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‘Not a race, a run’



Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 12.37.38HAVING paid a visit to Aberystwyth Parkrun to celebrate their 200th event, this week, The Herald decided to pay a visit to Aberystwyth’s Junior Parkrun, which was held at 9am on Sunday (Jul 10). 

On a cloudy morning, Plascrug Park in Plascrug Avenue, came alive when around 20 children between the ages of 4 and 14 arrived with their parents and geared up for another run in the park.

Aberystwyth Junior Parkrun is a great way for both children and parents to make use of the outdoor space and to have fun while meeting new people, along with the benefit of improving their health and confidence.

After warming up, the children then complete an anticlockwise lap on the outer paths and finish by running along the middle path to the start line. Afterwards, the children and their parents are then all invited every week to Wetherspoons Yr Hen Orsaf for post parkrun coffees and treats, a stone’s throw away from the park.

Mel, part of the Core team at the Junior Parkrun told the Herald before the run began: “I’ve been with the Junior Parkrun from the start. I’m also one of the running Directors as well and my son is also in the parkrun itself.

“All the Parkrun is, is a timed 2K run and it’s basically just timing the children against themselves rather than it being a race. It’s here to promote health and fitness to the young kids and also for the parents that come along and they can join in too. If they’re wanting to come along to the 5K run on the Saturday then they can also come along on the Sunday morning and bring they’re kids.

Phillip Lowther, one of the original Core Team members of the Junior Parkrun, said: “We would firstly like to thank The Herald for the support we’ve had for the adult Parkrun and the Junior Parkrun. The Junior Parkrun is a free weekly timed event at 9am every Sunday morning. All the children need to do, adults as well, is to register on the Parkrun website and then when you are given a little barcode, you print that off and bring them along with you to the Parkruns.

“Initially, the Junior Parkrun was set up at the beginning of May 2015 and set up by a core team of about 5 people, Jane Thorogood is the main leader of that one. Each of them do bits and pieces to get, first off the funding which we had from the Aberystwyth Athletics club and also through Ceredigion County Council. So once the funding was in place, we could then gather the other pieces of the jigsaw so that we could get the first run up and away. That first run, like everything else, was like the first day of school when you’re a bit nervous and excited and when 59 little faces turned up and supported it so it was brilliant.

“It’s definitely great to see the regular runners and that’s what you’ll see today. We’ve got two youngsters and who, today, going to complete their 50th Parkrun.As we always say, it’s not a Parkrace, but a Parkrun and there isn’t a winner and there isn’t a set time where you need to complete the run in so many minutes The children have a chance to meet new people and learn responsibilities such as being here on time.”

Rhoda Dwyer, a volunteer at the run and one of the parents of the Junior Parkrun members, told The Herald about her son’s 50th Parkrun: “It’s my son’s 50th Parkrun today, a lot of commitment has been made and there has been a lot of standing in the rain in the winter as you can imagine. There have been some mornings where we’ve looked out and thought maybe he won’t do it this morning and then we go downstairs to find him in his shorts, raring to go. they get lots of people. Again, it’s a lovely community event. For the least athletic person ever, I would highly recommend attending.”

The Herald spoke with Event Director of Aberystwyth Junior Parkrun, Jane Thorogood, about her experiences with the Junior Parkrun and how should would encourage others to join: “I did my first parkrun in December 2012 and have now done 120! I first heard about junior parkrun about 2 years ago and it was only when Anita Worthing, Event Director of the 5k Aberystwyth parkrun, mentioned that we could possibly set one up in Aberystwyth that I really started to give it some thought.

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17-year-old rescue dog finds love again



17 Year Old Duke

A GOLDEN OLDIE who is over 100 years old in dog years finally knows what love is after being rescued by the RSPCA.

Akita Duke – who is 17 years old or 104 in dog years – was rescued by police and taken in by the RSPCA in August after he was left inside a property in South Wales.

Inspector David Milborrow was called to the home on 23 August by South Wales Police who found the dog in poor health. Duke was taken in by the RSPCA’s South Cotswolds branch.

