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Big Learning comes to Carmarthen

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Committed to Carmarthen: The Big Learning Company

Committed to Carmarthen: The Big Learning Company

BIG LEARNING COMPANY – a Cardiff-based company that specialises in the Education; Information Communications Technology (ICT); Digital and Creative Sectors – has this month opened a Carmarthen office on the town’s University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s Campus.

This internationally renowned company has already committed to being a part of Canolfan S4C Yr Egin but as the Centre won’t be opening its doors until early 2018, Big Learning Company (BLC) is keen to establish a base in West Wales with immediate effect.

The company’s CEO, Louise Harris says: “Big Learning Company is delighted to be associated with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Canolfan S4C Yr Egin – and is especially excited to be moving to Carmarthen at the beginning of this highly innovative ground-breaking project, working alongside the cream of Welsh education, the creative industries and the digital sectors.

“Canolfan S4C Yr Egin is incredibly important, not just for Carmarthen and rural West Wales – the heartland of the Welsh language – but for the whole of Wales, as a digital gateway to the rest of the world, where the best of Welsh talent and content, from education to industry, can find exciting new market opportunities.

“We’re very excited to be establishing an office on the University’s campus and to be developing our presence in Carmarthen as one of the company’s key hubs for product and service delivery,” adds Louise.

BLC delivers training, content and innovation projects in all areas of learning provision across Wales and across a range of ages, abilities and areas and works with internationally renowned brands.

“We pride ourselves on the impact we achieve whilst making learning exciting and enjoyable, equipping young people and professionals alike with valuable transferable skills, and developing progression routes to education and the workplace, with digital technology, creative sector engagement and ingenuity at the heart of what we do.

“At BLC we have made it our mission to offer flexible learning opportunities and sustainable pathways to education and work. We have also developed innovative digital evaluation tools, to allow us accurately to measure the impact and affect that our programmes and products have,” continues Louise Harris.

Bilingualism is also at the heart of BLC’s work and it’s already delivered a range of exciting Welsh-medium projects with National organisations including S4C and Yr Urdd, including coding and digital training workshops for young people. BLC recently worked with the University, S4C and Carmarthenshire County Council to deliver a Welsh-medium ‘World of Work Day,’ introducing Year 12 students from schools within the county to the types of jobs or disciplines that are likely to be represented within Canolfan S4C Yr Egin.

“We are very pleased to have such a dynamic and successful company as Big Learning Company committed to being part of Canolfan S4C Yr Egin. Indeed, such is the company’s commitment to the development – and to Carmarthen – that it’s already established a base on the University’s campus” says Gwilym Dyfri Jones, Associate Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

“This is great news for the University and for the town’s economy. The fact that a company such as Big Learning Company wants to move to Carmarthen, even before Canolfan S4C Yr Egin opens its doors, attests its commitment to our vision for the development. We look forward to working with Big Learning Company and we warmly welcome the team to Carmarthen,” adds Gwilym Dyfri Jones.

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Education

Canned Food UK & Tata Steel launch package design challenge

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Canned Food UK (CFUK) and Tata Steel in Europe launch the Packaging Design Challenge this week on April 24 2020.   

The challenge encourages children aged 15 and under to design and create their own pack which demonstrates packaging’s important role in protecting our food and drink.   

To take part entrants first create their ‘product’, a sponge in a freezer bag with 200ml of water and secondly, a pack for their product using materials otherwise destined for the recycling bin which have been cleaned such as cereal boxes, milk cartons or loo roll holders.  

Entrants are invited to send photos or a video to CFUK by tagging Instagram posts with @cannedfooduk or #packagingdesignchallenge or emailing competitions@cannedfood.co.uk.  

Entries should show how their packs are decorated, which parts are recyclable and if their pack survives the drop test – dropping their pack from head height to see if the product leaks.   

A winner will be selected by a panel of experts for a chance to win £100 in Amazon vouchers and the closing date is midnight on Monday 22 May 2020.  

The challenge launches with a live session on Canned Food UK’s Facebook page at 11am on Friday 24 April with Nicola Jones, Tata Steel’s Packaging Recycling Education manager, who normally visits schools nationwide delivering interactive workshops that showcase the benefits of packaging. 

“Lots of families would have been returning from the Easter break this week and I would have been in classrooms talking about how steel is made and why we use packaging. I wanted to continue to share these resources and the Packaging Design Challenge was the perfect opportunity,” comments Nicola.  

