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Thousands of meals donated by Llanelli Tesco shoppers

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THOUSANDS of meals have been donated to food banks and groups feeding people in the local community thanks to the generosity of Tesco shoppers in Llanelli, figures released today reveal.

Shoppers in Llanelli donated 4,928 meals as part of the overall total of 2.5 million meals donated to charities the Trussell Trust and FareShare by shoppers during last month’s Tesco Food Collection, with Tesco topping up the value of all the donations by an additional 20%.

The donations to food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network are being used to provide food parcels for people in crisis, while donations to FareShare go to charities and community groups such as homeless shelters and older people’s lunch clubs who also receive surplus food from Tesco stores.

One of the groups benefitting from the generous donations in Wales is Oasis Cardiff. Its manager Richard Eynon said the donations are essential to their work.

“We’re extremely grateful for the food donations we receive from Tesco through the Food Collection scheme. We operate a monthly supper club, incorporating a different dish from around the world inspired by the group’s diversity, allowing us to introduce new foods to our clients. All of this has been made possible thanks to the donations from Tesco.

“The centre is a lifeline for our clients, especially over Christmas, and we’re proud to have the opportunity to support them in their time of need. Some have just arrived in Cardiff, whereas others have been here for a few years, and visit Oasis to socialise with the many friends they have made here.”

One of the groups supplied by Trussell Trust in Wales is the Taff Ely Foodbank. It has eight distribution centres across Pontyclun, Pontypridd, Tonyrefail, Llanharan, Gilfach Goch and Talbot Green. Its team of 50 volunteers provided 3.3 tonnes of food to people across Rhondda Cynon Taff last year.

The donations help the foodbank team make nutritionally balanced food parcels which is supplied to people who have been referred by a local agency.

Adrian Curtis, Trustee at Taff-Ely Foodbank, said: “The donations from Tesco help members of the community across Rhondda Cynon Taff enormously. Having distributed over three tonnes of food in the last year, this was a 46% increase compared to the previous year, highlighting just how much need there is in the area.

“For those in crisis, and especially as finances pinch around Christmas time, the food bank is a lifeline. The emergency food takes the pressure away from families enabling agencies to address and remedy the issues that are causing the crisis.”

The donations from the three-day collection are in addition to items donated by customers throughout the year at a network of more than 500 permanent collection points at Tesco stores. In the year to October more than 7 million meals were donated to food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network at those in-store collection points.

Tesco Director Christine Heffernan thanked customers for their donations. “On my visits to stores during the Collection I was taken aback by the generosity of our customers,” she said. “I would like to thank all those who donated and we will be doing our bit by topping up all the donations by 20%.”

The Trussell Trust’s Chief Executive Emma Revie also thanked customers. “Food banks up and down the country could not do what they do without the incredible support of the public and their loyal volunteers who work tirelessly to help people when they need support the most,” she said. “An emergency food parcel, listening ear and compassionate, practical advice at the food bank can make a real difference when someone is facing a crisis. Any donations help make that difference.”

Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive at FareShare, added: “We are hugely grateful to every single person who volunteered and donated items during this year’s Tesco Food Collection – it was wonderful to see so many passionate people lending a hand to support us. All items donated by Tesco customers will be redistributed by FareShare to charities and community organisations and will help to ensure more people get a hot, nutritious meal.”

The Tesco Food Collection ran in all Tesco stores in the UK from November 21 to 23.

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Education

St. Michaels School celebrates excellent A-Level results

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St. Michael’s pupils with their A-Level results

ST. MICHAEL’S School, Llanelli, is extremely pleased to announce another year of successful A-Level results, with 80.2% of all grades awarded either an A* or A grade.

The vast majority of pupils have earned a place at their chosen university to study courses such as Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Economics.

This is the first year that traditional exams have resumed since the Covid-19 pandemic began with the majority of lessons in the first part of the A-Level being delivered online rather than in a classroom environment. This makes the results even more of an achievement considering the circumstances.

Headmaster Mr Benson Ferrari said: “We offer our sincere congratulations to our outgoing Year 13 class on the publication of their A-Level results, demonstrating that our pupils have worked so hard despite the challenges of returning to a conventional assessment approach.

“They approached the situation with resilience and dedication, which has resulted in grades that are truly representative of their ability.  I am confident that they will all go onto achieve great things at university and in their working lives.  

“We wish them the best as they move to this new and exciting stage of their education.  The preparation which St. Michael’s has provided will be built upon, along with our values and principles providing a lasting framework to tackle the challenges ahead.”

In 2020, St. Michael’s School was awarded The Sunday Times Welsh Independent School of the Decade and this was in part due to the excellent exam results that the school receives each year. 

St. Michael’s was also ranked 13th in The Times 2019 Co Ed League Table for UK Independent Schools, which was the last time that the results were published. The school hopes that this year’s results will continue to secure their place in the 2022 league table which will be published later this year.

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New ward extension opens at Werndale Hospital

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WERNDALE Hospital opens its £1millon ward extension, featuring a suite of new spacious patient en-suite rooms and additional light and airy ward space for new nurses’ stations, new technology and medical equipment, in pleasant and comfortable spaces. 

Werndale is part of Circle Health Group, the UK’s largest provider of private healthcare. The group is carrying out a £125 million redevelopment programme across its 50 hospitals in the UK.

Werndale has a strong history in the village of Bancyfelin, where is has been serving the local communities of Wales for over 32 years.

James Davies, Wales and Scarlets rugby player, from Bancyfelin, cut the ribbon to mark the official opening on Monday 1st August. His nickname “Cubby”, is reference to his brother’s nickname, “Fox”; this refers to the Fox & Hounds pub their parents ran in Bancyfelin, the village where they grew up. Staff and consultants were given the chance to view the new extension, with a small gathering to mark the occasion and celebrate all the hard work that has gone into this project over the last 12 months.

Jacky Jones, Executive Director of Werndale Hospital said: “The investment programme is an exciting opportunity to expand what we can offer to patients at Werndale. Our staff and consultants are delighted with this expansion which will allow us to meet the private healthcare needs of patients and families in Wales and will decrease waiting times which will positively impact the patient’s experience. Having the new patient rooms here increases our ward capacity by 20%, it is a great investment”.

Gaynor Llewellyn, Director of Clinical Services said: “At Werndale we are committed to continuous improvement of clinical facilities and services. We continually invest in the hospital so that we can offer our patients and consultants reassurance when they visit us for treatments”.

Werndale Hospital is seeing increased demand for its services across all specialities particularly orthopaedic surgery, ophthalmology, and general surgery. Nearly 4,000 patients had surgery at Werndale Hospital, Bancyfelin during 2021 and the new investment will enable ward capacity to be increased by 25 per cent.

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M4 closed westbound following lorry fire near Swansea

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A SECTION of the M4 near Swansea was shut on Monday (Aug 8) due to a vehicle fire.

The westbound section of the motorway, between junction 47 at Penllergaer and junction 48 at Hendy closed.

Emergency services were called to the scene, and there was queuing traffic in the area.

Traffic monitoring service Inrix reported: “M4 Westbound closed, queueing traffic due to vehicle fire between J47 A48 (Penllergaer / Swansea West Services) and J48 A4138 Pontardulais Road”

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