THE GROWING army of older people in our community have so much to offer, with an array of skills and talents. This became evident when Carmarthenshire Council’s Community Resource Team took to the road, visiting Llanelli, Carmarthen and Ammanford on Older Persons’ Day.
They found a golden thread of multi-skilled talent learned over many long lifetimes running through the elder generation who popped along to a breakfast in Llanelli, a fruit kebab lunch in Carmarthen and a cream team in Ammanford. County Department of Communities’ Locality Community Coordinator, Ed Dewar, said Integrated Services in partnership with Spice were focusing on addressing social isolation and loneliness amongst older people.
He said: “On Older Persons’ Day across the three county towns, we strove to discover what older people contribute to their communities.”
County Executive Board Member for Social Care and Health, Cllr Jane Tremlett, said it was a really important exercise. “Through mapping people’s skills in the community, we hope that we can bring those with similar interests together to improve their well-being.
“We want to allow more opportunities for older people in their communities and encourage them to pass on their skills to others. By supporting their well-being and preventing them from having to access health care or social care, we can help them to remain independent in their communities.
“I was so encouraged to hear many older people were taking advantage of supporting their communities by sharing their skills at communal meetings, ranging from knitting to making films and even performing massages.
“And the time, credits they earned or could earn as a result of sharing these skills ranged from trips to the London Eye to seeing Mamma Mia in Cardiff.”
Tony White, aged 74, of Christopher Street, Seaside, Llanelli, was in Llanelli Market with member of his family, where he regularly meets up with them and granddaughter Mia Howells at the weekend.
Tony, brought up in Ireland, came to Llanelli aged 16 and although he has worked in most parts of the UK in construction, he is a trained barber and has experience in a variety of other jobs. He also has a passion for landscape painting.
He said one of his grandchildren had taken a picture of the sun setting over Caldey on her mobile phone from Llanelli beach and he was so impressed with the result, he converted it into an acrylic masterpiece in one night.
He said: “The paints have not been out of the box for years. But I certainly wouldn’t mind teaming up with like-minded people and sharing my self-taught skills.
“We older folk have got a lot of knowledge to pass on. I really like to paint,” he said.
Malcolm Borer (admitting to being 60+) is a retired housing manager with Llanelli Borough Council who lives at Sandy Water Park overlooking the lake. “What is there not to like about Llanelli,” he said while enjoying the slab toast served with a pot of tea – what else – at the Tea Pot Cafe in Llanelli Market with his partner, Marisa.
Malcolm said he has travelled the world in his retirement and although he came to Llanelli from another mining area in the North East of England, said he always gravitates back to the ‘old hometown that looks just the same’, as in Tom Jones’ song.
“There is something about Llanelli people that is really endearing. And I consider myself to be very much one of them.
“I have become something of a film-maker on my travels but I also like recording footage in and about Llanelli. From its coast to hills and valleys, reservoirs and industry, quaint urban sprawl and busy theatre productions, the town has a lot to commend it,” said Mr Borer.
And yes, Malcolm said his not so amateur film-making skill is certainly something that he would be keen to share with anyone interested. You can view his work at www.youtube.co.uk/MalFromWales.
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.
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.
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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