Haley Medlock – digital and community fundraiser for Cotswolds Dogs and Cats Home – said: “Poor Duke was in quite a state when he arrived here. He was underweight and very unsteady on his legs. He was suffering from severe muscle loss, knuckling of his hind limbs and sores on his back legs. Walking is a real struggle for him.

“Despite all of this, he is full of love and adores cuddling up to our staff and snoozing in the sunshine. Realistically we don’t know how long this lovely lad has left but we’re determined to ensure his final weeks or months are the best they can be.”

The team placed him up for adoption or fostering but had no interest in him due to his age and his failing health. That is until first-time fosterers Kate* and her family got in touch to offer him a foster home to live out his days.

Kate said: “We lost our dog in January and when we saw Duke’s advert on Facebook we were so sad that he hadn’t had any applications. We felt every dog deserves a loving home, especially in those later years and, being a vet student studying at home, I felt we could offer him a suitable home.

“He’s getting on so well and settled in straight away. His personality is really coming through now, he’s doing much better with his mobility around the house and he barks when we get his harness out for a walk. He gets so excited when my parents come home from work and wags his tail.

“Considering all he’s been through it is lovely to see that he can still trust people and that’s testament to the work of the RSPCA and his wonderful carers at Cotswolds Dogs and Cats Home.”

“Duke is so happy in his new foster home and is loving the home comforts and attention he deserves,” Haley added. “We can’t thank his new family enough for providing him with a safe and loving space to enjoy life.

“Now we’re looking for wonderful supporters to sponsor Duke and help him in his new home. He has costly daily pain relief, medication for his joints and cream to treat his sores. We’d also like to buy him a high-quality harness and walking aid to help him get back on his paws.

“The cost of his ongoing care is expected to be around £550 so we’re appealing to local people who have followed his story and fallen in love with this old lad to help us support him so he can have the best retirement possible.”

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Small Grants Scheme launched by Police and Crime Commissioner aimed at reducing acquisitive crimes in Llanelli



Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn has today launched the Safer Street small grant scheme for projects aimed at reducing acquisitive crimes.

Up to £2000 is available through the scheme for charities, voluntary organisations and community groups in part of the Elli Tyisha wards of Llanelli. (Map of eligible area is available in guidelines document – link below.)

The small grants scheme is part of the Safer Streets initiative whereby funding was secured earlier this year by the Police and Crime Commissioner in partnership with Carmarthenshire Safer Communities Partnership from the Home Office.

The funding will support the development of projects that have a direct impact on these local communities in Elli and Tyisha that will make residents feel safer and reduce demand on the police.

In 2020, Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn launched a small grants scheme for an area in Glanymor and another area of the Tyisha ward of Llanelli.  Following this additional funding from the Home Office, the Commissioner is now able to launch a separate grants scheme for part of the Elli and Tyisha wards.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said; “I am delighted to announce this additional small grant fund today that is part of the Safer Street funding scheme that I secured earlier this year.

“Ensuring the security and safety of residents is a priority of mine – everyone deserves to live safely, and free from harm.

“Acquisitive offences are the crimes that the public are most likely to encounter, and they are estimated to cost society billions of pounds every year. There is strong evidence that these crimes can be prevented by tactics that either remove opportunities to commit crime or act as a deterrent by increasing the chances of an offender being caught.

“I have invested significantly in the area over recent years with community grants I made available in addition to the new CCTV system that is in place across the town. This new additional funding will further build upon my work over recent years and I hope the residents will feel a positive difference in their communities.”

Cllr Ann Davies, Executive Board Member for Communities and Rural Affairs and Chair of the Safer Community Partnership said: “The Council and Safer Communities Partnership are really pleased to have been able to work with the Police and Crime Commissioner on securing this funding. We are delighted to be part of this initiative to help our residents be safer and feel safer, building on our ongoing work in these communities to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour. 

