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Creating a dementia-friendly nation

WELSH schoolchildren will soon have access to resources on

an issue that affects over 45,000 people in Wales, as the Alzheimer’s

Society and Welsh Government collaborate on a range of dementia

ATMs replace bank closure in Aberaeron CARDTRONICS ATMS

have announced the successful installation of two free cash machines in the town centre of Aberaeron. The UK’s largest independent ATM

operator worked closely with local businesses, as well as stakeholders and bank partners, to find a suitable site for the new machine following the closure of a local bank branch in the town on Friday, September 16. Great attention was paid to the

fact that Aberaeron was in need of a 24-hour ATM in its town centre. One of the new cash machines therefore provides a free round-the-clock cash service that is independent of business hours due to its outdoor location. Aberaeron Stores on 6 Bridge

Street is home to the two new machines. The installation of the new cash

machine in Aberaeron illustrates a UK-wide trend which sees high street

banks establishing partnerships with independent ATM providers to ensure on-going access to cash for local communities, while the UK banking landscape evolves. According to industry body

Payments UK, the number of independently operated cash machines in the UK exceeded those operated by banks and building societies in 2014 for the first time. Past research has shown that

continued access to cash on local high streets helps businesses to keep up footfall and customer loyalty. The ‘Value of Cash on the UK High Street’ survey, commissioned by Cardtronics UK and conducted by independent research company Populus, found that over half of UK SME high street retailers agree that services like ‘cashback’ can by no means fully replace the benefits of having an ATM on the high street. Tim Halford, Managing Director

of Cardtronics UK and Ireland, commented: “Aberaeron is a perfect example of independent ATM operators, banks, local communities and businesses joining forces to preserve people’s access to cash. The town centre of Aberaeron is going to keep its 24-hour cash service, which means that residents and visitors can rely on having access to their money whenever they need to. At the same time, local businesses can be certain that their customers will remain loyal to Aberaeron’s high street – knowing that they can shop and get their money out at the same time.” Angela Coles, Store Manager at

Aberaeron Stores, said: “The new ATM service enables us to offer our customers the vital convenience of access to their money where they shop. We are sure this won’t just be an added plus for our own business, but it will strengthen footfall and spend for the entire high street of Aberaeron.”

Over 3,000 vulnerable people supported in the last year 3,532 vulnerable people were

helped to turn their life around, live independently or were prevented from becoming homeless in the last year in Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion, thanks to the Supporting People Programme. It is a scheme that makes a real difference to the lives of people like Kevin from Pembrokeshire, who was alcohol dependent and also used drugs. Hafan Cymru, who helped Kevin

to overcome his problems, said: “Kevin has not been in trouble since he has been on support, which is 20 months. Kevin is proud of this.” Community Housing Cymru

(CHC) and Cymorth Cymru have joined forces to highlight the vital need to protect the Supporting People programme, the fate of which will be decided during the Welsh Government draft budget, on Tuesday, October 18. The charities launched the

Let’s Keep on Supporting People campaign, to try and safeguard

the funding, which helps the most vulnerable in our society. With budgets being continually squeezed, CHC and Cymorth Cymru believe the Supporting People programme is at real risk from potential cuts this autumn. Supporting People is a flagship

Welsh Government programme. It funds a variety of services throughout Wales, including in Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion. It helps people at risk of homelessness, such as victims of domestic abuse, people with mental or physical health problems and learning disabilities, ex-service personnel and older people. Around £2,392 is spent on average on every person helped by Supporting People. Aaron Hill, CHC’s Public Affairs

Manager, said: “Supporting People has made a difference to so many people’s lives, including 3,532 people in Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion. “It funds services which are

invaluable to the most disadvantaged in our communities and also acts as a

vital preventative measure. It reduces demand on services and saves health and social services’ money in the long term. For every £1 spent on the Supporting People Programme, £2.30 is saved from NHS and social service budgets. The importance of protecting and, in fact, increasing funding for the SP programme cannot be emphasised enough.” Oliver Townsend, Policy Manager

at Cymorth Cymru, said: “This funding changes people’s lives, just like Kevin. It prevents homelessness. It keeps older people safe and independent in their own homes. It provides a way for people with learning disabilities and their families live truly fulfilled lives. It is one of the most life-changing programmes in Wales.” The Let’s Keep on Supporting

People campaign is calling on people to join the campaign and to encourage their local councillor, AM or MP to get involved in safeguarding this vital funding.

resources for schools across the country. Kirsty Williams AM, Cabinet Secretary for Education, launched the new suite of resources at Ysgol Maesydderwen in Ystradgynlais on Friday (Oct 7) which aim to improve young people’s understanding of dementia. Alzheimer’s Society in Wales

have been working closely with the Welsh Government to develop educational materials for the Foundation Phase to Key Stage 4 and the Welsh Baccalaureate to be used in schools to help children understand more about dementia and the importance of being dementia- friendly. Kirsty Williams AM, Cabinet

Secretary for Education, said: “The Welsh Government has made a commitment to becoming a truly dementia-friendly nation. We know that this starts with education and raising awareness. These resources aimed at schoolchildren are essential to developing understanding and compassion for people affected by dementia at a young age. “I’m pleased to endorse the

Alzheimer’s Society’s commitment to supporting education.” Sue Phelps, Director of

Alzheimer’s Society in Wales, said: “Alzheimer’s Society in Wales is focused on growing the number of Dementia Friendly Communities across Wales. This means reaching out to all members in the community, from young to old. We want to change the way people think, act and talk about dementia, tackling the stigma that results in social exclusion and this starts in the playground. These resources will help young people to better understand dementia and how to support people living with the condition in their family or community. Young people today have an important role to play and can change the future for people with dementia in Wales.” Sally Speedey, Headteacher of

Ysgol Maesydderwen, said: “Nearly a third of young people know someone with dementia. We hope we can improve pupils’ ability to cope with changes in someone close to them with the greater understanding they will gain through these lessons, activities and supporting materials.”

Aberytwyth welcomes new fire station MID AND WEST WALES

The station was temporarily

FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE are opening a brand new Community Fire Station in Aberystwyth on Thursday (Oct 13) between 1pm and 2.30pm. The Community Fire Station will

hosting an official opening ceremony, attended by the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and a choir of schoolchildren from Ysgol Gymraeg Aberystwyth and Plascrug Community School, who will be perform at the event.

Building work on the new £1.6

million Community Fire Station in Aberystwyth commenced in July 2015. The state-of-the-art development was undertaken by Carmarthenshire developers WRW Group. The new two-story building

incorporates three fire appliance bays, office accommodation for Ceredigion County Command, as well as community facilities, including a cafe which will be open to the public.

relocated to the TA Centre on Park Avenue for the duration of the building works and will be returning to Penparcau Road, Trefechan following the grand opening. The challenge to design the café was

assigned to Aberystwyth University students, who were told to develop a business case for the introduction of a community enterprise at the station, as well as creating a legacy for the benefit of the neighbouring community. College students presented their

works to a panel which included college lecturers, WRW and senior managers from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service. The Service is also working with

the Head of Entrepreneurship at Coleg Ceredigion to explore the opportunity of working closely with the college’s Hospitality and Catering students to provide development opportunities for the young people via the on-site cafe facility.

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