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Just a Wii bit of fun


  • pg 1
									Issue 10                                                                          March 2008                                                                                  FREE

Women’s group benefits from £1m lottery grant
      ICTIMS of domestic           women referred to the group no        drop-in facilities, information, ad-   costs will be reimbursed and             “Their input helped to shape

V     abuse are to benefit from
      a £1m project, thanks to
the Big Lottery Fund.
                                   longer have to meet strict criteria
                                   linked to housing support or
                                   geographical boundaries.
                                                                         vice surgeries, life skills sessions
                                                                         and core programmes .
                                                                             Cath added: “It is hoped that
                                                                                                                child supervision will be made
                                                                                                                available for mothers attending
                                                                                                                group sessions”.
                                                                                                                                                     and plan how the service could
                                                                                                                                                     be delivered to meet their
   The      Stepping     Stones         Cath Preece, chair of the        the services offered will increase         An outreach service will also        The project expects to offer
programme has awarded Lliw         group, said: “We are very excited     women’s self esteem, equip             be available for women who           drop-in services from April and
Valley Women’s Aid a five-year     to receive this grant from the Big    them to feel more confident to         wish to use the project but          will be fully operational from
funding      package,     worth    Lottery Stepping Stones Fund.         make their own life choices and        require one-to-one support.          June 2008. To access the serv-
£980,467, to open The Bridge       The development of The Bridge         provide support to explore and             Paula Hardy, director of Lliw    ice women can self refer, or be
Project, an outreach and drop-in   Project can now become a real-        engage in volunteering, training       Valley Women’s Aid, said: “Con-      referred by an external agency.
centre for victims of domestic     ity. We have been planning this       and work opportunities”.               sultation with service users was         For more details contact
abuse.                             service over the past two years.”         “To increase women’s ability       instrumental in the development      Paula Hardy on 01792 869480,
   Thanks to the funding, the           The project aims to provide      to access the project, transport       of the bid.                          or email phardy@lvwa.org.uk.

Just a Wii bit of fun
      LDERLY residents at a                 were a little bit quiet and apprehensive at     use of brain training exercises can slow        funded by a grant from the

E     Pontardawe residential home
      do not agree with the age old
saying that ‘you can’t teach an old
                                            first,” said assistant headteacher Alison
                                            Hodson. “But as soon as I left them to their
                                            own devises they became more chatty
                                            and started to cheer the residents on. One
                                                                                            down the progression of the illness, and
                                                                                            games consoles have helped people with
                                                                                            dementia maintain their hand and eye
                                                                                                                                                authority’s Strategy for Older People.
                                                                                                                                                The residents are being given almost
                                                                                                                                            two months to get to grips with the tech-
                                                                                                                                            nology before the Cwmtawe children
dog new tricks.’ They are proof that        of the residents was blind so the children          The mental and health benefits of the       return.
you can, after demonstrating that           helped her by telling her how many pins         Wii can clearly be seen.                            “The pupils came up with the idea of
they can battle it out with a group of      she had knocked down on the bowling                 Resident Eurig Roberts, who has             having a competition after Easter,” said
teenagers on the Nintendo Wii.              game.”                                          become an avid gamer since the console          Mrs Hodson. “It will be a battle of the
                                                 Grace Halfpenny, Neath Port Talbot         and a big screen was installed at the           generations and to see how well the resi-
    Pupils from Cwmtawe Comprehensive       Strategy for Older People Development           home, said: “If something happens to be         dents have taken to the Wii.”
School were invited to the Dan Y Bryn       Officer, added: “There was quite a bit of       troubling you, you forget all about it once         Grace Halfpenny added: “This kind of
Residential Care Home to show the
                                            laughter and banter going on between the        you starting playing.”                          opportunity supports the aims of the strat-
pensioners how it is done. But, to the      residents and the children. The                     Fellow resident Jill Hegarty is amazed      egy which include improving physical and
youngster’s surprise, the residents were
                                            youngsters showed the residents how to          by the technology. She said: “It is hard to     mental well being, greater social interac-
giving as good as they got when faced       get maximum enjoyment out of modern             believe that so much fun can be had out of      tion, familiarisation with modern
       with the challenge of playing golf
                                            technology, which is so often the domain        the equipment.”                                 technology, and more intergenerational
                 and ten pin bowling.       of the younger generation.”                         Dan Y Bryn was chosen by Social                                   contact for older
                              “The chil-         Neath Port Talbot Council is the first     Services to test the Wii after the residents                             people.”
                                    dren    local authority in Wales to introduce the       became involved in a ‘Learning in Later
                                                     games console into a care home.        Life’ programme.
                                                       Council chiefs hope the console                             The Wii
                                                       will encourage the residents to                          w a s
                                                       become more physically and
                                                       mentally active. A spokes-
                                                        woman for the Alzheimer’s So-
                                                        ciety    said
                                                        that “the

                                                                                                                                           Swansea and Amman Valley Edition
2                                                                          Community Spirit                                                                       March 2008

Shown drunks the red card
     EHAVE      yourself                  “Red and white stress balls        Port Talbot Police licensing           Nations tournament.                     which encourages staff to

B    during   the    Six
     Nations or face six
months in jail, police
                                      shaped as a rugby ball will be
                                      given out to those who find
                                      the game a bit too stressful.
                                      It’s a fun measure which will
                                                                             officer, said: “We will be
                                                                                         r e m i n d i n g
                                                                                            licensees    of
                                                                                             their respon-
                                                                                                                      “We have also got
                                                                                                                             Under 21

                                                                                                                                                             ask for identification from
                                                                                                                                                            under 21.”
have warned rugby fans.               be used to calm down a                                   sibilities                     running
    South     Wales        Police     situation before it escalates                            during the
launched its Six Nations or           into a public order incident.”                           whole of
Six Months campaign in a bid              Police officers have been                             the Six
to ensure rugby fans have a           visiting licensed premises
safe and more enjoyable               across Neath and Port Talbot
tournament.                           to ensure they comply with
    A range of initiatives will be    licensing conditions, which in-
in place to promote a good            cludes refusing to serve
atmosphere, but also warn off         under-age customers and
supporters from drinking too          those who are drunk.
much and getting arrested.                Don’t Let a Good Day
    PC Kevin Davies, of the           Out Turn Into a Bad Night In
Safer Neath Port Talbot Anti-         and Six Nations or Six
Social Behaviour Unit, said:          Months? are the themes of a
“The theme of our campaign            poster campaign referring to
is to promote a safe and              an arrest resulting in a night
friendly atmosphere through-          spent in a police cell and a
out the duration of the Six           prison sentence for a drunken
Nations.                              assault.
    “We want people to go out             Inflatable sticks have been
and have a good time, but at          handed out to fans to promote
the same time they need to            a good atmosphere and
remember that if they drink           stress balls will be given to
too much and cause a distur-          supporters who find the whole
bance then they will find             Six Nations experience too
themselves with an £80 fine           much to bear.
or taken to a police cell.                PC John Williams, Neath

 Outstanding officers honoured                                                                                                                               Did you know....
                                                                                                                                                               here are a total of

        wo Neighbourhood Police officers and
        two Police Community Support
        Officers have been recognised for their
                                                     ber of initiatives in the Sandfields area to
                                                     reduce alcohol related anti-social behaviour
                                                     and has been instrumental in introducing
                                                                                                        behaviour in the town centre, including being
                                                                                                        involved in the arrest of a known trouble-
                                                                                                        maker who was remanded by the courts.
                                                                                                                                                         T     18,923 carers in
                                                                                                                                                               Neath Port Talbot.
                                                                                                                                                          For more details telephone
                                                                                                                                                          01639 763346.
 outstanding work in Neath Port Talbot.              good practice and proactive work.                      “His efforts are making Neath town
     Sandfields Constables Ian Ranford and               “Richard has worked with the community         centre safer for all visitors and the people
 Richard George, Neath PCSO Andrew Neal              to identify hotspot areas and take                 who live and work there.”
 and Pontardawe PCSO Mark Jones all
 received certificates of merit in the annual
 South Wales Police Shrievalty Cup awards.
                                                     appropriate action. He has fostered close
                                                     links with the local school resulting in him
                                                     being made an honorary governor.”
                                                                                                            Pontardawe PCSO Mark Jones was also
                                                                                                        recognised for his efforts in making the
                                                                                                        community safer, including the setting up of
                                                                                                                                                        Dealing with
     Although they didn’t win the overall
 award, all four were commended for the
                                                         PCSO Andrew Neal received recognition
                                                     for his work in Neath town centre where he
                                                                                                        Taxi Watch and Farm Watch initiatives.
                                                                                                            Pontardawe Sector Inspector Jeff
                                                                                                                                                        rubbish fires
                                                                                                                                                               EATH Port Talbot fire

 difference they make in their communities.          has established an excellent working               Handley said: “Mark is an extremely valuable
     Sandfields Sector Inspector Steve Morris        relationship between police and businesses.        member of the Pontardawe Neighbourhood                 fighters have issued
 said: “Ian and Richard have made a                      Neath Sector Inspector Mark Lenihan            Policing Team.                                         advice on dealing with
 tremendous impact in their respective areas         said: “As well as his work with the Business           “He has shown tremendous dedication         rubbish fires.
 of Sandfields East and Aberavon.                    Crime Reduction Partnership, Andrew has            to the community and supports victims of            Officers are urging residents
     “Ian has successfully introduced a num-         been proactive in dealing with anti-social         crime in a caring and understanding way.”       to move as far back as possible
                                                                                                                                                        from the fire before dialing 999.
                                                                                                                                                            If the fire appears to