“The Partnership is made up of local partners that all aim to make Carmarthenshire safer, including the Council, Police, Fire and Rescue Service, Probation and Health. We will be happy to support local organisations to help us all achieve that aim, so please contact us with your ideas before 17 September.”

Closing date for applications is the 17th of September. Funding guidelines and application form can be downloaded from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s website here.

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Ray’s Renal Ray of Sunshine Run



LYNDON and Alfie-Ray Rees from Llanelli had set themselves a challenge of running an Ultra Marathon, “Ray’s Renal Ray of Sunshine Run” on May 29 2021 in memory of Raymond Bolton a “larger than life” character that would always bring light and happiness wherever he went. 

A Llanelli man who doted on his family and was loved and respected by so many.

Ray worked down the mines in Cynheidre as an electrician and loved nothing more than building and flying model aircrafts in his spare time.

Ray made such an impact on everyone’s lives. A father figure to his niece, due to their close relationship she named her youngest son, Alfie-Ray. As a mark of respect Alfie-Ray, aged 12, wanted to run an Ultra Marathon of 31 miles on May 29 2021 for the Renal Unit that supported Ray through his treatment. 

All the staff at the unit could not speak highly enough of Ray, he was so full of sunshine and laughter he made a lasting impression on everyone he met. Ray sadly passed away in March this year and Alfie-Ray wishes to honour his memory.

Lyndon and Alfie-Ray Rees (12 years of age) completed the Ultra Marathon in 6 hours, 32 minutes and 40 seconds. The run started and finished at Llanelli Leisure Centre.

The first part of the route involved running from Llanelli Leisure Centre along the coastal path to Pembrey, before running back to Llanelli Leisure Centre.

The second part of the route took them up the Path of Doom which is the old Mynydd Mawr Railway Line in Cynheidre before reaching Tumble and this was the turning point before they made their way back to Llanelli Leisure Centre to finish the run.

The weather was kind to us on Saturday and what a special way to remember and celebrate the life of the much-loved Raymond Bolton. This father and son partnership faced this epic challenge head on and their determination and self-belief allowed them to achieve their goal.

Furthermore, the charity’s motto is “Believe in Yourself, both Lyndon and Alfie–Ray are shining examples of what you can achieve if you put your mind to it.

Alfie-Ray, Anna Powell and Lyndon

Organisers would like to say a huge thank you to Llanelli Leisure Centre, First in Events, Daisy’s Little Coffee Shop, Picton Sports, Waunwyllt Inn, Hidden Carmarthenshire, Morrisons Llanelli, and Glangwili Hospital for all their donations and support for the Ultra Marathon.

The cheesecake at Daisy’s Little Coffee shop was a much needed sugar boost on the Ultra Marathon Route which fuelled Lyndon and Alfie-Ray to complete the run in record time.

Alfie-Ray, aged 12, said: “I was very nervous building up to the event and I knew it was a huge challenge. I started well and I felt strong but as the miles racked up so did the fatigue.

“The last 3 miles were the hardest it took all my mental strength to finish, but I was not going to let “Uncle Ray” down. Although I was visualising what I would be eating at the end of the race I was so exhausted I couldn’t eat my food. After a good night’s sleep, I more than made up for it the following day”.

Lyndon, father of Alfie-Ray, said: “Needless to say, I am very proud of Alfie-Ray and all of his achievements, however this takes it to another level. Alfie- Ray had a very good idea of what discomfort was ahead of him, but he dug deep and pushed on.

“Even I was shocked with the ease in which he covered the 31 miles”.

Anna Powell, Children and Youth Community Engagement Officer, said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Lyndon, Alfie-Ray and the Rees Family.

“I am in awe of Alfie-Ray completing an Ultra Marathon at the age of 12, because the majority of adults would not even attempt it. Uncle Ray would be so proud of his achievement and what a positive way to remember him and celebrate his life”.

Lyndon and Alfie-Ray would like to thank everyone who has donated to date and they have raised £610 (and counting). It will make a huge difference to the Renal Unit in Glangwili Hospital.

There is still time to donate to this fantastic cause please click the link below :

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