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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Final push for dementia charity challenge

Help me in my final push for cash!

* Linda Robson speaks about dementia on ITV's Lorraine Show.

llanblogger is joining TV's Linda Robson in helping to raise money for vital research into dementia.

Both Phil Robinson and the star of Birds of a Feather and Loose Women are taking part in the Alzheimer’s Society 2016 Memory Walk - albeit not in the same place.

Linda, who is a long-time supporter of the charity, helped to spread the word about dementia on ITV’s Lorraine Show recently and revealed she is joining in the Memory Walk in London to help raise awareness and funds to support people affected by dementia as her mother, Rita, had the condition. 

* Phil ready for his charity walk.
Phil will be remembering a number of members of his family who suffered from dementia when he takes part in the Cheshire Memory Walk at Delamere Forest on Saturday September 24.

He said: “Every year in the UK a staggering 225,000 people develop dementia – that’s equivalent to one person every three minutes.
“So I’ve decided to do my bit to help by taking part in the Memory Walk, which sees thousands of people raising money for a world without dementia across Wales, England and Northern Ireland.

“People of all ages and abilities join in, from grandparents to grandchildren, and even furry four-legged friends.

“They all walk together to celebrate loved ones affected by dementia, and raise money to reclaim the future.”

He added:  “As it’s closest to Llangollen I’ll be joining the Cheshire Memory Walk, which has a choice of two routes - 3.5km or 6k – and I’m doing the 6k route through the forest's woodland paths and around Blakemere Lake. Just £50 can help a PhD researcher to continue research into the causes of dementia, how it can be treated and, ultimately, to find a cure. 

“I’m aiming to raise at least £150 for this very good cause, so I’m hoping that as many people as possible will sponsor me on the walk.

"I'm grateful to have received a number of donations so far but I just need a final push to help me to hit my target figure."

* To sponsor Phil, visit his Justgiving page, which can be found at

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Talking Points event planned for Town Hall

A special event is taking place in Llangollen early next month to celebrate the success of the Talking Points sessions in Denbighshire.

Introduced last April, the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act is a new law that aims to radically transform the way social services are delivered in Wales to meet the needs of individuals and make services sustainable for the future.

The Act proposes to give people a stronger voice and real control over the support they need to remove barriers to their wellbeing. It focuses on earlier intervention; increasing preventative services within the community and helping people maintain their independence.  

To help people to do this they need easy access to information and advice about what is available in their area.

In Denbighshire, Talking Points have been set up by staff in Community Support Services (incorporating social care for adults) to offer people a different way to find out what help might be available in their community to support their health and well-being

Working with partner organisations we aim to respond faster and in a more personally tailored way to people, rather than a more traditional ‘one size fits all’ approach. 

Under this new model, if citizens are able to visit their GP they will be expected, in general, to attend a Talking Points rather than be visited at home.

At Talking Points the citizens of Denbighshire have an opportunity to meet with someone who is knowledgeable about social care issues.  They will be able to find out what is going on in their area in a convenient, appropriate and welcoming venue and talk about the well-being outcomes they desire for themselves or others.

The focus will be to find out what is important to them so that they can live the life they choose in a safe and secure environment. 

One of the celebration events will take place at Llangollen Town Hall on Tuesday, September 13, from 10am-3pm. Refreshments will be available.

To book a place at either of these sessions, contact Jason Haycocks the Talking Point Coordinator on 07733 111392  or e-mail:

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Missing male found after three-hour search

This message was posted on Twitter about 7.30pm tonight (Tuesday):

North Wales Police@NWPolice 1 hour ago
Officers are searching for a male in the area with Fire service. Please if seen. Ref:U127156 (Description to follow)


Just before 9pm this was Tweeted by Llangollen Fire Station:

Llangollen Fire@Llangollenfire 48 minutes ago
17.14 water rescue level 2 at horse shoe falls Llangollen. After 3 hours of searching 1 male found safe and well.

Commissioner vows to tackle sexting problem

* Arfon Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner for
North Wales Police, with Karen Reed from the victim help centre.
Boys and girls as young as eight years of age in North Wales are sexting - especially during the summer holidays when they have more time on their hands.