Volunteers week Pupils taught to tell not touch                                                                                                         threaten a building, raise the
                                                                                                                                                        alarm and try and evacuate the
       RANGE of exercises are being

A      planned to promote Volunteers Week
       in June.
    Neath Port Talbot Council for Voluntary            F
                                                               IREFIGHTERS are becoming teach-
                                                               ers for the day to educate children of
                                                               the dangers of fire.
                                                                                                        the kids to dress up in our gear,” said Ju-
                                                                                                        lian, who took charge of the year five class.
                                                                                                        “There are basic messages within the
                                                                                                                                                            Nearly all rubbish and skip
                                                                                                                                                        fires are a result of opportunist
                                                                                                                                                        arson attacks.
                                                                                                                                                            To get fire safety advice to
Service (CVS) is planning a range of                         Run by the Mid and West Wales Fire         lessons which we aim to get across.             prevent your property from
activities and events to promote the                    Authority as part of a community safety             “These are Don’t Touch, Tell, if a child    becoming a target, contact the
invaluable service that both volunteers and             initiative, officers visit primary and          comes across matches or a lighter and           community risk reduction
voluntary organisations make to our                     secondary schools and carry out fun, but        Stop, Drop Roll if for any reason they get      department at Mid and West
communities.                                            informative lessons on fire safety.             too close to a BBQ.                             Wales Fire and Rescue service
    During Volunteers Week, the volunteer                    Community Spirit reporter Emma Gray            “We also leave behind an activity book      on 0870 6060699.
centre staff will be out and about in a range           was invited along to see Neath sector           to further instil the messages.”
of venues promoting volunteering and giving             community safety fire officers Julian Austin        Class teacher Alison Gravelle said the
information on the range of volunteering op-            and Stephen Griffiths in action at              officers visit the school annually and the
portunities available within Neath Port Talbot
    There will also be a series of events
                                                        Llansawel Primary School.
                                                             The kids were treated to a story about
                                                                                                        children look forward to the lessons.
                                                                                                            “The officers are well received because     Funding fair
                                                        Tani, a boy who takes the form of a fire        they are really fun,” she said. “The kids are          Regional Funding Fair will
beginning with a Volunteer Fayre in Victoria
Gardens, Neath, on Friday, May 30, from
11am until 3pm
    The fair is being organised in partnership
                                                        helmet, and set his bed alight while playing
                                                                 with matches.
                                                                       “We try to make the lessons
                                                                                    as fun as we
                                                                                                        buzzing afterwards and always go home
                                                                                                        to check if they have a smoke alarm.
                                                                                                            “Not only are they edu-
                                                                                                        cating the children, we as
                                                                                                                                                        A      be held on the March 6
                                                                                                                                                               from 10am until 7pm at the
                                                                                                                                                        Nant y Ci Showground,
with the Retired Senior Volunteer                                                                                                                       Carmarthen.
                                                                                        can        by   teachers          are                                The event will be the first of
Programme Scheme, which celebrates its                                                   telling             taught a few                               its kind and is the result of a new
20th anniversary, and includes a range of                                                  stor ies            things.”                                 local authority and voluntary
stalls advertising the work of local organisa-                                             a n d                                                        sector partnership covering the
tions along with activities for children to enjoy.                                          get-                                                        South West Wales region.
    Other activities will include Employee                                                     ting                                                          The free event will provide
Volunteering Day for volunteer managers                                                                                                                 charities, community groups and
and, a similar day is planned for the staff at                                                                                                          voluntary organisations with a
CVS, giving us an opportunity to be involved                                                                                                            chance to meet representatives
in projects that support the work of organisa-                                                                                                          from a range of national and
tions in the area.                                                                                                                                      regional funders, and other
    Anyone interested in taking part in the                                                                                                             organisations to discuss funding
programme of activities or wishing to find out                                                                                                          requirements and assist groups
more about volunteering then please contact                                                                                                             in developing their ideas.
either Sue Ireson or Gemma Richards at the                                                                                                                   For more information visit
volunteer centre on 01639 631387 or                                                                                                                     www.regionalfundingfair.co.uk or
SueI@nptcvs.org.uk.                                                                                                                                     telephone 01269 590216.
March 2008                                                                 Community Spirit                                                                                                        3

Young carers
       HERE are more young carers in
       Neath Port Talbot than in any other
       county in Wales.
                                                     Alicia is a true hero
                                                          HERE are hundreds of                            “Sometimes he won’t let me get him                Hilary added: “I may have to ask Alicia

     More than 600 young people, with an
average age of 12, are full-time carers but               unsung heroes living in                     ready,” said Alicia. “He gets quite upset if     to make sandwiches for the children be-
it is estimated that the actual figure may be                                                         Mum doesn’t do it.”                              cause Reuben needs me. I can’t even
                                                          Wales – but young carers                        Hilary added: “Because of Reuben’s           bath him. He wants to bath with me which
as much as treble that.
     Many of these children do not see               are by far the individuals who do                condition he can be very clingy to me and        means Alicia helps get him in and out.”
themselves as young carers, they regard              not receive the recognition and                  may not let Alicia help him. Autistic children        The only respite Alicia gets are weekly
their day-to-day life as normal.                     praise that they deserve.                        take everything literally and a command          visits to young carers club, run by SNPT
                                                                                                      must be put a certain way or they start          Crossroads, and a couple of hours at
     Their responsibilities affect many                  Within Neath Port Talbot there are 620
                                                                                                      displaying difficult behaviour.”                 guides on a Friday. During the holidays,
aspects of their life, including difficulties        registered young carers, but this is just the
                                                                                                          Many autistic children have a sensory        SNPT Crossroads also organise trips.
arriving at school in time, handing in               tip of the iceberg. It is estimated that this
                                                                                                      impairment. They don’t feel pain and often            “We went to Laserdome at half term,”
homework and not being able to socialise             figure could be triple.
                                                                                                      self harm.                                       said Alicia. “It is nice to meet up with other
with friends.                                            Many of these young carers go
                                                                                                          “He has been known to throw himself          young carers and find out what they do. I
     In a bid to raise awareness of issues           unnoticed because they believe that car-
                                                                                                      down the stairs and find it funny,” said         realise then that I am not alone and that
affecting young carers and to set out                ing for a relative is normal.
                                                                                                      Hilary. “He needs constant attention and         there are families out there worse than us.”
priorities to meet their needs, The Neath                Young carers do not receive any
                                                                                                      most of the time wants me to be doing                 Hilary actively encourages her
Port Talbot Young Carers Forum have                  financial gains for the service they provide
                                                                                                      everything for him.”                             daughter to go out and meet friends but
arranged for professionals and voluntary             – they do it for love, and this is evident in
                                                                                                          Once breakfast is over it is time for Hi-    admits that it is a relief to see Alicia
                                                     the case of 12-year-old Alicia.
organisations involved with young carers                 For several years she has been caring
                                                                                                      lary to take Alicia and Amelia to school.        walking through the door.
to meet on Tuesday, March 11.                                                                         But due to the busy nature of the                     “I do feel guilty that someone so young
                                                     for her mother Hilary who suffers from
     Alison James, development manager                                                                mornings this can mean that Alicia may           has all this responsibility,” she said. “I wish
                                                     sleep aponea, a condition characterised
with Neath Port Talbot carers service, said:                                                          arrive late.                                     it could be different.”
                                                     by temporary breathing interruptions
“The event will provide an opportunity for                                                                “The school are OK and know that I                But Alicia admits that she loves her
                                                     during sleep.
those working or who may come into con-                                                               help care for mum and the children,” said        family and wouldn’t change her
                                                         Hilary also suffers from a vitamin B12
tact with children and young people who                                                               Alicia. “But I don’t like being late.”           circumstances for the world.
                                                     deficiency       and     anaemia,       which
are carers to share their experiences and                                                                 Despite having the world on her                   Hilary and Alicia were happy to be
                                                     compounded with her sleep conditions,
explore how they can work together to pro-                                                            shoulders, Alicia is doing well in school        interviewed to try and encourage young
                                                     leaves her physically exhausted and
vide the support and services to meet                                                                 and often receives straight As.                  carers, who are slipping through the net to
                                                     unable to perform day-to-day tasks with-
                                                                                                          “She is an overachiever,” said Hilary.       get help.
young carers needs.”                                 out the assistance of her eldest daughter.
                                                                                                      “She loves to do her best and worries if              “We also want to say thank you to
                                                         “Alicia is amazing,” said Hilary. “I could
                                                                                                      she doesn’t get good grades.”                    Crossroads for their help,” said Hilary.
                                                     not live without her.”
                                                                                                          Unlike other children, when the              “They provide a lifeline. If, by doing this in-
  Cancer support unit                                    As well as looking after Hilary, Alicia
                                                     cares for five-year-old sister Amelia and
                                                     helps her mother with two-year-old
                                                                                                      schoolday is over and homework com-
                                                                                                      pleted, Alicia doesn’t have time to relax.
                                                                                                                                                       terview, we can show other young carers
                                                                                                                                                       that there is help out there and that they
        ANCER patients and their families                                                                 “I try to do my homework but                 are not alone it is worth it.”

