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‘Not a race, a run’

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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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Community

Tesco makes it even easier for shoppers in South Wales to help local food banks

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TESCO is making it easier than ever for shoppers to give a helping hand to food banks and charities feeding people in their local community, with ready-prepared donation bags at local stores in South Wales this summer.

The Tesco Food Collection is taking place in every large Tesco store across the UK from Thursday, June 30 until Saturday, July 2, and shoppers are being urged to donate long-life food to support local food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network and thousands of frontline charities supplied by FareShare. Tesco will top up all food donations made during the collection with an extra 20% cash donation to support the two charities.

The pre-filled donation bags, available during the collection, will contain items that are most-needed by the local Trussell Trust foodbank or frontline charities supplied by FareShare.

Shoppers will be able to scan the contents at the till as part of their usual shop before dropping the bag into the food collection donation trolley.

It is one of a number of new ways that customers can give their support during this summer’s food collection. Shoppers can also for the first time round up their bill at the checkout to make a small donation to both the charities.

From this week it is also easier for customers who shop in Express stores to support the charities, with new permanent donation points being placed in every Tesco Express store in the UK for the first time, meaning shoppers will now be able to donate at Express stores year-round.

Shoppers can also donate their Tesco Clubcard points online to either of the charities.

Tesco Head of Community Claire de Silva said, “This collection marks ten years of us working with the Trussell Trust and FareShare. During that decade our customers have been amazingly generous, donating more than 100 million meals during our food collections and at permanent collection points in stores. This summer we wanted to make it even easier for customers to donate as we know that every can donated really does help.”

Donations are more important than ever as the charities have reported increasing need for food.

Sarah Germain, CEO at FareShare Cymru, said: “Our charities are telling us that the need for food has vastly increased as a result of the cost-of-living crisis, and over the last year we’ve continued to deliver four meals every second to people facing food insecurity across the UK.

“That’s why we would be immensely grateful to anyone who is able to donate a bag of pasta or tin of vegetables over the Tesco Food Collection weekend – your generous donations will help us continue providing vital support to families struggling to cope this summer.”

Emma Shepherd, Project Manager at the Trussell Trust Cardiff Foodbank, and Becky Morgan, Manager at the Trussell Trust Vale Foodbank, added: “Every year, we are amazed by the generosity of Tesco customers who donate to the Food Collection. We know that many families on the very lowest incomes have been forced to the doors of food banks to get by, as the nation faces a rapid rise in the cost of living and continues to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic. So, once again, we are calling on shoppers to give generously and make a difference to people who need our support over the coming weeks and months.”

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Charity

Hywel Dda Health Charities’ annual Pet Competition is back

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HYWEL DDA HEALTH CHARITIES, the official charity of Hywel Dda University Health Board, has launched its 2022 Pet Competition.

The competition gives members of the public the opportunity to win prizes while also helping the charity to raise funds which make a positive difference to the lives of NHS patients, service users and staff in the Hywel Dda area.

Owners of fabulous felines, perfect pooches, gorgeous guinea pigs or beautiful budgies are invited to enter the annual competition.

Pet-owners can enter as many times as they like in the categories of Cutest Dog, Cutest Cat and Cutest Other Pet. Each photo entry costs £3.

It’s easy to take part, all participants need to do is send a photo of their pet to fundraising.hyweldda@wales.nhs.uk and follow the instructions in this link: https://hyweldda.enthuse.com/cf/pet-competition.

The competition is open to everyone in the Health Board area. Entries close on 30th June 2022. The final three in each category will be chosen by the Hywel Dda Health Charities team. The winners are then chosen by an online voting poll and will be announced in July.

There are 1st place prizes in each category donated by Wynnstay, Burns Pet Food and Vincent Davies Department Stores.

Diane Henry, fundraising support officer, said: “Each time people enter our Pet Competition with pictures of their fabulous pets, they are helping us to provide services and activities above and beyond what the NHS can provide.. Thank you for your continued support.”

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Community

New grants scheme launched to break barriers to accessing nature

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A £2MILLION funding pot designed to bolster community resilience by harnessing the power of nature is set to be launched by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) this summer.  

The launch of the Resilient Communities Grant Programme stems from calls for a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic – a recovery which places a stronger focus on action for nature and a recovery that spreads to every part of society.

 The Welsh Government’s declaration of a Climate and Nature Emergency has also galvanised communities, businesses and public bodies in Wales to work together to mitigate against and adapt to the impacts of climate change, now and in the future.

The Resilient Communities Grant will provide communities with the opportunities to restore and enhance nature in their local areas, particularly in Wales’ most disadvantaged communities, and those with little access to nature. Supporting the provision of more green space will also support the changes needed to make to society to respond to the challenges of the climate emergency and reverse the decline in biodiversity.

 With applications set to open in July, NRW is urging projects from across Wales to develop and submit proposals that have at their heart:

  • Opportunities to promote diversity and inclusion, particularly amongst communities that have less access to quality green spaces.
  • Creative ways to reconnect people with nature and their local environment to improve physical and mental health, confidence, self-esteem and encourage ‘green behaviours’.
  • Promoting health and wellbeing through therapy and nature, particularly interventions that tackle health inequalities.
  • Nature-based solutions that help communities feel safer and secure, for example improving greenspaces blighted by criminal activity.
  • Creating more opportunities to access nature, especially where this need is reflected in future development planning.
  • Opportunities to improving community awareness and understanding of climate risks, empowering communities to be involved in decision-making and taking action to tackle climate change impacts.
  • Ensuring communities feel a sense of connection and empowerment with their natural environment and have an active role over how it is managed and improved.
  • Creating opportunities for education and involvement in citizen science so communities have a better connection and greater understanding of their local environment and the benefits that a healthy environment can bring.

Gareth O’Shea, Director of Operations for NRW, said: “We have seen people connecting with nature during the Covid-19 pandemic and a greater appreciation of the way in which it underpins our health, our economy and our wider wellbeing.

“There has also been increasing recognition that the climate and nature emergencies are upon us, and its impacts are being felt amongst the parts of society that have contributed least to its acceleration. More needs to be done to mitigate and adapt now.

“Our Resilient Communities Grant Programme seeks to support that effort – providing communities with the opportunities to meet these challenges in a number of ways.

“From promoting the benefits of greater access to nature, tackling loneliness and exclusion and empowering people to influence the decisions made in their local areas, we’re encouraging people to submit proposals that can make a significant difference to the health, wellbeing and resilience of current and future generations.”

The Resilient Communities Grant Programme can provide 100% funding and applications are welcomed for amounts from £10,000 to £250,000. Applications can be made across different places and address multiple themes. Applicants who collaborate with other partners to submit joint applications are also warmly welcomed.

For further information on NRW’s Resilient Communities Grant Programme and the upcoming webinar, please visit: Natural Resources Wales / Current grant funding opportunities or contact grants.enquiries@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk

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