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones heard that youngsters sending and receiving sexually explicit messages via apps like Snapchat or Instagram on their mobile phones is a growing problem.

Mr Jones, a former police inspector, was also told there's also evidence the youngsters are being targeted by online paedophiles seeking to groom them.

The news was revealed to the commissioner during a briefing at the Victim Help Centre which opened in July last year.

Since then the centre has handled the cases of more than 18,000 victims of all sorts of crimes.

The one-stop-shop for victims covers the whole of North Wales and is based at divisional police HQ in St Asaph.
It brings together the support services of North Wales Police, the Witness Care Unit of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the former Victim Support organisation.
Each victim receives a response specifically tailored to their situation and the centre employs specialists in mental health and hate crime.
About 9,700 people were identified as vulnerable or repeat victims and have gone on to benefit from an enhanced support package.
The centre has now launched an appeal to find up to 25 new volunteers to work with them across North Wales.
Victim help officer Karen Reed said: “We’ve has some cases of children who have experienced sexting who are under 10 years old, as young as eight or nine years old. It doesn’t seem to discriminate between boys or girls really.

"Young people have access to mobile phones from a very young age, and especially now, a time like summer holidays when children are out and about playing with their friends.

"The children will send photographs of various pictures to each other. They’ll be pornographic, explicit photographs - sometimes of themselves, sometimes they’re sharing photographs that have maybe been passed on to them from various sources.

"I think it would be very difficult to say that there are many children now who haven’t been touched by this type of crime. That’s my experience of it here anyway.

"They may have the technological skills, however they obviously haven’t got the maturity to be able to deal with that.

"What we will do is we will directly support the parents in order to help them keep their children safe really.

“Parents incredibly concerned and they want to know if it is a matter exchanging photographs or if it has been a case of grooming."

According to Karen, adults, particularly young men between 18 and 30, were also falling victim to online blackmailers.

She added: "They have all the access to the latest technology but they are falling victim to crimes, in particular exchanging photographs and videos.

"What happens then is the person they think they’re actually exchanging and talking with is not the person who they think it is and then there will be demands and menaces for money and blackmail. That is happening in North Wales -anecdotally I’d say we’re having those sorts of reports weekly.

The team of a dozen highly-trained staff and 35 outreach volunteers at the centre is managed by Julie Elliott who previously worked for the Childline charity set up by TV presenter Esther Ranzen.

She was proud a survey had shown that 90 per cent of the victims who took part were satisfied or very satisfied with the service they received from the team.

Julie said: "Being a victim of crime can impact people in many ways and there are many reasons why people don’t necessarily go to the police in the first instance.

"I think having service where the person can reach out to talk about what happened in a confidential space is really crucial.

"We encounter all kinds of crimes, everything from theft, assault, burglary, sexual offences and harassment. We’re making a difference, and that’s what we want to continue doing.

“We do need more volunteers. We’re looking for people who are reliable, who are available to train and can meet the victims face to face, and listen to them and support them through whatever it is."

Arfon Jones said: "The Victim Help Centre is providing an absolutely vital service, giving much needed support to those who have unfortunately been on the receiving end of a whole range of crimes.

“I'm glad to say that North Wales is a safe place to live and we have a very low crime rate but we do still have victims and the impact crime has upon them can be profound.
"Looking after the needs of victims is a major priority for me and the issue will be front and centre in my Police and Crime Plan which provides a blueprint for the policing of North Wales.

"The sheer volume of cases dealt with by the centre is a clear illustration of how much this service is needed and they are making a real difference.
"The centre is also geared up to deal with the new problems caused by the changing face of society.

"Sexting by children is a relatively new and worrying phenomenon and one that we must confront and tackle.

"It is important that we educate youngsters about the perils of this dangerous practice and that we provide and their concerned parents with support to deal with the situation.

"At the same predatory paedophiles are becoming increasingly sophisticated so it is vitally important children and parents are alerted the threats they pose.

"Technological advances have brought great benefits to society but at the
same time they have increased risk and the scope for wrongdoing, so we must be vigilant."

The victim help service is available from 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 9am-5pm on Saturdays. It can be contacted by Freephone on 0300 3030159, by email at:, or via the websites or

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Counties gear up for Tour of Britain

* To the right of the mascot is Leader of the Council, Hugh Evans.