                                                     Reuben, who suffers from autism.
        are being given invaluable advice at                                                          sometimes I just can’t finish because Mum        To find out more about SNPT Crossroads
                                                         Alicia’s typical day starts before many
        a support unit in Neath Port Talbot                                                           needs help,” she explained. “She could be            visit www.crossroads.org.uk/snpt
                                                     of us are up. She wakes to her 6.30am
                                                                                                      in the middle of cooking when Reuben
 Hospital.                                           alarm and gets washed and dressed be-
                                                                                                      wants something. He does not give her a
     Y Rhosyn Cancer Support Day Unit,               fore waking her mother, Amelia and
 launched three months ago, is held twice            Reuben.
 a month and offers advice on a range of                 “Some mornings the children are
 issues, from benefits, allowances and               already awake when I get up,” said
 housing.                                            Alicia. “If they are not, I wake up
     The service is benefiting those who             Amelia, help her get dressed
 are unable to work through illness and              and give her a toothbrush to
 also helps those who incur increased                clean her teeth before going
 housing utility and travelling costs.               back to check to see if Mum
                                                     is awake.
     The unit also provides a meeting point              “Reuben doesn’t sleep
 for patients and their families to share            much, so she is up
 experiences and advice.                             most of the night with
     Volunteers and staff have helped raise          him.
 funds, which were matched by the Trust,                 “Her illnesses
 to develop a garden for patients and visi-          also make her feel
 tors.                                               very tired, so she
     Local businesses also contributed to            finds it very hard
 the garden, with the Western Log                    to get up in the
 Company providing the furniture.                    morning.”
     Lynne Sheridan, nurse in charge at the              O n c e
 unit, said: “The view over the lake from the        everyone is up it
 garden area is relaxing and the benefit             is time to make
 this area offers patients can only enhance          the       breakfast.
 the care we give them at Y Rhosyn.”                 Most mornings Hi-
                                                     lary will make the
                                                     morning meal while
                                                     Alicia helps Reuben
Are you a private                                    get washed and dressed.

foster carer?     Youngsters flying high with Phoenix
        RE you or anyone you know looking

A       after someone else’s child for more than
        28 days? If the answer is yes then you
might be, or know someone who is, a Private          C
                                                             HILDREN have been
                                                             given a taste of what it
                                                             is like to be a fire-
                                                                                          Tonmawr were given tasks
                                                                                          by Port Talbot firefighters to
                                                                                          hammer home key safety
                                                                                                                              chance to showcase to their
                                                                                                                              family and friends what they
                                                                                                                              have achieved during the
                                                                                                                                                                   courses, with a further ten
                                                                                                                                                                   being planned for 2008/09.
                                                                                                                                                                       If you work with young
Foster Carer.                                        fighter as part of an exciting       messages and teach them             course of the week.”                 people, aged between 13
    Private fostering is when an informal            scheme run by Mid and                the consequences of fire                In the past two years the        and 17-years-old, and would
agreement is made to place a child, under 16         West Wales Fire Authority.           setting and joyriding.              fire authority, along with its       like to find out more about
or under 18 if disabled, in the care of someone           The Phoenix Project is a             Julian Austin, community       partners the Youth Service,          the course contact Neath
who is not their parent or close relative for four   week long course, which              fire safety officer at Neath        Communities First, local             Port Talbot       Command
weeks or more. A close relative could be a           gives        youngsters                 county command, said:            education authority and              Headquarters’ Community
step-parent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle     aged between 13                          “The week culminates in a       youth inclusion programs,            Safety Department on 0870
or aunt, whether of full blood, half blood or by     and 17 the opportu-                        passing out parade                   has      run                  6060699, ext 6610
marriage.                                            nity to work as a                          where the young people                 eleven
    Children living in these arrangements are        team to enhance                            have     a
often unknown to the local authority and             their social and
should therefore be safeguarded as best as           communica-
possible’.                                           tion skills by
    Neath Port Talbot Council is working to          carrying out
raise awareness of private fostering in a drive      mental and
to help safeguard vulnerable children in these       physical ac-
situations. In addition, private foster carers       tivities.
who do not notify the council of their situation          Yo u n g -
could be missing out on information and sup-         sters      from
port, such as financial advice about benefits
to which they may be entitled.
    If you believe that you have entered into a
Private Fostering arrangement you are
required by law to notify the local authority.
    For more information please contact:
01639 763333.
4                                                                         Community Spirit                                                                              March 2008

    Did you know....
         ou can pay many of
         your bills online at
         w w w. n p t . g o v. u k ,
                                        POPAT is top of the class
                                                OPAT (Programme of            system. She is now using her                been seen and have been                language difficulties are being
    Council Tax
    Business Rates
    Rent and Water Rates
    Sundry Debtors Invoice
                                        P       Phoneme Awareness
                                                Training) which was
                                        initially devised to help chil-
                                                                              bi-lingual skills to deliver this
                                                                              training to Welsh medium
                                                                              schools with Gayle Shenton.
                                                                                   Gayle, of Ysgol Gymraeg
                                                                                                                          praised by parents.
                                                                                                                              “Schools are reporting that
                                                                                                                          there is a great improvement in
                                                                                                                          the children’s end of year
                                                                                                                                                                 identified early thanks to the use
                                                                                                                                                                 of POPAT in schools.
                                                                                                                                                                     “With early intervention these
                                                                                                                                                                 children can quickly catch up with
    Housing Benefits
                                        dren         with     speech          Trebanos, was one of the first              assessments,” said Gayle.              their peers,” said Llinos. “I am
    Overpayments                        production difficulties has           teachers to be awarded a                    “POPAT encourages                      pleased to see that POPAT has
    Other Payments                      been used successfully in             sabbatical to attend a POPAT                children to concentrate                been      so     well
    Planning Fees                       many schools in NPT as                training scheme 18-months-ago.              so it has having a                     received across
    Buillding Notice Fees                                                          She said: “Zac Davies                  knock on effect on                     Neath Port Tal-
                                        well as in other LEAs to im-          released funds from the                     their other subjects. It                bot.”
    Search Fees                         prove some children’s                 authority, which was matched by             is also a fun way of
                                        literacy development. This            the        Welsh       Assembly             learning,     which
                                        is being rolled out into              Government, to allow myself, an-            helps.”
 Parent craft                           Welsh medium primary                  other teacher and a learning
                                                                              support assistant to carryout the           dren
                                                                                                                              More chil-
         NEW            parenting       schools across NPT and
A        education class has
         been success.
     Traditionally,         parent
                                        has been hailed a success.
                                             Traditionally used by speech
                                        and language therapists, the
                                                                              training and introduce it into our
                                                                              respective schools.
                                                                                   “Like POPAT, the Welsh
                                                                              language is based on phonetics,
                                                                                                                          speech        and

 education, or parent craft             POPAT system was developed to         so it links well with general
 classes, took place during the         make it easier for children to        teaching methods.”
 day for expectant and new              learn to read and write.                   Since being introduced
 mothers.                                    But recently the programme       at Trebanos, the benefits of
     But midwifes and health            has been introduced into Welsh                          P O PAT
 visitors realised that the             medium primary schools across                            c a n
 service needed to be radically         the county and is proving to be                           clearly
 improved to accommodate                an enormous success.
 working mothers, so Bro                     POPAT is a system for
 Morgannwg NHS Trust began              learning speech and letter
 evening classes for couples.           sounds, devised by Pru Popat, a
     The classes provide one            speech and language therapist.
 day sessions to improve birth               The system introduces lively
 and antenatal education, and           and fun picture symbols to
 help parents make informed             children, which they then learn to
 decisions on place of birth.           link with speech sounds and the
     Health says they have              actual letter shapes of written
 re ceived positive feedback.           words. It teaches spelling,
     “I feel I have benefited from      punctuation and grammar and
 the well organised parent craft        assists children with speech and
 class and appreciated the              language difficulties.
 friendly and professionally                 Llinos Williams, a peripatetic
 honest approach of the staff. It       teacher from the Support For
 was especially helpful that this       Learning Service was part of the
 was run in a one-day block,”           initial team of teachers that
 said one parent                        trained schools in the POPAT

Farm Watch looks out A honoured with OBE                                                                                       DOCTOR who has been
                                                                                                                               instrumental in devising a
                                                                                                                               health strategy for the
                                                                                                                                                                which has significantly reduced
                                                                                                                                                                the number of patients needing to
                                                                                                                                                                be admitted to hospital. He also

for rural communities
        olice in Neath Port Talbot     alone, covering approximately      closely      with      the          rural
                                                                                                                        elderly, has been made an OBE.
                                                                                                                            Consultant physician Dr Ed
                                                                                                                        Wilkins was recognised in the
                                                                                                                        New Years Honours for champi-
                                                                                                                                                                established medical assessment
                                                                                                                                                                and pre-discharge facilities, as
                                                                                                                                                                well as leading a whole systems
                                                                                                                                                                review of the links between

