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Llangennech School crowd-funder disappears




A CROWD-FUNDING page which purported to be raising money for a legal challenge to Carmarthenshire County Council’s decision to move Ysgol Llangennech along the language continuum to Welsh-medium education from Dual Stream has been closed down without explanation.

Under a headline which asks whether the page as a scam, a statement on Families First’s Carmarthenshire page states:

“At Families like many other news outlets across Wales we received a press release about a very reputable South Wales solicitor firm wishing to challenge that both English and Welsh Medium education in Wales remains in Carmarthenshire and across Wales. Along with further information it included a link to a corresponding crowd funding page hosted on a legit met platform and was stating money being raised was to cover said legal costs for this.

“A written statement was attached from the solicitor firms Watkins and Gunn partner Michael Imperato which we published on this article and was subsequently broadcast on all of our Welsh Families Sites along with the link to the crowd funding page.

“On Saturday 8th April, we received a further email from the same source, requesting if the solicitor firms Watkins and Gunn partner Michael Imperato statement and the information provide could now be retracted as they have decided to close down the crowd funding page. No further explanation was given to why, apart from that they seem to have simply changed their minds.”

The story about the existence of the crowd funding page was given significant prominence by some online news sources, with Wales Online in particular repeating the content of the now-disappeared web page almost verbatim in a news article.

It is not the first time that Trinity Mirror titles have appeared to take sides in the Llangennech debate. The Western Mail was compelled to apologise to Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg after appearing to suggest the organisation was involved in vandalism in the town. A police statement revealed that the incidents of vandalism were not only unconnected with the school controversy, but that the victims of the vandalism did not regard them as being linked.

A check on the link to the crowd-funder page shows the original shrill statement, which was riddled with errors, has been replaced by the following headline – accompanying a picture of Ysgol Llangennech: “Case launching on Friday, 28 April 2017 at 7 p.m. GMT”

The Herald has emailed Watkins and Gunn asking about their involvement in the matter and also sought a comment from Carmarthenshire County Council about the purported threat of legal action.

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  1. Avatar

    Jane Hopkins

    April 9, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Does anyone know whether the money did go where it said it would?
    Not that I’d consider giving them money but the whole things seems a tad shady.

  2. Avatar

    Stephen Grant-Davies

    April 10, 2017 at 9:46 am

    hi Jason C, I would be interested in an update to this, Cheers!

  3. Avatar


    April 13, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    All sounds very dodgy! The whole campaign against the new school has been based on lies and mistruths so should we be surprised?

  4. Avatar

    Glasnost UK

    April 17, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Nothing sinister or dishonest – To my understanding parents involved decided to cancel the CrowdFunding appeal as soon as they realised that the timing of the campaign was wrong (Easter holidays and the local elections). Inside 48 hours they received circa £1,500 in pledges but no money is paid out unless the target was achieved (No fraud as implied) and the battle for justice will continue.

    People should not lose the focus of the key issue behind the failed/postponed funding project: Carmarthenshire Council, their LEA and the school Governors have disregarded parental wishes by a huge majority to retain the dual language schooling in their village.

    ThePlaid Cymru-controlled Council is hell bent on imposing Welsh Medium education and in the process disregarding a simple and well-established fact that the English language 1 children are damaged in Welsh Medium Education.

    Hopefully, Carmarthenshire people will put the Democracy first and will refuse to vote for Plaid Cymru on 4th May, or any other prospective Councillor who will not respect parental choices and wishes in which language to educate their children!!

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Tir Coed build outdoor classroom for Cross Hands Primary





The local charity Tir Coed teamed up with Cross Hands Primary School to design and install a locally grown woodland shelter to enable primary school pupils to benefit from outdoor lessons-even when
the rain pours!

Last year Cross Hands Primary School received funding from Carmarthenshire is Kind for their intergenerational project. The project brought the schoolchildren together with older people in the community. Through intergenerational activities, everyone involved increases social connectedness, reduces social isolation, learns from one another and has a great time!

Before the lockdown, Tir Coed was contracted to lead a group mainly made up of parents from the school on a shelter-building course. The attendees would gain knowledge and skills and the children and the older people would be able to use the shelter, a third generation now included in this
fantastic project. The plans, however, had to change due to restrictions and in an effort to have it ready for the children when they returned to school, three intrepid Activity Leaders braved the wet August weather to build the beautiful shelter .

