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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tennis club aims to rally new members

A Denbighshire sports club is aiming to capitalise on Wimbledon fever – and has enlisted the support of the local Assembly Member.

Corwen Tennis Club wants to net some new members during the next two weeks, when British eyes will be on 2013 champion Andy Murray at SW19.


Clwyd South AM Ken Skates is also hoping to be able to serve up some good news after asking Tennis Wales what help and support is available to help the club improve its facilities.

Paul Hughes, who recently took over as manager of the club, said: “Wimbledon is the ideal opportunity for us to try and recruit new members and I’m confident the performances of stars like Andy Murray will inspire people, particularly the younger generation.

“We’re going to have some fantastic weather during the next fortnight, so it’s the perfect time to dust off your old racket or give tennis a try for the first time.”

Labour AM Mr Skates, who is also the Welsh Government’s deputy minister for culture, tourism and sport, said: “Exercise and having an active lifestyle is a subject close to my heart, so I would love to see more people in Clwyd South take up tennis this summer.

"We might even have a future Wimbledon champion on our doorstep!

“I have written to Tennis Wales to see what support they can provide to help the club expand and upgrade its facilities, which in turn would help attract more members.”

Mr Skates visited the club on Friday (June 26) to meet Mr Hughes.

He added: “I would love to help the club grow and improve in any way I can, and will update Paul as soon as I have any news from Tennis Wales.”

AM backs fight against scammers

North Wales Assembly Member Mark Isherwood is backing a campaign aimed at preventing people being rushed into hasty decisions by scammers and to end victims being hushed into silence by a sense of shame, foolhardiness, or weary acceptance.
 
Scams Awareness Month 2015 (SAM15) will take place in July with the theme "Don't be Rushed, Don't be Hushed.”
 
Figures from the Office of Fair Trading suggest people in the UK lose £3.5 billion a year to scammers, with older people who fall prey to scammers losing an average £1,200 each.
 
Mr Isherwood (pictured left), who is already supporting Age Cymru’s ‘Scams and Swindles’ campaign to generate more protection for older and vulnerable people and their call for no-cold-calling zones, has previously called on the Welsh Government to tackle the inconsistent provision and enforcement of these zones across Wales to protect older people.
 
He said: It is vital that we make people aware of the various scams out there which include fake lotteries, psychics and rogue builders.
 
“More than 100,000 people in the UK are known to be on the infamous postal scams “suckers’ lists” and the number may be far greater.
 
“At least 50,000 scams were committed against Welsh people in one recent 12-month period and many vulnerable people in Wales are still paying large amounts for shoddy or non-existent work to rogue traders. Hopefully this latest campaign will make people more aware and reduce the number of victims.”
 
Gerry Keighley from Age Cymru said: “Age Cymru is working hard to ensure that vulnerable older people are made aware of the threat of scams, especially people who may be isolated, lonely or live in remote communities. We are working with dementia sufferers and their carers to bring home the dangers of scams and we are equally concerned that younger people, especially family members and younger neighbours become more aware of the threat scammers pose to older people.”
 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wynne's incomparable new Eisteddfod role

Top tenor Wynne Evans has landed an incomparable new role - singing alongside the world-renowned former royal harpist Catrin Finch.

Wynne – who shot to stardom as the waiter who belted out catchy jingles in the Go Compare TV ads (pictured) – will be taking to the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod stage for the third time in four years when the festival gets underway in July.
 
The multi-talented Carmarthen-born singer, TV and radio presenter will be performing on Wednesday, July 8, at an evening of music dedicated to The Sounds of South America that also features the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Catrin Finch will also be starring at the concert.

The concert will also see the world premiere of a new work to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Welsh colony in Patagonia in South America.
 
The work has been written by composer Hector MacDonald, a fourth generation Welshman who comes from Chubut Province in Patagonia where descendants of the original settlers cling on to their Welsh identity.
 
Among the other highlights at this year's Eisteddfod will be the Thursday night concert when heart-throb tenor Alfie Boe will be joined on stage by Britain’s Got Talent star Jonathan Antoine.
Other big draws include Oscar-winning music legend Burt Bacharach, the immensely popular Canadian singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright and TV choirmaster Gareth Malone.
 
For the final concert, Ali Campbell, the voice of UB40 who sold 70 million records, who'll be reunited on the eisteddfod stage with two other founding members of the group, percussionist, trumpet player and vocalist Astro and keyboard player Mickey.
 
Wynne, who will also be presenting his BBC Radio Wales show from Llangollen during the week-long eisteddfod, says he always looks forward to performing at what he describes as a "wonderful festival of music".

He said: “Most performers only get to appear on the Llangollen stage once or maybe twice so for me to have been allowed on stage three times and in relatively quick succession is probably something of a record.