P       are forging closer links
                   their     rural
                                       100,000 acres of land.
                                           Farm Watch is aimed at
                                       improving the service provided
                                                                          community we can ensure that
                                                                          any intelligence about crime or
                                                                          anti-social behaviour is passed
                                                                                                                        oning the needs of elderly patients
                                                                                                                        at Neath Port Talbot hospitals.
                                                                                                                            Dr Wilkins said: “It has been a
                                                                                                                        great privilege and honour to
                                                                                                                                                                primary and secondary care
                                                                                                                                                                within the trust.
                                                                                                                                                                    At a national level, Dr Wilkins
                                                                                                                                                                was one of the medics who
     Officers in the Skewen and        to people living in rural          through to these two dedicated                receive this award. It has been an      helped develop The Older
Pontardawe sector have                 communities and improve the        points of contact.                            even greater privilege to have          People’s Strategy for Wales to
launched a Farm Watch                  flow of information about crime        “This will allow us to target             worked within Bro Morgannwg             advise Assembly health ministers.
initiative.                            and anti-social behaviour to the   our resources at some of the                  NHS Trust and its executive,                A trust spokesman said: “Dr
     There are more than 150           police.                            issues experienced in these                   medical, nursing and other              Wilkins has campaigned tirelessly
farms and small holdings in the            Acting Sector Inspector        communities more effectively.”                professional colleagues.”               to ensure the elderly were
Skewen and Pontardawe                  Dave Williams said: “Two               The contact names and                         The former clinical director of     receiving care of the highest
                       s e c t o r     PCSOs who work in these            numbers of the two PCSOs                      the       medical        specialities   standards. He also undertook a
                                           areas, PCSO Mark Jones         have now been distributed to                  directorate, from 1997 until 2007,      locum consultant physician post at
                                              and     PCSO        Leah    some 600 individuals who are                  has inspired medical staff              the former Neath General
                                               Howells, have devel-       involved directly or indirectly in            throughout Neath Port Talbot with       Hospital to aid the introduction of
                                                oped the Farm Watch       the agricultural industry in the              his tireless work developing new        new working practices which he
                                                concept.                  area.                                         working practices to benefit            had implemented in Princess of
                                                   “By working more           Signs will be displayed in                patients and medical staff.             Wales Hospital.
                                                                            the premises who take part in                   The dedicated physician has             Paul Williams, the trust’s chief
                                                                            the Farm Watch initiative to                been instrumental in helping            executive, said:“His commitment
                                                                            act as a visible deterrent to               develop a Rapid Assessment Unit         to the health service is worthy of
                                                                            possible       intruders              or    at the Princess of Wales Hospital,      recognition.”
                                                                                “We are delighted that we
                                                                            have received the support of
                                                                            local politicians, the National
                                                                                      Farmers             Union,
                                                                                                                        Have your say on our future
                                                                                                                              ESIDENTS are being given              Up to 1,000 Neath Port Talbot
                                                                                          Farmers Union
                                                                                            of Wales as
                                                                                            well as the rural
                                                                                             community in
                                                                                                                        R     the opportunity to air their
                                                                                                                              views on public services as
                                                                                                                        part of a Welsh Assembly
                                                                                                                                                                residents will be randomly
                                                                                                                                                                selected to take part in the survey.
                                                                                                                                                                Interviews will take place in
                                                                                                                        Government survey.                      interviewees homes and last for
                                                                                              setting up this
                                                                                                                           The Living in Wales survey           around 50 minutes. Ipsos MORI
                                                                                               i n i t i a t i v e ,”
                                                                                                                        gives Neath Port Talbot residents       employees will be carrying
                                                                                                added A/In-
                                                                                                                        a chance to influence future            identification. Interviews can also
                                                                                                                        government policies, including          be conducted in Welsh at the re-
                                                                                                                        environment, transport, recycling,      quest of the interviewee. The
                                                                                                    Pictured, left to
                                                                                                    right, Acting In-
                                                                                                                        hospital services and the               survey is completely confidential.
                                                                                                   spector Dave         provision of sport facilities.              For more information contact:
                                                                                                   Williams, PCSO          The surve, carried out by            liw@ipsos-mori.com, call 0207
                                                                                                   Leah     Howells
                                                                                                  and PCSO Mark         Ipsos MORI, will sample 12,000          3473353 or visit: www.wales.gov.
                                                                                                 Jones at a farm in     people living in Wales, between         uk/livinginwalessur vey
                                                                                                                        now and the end of June.                 orwww.ipsos-mori.com
March 2008                                                              Community Spirit                                                                                        5

Traders urged to take responsibility                                                                                                                  Did you know....
                                                                                                                                                    t costs more than £2m

      HE Safer Neath Port
      Talbot Partnership has
      launched a campaign to
help shops, pubs and clubs
                                          PC John Williams, licensing
                                      officer for Neath Port
                                      Talbot Police, said:
                                      “By joining the
                                                                         alcohol and other products
                                                                                which are age restricted
                                                                                    are asked to seek
                                                                                       proof of age from
                                                                                                             on demand and that this should
                                                                                                             be the norm as far as the sale
                                                                                                             of alcohol and other age
                                                                                                             restricted products to young
                                                                                                                                                  I each year to keep
                                                                                                                                                    streets in Neath Port
                                                                                                                                                  Talbot clean, tidy and free
                                                                                                                                                  from litter.
stay within the law.                  R e s p o n s i bl e                               anybody who         persons is concerned.
    On October 1st, 2007, the         S e l l e r                                         appears to be           PC Williams added: “We
minimum age for the purchase          Scheme and                                           under the age     work with our partners in
of tobacco products was raised        using 21 as                                          of 21.            trading standards to carry out
to 18 – the same as alcohol,
solvents, fireworks and knives.
                                      a      bench-
                                      mark it gives
                                                                                               T h e
                                                                                                             test purchasing exercises, and
                                                                                                             undercover           surveillance
                                                                                                                                                   Adam heads to
    Community safety partners
are now calling on retailers to
                                      retailers and
                                      their       staff
                                                                                           aims to create
                                                                                          a culture of
                                                                                                                  “We hope that by using a
                                                                                                                                                   Amsterdam on
join a Responsible Sellers
Scheme to prevent them falling
                                      extra peace of
                                                                                         expectation that
                                                                                       in pubs, clubs, off
                                                                                                             benchmark of 21 we will see a
                                                                                                             reduction in the number of
                                                                                                                                                   green mission
                                                                                                                                                         15-YEAR-OLD boy

foul of age legislation. They             Under            the                      licences and shops       retailers and staff who breach
want retailers to use the age of      Responsible           Seller              that proof of age should     age legislation which can result            has been given an
21 as a benchmark.                    Scheme, premises which sell        either be offered or produced       in financial penalties.”                    assignment to go to
                                                                                                                                                  Amsterdam and bring back
                                                                                                                                                  ideas on how to combat
                                                                                                                                                  climate change.

Future chefs enjoy
                                                                                                                                                      Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera
                                                                                                                                                  pupil Adam Amor will be
                                                                                                                                                  jetting off to Holland as part
                                                                                                                                                  of his role as climate
                                                                                                                                                  change ambassador for
                                                                                                                                                      His mission is to see
                                                                                                                                                  which       methods      other

a taste of success
                                                                                                                                                  countries are using to cut
                                                                                                                                                  carbon emissions and
                                                                                                                                                  reduce climate change.
                                                                                                                                                      “Climate change affects
                                                                                                                                                  young people,” said Adam,
                                                                                                                                                  from Skewen.
                                                                                                                                                      “I have learned a lot
      EATH Port Talbot students                  facilities to prepare and cook a two            runners up, but the regional award

N     were given food for thought
      after the college was asked
to host a cookery event for school
                                                 course meal to the highest professional
                                                 standard for the judges.”
                                                    Swansea’s Maria King, of
                                                 Gowerton High School and
                                                                                                 winner was Luke Thomas. Luke attends
                                                                                                 Connah’s Quay High School in Deeside
                                                                                                 and he will go on to compete at the
                                                                                                              National Final of the Fu-
                                                                                                                                                  about climate change in
                                                                                                                                                  chemistry and geography
                                                                                                                                                  and how it affects our
                                                                                                                                                      Adam is one of six
pupils.                                          Hannah Lewis, of Ysgol                                         ture Chef Competition             youngsters        who    were
    Chaired by Brian Turner OBE of the           Gyfun          Gymraeg                                          in Westminster, in               chosen         to     become
famous TV cookery show, Ready, Steady,           Bryntawe were both                                               March.                          ambassadors for climate
Cook, the college welcomed eight pupils                                                                                                           change         following     a
competing in this year’s regional heat of                                                                                                         nationwide search.
the Future Chef Welsh Final.                                                                                                                          He      beat     off  stiff
    It was felt that the campus’ state-                                                                                                           competition of more than
of-the-art kitchen facilities provided                                                                                                            200 welsh teenagers after
the ideal venue for the prestigious                                                                                                               designing a climate change
competition, which is organised by                                                                                                                news website.
the Springboard Charitable Trust                                                                                                                      As an active member of
each year to develop and recognise                                                                                                                the Neath Port Talbot Youth
the chefs of the future.                                                                                                                          Council Adam has already
    Judith Williams, Head of the                                                                                                                  brought a number of issues
Business Tourism and Hospitality                                                                                                                  to the forefront, such as
School at Neath Port Talbot College, was                                                                                                          children’s rights, ID cards
delighted that the college was chosen                                                                                                             and the environment.
as the venue for the heat.                                                                                                                            Adam is delighted to be
    “It is an honour to host such a                                                                                                               representing Wales in
prestigious event,” she said.                                                                                                                     Holland.
    “The Springboard Charitable Trust                                               Regional Future
                                                                                    Chef runners-up                                                   “I am looking forward to
actively promotes the hospitality industry                                                                                                        influencing thinking on
to youngsters and it is particularly                                                 Maria King and
                                                                                     Hannah Lewis                                                 climate change,” he said.
important that competing pupils have the

