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Sargeant visits First Stop Shop



‘Impressed’: Cabinet Secretary Carl Sargeant

‘Impressed’: Cabinet Secretary Carl Sargeant

WELSH GOVERNMENT Cabinet Secretary Carl Sargeant has visited the Un Sir Gar Hub in Llanelli and met members of the Communities for Work, Lift and Communities First teams.

The Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children was shown around the Un Sir Gar Hub, a ‘first stop shop’ for adults of all ages seeking employment, education, training or volunteering in Carmarthenshire.

Mr Sargeant was shown examples of the partnership working between the different organisations working there to support residents.

The Cabinet Secretary was introduced to members of the Communities for Work team, a project supported by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government and Department for Work and Pensions to help people furthest away from the labour market into employment through one to one support, guidance and training.

He also met the Carmarthenshire Lift team who provide training and employment opportunities for people who live in households where noone is in work and the Communities First Prosperity Team who provide employment, digital and financial support to residents living in the Carmarthenshire Communities First cluster area.

Mr Sargeant went on to meet local residents who are being supported by the team to achieve their goals.

In the past 12 months the team has supported over 100 people into work, 250 adults with digital skills and 260 adults have achieved accredited qualifications.

Executive board member for regeneration and leisure Cllr Meryl Gravell said: “I’m pleased that the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children has been able to visit Carmarthenshire to see the good work being done in partnership to help people into work or to benefit from education, training or volunteering.”

Carl Sargeant said: “I have been very impressed with everything I have seen here today. The Hub is clearly leading the way in terms of successful joint working. It is very pleasing to see so many different organisations working together to help local people into work or training which in turn will help the local economy.”

Communities First is a Welsh Government funded initiative to Tackle Poverty focusing on Healthy, Prosperous and Learning Communities, creating opportunities for residents to gain skills, access employment and get healthier. The Communities First programme is focused on the most deprived areas in Carmarthenshire and covers a population of approximately 22,000 residents. The Communities First area covers Ammanford, Bigyn, Felinfoel, Glanymor, Hengoed, Lliedi, Llwynhendy, Trimsaran and Tyisha.

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Those eligible for the Spring Covid-19 booster should get jabbed by end of June



ALL those eligible for the Spring Covid-19 booster are being urged to take up their offer of the vaccine before the end of next month.

A deadline of 30 June has been introduced to ensure all those eligible for the spring booster will have a long-enough interval between this and the autumn 2022 booster, if they are also eligible.

An announcement by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) about which groups will be eligible for the autumn booster is due to be published shortly.

The JCVI has advised that people over-75, older care home residents and all those aged 12 years and over who are immunosuppressed are eligible for the spring booster.

Those who are 75 on or before 30 June, can get their booster at any point up to the deadline.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “It is important we continue our very high take up levels of the vaccine to help protect us against the risk of serious illness from Covid-19. I would urge everyone who is offered a spring booster vaccination takes up the invitation.”

If someone eligible for a spring booster has had a Covid infection recently, they will need to wait 28 days from the date they tested positive before they can be vaccinated. They will still be able to get vaccinated after 30 June as part of this campaign if they have to postpone their appointment.

All those eligible for spring boosters will be invited by their health board or GP.

It is not too late for anyone who needs a primary dose (first, second or third) to be vaccinated.

Please check for local arrangements.

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Young people in Wales being failed when moving from child to adult mental health services



MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES are failing young people when they move from child to adult services, says a mental health charity.

Mind Cymru is calling for Welsh Government to make urgent changes to improve the system.

Nia Evans, Children and Young People Manager at Mind Cymru, said: “Young people have told us that their needs, thoughts, and feelings about moving to adult services are often unheard, or ignored.

“Welsh Government must support Local Health Boards to make sure this doesn’t happen, change the way services are run and make sure our young people are being heard and properly cared for.”

Mind Cymru has published a report, in ate the result of interviews with young people about their experiences of moving from Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – (SCAMHS) to AMHS.

They highlighted five key areas where services are failing young people:
– Poor information offered to young people, particularly on their rights
– Inconsistent use and follow through of care and treatment plans
– High thresholds for SCAMHS and AMHS referrals to be accepted
– Feeling abandoned / cut off from SCAMHS
– Age still dominates decision making process for moving from SCAMHS to AMHS

Nia Evans said: “Any one of these issues could make the process of moving from children’s services to adult services difficult for our young people. But often, more than one is happening at any one time.”

“Our young people have a right to care and support from a mental health system that has been put in place to help them recover. Action must be taken immediately to make sure support systems are robust and doing the job they were designed to do.”

Mind Cymru is asking people to email their Member of the Senedd (MS) and amplify the voices of these young people whose experiences are often unheard, and use the #SortTheSwitch hashtag on social media.

The full report is available here, including what a good move from SCAMHS to AMHS would look like for young people, and where the current system could improve.

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Average UK price of diesel hits record of more than £1.80 a litre



LESS than two months after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a 5p a litre cut on the average price of fuel – diesel prices have reached a record high price of 180.29p a litre.
The previous high of 179.90p was recorded on March 23rd 2022 – the day of the Spring Statement from Sunak.

In recent weeks, the UK government has tried to move away from its reliance on importing Russian oil, following President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Worryingly for drivers of petrol cars, the price per litre is fast approaching the record levels of 167.3p per litre set on March 22nd.

This latest price rise adds another challenge to UK households, as the cost of living crisis continues to impact families across the country.

RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said: “Sadly, despite the Chancellor’s 5p a litre duty cut the average price of a litre of diesel has hit a new record high at 180.29p.”

“Efforts to move away from importing Russian diesel have led to a tightening of supply and pushed up the price retailers pay for diesel.”

“While the wholesale price has eased in the last few days this is likely to be temporary, especially if the EU agrees to ban imports of Russian oil.”

“Unfortunately, drivers with diesel vehicles need to brace themselves for yet more pain at the pumps. Had Mr Sunak reduced VAT to 15% as we call on him to do instead of cutting duty by 5p, drivers of diesel vehicles would be around 2p a litre better off, or £1 for every full tank.”

“As it is, drivers are still paying 27p VAT on petrol and 29p on diesel, which is just the same as before the Spring Statement.”

“The average price of petrol is also on the rise having gone up nearly 3p a litre since the start of the month to 166.65p which means it’s less than a penny away from the all-time high of 167.30p set on 22 March.”

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