“Llangollen is such a fantastic event that welcomes all these different cultures from all over the world in a spirit of peace and harmony.

“It’s just an incredible event. I love seeing the different performers throughout the week and it isn’t just about classical music; lots of varied genres are represented.”

Wynne, who performed the role of Piangi in the 25th anniversary performance of The Phantom of the Opera which was broadcast live to cinemas around the world from the Royal Albert Hall, added: “The festival is something special and should be cherished. People come from far and wide because of what it stands for.

“Where else could you see traditional Welsh dancers competing against folk dancers from around the world?

 “It’s about culture and styles and bringing it all together in a spirit of friendship. And it’s also wonderful seeing the whole town join in the festivities it isn’t just about what’s happening on the field.”

Wynne whose alter ego Gio Compario in the Go Compare ads was once voted Britain’s most hated man, is looking forward to hooking up with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Catrin Finch.

He said: “Catrin is a friend of mine and someone I’ve worked with her a lot over the years. And as well as being a friend she’s also one of the greatest harpists in the world, there’s no doubt about that.

“And I have toured with the BBC orchestra and we worked together at the Christmas concert. Of course I work with the BBC, both on screen and behind the radio microphone with my radio show, on a regular basis.”

Wynne, whose debut album, A Song in my Heart, shot straight to the top of the classical charts, added: “It should be a wonderful night of music.

“I’m going to performing some material composed by Karl Jenkins who, it has been announced, is to be knighted by Her Majesty the Queen.

“I’ll also be performing songs written by an Argentinian composer and some songs from West Side Story which has tenuous links to South America in that the characters were Puerto Rican.

“But it’s always good to perform some popular works that the audience will instantly recognise.”

The Eisteddfod's musical director, Eilir Owen Griffiths, is delighted Wynne Evans has agreed to perform again on the pavilion stage.

He said: “Wynne is a real supporter of the festival and it’s always a pleasure to welcome him back.

“He is without doubt one of the UK’s most popular and exciting tenors and I know how much the Llangollen audience likes to see and hear him perform.

“The Wednesday evening concert of South American inspired music, featuring Catrin Finch, Wynne Evans and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales promises to be a real highlight of this year’s festival and it’s a concert I’m really looking forward to.”

* To book tickets and for more details on the 2015 festival go to the website at www.international-eisteddfod.co.uk

Monday, June 29, 2015

Workshop for young dancers at Loggerheads

CWLWM CARIAD is an inspirational three day course for enthusiastic young dancers led by
professional dance artists Angela Fessi & Jamie Jenkins who will choreograph a new dance piece to
be performed in the open air on Thursday evening 16 July at Loggerheads County Park.

The theme celebrates the 30 years of the Clwydian Range being chosen as an Area of Outstanding
Beauty.

The course will take place at the Loggerheads Country Park on Tuesday 14 Wednesday 15 &
Thursday 16 July 2015 from 10 am to 4 pm ending with an open air performance on Thursday 16
July 2015 at 6.30 pm.

An exciting sound score by local musician, Ynyr Llwyd, has been commissioned to accompany the
dance piece.

The three day Technique & Performance course offers a splendid opportunity for young dancers (15
to 25 years old) to develop their skill set and gain valuable performance experience; all that is
required is enthusiasm and commitment to hard work throughout the three days of practical dance
sessions ending in a performance.

Participants will need to arrive at 9.45 am for registration on each of the three days and you will be
required to wear suitable clothing for practical dance work.

There are 20 places available on this Arts Council of Wales funded course.

Visual artists Ben Davis and Judith Wood will be working with members of Denbighshire Criw Celf to create an exciting environment for the performance.  Sgwod Sgwennu members are creating words
that testify to the beauty of the Clwydian Range.

NEW Dance can promise you an exciting experience finishing with a performance in Loggerheads
Country Park at 6.30pm on the Thursday evening for friends and family.

You will need to make your own way to the Loggerheads Country Park Ruthin Rd, Mold, Flintshire
CH7 5LH Directions: Take the A494 between Mold and Ruthin. At Loggerheads village turn off
almost opposite the We Three Loggerheads Inn, signposted Loggerheads Country Park and turn
sharp right into the drive leading to the car park.

Loggerheads website:
http://www.clwydianrangeanddeevalleyaonb.org.uk/loggerheads-country-park/

* For further information or to request an application form please contact NEW Dance. Tel: 01978 869456,   e-mail:  info@newdance.org.uk

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Keep dogs on a lead in countryside, says council

Denbighshire Countryside Service is calling on all dog owners to make sure their animals are kept on a lead when they walk in the open countryside.

In recent weeks, there have been incidents reported in the local press and on social media about dogs attacking livestock.