 Mental health service
 is to be restructured

       LANS are in the pipeline to
       restructure the community mental
                                                The heat is on for teen
                                                firesetters this Easter
       health service in Neath Port Talbot.
    The current community mental
 health teams and access teams are to
 be changed to: north and south
 community health teams, a borough
                                                      HILDREN are being                         Fire officers fully appreciate there     Firesetters Scheme by a number of

 wide psychological therapy team and
 the Gateway Worker team, which will                  warned that if they are               are reasons why a child commits arson        various bodies and agencies.
 hold sessions at GP practices across                                                       and have set up a Firesetters Scheme,            South Wales Police are warning
                                                      caught committing arson               which can educate them and help
 Neath Port Talbot.                                                                                                                      youths caught committing arson that
    The Gateway Worker system
                                                they will be prosecuted.                    them control their urges to start a fire.    they will be arrested and dealt with
                                                    Firefighters are urging Neath Port          A team of specialist education           accordingly.
 provides improved access for the
                                                Talbot children to think of the             caseworkers has been trained to deal
 screening of mental health problems                                                                                                         Chief Inspector Phil Jacob of Neath
                                                consequences before contemplating           with children and young people fasci-
 identified by GP practices. The scheme                                                                                                  Port Talbot Police said: “Arson is an
                                                deliberately starting a fire.               nated by fire.
 was piloted at the Kings, Dyfed Road                                                                                                    extremely serious matter for all
                                                    With the Easter holidays fast               Neil said: “Children who play with
 and Pontardawe practices last year.                                                                                                     community safety partners, and we
                                                approaching, the temptation to light a      fire do so for a variety of reasons, rang-
    Health Board chiefs received positive                                                                                                work together to educate youngsters
                                                fire may increase.                          ing from natural curiosity, attention-
 reports following the pilots.                                                                                                           on the dangers.
                                                    Neil Thorpe, community safety           seeking to more serious motives.
    The service will work alongside                                                                                                          “It has serious consequences in
                                                officer for Mid and West Wales Fire and         “The caseworkers are trained to
 primary care initiatives currently on offer,                                                                                            terms of damage to property and
 such as the Bibliotherapy, Stresspac and       Rescue Service, said: “Those thinking       deal with the young person and
                                                of starting a fire should think of the      identify whether to involve other            financial loss but also puts lives in
 Computerised Cognitive Behavioural                                                                                                      danger.”
 Therapy.                                       consequences of such actions.               professionals.
                                                    “When a premises is damaged                 “It is important to note that this           Referrals can be made to the
    For more information contact David                                                                                                   Firesetters Co-ordinator Diana Harris,
 Roberts, partnership strategy manager          because of a fire, it can mean lost work    scheme does not set out to deal with
                                                for people, personal possessions can        more complex issues which should be          Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue
 at Neath Port Talbot LHB, on 01792
                                                be lost and the fire can cause a lot of     dealt with by another professional           Service,       Community         Safety
 326500 or email david.roberts@neath-
                                                heartache, great inconvenience and          body.”                                       Headquarters Department, Sway
                                                danger to life.”                                Children can be referred to the          Road, Morriston, SA6 6JA.
6                                                                     Community Spirit                                                                March 2008

                                                                                                              If just one ch
                                                                                                              is saved it’s a
                                                                                                              job well done
                                                                                                                   NLESS you live in the area, it is a little known fact that there

                                                                                                              U    secure children’s home situated just on the outskirts of Neath t
                                                                                                                For 11 years the home has housed 12 to 17-year-olds who ar
                                                                                                              remand, have been sentenced for a crime, or are considered vulnera
                                                                                                                Many have run away from home for a variety of reasons.
                                                                                                                To find out what life at Hillside Secure Children’s Home is really lik
     Teacher Geraint Ellis takes the youngsters in one of the 11 subjects taught at Hillside                  and to dispel any rumours, Community Spirit reporter Emma Gray
                                                                                                              spent a morning interviewing its manager, a staff member and a

‘You either love it or you hate                                                                               young person who has been housed at the home for several months.

                                                                                                                    HE first impression you get when                       psychological problems a

it - but I just couldn’t ever see                                                                             T     approaching the site is that Hillside
                                                                                                                    is not a prison. There are no bars on
                                                                                                              the windows or huge perimeter fences –
                                                                                                                                                                           are in need of sessions with
                                                                                                                                                                           unit’s psychiatrist or psychol
                                                                                                                                                                                “We commission service
                                                                                                                                                                           outside to assist with the reh

myself doing anything else’.                                                                                  the unit resembles a school, rather than a
                                                                                                              prison. The only tell-tales sign that you are
                                                                                                              approaching a secure centre is the secu-
                                                                                                                                                                           of these youngsters,” said
                                                                                                                                                                           have psychiatrists, psy
                                                                                                                                                                           representatives from the
                                                                                                                                                                           misuse service, special offen
                                                                                                              rity barriers at the entrance and the many
Sian Bibbs on why life at Hillside is like Marmite                                                            locked doors.
                                                                                                                                                                           the abuse counselling
                                                                                                                                                                           individual visitor’s service wo
           ORKING with the children at Hillside is      their past and enable us to understand them that           “Hillside is not a prison,” said manager Colin also have other agencies su

W          like Marmite – you either love it or you
           hate it, staff have said.
    “It is a job you can either do or can’t do,” said
                                                        little bit better.”
                                                             Many of the children have never been set
                                                        clear boundaries and find it difficult to take
                                                                                                              Davies. “It is a secure children’s home which does NSPCC, Barnados an
                                                                                                              house young people who have come to us via the CAMS who also assist
                                                                                                              criminal justice system.                                     staff with the young
Sian Bibbs. “I love working at Hillside. You get        responsibility for their actions. This is why a            “Regardless to the circumstances which people.”
such an amazing sense of fulfilment knowing that        reward system is implemented at the unit.             brought them here, they are children at the end of                An       educational
you helped to put these children on a new road –             “There are six levels, one gives the children    the day and should be treated as such.”                      programme is devised,
but I do accept that this is not a job everyone can     the least amount of privileges, six the most,” said        Colin explained that children from all walks of tailored               for    the
do and enjoy.”                                          Sian.                                                 life and various cultural backgrounds are housed at individual, which is
    Like many of her colleagues, Sian began                  “When they come here they are all deemed         Hillside.                                                    implemented by the
working at Hillside when the centre opened 11           to be on level three, which entitles them to watch         “Not all of our children are young offenders,” he unit’s seven teachers.
years ago and she hasn’t looked back.                   TV in the communal room and play the                  said. “They may be housed here for their own                      “They are given
    She left her job as a youth worker because          Playstation. If they work their way up to level six   protection because they are self harming or run lessons in 11 subjects
she needed a new challenge and she says she             they can have a Playstation and TV in their room      away from home regularly.”                                   in total, which include
has found her calling.                                  or stay up later than the 9.30 lights out. But they        Staff at Hillside do not lose sight of the fact that core subjects such as
    “I work on the ground with the young people         all understand that if they break any of the rules    the majority of children staying at the unit have English, maths and science,”
but I also help train members of staff to give them     they lose their privileges.                           committed crimes, but they do recognise that there Colin. “Many of these child
the skills to hold one-to-one counselling sessions           “It gives them incentives to work hard and try                   may be reasons for their behaviour.          have not been to school for y
with the youths,” said the 39-year-old, who is          their best.”                                                                    “All the children sent here may have very poor literacy
affectionately known as Bibbsy to the children.              The bonds formed at the unit                                              are assessed within the first            “If we can get these childr
    “We only have to ask for more training to get       can be so strong that staff are                                                   28 days of arrival to see better standard then we hav
a better understanding of how to deal with              sorry to break them when it is                                                      what their needs are,” our jobs properly. If it applies
various problems and a course can be arranged.”         time for a child to leave.                                                           said Colin. “An individual of the youths can obtain their
    Staff appreciate that many of the youths who             “In a way we don’t want to                                                      plan is then developed or NVQs. Duke of Edi
end up at Hillside have come from disadvantaged         see them again because it is                                                           to meet these needs to awards also run here, up to
backgrounds.                                            horrible to find out if they have                                                       ensure we provide level.”
    “They may never have had the parental               reverted back to their old                                                                them with the best            For those youths who
guidance most children have as they grow up,”           ways,” she said. “The children                                                                     p o s s i b l e academic, lessons teachin
said Sian. “Coming to Hillside, for many, gives         at Hillside come from all over                                                                       care avail- practical skills are held.
them a taste of what it is like to have those types     England and Wales and in some                                                                         able.”            “Bricklaying, wood turn
of relationships.                                       areas children may go back to                                                                            Many basic mechanics are also tau
    “Building relationships opens doors for us to       crime because the services to                                                                        of these to mention a few,” he said.
gain their trust and encourage them to discuss          support them are not as they                                                                       children             Colin admits that some
   their problems.                                      should be..                                                                                            m a y children do leave Hillside a
                   A discussion about an issue in the        “But we all love the success                                                                        h a v e fend, but if one child is save
                          news can often prompt the     stories. It is proof that we have                                                                                  life of crime they have don
                                   child to open up     done everything in our power                                                                                       properly.
                                            about       to give them a better life.                                                                                             “We are here to give them
                                                             “I love my job and could                                                                                      chance,” he said. “Not all of
                                                               never see me doing                                                                                          turn their life around but a lot
                                                                        anything else.”                                                                                    the opportunity to reassess t
                                                                                                                                                                           change their ways for the be
                                                                                                                                                                    Ian Rees supervises as youngst
                                                                                                                                                                                      vocational skills.
8                                                                      Community Spirit                                                                            March 2008

