Robotics Club.

Aberystwyth Robotics Week 2018 has received support from the Heritage Lottery Fund Further details about the week’s programme are available online here.

Photo: Members of the Aberystwyth Robotics Club at Beach Lab 2017


Aberystwyth Robotics Week 2018

Department of Computer Science

Department of Physics


Intelligent Robotics at Aberystwyth University

Study Solar System Physics at Aberystwyth University

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Press releases

Adoptive dad celebrates first Father’s Day

Posted By Robert Lloyd

This Sunday (June 17) families across the county will be marking Father’s Day, but it’s not only birth fathers who will be celebrating.

A number of adoptive parents will also mark the occasion having given vulnerable children a loving home.

Robert* is one of hundreds of people who have adopted a child with support of Adoption Mid and West Wales – a collaborative of adoption teams covering the four local authorities of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys.

He will be celebrating his first Father’s Day this year having adopted with his wife after they struggled to conceive, and has spoken of the ‘privilege’ he feels to become a dad and why he encourages others to come forward.

“So let’s start with a fundamental issue. I will never know how it feels to father a child that is a product of my genes and DNA. My family bloodline stops here. Lots of people have told me in the past that a birth child is a beautiful fusion of your physical characteristics and the ultimate expression of the love a couple has for each other (although the last person to tell me that is now divorced). My wife and I went through fertility treatment in pursuit of this apparent ideal, and in the end the gift the consultants gave to us was there absolute certainty that it was not going to succeed.

“This opened the door to us going down the adoption route, which led to a beautiful 11-month old boy being brought into our lives. He has been with us over a year now, and in all honesty I see no difference in what I do with my little buddy and what other dad friends do and the joy they share. We laugh the same, muck about the same, cry the same, teach him silly things while mummy despairs. I genuinely believe I feel the same as they do too. I love him with all my heart, would do anything to protect him and want to make sure he grows up to be a healthy and well-rounded human being.

“He is a happy little chap and is developing well, if anything I feel like he is ahead of children his age (see I’m a competitive boasting parent the same). When I come from work and he shouts “Daddy” with his arms outstretched, excitement in his face and joy in his eyes, he certainly doesn’t appear to have any doubts about our bond as father and son. I won’t pretend that this has all been plain sailing, and the fact our marriage has been built on solid foundations helps my wife and I get through tough moments. The ability to laugh together helps a lot too! It is true we are at the start of our adoption journey in comparison to a lot of others out there, and everyone’s experiences are different. There will be difficult moments ahead – that I am sure of – and the knowledge we have gained about therapeutic parenting is being used on a daily basis. There is also so much joy to come too, through watching our little man develop as he shares our interests, values and outlook on the world.

“I certainly don’t feel a sense of loss from not having a birth child, instead I feel privileged to be able to start a family through adoption. I’m sure if I spent too long thinking about all the fundamental aspects of it all I could quite easily wind myself up. But do you know what? I’m having too much fun to care.”

Adoption Mid and West Wales has adoption teams covering the four local authorities of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys. Their aim is to make sure that children grow up as part of a permanent, loving family from childhood through to adulthood.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s social services departments provide a range of services and resources to help families to care for their children but, where this is not possible, their Adoption Service finds permanent alternative families.

In the last year (2017-18) 29 adopters were approved – these include married couples, unmarried couples, single people and same sex couples – but there is always the need for more adopters to come forward as demand for adoption placements has increased this year.

Cllr Glynog Davies, executive board member for education and children’s services, said: “It doesn’t matter whether you already have children, whether you’re single or a couple, whether you’re married, unmarried or in a civil partnership, the most important things are their personal characteristics, resilience, insight into a child’s needs and ability to commit to becoming parents, rather than any factors such as employment, housing or marital status.”

For more information please visit www.adoptionmwwales.org.uk

Myths about adoption:

1. I can’t adopt because I’m not married
There are adopters from all walks of life – single, in couples, same sex couples – it is about having the capacity, time and commitment to provide the love and care for children.

2. I need to own my own home to adopt
You can be an adopter without owning your home, but you will have to a have space and stability to offer – whether you are a tenant or home owner.

3. I’m too old to adopt
Adopters have to be 21 years old or older. There is no upper age limit and we take account of each applicant’s individual circumstances on a case by case basis, including her/his health, lifestyle and support network.

4. I can’t adopt because I already have a child
You can. Different children have different needs. Some adopted children benefit hugely from the relationship they build up with adopters’ birth children and vice versa. For others a household with no other children will suit them better. That’s why we need a range of prospective adopters.

5. There aren’t any babies available for adoption
The majority of children needing adoptive families are aged between 2 and 5 years of age. However we do sometimes need adopters for very young children.

Link to Adoption Mid and West Wales –


national-adoption-week from Cyngor Sir Gâr | Carms Council on Vimeo.

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