The service has dealt with a number of dogs reported missing on Moel Famau after being let loose and disappearing into the heather moorland, sometimes for lengthy periods of time.

David Shiel, Countryside Officer, said: "Although Moel Famau is a Country Park enjoyed by residents and visitors it is still farmland and grazed by sheep and cattle throughout the year. .... We don't want to discourage walkers with dogs.

"All we ask  is that the dogs are kept on leads, for their own safety and to offer peace of mind to their owners. There are also plenty of other areas such as forestry in the vicinity where dogs can be let off their leads safely.

"We also want to ensure that there's the right mix of people using the countryside for enjoyment, as well as others using the countryside to carry out a living."

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Pilot scheme to protect people from falls

A pilot has been launched which sees North Wales Fire and Rescue Service working alongside the Single Point of Access in Denbighshire to help safeguard people in the home against a fall.

The aim is to make better use of the resources available to allow individuals to live a more healthy and active life, maintain their independence and reduce social isolation.


North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is moving towards adopting a more integrated approach to home safety which will enable working collaboratively with other emergency services, local authorities and partners to ensure residents remain safe in their homes.

This approach will not only consider the risk of fire but also other issues of safety, such as security and mobility, so that more vulnerable residents in particular will be provided with the best advice available from a whole variety of sources, stemming from just one home visit.

As part of this approach, a 'Falls in the Home' pilot has been launched in Denbighshire that involves fire and rescue staff who are undertaking Home Safety Checks helping to determine whether a person is at risk from a fall in the home, and if so then generating a referral to the Denbighshire Falls Prevention Service.

Stuart Millington, Senior Fire Safety Manager at North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, explains: “One in three people aged over 65 will fall each year and this increases to one in two when 80 years of age is reached. Nationally 250,000 people are admitted to accident and emergency hospital departments each year with falls related injuries.

“Often the people who suffer from falls in the home are the same people who we as a Service would be targeting as they are also at an increased risk of fire. This is therefore an excellent opportunity to deliver a more integrated home safety check and a referral to our partners where appropriate which will in turn help keep our most vulnerable residents safe.

“Our community safety staff have undergone training provided by the Denbighshire Falls Prevention Co-ordinator who is integrated as part of the Single Point of Access. Such partnership working is paramount in ensuring North Wales is a safer place to live, work or visit.

"We are already regularly engaging with the public and entering their homes to carry out Home Safety Checks and are well place to be able to identify those in need of further support. Our Home Safety Checks have led to a visible reduction in the number of accidental fires in the home. Therefore by asking a few simple questions in addition to fire safety we are able to assist in making that person safer in general.”

The Denbighshire Falls Prevention Service is based on the evidence that was proving successful elsewhere.

Up until recently, an individual in need of medical or social services help may have had to wait several weeks before being seen whilst their requirements would be referred to the appropriate department.

To overcome this problem, Denbighshire County Council, the National Exercise Referral Scheme and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board have collaborated to form a Falls Prevention Service which follows guidelines set out by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence.

Councillor Bobby Feeley, Cabinet Lead Member for Social Care, said: “The Council has worked with the Health Board over the last 12 months to provide a single point of access that ensures efficient access to information, advice and assistance to promote health, well-being and independence.

"The service focuses on identifying the needs of the caller from the initial enquiry, making sure they get the right response which may include signposting to other services in the local community or directed to the correct service. It also enables people to access the wide variety of support available in their own communities.

“One of the primary targets for the Falls Prevention Service is to reduce the number of falls people are experiencing and as such reduce the associated number of injuries, calls to the ambulance service, hospital admissions, the need for treatment, and all the associated costs which can be reinvested in other areas of treatment and care.”

The Falls Risk Assessment Tool is used identify the members of the community who have had a fall or who are at risk of falling. Once identified through five simple closed questions, people are then referred to the service for a full assessment to reduce or eliminate their risk of falling which may include further referral onto further services such as: physiotherapy, exercise classes, home modifications, referral onto third sector services or simply a referral back to their GP for a review of their medication.

The training required to use the assessment tool has been delivered to multiple agencies such as social services, community therapists, care and repair agencies, Wales Ambulance Service and the Red Cross, and now includes North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, and it will soon be delivered to North Wales Police.

Stuart Millington added: “Denbighshire will be the first county in which our staff will use the Falls Risk Assessment Tool in this way – and depending on results we may look at expanding this more widely.”

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service offers free Home Safety Checks, where a member of the Service will visit your home to provide advice on staying safe.

* To register for a free Home Safety Check, please call the bilingual 24 hour free hotline on 0800 169 1234 or visit www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk

To contact the Single Point of Access, please phone 0300 456 1000. People can also access the SPoA via e-mail: spoa@denbighshire.gov.uk