Dressed for
                                                                                                                                                             Did you know....
                                                                                                                                                                 TOTAL of 1,092,533

                                                                                                                                                         A       meals were eaten in
                                                                                                                                                                 Neath Port Talbot
                                                                                                                                                         schools last year?
                                                                                                                                                             More than 133,000

a success
                                                                                                                                                         pieces of fruit were eaten,
                                                                                                                                                         155 tonnes of potatoes
                                                                                                                                                         boiled, chipped, roasted or
                                                                                                                                                         mashed while five tonnes of
                                                                                                                                                         pasta and 3.75 tonnes of
                                                                                                                                                         rice were washed down
                                                                                                                                                         down with 26,406 litres of
         E have all done it

W        – we’ve gone out
         and         spent
hundreds on a designer
                                                                                                                                                         fruit juice.

                                                                                                                                                          Hear the last of
outfit for a wedding or
special occasion, worn it                                                                                                                                 nuisance callers
once and then thrown it in                                                                                                                                         NNOYED by sales reps
the back of the wardrobe.
    Wouldn’t it be great if we
could get a little bit of our
                                                                                                                                                          A        ringing your house and
                                                                                                                                                                   trying to sell you double
                                                                                                                                                           glazing when your about to
money back – well we can!                                                                                                                                  tuck into your dinner?
    Barbara Richards launched                                                                                                                                  Well now your troubles are
Glad Rags, a fashion recycling                                                                                                                             over as we have discovered a
shop, two years ago with the                                                                                                                               way to get rid of such
help of Business Connect after                                                                                                                             nui sance phone calls.
spotting a gap in the market.                                                                                                                                  The reason you get these
    “I had been thinking about                                                                                                                             calls is because your
                                    their clothes and make back           visit to pick up something for a           “You’ve got nothing to lose,”         number is being stored on a
this type of business for some      some of the money they have           special occasion.                       she said. “Look at me, I retired
time,” said the 60-year-old                                                                                                                                National database.
                                    shelled out on that ‘never to be          “Glad Rags has been so              and now I am back in employ-                 However there is a simple
grandmother. “So many people        worn again’ outfit.                   successful that I am looking at         ment doing something I love.”
had said to me that they had                                                                                                                               process to reduce, and in
                                        “What I do here is take in        branching out to the web.”                 For more information on               some cases stop altogether,
bought an expensive outfit for a    the outfit for three months.              Barbara       has    hailed         Glad Rags contact Barbara
special occasion and never                                                                                                                                 these unsolicited phone calls.
                                    Between myself and the client         Business Connect as her sav-            on 01639 884755.                             Simply        ring      these
worn it again.                      we put on a price tag which we        iour and advises those looking             The shop is situated just
    “So, when I retired my                                                                                                                                 numbers:
                                    feel is reasonable and hope for       to set up on their own to get in        off junction 38 of the M4 at                 If you are a BT customer
husband told me to get it out of    the best. The client makes 60%        touch with the Business                 the Tollgate Precinct, 264b
my system and give it a go.”                                                                                                                               ring: 0800 121 8000. All other
                                    of the sale price and I make          Connect team.                           Margam Road, Port Talbot.                providers (NTL) contact the
    The free and confidential       40%,” said Barbara, a former
service provided Barbara with                                                                                     ing an array of advice, including        Telephone Preference Serv-
                                    industrial services finance and       What is Business Connect?               how to set up a business plan.           ice (TPS) on: 0845 070 0707.
a four-day start up course,         administrative assistance at                 usiness Connect is a free,
access to grants and funding,
advice      on    bookkeeping,
marketing, employing staff and
                                    Jetfax Systems.
                                        “I sell a wide range of
                                    designer clothes from Karen
                                                                          B      confidential advice service to
                                                                                 assist those wishing to set up
                                                                          a business from beginning to end.
                                                                                                                      Advisors can then help individ-
                                                                                                                  uals access grant funding, where
                                                                                                                  possible, and loans.
                                                                                                                      Professional advisors are on
                                                                                                                                                               There is also a means to
                                                                                                                                                           reduce the amount of
                                                                                                                                                           personally-addressed junk
                                                                                                                                                           mail being posted through
retailing skills.                   Millen, Gina Bacconi and                  Over the years, Business Con-       hand to offer information on book-
    “Their help was invaluable,”                                          nect has helped hundreds of Neath                                                your letter box.
                                    Coast, right down to high street                                              keeping, employing staff, comput-            Simply contact the follow-
said Barbara, of Victoria Road,                                           Port Talbot residents set up busi-
                                    stuff, such as River Island and       nesses, including those who want
                                                                                                                  ers, marketing, retailing and more.      ing and ask them to remove
Margam. “It gave me the             Next. I have even taken stuff                                                     Extra support is available to
confidence to give it a go and                                            to work from home, set up social        those aged between 18 and 31.            you from their list: The Mail-
                                    from George and sold it.              enterprises and larger businesses                                                ing Preference Service,
here I am two years later.”                                                                                       For more information ring Business
                                        “Women from as far a field        which require staff and premises.       Connect on 01792 817575 or 01639         DMA House, 70 Margaret
    Glad Rags provides clients      as Gloucester and Cross                   Individuals are enrolled on a       895173 or log on to the website at
with the opportunity to sell on                                                                                                                            Street, London , W1W 8SS
                                    Hands, from 16 to 80, regularly       free, four-day start-up course offer-   www.bcnpt.co.uk                          or telephone 0207 291 3310.

POMS plan
proving the Victims                                 OUNG offenders who damage
                                                                                     see justice restored
                                                                                                 Some of the options offered to victims           Chief Inspector Phil Jacob, of Neath

ideal tonic Y                                       property in Neath Port Talbot are
                                                    facing up to the consequences of
                                            their actions.
                                                The Safer Neath Port Talbot
                                                                                             under the restorative justice programme
                                                                                             including a letter of apology or explanation
                                                                                             and asking the young person to take part
                                                                                             in some reparation work, such as
                                                                                                                                               Port Talbot Police, said: “Our multi-agency
                                                                                                                                               team working on this project acts as a
                                                                                                                                               support mechanism, building bridges with
                                                                                                                                                      the community and helping to pre-
       NEW scheme encouraing

 A     in-patients to bring their own
       prescription medicines into
 hospital has been launched by Bro
                                            Partnership is making use of restorative
                                            justice in order to ensure criminals put
                                            something back into the community.
                                                The aim of restorative justice is to bring
                                                                                             rubbish or
                                                                                                                                                        vent re-offend-

 Morgannwg NHS Trust.
                                            together young people and their victims.         cleaning
     The trust has introduced the
                                                The aim is to bring about a positive         graffiti.
 Patient’s Own Medicine scheme
                                            solution to a crime and hold young
 (POMS) at the Princess of Wales
                                            offenders       accountable       for      the
 Hospital in a bid to help minimise
                                            consequences of their actions.
 wastage and the duplication of
                                                Last year, vandals damaged the
 medication during their stay.
                                            garden at Blaendulais Primary School,
     Rowena        Lewis,      clinical
                                            Seven Sisters.
 pharmacist, said: “The success of
                                                Police caught the female culprits, one
 this scheme relies on patients
                                            of whom will carry out repair work to the
 bringing their medicines into
                                            gardens as part of a reparation order.
 hospital and leaflets advertising the
                                            Another female has received a reprimand.
 scheme have been distributed to
                                                Victim Liaison Worker Eirlys Vaughan,
 GP surgeries and community
                                            of the youth offending team, said:
                                            “Restorative justice brings together young
     Using POMS reduces the risk of
                                            people and the victims of their
 mistakes when prescribing and ad-
                                            offences within their communities to
 ministrating    medication. The
                                            decide on a response to a
 scheme also helps ensure patients
                                            particular offence.
 continue to take on-going medica-
                                                “It is about putting victims’
 tion prescribed by their GP.
                                            needs at the centre of the
     Hospital staff will review their
                                            criminal justice system, finding
 medication during treatment and
                                            positive solutions to crime and
 provide patients with information on
                                            encouraging young people to be
 current and new prescription drugs.
                                            accountable          for       the
     Miss Lewis added: “We urge the
                                            consequences of their actions.
 public to spread the news of this
                                                “Victim participation in
 new scheme to encourage patients
                                            the restorative justice
 to remember to bring their
                                            process is always
 medicines into hospital with them.”
March 2008                                                           Community Spirit                                                                                           9

