Posts in Category: Carmarthenshire

West Wales Friend in Need (Carmarthenshire CC, Ceredigion CC, Pembrokeshire CC) 

During the pandemic the West Wales Friend in Need initiative was introduced with the help of funding from Age Cymru. The projects aim was to improve the ability for formal and informal volunteers to digitally connect with people across West Wales, in doing so reducing social isolation and loneliness. A regional project group was established for organisations to work together, the membership of the group consisting of Age Cymru Dyfed, Pembrokeshire County Council, Ceredigion County Council, Carmarthenshire County Council, Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services, Carmarthenshire Association of Voluntary Services and Ceredigion Association of Voluntary Organisations. A total of eleven community and voluntary groups received funding from the grant resulting in over 1,100 individuals benefitting from the initiative with 155 volunteers spending 1,975 hours working within their communities. 

Autism Wellbeing (Carmarthenshire CC) 

Autism Wellbeing is a not-for-profit social enterprise set up in May 2018 and run by a mix of autistic and non-autistic directors. Their aim is to increase the wellbeing of autistic people and to reduce their experience of distress.

Autism Wellbeing provides a range of services to autistic people and their families, all of which are informed by the principles of Responsive Communication and Sensory Attachment Intervention. They also provide a compassionate, knowledgeable telephone helpline for autistic people and parents of autistic children – 07393664048. In addition, Autism Wellbeing operate two online peer-to-peer support groups, one for autistic people and one for parents of autistic children. These groups are safe spaces where group members can share experiences and ideas as well as give and receive support.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Autism Wellbeing received a grant from the Carmarthenshire Covid-19 Community Response Fund, supported by Carmarthenshire County Council, to produce a Covid-19 Support Pack for Families with Autistic Children. This pack has proven hugely popular, and has been shared energetically by allies such as the National Autism Team via social media. The pack contains 17 information sheets on topics including each of the eight sense systems as well as ideas to support parents, children and families to regulate themselves and each other – C-19 Free Resources.

Using solar interest payments to support food banks (Carmarthenshire CC) 

Food banks in Carmarthenshire are being gifted £42,300 in food vouchers  will receive a share of the money in vouchers from income generated from rooftop solar panels on Carmarthenshire County Council buildings. Each food bank, which has seen a significant rise in demand since the coronavirus pandemic, will be given a list of suppliers they can obtain their goods from. The donation represents a value of approximately £70,000 for every mega-watt of solar installed, which is the highest single payment per megawatt of installed solar for any community benefit society, commercial solar farm or portfolio in the UK.

The council’s executive board member for resources and director of Egni Sir Gar Cyfyngedig an energy community benefit society established by the Council in 2015, Cllr David Jenkins, said: “Now more than ever people are having to use the foodbanks to put food on their table. It’s a challenging time for everyone as this coronavirus pandemic continues. By recycling our solar interest payment will help towards those that are struggling and cannot afford the essentials of life.”

Connect Carmarthenshire (Carmarthenshire CC) 

Residents and businesses across Carmarthenshire are showing remarkable community spirit by helping and supporting those in need in their communities during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. A number of voluntary groups have been set up to help wherever they can, offering both practical and emotional support. Connect Carmarthenshire has been created to bring communities and individuals together – a place to offer or request help to / from neighbours and the wider community. This platform is available to anyone who lives in Carmarthenshire.  Users to the website can sign up to  SirGâredig – Sharing Carmarthenshire’s Kindness, a regional campaign to encourage more people to be kind to each other. The Council’s website has lots of helpful information on the various support groups that have been set up and how  to volunteer. Town and community councils are also co-ordinating volunteers in their areas and working closely with local groups.

Local suppliers help with food packages (Carmarthenshire CC) 

Carmarthenshire County Council is working with local food suppliers to provide essential food packages to residents in Carmarthenshire who are shielding and have no other means of support. It means the parcels, which are delivered weekly, will contain some local produce as well as other basic food and household items. The council has taken over the supply and delivery of the food packages from Welsh Government and is working with Castell Howell and other local suppliers to put the packs together. The Council’s staff and  SirGâredig – Sharing Carmarthenshire’s Kindness  branded vans have been have been used for the delivery of the parcels.  Everyone receiving the package will get the same supplies, although the aim is to vary the contents as much as possible each week.

Council Leader Emlyn Dole said: “I am delighted that the council has been able to take over the management of the food packages for extremely vulnerable residents in Carmarthenshire who are shielding. “It means we are able to work with local suppliers and source local produce for the packages which is very important as it supports our local economy, as well as providing fresh, local food for our residents.”

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