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Four Welsh charities will receive a share of £1.2 million charity fund from ScottishPower Foundation

Thomas Sinclair

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Four charities in Wales will receive a share of a £1.2 million funding pot from the ScottishPower Foundation, which champions benevolent work across the country.

Applying to the Foundation for funding is highly competitive each year. The charities that are successful in securing funding show passion, skill and commitment to making a positive change in their communities. 

From education programmes to art projects, the fund will enable projects across Wales to deliver philanthropic work, supporting thousands of beneficiaries.

Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, which runs the Llanelli Wetland Centre in Carmarthenshire, has been awarded £100,000 for its ‘Generation Wild’ project to offer thousands of children across the UK with the opportunity to experience and interact with wildlife and the surrounding habitat. The programme will work with 15,000 children from disadvantaged communities, their teachers, and families to develop a life-long love of the natural world.

Bangor University (Reaching Wider North and Mid Wales partnership) will also benefit from the funding for its innovative ‘Bright Sparks’ programme. It combines education and theatre in the classroom to inspire a love for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). Working with Theatr Clwyd, Welsh students will learn about a variety of subject areas from ‘Professor Sparky’ and her nephew ‘Eric’ who is trying to pass his exams. The sessions will focus on the environmental benefits of Low Carbon Technologies.

Nightingale House Hospice in Wrexham has been awarded a grant of £25,000 to support its vital work in Wrexham for both patients and the local community.

Cardiff-based Size of Wales will use funding to encourage conversations on climate change among young people in Wales. The project will return with its ‘MockCOP’ initiative for 14-18 year-olds, which is similar in style to a United Nations discussion. It will give young people a platform to speak out on climate change and empower them to feel that they can be part of the solution.

Melanie Hill, Executive Officer and Trustee at the ScottishPower Foundation, said: “At the ScottishPower Foundation, we’re passionate about supporting causes that really make a difference for communities, committed to fighting climate change, and dedicated to helping young people achieve their full potential for a brighter future. The charities we’re funding this year do all of that – and more – carrying out exceptional work, often in challenging circumstances, as they strive to make lives better.

 “We recognise that now, more than ever, people are relying on charities and their services and we’re very proud to support these efforts in such a meaningful way. We’ll continue to work closely with our charity partners to help maximise the impact of our ScottishPower Foundation funding to achieve the best possible outcomes for people and communities across the UK.”

Mark Stead, National Formal Learning Manager at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, said: “We are delighted to have secured this funding. My childhood was filled with splashing in streams and climbing trees. Very few of today’s children have these experiences and we are in danger of raising a generation of young people that have become disconnected from the natural world.

“This disconnection is felt even more keenly among disadvantaged communities and at WWT we believe that nature is for everyone, irrespective of their background. This funding will enable us to reconnect some of those in society who need it most with nature, boosting their mental wellbeing whilst helping to create a new generation of conservationists.”

The ScottishPower Foundation was established in 2013 to make a significant and lasting contribution to society, enhancing the lives of people living in communities throughout the UK. It provides funding to help support the advancement of education, environmental protection, arts and culture and citizenship. It also supports charities who aim to provide relief from poverty, disability, or other disadvantages.

The full list of this year’s funding recipients are:

·         Kidscape Campaign for Children’s Safety

·         Changing Faces

·         South Tyneside Churches KEY Project

·         Inter Madrassah Organisation

·         National Theatre of Scotland

·         Youth Connections

·         The Customs House

·         Starcatchers

·         Nightingale House Hospice

·         Bangor University (Reaching Wider North and Mid Wales partnership)

·         The Literacy Pirates

·         Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

·         Bendrigg Trust

·         The Movement for Non-Mobile Children (Whizz-Kidz)

·         Acorns (North Tyneside)

·         Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland

·         Dynamic Earth Charitable Trust

·         Size of Wales

·         The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

·         Bumblebee Conservation Trust

·         Sporting Memories Foundation Scotland

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£100,000 of cannabis plants seized in west Wales police raid

Thomas Sinclair

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POLICE seized cannabis plants worth an estimated £100,000 during a warrant near Ammanford.

Dyfed-Powys Police searched a home in Garnant on Wednesday, July 21, where 100 plants were discovered to be growing in the front room and two bedrooms.

Given the number and maturity of some of the plants, officers estimate the quantity of cannabis growing to be worth around £100,000.

Sergeant Gemma Davies said: “This was a significant seizure of cannabis plants, which were growing in a sophisticated set-up across three rooms.

“Our investigation is ongoing into who is responsible, as there was nobody present at the time of the warrant, and we are carrying out all possible lines of enquiry to identify a suspect.

“I would like to thank all officers involved for showing great teamwork during the warrant and subsequent enquiries.”

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Quote reference: DPP/2891/21/07/2021/02/C.

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org

(Picture above: File Image)

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Four charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs

Carli Newell

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FOUR people have been arrested and charged as part of an investigation into an organised crime gang supplying class A drugs from London to Aberystwyth, Llanelli and Swansea.

Dyfed-Powys Police, with support from The Met Police, carried out warrants at four addresses on July 21, resulting in four arrests.

Mohammed Osman, aged 23, Yonis Mohammed, aged 20, Salman Mohamoud, aged 23 – all from Islington – and Amy Simmons, aged 21, from Dulwich were charged with a total of 12 offences:

  • Mohammed Osman: Two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine,
  • Yonis Mohammed: Two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine.
  • Salman Mohamoud: Conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine
  • Amy Simmons: Conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine.

All four appeared at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on Friday, July 23, where they were remanded in custody. They are due to appear at Swansea Crown Court for their next hearing on August 20.

The investigation is being carried out by the Ceredigion Serious and Organised Crime Team, Aberystwyth CID and the Operation Orochi command of the Met Police.

Detective Sergeant Steve Jones said: “These four arrests and charges are the result of a coordinated approach to target an organised crime gang we believe is running a county lines operation into the Dyfed-Powys Police force area.

“We will continue to work diligently to disrupt gangs of this kind, to prevent the supply of illegal substances into our community.

“I would like to thank all officers involved, as well as the Met Police for their part in the operation.”

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New children’s play area in Bryn as part of new council housing development

Carli Newell

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A NEW children’s play area has opened in time for the summer holidays in Bryn, Llanelli as part of a new £5.9million council housing development.

Carmarthenshire County Council is building 32 new homes on land close to the Dylan housing estate in Bryn.

The scheme will be made up of 22 two-bedroom homes, four two-bedroom bungalows and six four-bedroom homes and is part of the council’s ongoing drive to deliver more affordable homes across the county. It has been part funded through the Welsh Government’s Affordable Housing Grant.

The development also includes a new children’s play area, funded by the council in partnership with Llanelli Rural Council, which will take over the running and maintenance of the play area on completion.

Executive Board Member for Housing Cllr Linda Evans said: “I am delighted the park has been completed in time for the summer holidays for the local children to enjoy.

“We are committed to delivering more affordable housing across Carmarthenshire and this development will benefit dozens of families in Llanelli, as well as proving much needed facilities for the local community.

“I would like to thank the rural council for collaborating with this us on this and I hope the children are thrilled with it.”

Before designing the play area, the rural council liaised with local schoolchildren to find out what play equipment they wanted at their new park.

Llanelli Rural Council Chairman Cllr Tegwen Devichand said: “The council is delighted to be working in partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council to provide this wonderful new play area for the community.

“The opening of the play area couldn’t have been better timed to coincide with the school holidays. I hope the local children will enjoy the range of challenging play equipment on offer and that they have lots of fun using it over the summer.”

The housing development is due to be completed by the beginning of 2022.

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