                                  Are you ready to switch?
     Did you know....
   n February 2008, 8,862

 I people visited the West
   Glamorgan          Archive
 Service to trace their family
 trees and research the area’s          HE digital switchover is causing           and advice on the Digital TV changeover.         out lessons on various themes, including
 history. This includes the
 Archive Searchroom and
 Family History Centre at
 County Hall, Swansea, and
                                  T     a great deal of concern for
                                        many – but it is the over 50s that
                                  are finding it most difficult to get to
                                                                                   Age Concern Neath Port Talbot also provides
                                                                                   a service where we can go out to OAP clubs
                                                                                   and societies to promote understanding of
                                                                                   the Digital TV changeover.
                                                                                                                                    computer basics, digital photography and
                                                                                                                                    staying safe online.
                                                                                                                                       For more information
                                                                                                                                    on the services
 the Archive Access Points at     grips with.                                          “Age Concern Neath Port Talbot has, and      provided by Age
 Neath and Port Talbot. This           To alleviate the upheaval when the time     will continue, to work closely with Digital TV   Concern tele-
 represents a 2% increase in      comes, Age Concern Neath Port Talbot’s           UK during the switchover at a local level, so    phone 08700
 service users from last year.    staff and volunteers, in partnership with Dig-   that older people get the information, advice    602141.
                                  ital TV UK, have undergone training to be-       and support they need.”
                                  come approved advisors on the digital TV             The Go For IT project targets the
                                  changeover.                                      over 50s who live in Communities
 Top marks                             Volunteers at Age Concern Neath Port
                                  Talbot’s Go For IT Digital Inclusion Project
                                  were the first in Wales to undergo the
                                                                                   First areas. The scheme raises
                                                                                   awareness of the advantages of be-
                                                                                   coming IT literate and
 for hospital
      BRO Morgannwg NHS
                                       Saifur Rahman, project development

      Trust hospital has been
      awarded a charter
          for     the    fourth
                                  officer at Age Concern Neath Port Talbot,
                                  said: “The digital switchover is a cause for
                                  concern for many lonely and housebound
                                  older people in Neath Port Talbot who rely on
consecutive year.                 TV to fend off loneliness and provide a
    The Princess of Wales         daily link with the outside world.
Hospital, Bridgend, serves             “Television is not a luxury. For
hundreds of Neath Port Tal-       thousands of isolated older
bot patients each year.           people, the TV is one of their few
    The hospital has been         remaining links with the outside
recognised for having a           world and an important defence
innovative and structured         against loneliness.”
volunteering programme, for            Free information sheets are
improving its emergency           being issued to the over 50s to
department and clinical           answer any questions they have
decision unit and developing      about the digital switchover.
the patients information          These can be obtained by calling
management system.                08700 602141.
    The excellent work carried         “We have trained volunteers
by     the      breast     care   available to provide information
department, in relation to
nipple reconstructions and
tattooing has also been
    Mike Smith, charter mark      Health board produces doctors of distinction
assessor, said: “It is clear            HE first GPs to have          by Dr Alistair Bennett, has          Rahman        and       Stringer     between one and three years
from the visit that the service
is continuing to change and
develop. It is reassuring that
                                  T     completed a GP training
                                        course, re-established
                                  with the suuport of Neath Port
                                                                      seen nine of the eleven doctors
                                                                      graduating      to     become
                                                                      members of the Royal College
                                                                                                           obtaining merits.
                                                                                                               Vocational training courses
                                                                                                           for GPs were first established
                                                                                                                                                depending on the doctor’s
                                                                                                                                                qualifications, 13 doctors have
                                                                                                                                                joined the scheme with eleven
the various changes are           Talbot Local Health Board           of General Practitioners.            in     the 1970s and then            of them graduating as GPs.
being properly managed and        (LHB) in 2004, with distinctions       Two of the graduates,             amalgamated with Swansea                 Entry to the scheme takes
linked to consultation with       and merits.                         Deborah Burge and Sallini            scheme in the 1990s.                 place once a year as part of
representatives             and      The course, initially set up     Subbu passed with distinctions           Since the re-establishment       the     national    GP     VTS
stakeholders.”                    by Dr Alison Lilley but now run     with Jenny Evans, Mahibur            of the course, which last            recruitment.

CAB into the future
      ITIZEN’S       Advice           project that will increase people’s           Jenny      Simmons,      Bureau
                                                                                                                                  HE Citizen’s Advice Bureau is forging ahead
                                                                                                                                  with plans to reform the services currently on
                                                                                                                                Opening hours are changing, phone services
                                                                                                                           are being reformed and drop-in sessions are

C     Bureau’s   throughout
      Neath Port Talbot are
being brought into the 21st
                                      access to information and advice.
                                          Grant funding from the council
                                      with go towards buying seven
                                      Citizens Advice Information kiosks to
                                                                               manager, said: “The kiosks give
                                                                               users access to the Citizens Advice
                                                                               information website and the
                                                                               Directgov websites.
                                                                                                                           being introduced in Neath.
                                                                                                                                A new telephone number, 08444 772020, is to
                                                                                                                           be introduced soon and trained advisers can be
                                                                                                                           contacted between 10am and 1pm Monday to
                                                                                                                           Friday, and 1pm to 4pm Wednesdays and Fridays.
Century thanks to a grant of          be located in Local Action Centres at         “If a kiosk user requires further           Jenny Simmons, Bureau Manager, said: “This
nearly £290,000.                      Ystalyfera, Tairgwaith, Seven Sisters,   information or advice they will be          telephone service is covered in conjunction with
   Neath Citizens Advice Bureau       Glynneath Training Centre, DOVE          directed to a                               Port Talbot and Swansea CAB and if you
has been awarded a grant of £39,000   workshops, Pontardawe and Briton         telephone                                   telephone at any of these times you will speak to
from the local authority’s            Ferry Community Flat.                    service                                     a CAB representative who will either be able to
Capital Key Fund and                       The Funding from the Big Lottery    s t a f fe d                                give you information, details of other agencies
£248,707.00 by the                      will enable the bureau to purchase     b         y                                 than can assist, or, if necessary, offer to book an
Big Lottery                              a new telephone system, train         trained                                     appointment with a CAB adviser.”
Fund for                                 assessors, develop a website so       bureau                                           A drop-in centre will operate at the Neath office
a                                       users can e-mail enquiries and to      staff.”                                     between 10am and 12pm, Monday to Thursday.
                                      develop new services such as instant                                                      Appointments can be made at these drop-in
                                      messaging and video conferencing.                                                    sessions or via the telephone. These appoint-
                                                                                                                           ments will last between 45minutes to one hour.
                                                                                                                                Jenny Simmons, Bureau Manager, said:
                                                                                                                           “These changes are being put in place in
                                                                                                                           response to National Citizens Advice guidelines.
                                                                                                                           It is our hope that we will ensure access to all
                                                                                                                           people that wish to use our services and with a
                                                                                                                           more streamlined and client-friendly approach.”

                                                                                                                         Volunteers wanted
                                                                                                                                 ORE volunteers            They are also being

                                                                                                                        M        are needed at
                                                                                                                                 Neath Port Tal-
                                                                                                                         bot’s Citizens’ Advice
                                                                                                                                                       given the opportunity to
                                                                                                                                                       become trained advisers
                                                                                                                                                       and            information
                                                                                                                         Bureaus.                      assistants.
                                                                                                                             People, aged 26 and           If you are interested
                                                                                                                         above, are being asked to     telephone 01639 635726
                                                                                                                         volunteer at the call         or     e-mail:    jk-neath
                                                                                                                         centre and on reception       cabpib@fsmail.net for
                                                                                                                         at the centres.               further information.
10                                                                        Community Spirit                                                                              March 2008

                                     Pupils sample exam day nerves        ECEIVING          those                 “These assemblies focused on            thought they would, so I know how

                                           R                              long-awaited
                                                                          results can be a
                                                                     daunting      prospect