Studies have shown that being in the outdoors significantly reduces the risk of spreading the Corona Virus. With this addition to their already impressive outdoor area, it is hoped that more learning can
take place outside the classroom. Deputy Head, Emma Walters said, “It looks amazing! I am very impressed with the shelter and I cannot thank Tir Coed enough for organising this. Additional covered space in the outdoors will mean that we can take more learning into our lovely nature

If you would like to find out more about the work of Tir Coed or have a project you would like our help with you can contact Nancy, the Carmarthenshire Coordinator:

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Local sailor taking on virtual London marathon




A local sailor based in the Falkland Islands will be taking on the Virtual London Marathon this October to raise money for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.

Curtis Bowen, 24, from Llanelli, South Wales, was due to take on the London Marathon for SSAFA this April, but following the Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown, the race was cancelled. 

Fortunately, the London Marathon team created the Virtual London Marathon in its place, allowing runners to take on the challenge virtually alongside thousands of other runners on the 4th October.

Curtis said: “It was a shame that the London Marathon couldn’t go ahead as planned in April, but I think it is amazing that I am still able to partake whilst being in the Falkland Islands. I’m the first person to ever run the London Marathon in the Falkland Islands.”  

Curtis is currently serving in the Royal Navy, as a Leading Supply Chain Logistician, and has served for four years. His Father also served in the Royal Navy for twenty-three years.

The live virtual event on Sunday 4th October will invite runners to run the London Marathon in their own way, joining up to 45,000 runners up and down the country – and across the world – in the virtual 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon, The 40th Race.

Curtis decided to raise money for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity after being an avid supporter of the charity and being inspired by his Father, Andrew, who raised over £6,000 for SSAFA. 

I chose to run the London Marathon for SSAFA to challenge myself and raise awareness for a great cause. My younger brother sadly took his own life a couple of years ago and I know that SSAFA are there to support those struggling with their Mental Health. I want to raise as much money as I can to support those struggling within the Armed Forces community.”

“My Father was also supposed to be running the London Marathon this year, but will now be completing the challenge virtually, alongside my brother, Luke, 12,000km away in South Wales.”

If you would like to support Curtis, please visit

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NHS COVID-19 app launches across Wales




People are being urged to download the NHS COVID-19 app to help stop the spread of coronavirus and protect themselves and their loved ones as case numbers rise.

The app launches today [Thursday 24] after positive trials and will be a useful tool when used alongside Wales’ successful manual contact tracing system.

It will be available to those aged 16 and over, and forms a central part of the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect programme identifying contacts of those who have tested positive for coronavirus.

The roll-out of the app in Wales coincides with a national campaign around how people in Wales can best support the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect programme, including only getting a test if they are showing symptoms; self-isolating when required; and working with local contact tracers if they are contacted.

Wales’ contact tracing system – which is a publicly-run service and locally delivered – is working well and has seen a very high contract and trace rate. Latest stats show 94% of cases are being successfully contacted.

The app works by logging the amount of time you spend near other app users, and the distance between you, so it can alert you if someone you have been close to later tests positive for COVID-19 – even if you don’t know each other.

The app will advise you to self-isolate if you have been in close contact with a confirmed case. It will also enable you to check symptoms, book a test if needed and get your test results.

Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething said:

“The launch of the NHS COVID-19 app is an important part of Wales’ coronavirus response, supporting the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect programme. The more people who download and use this app, the more it will help us to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We have worked closely with the app development team to ensure it works seamlessly across Wales and England, providing people with the right advice based on where they live. In Wales, the app will complement our existing contact tracing and testing services and will further support our co-ordinated response to COVID-19 at both a local and national level.

“I strongly encourage everyone in Wales to download and use the app to keep Wales safe.”

The app has been designed with user privacy in mind, so it tracks the virus, not people and uses the latest in data security technology to protect privacy. The system generates a random ID for an individual’s device, which can be exchanged between devices via Bluetooth. These unique random IDs regenerate frequently to add an extra layer of security and preserve anonymity.

The app does not hold personal information such as your name, address or date of birth, and only requires the first half of your postcode to ensure local outbreaks can be managed.

Today the UK’s major mobile network operators, including Vodafone, Three, EE and O2, Sky and Virgin, have confirmed that all in-app activity will not come out of customers’ data allowance.

In a joint statement Apple and Google said:

“We built the exposure notifications system to enable public health authorities in their efforts to develop apps to help reduce the spread of the virus while ensuring people can trust in the privacy-preserving design. We are committed to supporting the government’s effort to launch an app based on this technology.”

Whilst the app will be a major support for the contact tracing system, Welsh residents are being reminded to continue to keep Wales safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19 by:

• Always keeping a distance
• Washing hands regularly
• Working from home wherever possible
• Following local restrictions
• Following the rules about meeting people
• Staying at home if you or anyone in your extended household has symptoms.

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