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​​Local artist of the week – Adwaith

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11924306_1633605270224410_2827830900035981505_n(1)THE HERALD spoke with the delightful all-girl Welsh-medium band Adwaith from Carmarthen this week.

Adwaith’s sound is a mixture of folk, indie and alternative with harmonies being a key element throughout their songs. The band’s main influences lyrically are The Staves, but they tell us that they take a lot of inspiration from Fleet Foxes and First Aid Kit too.

Their live shows are very chilled and relaxed, which makes them quite different from the many Welsh rock bands in the area.

The girls from Adwaith all grew up playing instruments or singing, but it was the Welsh music scene which sparked their interest in music.

“The Welsh music scene has become more popular in recent years because of events such as Maes B and Gwyl Crug Mawr. I think that’s what has really inspired us to get this band together.”

Gwenllian, Hollie and Chelsea started creating music together as a three piece last August, but the girls found their drummer, Heledd, at the first gig they played soon after.

Starting off as a three piece, Adwaith played folk instruments such as the guitar and mandolin, but they have slowly introduced some electric guitar and bass into their music over the last couple of months.

They told us that the added drums has taken their music “to the next level” and boosted their sound, too.

“We’re just having fun experimenting and finding our sound,” they said.

We asked the girls how they fit into the west Wales music scene, to which they replied: “There aren’t many bands with our sound in the area and very few all-girl bands. So I believe people are very intrigued to see what we have to offer.”

We went on to discuss the male-dominated music industry and the girls spoke about what it is like to be an all-girl band in such a heavily male field.

“We’ve had a tonne of messages saying how great it is to see an all-girl band. It’s something different that people seem to have a lot of interest in!”

We then spoke about the benefits and drawbacks of being in a Welsh-medium band.

“The Welsh music scene is very small compared to the English music scene but everyone knows each other! It sounds cliché but it’s one big community and everyone supports each other.

“The downfall is that there aren’t as many gigs because of the lack of Welsh speakers in the area but we hope by introducing Welsh music, we can change that!”

Adwaith advise that we should also be listening to Ffug, Ysgol Sul, Mellt and Cpt. Smith, who are all from west Wales.

“What’s the best advice you have been given so far?” we asked.

“The best advice we’ve been given is to not change our sound for anyone. We need to keep the originality and not lose our quirkiness or naivety.”

They added that the advice they would give to someone thinking of creating their own music would be to “do it!”

“It’s not a massive money maker and it takes a lot of your time, but it’s worth it when you get praised for your music and when you meet a load of new, awesome people.”

When we went on to ask what the most memorable response to their music has been, Adwaith said: “I guess being asked to play in Clwb Ifor Bach at the end of this month when we’ve only just started off. The response has been really great and we hope it continues to grow.”

Adwaith are playing a gig at The Parrot on Friday (Jan 15) and then they will play at Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff on January 30.

They said that they are hoping to get some demos recorded soon and they may release an EP later in the year.

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Health

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

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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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Health

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

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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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Business

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

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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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