Denbighshire and Flintshire Councils are gearing up for the excitement of the Tour of Britain as preparations are being made ahead of the race’s return to the region again this September.

The North Wales leg of the Tour was launched at the Denbighshire and Flintshire Show earlier this week.

The fourth stage of the tour, from Denbigh to Builth Wells will be taking place on Wednesday, September 7th and will be the longest day for the riders. 

It will also see them tackle the most climbing, with a total ascent of 4,133m, as they feel the force of the Welsh mountains with the stage heading through the Clwydian Hills and Cambrian Mountains.

Starting in Denbigh Town Centre, the race will head towards Bodfari and leave Denbighshire into Flintshire. It will head into Mold and through Pontblyddyn, Coed Talon, Treuddyn before it re-enters Denbighshire near Llandegla.

The race will then travel along the A5104 through Bryneglwys and on to the A5 at Corwen before turning for Cynwyd and Llandrillo.

Leader of Denbighshire County Council, Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have secured the start of the North Wales stage this year, as we feel it will have great benefits to the tourism industry as well as showcasing what the region has to offer.

“North Wales is fast earning itself a reputation for hosting and staging major events, with the Tour of Britain a prime example of how councils across North Wales and organisers work together to deliver spectacular events. 

Alastair Grant, Tour of Britain’s Commercial Director, said: “We’re delighted to be returning to North Wales this year with the Tour, year after year we see more people at the roadside coming to watch the world’s best rider pass through their towns and the Welsh crowds never fail to turn out in their masses. We are certainly looking forward to seeing how the peloton tackle what is arguably the hardest stage of the Tour of Britain this year.” 

* For further information, please visit:

Friday, August 19, 2016

Dinas Bran celebrates more A-mazing results

There were scenes of joy at the Ysgol Dinas BrĂ¢n as A level students celebrated their exam results.

Overall the pass-rate at A level (grades A*-E) was an excellent 99%, with over half of all grades awarded at A*-B.
There were some outstanding individual successes. 

Charlie Hackforth, sitting his A levels a year early, achieved two A* grades in biology and history and an A grade in psychology.  Charlie will now go on to study biological sciences at St Hilda’s College, Oxford University. 

Andrew Melville, also taking his exams a year early, achieved two A* grades in maths and further maths and an A grade in physics.  He will now go onto to study Maths at Imperial College, London University. 

Joshua Jones, year 13, achieved an A* in psychology and A grades in biology and history.  He will now study Biological Sciences at Balliol College, Oxford University. 

Michael Liu did exceptionally well too achieving an A* in art and two A grades in maths and physics.  Michael will now progress to study Accounting at Manchester University.

Bethan Williams and Morgan Jones were both awarded three A grades.  Bethan will now study Business Administration at Bath University while Morgan will undertake Engineering at Warwick University.
Two other students who took their A levels a year early also excelled in their achievements. 

Elinor McSorley achieved an A*grade and two A grades and Stephen McAndrew two A grades and two B grades.

Other students who achieved two A grades or more were:
Lowri Bates A* A B,  Elizabeth Davies A* A B, Olivia Holgate A* A  B, Jason McVicar A A B C,
Nia Pierce A A B and Ceri O’Connell  A A C.
Early indicators suggest that the vast majority of students who applied to university have been successful in their applications.

A school spokesperson said: "We congratulate all the students on these fantastic results.  They have excelled themselves. 

"We wish all of them the very best in their chosen future.  A big thank you to all the staff who have taught and guided them too in these challenges and to all parents and carers for their help and support."

A county council statement says:

Early indications show approximately 98.9% of students have been successful in achieving the Level 3 threshold, which is an improvement on the previous year.

There have been some excellent individual achievements across all schools. In addition, most schools have shown an increase in the number of students gaining A* and A grades.
Councillor Eryl Williams, Denbighshire's Cabinet Lead Member for Education, said: “We would like to congratulate all students on their individual results and we wish them every success in their chosen pathway.
“The results reflect the months of hard work and dedication of students and their teachers, in preparation for the examinations.
"Education remains a top priority in the County and I am extremely pleased to see the majority of schools in Denbighshire continue to improve performance.”