“It’s a straightforward activity that children can do with minimal adult supervision, that’s away from a computer screen, and at the same time, learn about how packaging protects our food and drink, reduces waste and how it’s recycled.” 

“I think the challenge will showcase the effectiveness of packaging, just like the can which has great shelf appeal, durability and of course, is infinitely recyclable,” adds Robert Fell, director at CFUK and competition judge. “I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s entries, especially if they survive the drop test.” 

For further information on the challenge visit cannedfood.co.uk/packagingdesignchallenge or see entries as they come in on the CFUK’s FacebookTwitter and Instagram channels.  

-ends- 

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Community

Strictly Cymru brings dancing a-plenty to 2020

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Disabled people from all over Wales have waltzed into 2020 for Strictly Cymru – the country’s renowned inclusive dance competition.

Run by charity Leonard Cheshire, in partnership with the national governing body Paradance UK, the competition has seen dancers in both inclusive and wheelchair-specific categories compete in six heats across South Wales, in preparation for the grand final on 6 June. Strictly Cymru is now in its third year.

Winning in the inclusive categories at the Carmarthen heat on 17 January were Coleg Sir Gar students Kieron, Toby, Thomas, and Max, as well as Richard, who came independently from Coleshill Day Centre in Llanelli and wowed the judges with his Michael Jackson inspired fast feet and moonwalk. A few days later, Rebecca, Chloe, and Anesha from Heronsbridge School lifted the trophy at the Bridgend heat on 21 January.

Gower College students Daniel and Carys wowed the judges with their synchronised dancing at the Cardiff heat, while Coleg Gwent student Matthew secured a place on the final in the inclusive heat held in Newport last week.

Meanwhile, in the wheelchair dance category, dancers Chad and Ben took gold in Carmarthen and Bridgend respectively. The Carmarthen heat rang with the sound of Chad’s catchphrase of “Absolutely fantastic!”

Then, the fifth heat in Cardiff saw the youngest person to take part in Strictly to date, five-year-old Inga, win in the wheelchair category, before Robin John won the final wheelchair heat in Newport after being inspired by his partner Dianne, who was highly commended in last year’s competition grand final.

Dance instructors from Paradance UK also took the participants, who came from schools the community and Leonard Cheshire services in the area, through their paces ahead of each dance-off to give everyone the best chance at reaching the final.

Chad said: “It has been a really great two days and I’ve enjoyed getting to know new people and learn tango. I’m looking forward to the final.”

Robin John, winning at Newport, said: “It’s absolutely wonderful, I’ve tried before and lost, but it feels on a whole different planet to win a heat! I’m looking forward to the final and don’t mind which genre of dance I get, I can adapt to most things.”

Ruth Jones, MP for Newport West, was a judge at the heat there. Ruth said: “I wasn’t sure what to expect beforehand, but it was amazing. As you walked into the room the enthusiasm hit you like a wave. It was so hard to choose a winner because they were all brilliant in their own way, everybody did the maximum they could possibly do.”

Alan Dear, Head of Theatre and Arts at Newport Live, helped support the Newport heat and said: “It is the most joyful thing I have done in years.”

The heats were open to people of all ages and abilities and the overall winners of the competition will be crowned in the Ffwrnes theatre in Llanelli on 6 June 2020.  There they will receive the coveted Strictly glitter ball trophy.

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Education

Lee Waters in School Council Summit

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LOCAL Member of the Senedd, Lee Waters has held the third Llanelli School Council Summit in the Welsh Parliament for secondary school pupils from across the constituency.

Over 70 pupils from schools right across the area visited the Senedd to learn how the Welsh Parliament works and take part in debates in the old Assembly debating chamber.

Pupils chose to debate lowering the voting age and banning diesel cars. They also had the opportunity to question the Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething about their concerns and on his experiences as a Minister in the Welsh Government.

Lee Waters MS said

“Every year since becoming elected I’ve invited the school councils from the secondary schools across Llanelli to the Senedd for a School Council Summit. I’m really pleased that the event has grown and grown.”

“The pupils enthusiasm and grasp of the issues was really impressive, and it was great to hear their thoughts on some really important issues.”

“I was delighted to give pupils a chance to discuss their ideas with the Health Minister Vaughan Gething, debate issues that are important to them, and get practical careers advice learn from past pupils at their schools who now work in Welsh public life.”

“I want to show that pupils from Llanelli can succeed at whatever they choose in life, and get them involved in Welsh democracy.”

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