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5 News Year ban for drug driver A DRIVER who had consumed

cannabis before getting behind the wheel of his vehicle admitted to open court that he was aware of being over the legal limit and aware that he was breaking the law.

Titus James Giddens, 29, of

Church Street in Llanrhystud, faced an offence at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (Jan 25) of driving a Volkswagen Transporter on November 12, 2016 at Bridge Street in Lampeter with a

proportion of a specified controlled drug above the specified limit. Prosecuting, Helen Tench told

the court that at 3.50pm, officers on mobile patrol noticed that the defendant’s vehicle lights were faulty and pulled him over. While talking to him, the officers

indicated symptoms of drug use and when they carried out a roadside test, a positive reading was shown. Ms Tench concluded that the

results eventually showed that Giddens had 5.7ug/l of Delta-9

tetrahydrocannabinol – the active ingredient of cannabis - in his blood, exceeding the prescribed legal limit. Defending

himself at

Aberystwyth Court, Giddens told Magistrates that he was aware of being over the legal limit and aware that he was breaking the law at the time. Giddens was also disqualified

from driving for a period of 12 months for the offence, and ordered to pay a fine of £1,000, £85 prosecution costs and a £100 surcharge.

Mind project to preserve memorials

Operation Nightingale: Mind work in Aberystwyth follows on from the success of this project AN ABERYSTWYTH-BASED

charity is using archaeology to help people with mental health problems. Mind Aberystwyth will be working

on recording details of war memorials in the town and surrounding villages to help preserve and maintain them. This will build on work done by

projects like Operation Nightingale – an army project which uses archaeology to help rehabilitate servicemen. The project has been funded by a £5,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant. Mind Aberystwyth Chief

Executive Fiona Aldred said: “There is a growing body of evidence which shows how projects like these can promote well-being and assist recovery, and we hope our own project will add to that.” Support Officer Will Rathouse

told The Herald about the project: “It builds on the success of two projects initiated in 2012: The Past in Mind, a one-off project undertaken by Mind Herefordshire; and Operation Nightingale, an on-going MoD project,” he explained. “Both of these involved the use of archaeological fieldwork as an activity to promote recovery and facilitate well-being for people with mental health problems. “In 2014 I was completing a

PhD in Archaeology and Heritage at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) and my brother was completing an MSc in Occupational Therapy. Prompted by

Fiona Aldred [Chief Executive of Mind Aberystwyth], I began to take members on archaeological digs run by Dyfed Archaeology Trust and UWTSD. At the 2015 Theoretical Archaeology Group conference in Bradford, I proposed that archaeology is likely to provide positive outcomes for six reasons: • As with occupational therapy activities, archaeology is a meaningful endeavour, not merely a means of keeping people busy. It produces data and finds which are sought after. Archaeology and heritage are widely seen as a social good.

• As an outdoor activity archaeology provides fresh air and (sometimes) sunlight, which promote good mental health.

• As a team activity, archaeology can provide positive social interactions often lacking in the lives of people experiencing poor mental health.

• •

Archaeology tends to involve some degree of physical labour which is also beneficial to well- being and mental health.

The concentration of an archaeologist or volunteer trowelling a trench or planning a feature echoes distraction and mindfulness strategies used in combatting mental health problems.

• A study by Bristol University suggests that certain microbes in

soil secrete a substance which helps to fight depression. Thus some archaeological work (sadly not the kind we will be undertaking in this project) may help to ward off this condition. “The Archaeology for Mental

Health war memorial survey follows on the precedent established by the Past in Mind and Operation Nightingale by providing participants with the opportunity to learn about archaeological survey techniques and the history of the war memorials in and around Aberystwyth, to plan and execute careful measurement and analysis of the memorials and to make the data available to a wide audience. “We hope that as many war

memorials as possible in and around Aberystwyth can be examined and thorough records created of their designs and details. The warmemorialsonline website allows records to made of the condition and custodians of each memorial so that responsible agencies will be able to pro-actively offer assistance to renovate those which have fallen into disrepair. “The war memorials project

is intended to be of help to people experiencing mental health problems and people who care for them. It will be of particular benefit to those who already have an interest in history, heritage and archaeology.” The project begins later this month and runs until March 25.

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