                                                                                                              talking about their performance
                                                                                                              and reasons why they have been
                                                                                                              placed in this particular group,” said
                                                                                                              Mrs Davies.
                                                                                                                                                          important revision will be”
                                                                                                                                                              Steven hopes to become a
                                                                                                                                                          palaeontologist and was pleasantly
                                                                                                                                                          surprised when he opened his
                                                                     anyone, but can you really                   Students were then asked to             envelopes. “I got a few As and A*s,”
                                                                     prepare for the dreaded day?             attend workshops which focused              he said. “There were a few subjects
                                                                     Well a group of GCSE                     on areas in need of improvement.            I didn’t do very well in, so I need to
                                                                     students hope so.                            Pupils Nicola Gould and Steven          concentrate on these areas more.”
                                                                                                              Cole were both really nervous                   Headteacher Huw Lloyd hailed
                                                                        Cwrt Sart Comprehensive               when opening their envelopes.               the initiative an enormous success.
                                                                     School held a mock GCSE results              “I was quite surprised at how               “The pupils got a lot out of it,” he
                                                                     day to ensure each and every             well I did,” said Nicola, who hopes         said. “The realisation of how
                                                                     student achieves their full potential.   to become a nurse. “But I know I            important it is to work
                                                                        The aim of the mock results           have to work really hard for the real       to get good grades
                                                                     and Aim for Excellence day was to        exams in May. Some people have              has really hit home.
                                                                     replicate the emotions of GCSE           been crying because they didn’t
                                                                     results day.                                                get the grades
                                                                        Head of year nine Kerrie Davies                             they
                                                                     said the exercise would act as a
                                                                        “In terms of revision we are
                                                                     hoping that today will encourage
                                                                     those who have done really well to
                                                                     continue to work hard, while at the
                                                                     same time show those who may
                                                                     have done less well the areas they
                                                                     need to work at to get the grades
                                                                     they want,” she said.
                                                                        Students arrived at school at
                                                                     8.15am to receive an envelope
                                                                     containing their grades. They were
                                                                     then asked to go to one of four
                                                                     assemblies to find out their grades.

Volunteer and make a difference Pupils say no to bullying
       ore than 60 local organisations             The event gave practical information

M      attended an Engaging Young
       People in Volunteering event at
the Aberavon Beach Hotel last month.
                                                to groups looking to develop voluntary
                                                opportunities for young people.
                                                   There were a number of speakers                P
                                                                                                         UPILS from a Port Talbot school
                                                                                                         who designed a logo and poster
                                                                                                         to raise awareness of bullying
                                                                                                                                                    who submitted entries for the
                                                                                                                                                    competition which was held during Anti
                                                                                                                                                    Bullying Week.
   Organised by Neath Port Talbot               discussing volunteering and the law,               have been praised at an awards                        Huw Davies, spokesman for the
Council for Voluntary Service (NPTCVS)          insurance, criminal records disclosures,           ceremony.                                        Anti Bullying Partnership, said:
the event followed an exercise to assess        funding and good practice when working                Karl Napieralla, director of                  “Sarah’s poster is a powerful image
the number and range of volunteering            with volunteers.                                   education, heaped praise on Glanafan             and conveys the pain felt by targets of
opportunities available to, and under-             For details on developing volunteering          Comprehensive School students Keira              bullying. The intention of the poster is
taken by, 11 to 25-year-olds in the area.       opportunities at your organisation, or if          Morgan, who designed the logo, and               to illustrate to bullies the hurt and pain
   Young volunteers bring many benefits         volunteering could be for you, contact             Sarah Giannini (correct spelling) who            that is caused.”
to an organisation and gain valuable            Dave Holtam or Sue Ireson at NPTCVS                designed the poster for the                           The school was also congratulated
personal experiences and skills.                on 01639 631387 or info@nptcvs.org.uk.             promotional material for the Anti                for working in partnership with Bullies
                                                                                                   Bullying Partnership.                            Out, a Cardiff based charity that
                                                                                                      He was impressed with the quality             specialises in training anti-bullying

Next stop Hollywood                                                                                of work produced by all the students,            mentors.

       HE red carpet was rolled for a group     be given something we would not

T   A
       of film students who had their big
       screen debut last month.
            fly-on-the-wall    documentary
                                                necessarily have thought of doing was a
                                                bit frightening, but I think we pulled it off.”
                                                     Scores of dignitaries, college lecturers
following Neath Port Talbot leader              and representatives from the groups
councillor Derek Vaughan, filmed by Neath       involved attended the premiere.
College students Natalie Morgan, Bethan              “We wanted to roll out the red carpet
Hopkins, Laura Fry, Joseph Richards, Lee        and hold a premiere evening to thank them
Davies, Joseph Richards and Geraint             for all their work,” said Natalie. “The film
Williams, was screened for the first time at    was very well received. It was witty and
Pontardawe Arts Theatre last month.             very modern and appealed to the exact
    For several weeks the budding               audience we wanted to target during our
Speilbergs followed councillor Vaughan          local democracy campaign.
and interviewed council employees to find            “I am sure that all the students have a
out what the council does for the public.       very promising future ahead of them.”
    Co-ordinated          by        corporate        The students hope that this is just the
communications officer Natalie Morgan,          beginning of a long and fruitful career in
the film aimed to encourage young people        the media industry.
to get involved with local democracy. The            They hope that the new Valleywood
students were delighted to have been            Studios, currently under construction and
given such an ambitious project.
    Laura, 19, said: “It was nice to be given
a task rather than thinking up a project for
                                                backed by Sir Richard Attenborough, will
                                                provide opportunities for Welsh film
                                                                                                  Make a splash with a gift for life
                                                                                                          AVE you ever fancied taking up               The ten-stage syllabus has been
    Bethan added: “We usually think of a
                          project, script it,
                            then film it.
                                                     Joseph said: “In a few years there will
                                                be more opportunities for wannabe
                                                directors to stay closer to home.
                                                     “I’d love to be one of the big names to
                                                                                                  H       canoeing or even water polo? Well
                                                                                                          now’s your chance.
                                                                                                       Celtic Community Leisure is
                                                                                                                                                    devised by governing body, the ASA,
                                                                                                                                                    and comprises of seven core stages, to
                                                                                                                                                    develop movement skills, and three
                                “But to           come out of the Dragon Studios. The             launching the Celtic Aqua Academy to              sport-specific stages.
                                                     opportunities for people like us are         encourage more youngsters to take up                 “From babies right up to the teenage
                                                            endless.”                             swimming and water based activities.              years there is something on offer for
                                                                                                       Lessons, following the National Plan         everyone.”
                                                                                                  for Teaching Swimming (NPTS), are                    Once a swimmer achieves a certain
                                                                                                  being held after school or on the                 level they are given the opportunity to
                                                                                                  weekend to encourage more youngsters              take part in an array of activities.
                                                                                                  to take to the water and earn nationally             “We want to make swimming and
                                                                                                  recognised certificates.                          water activities as fun as possible,” she
                                                                                                       Hanna         Guise,         swimming        said. “Participants can join in with
                                                                                                  development officer, said there are               canoeing and can even join our water
                                                                                                  various activities on offer from junior           polo team.
                                                                                                  lifesaving to water polo.                            “I encourage people to come to
                                                                                                       “Learning to swim is a gift for life,” she   the launch at Neath Leisure Centre on
                                                                                                  said. “NPTS takes the learner on a jour-          April 7 to see what suits them.”
                                                                                                  ney, from the first splash to developing             For more information contact Hanna
                                                                                                  confidence in the water.                          Guise on (01639) 861142.
March 2008                                                                Community Spirit                                                                                        11

What’s on around A night at the opera ensures Hall will rise again
Neath Port Talbot UNDRAISING concerts are being theatre, which has been a focal point in         Members of Neath Operatic Society,

Tuesday, March 4 at 7pm– Can-
torion Bro Nedd Annual Gymanfa
Ganu – Salem Chapel, Seven Sis-
                  arranged to ensure the Gwyn Hall the town for more than a century, was due Briton Ferry Operatics Society and Melin
                                          will rise like a phoenix from the
                                                                                          to be completed in early Spring.
                                                                                              But tragedy struck that October night
                                                                                                                                            Cryddan Operatic Society are presenting
                                                                                                                                            a Night at the Musicals.
                                         Fire swept through the town landmark             and swept through hall, threatening                  They will perform classics from Oliver
ters. Guest conductor Eric Jones      on October 18, gutting the hall and                 neighbouring properties.                          and Thoroughly Modern Mary at St
(Hendy). Programmes £1.50.            causing hundreds of thousands of                        A concert is being arranged by the            David’s Church, Neath, on Saturday,
Contact Randall Shopland (01639       pounds worth of damage.                             Gwyn Hall League of Friends to raise              March 8, at 7pm.
635787).                                 A £4m refurbishment to upgrade the               funds to aid the re-building of the hall.            Tickets are priced at £5.
Friday, March 7 – Magic ‘A Kind
of Queen’ – Princess Royal The-
atre. Tickets priced £11-£13.

Friday, March 14 at 7.30pm –
Oyster Band at Valley Roots –
Pontardawe Arts Theatre. Tickets
priced at £12 and £13.
Thursday, March 27 at 1.30pm
and 7pm – The Elves and the
Shoemaker – Pontardawe Arts
Theatre. Tickets priced at £4.
Monday, March 31 until Satur-

                                                                                                all the
day, April 5 – Port Talbot Operatic
Society presents Calamity Jane –
Princess Royal Theatre. Tickets
priced £7-£8.50
Friday, April 4 at 7.30pm – Dona
Rosa - Pontardawe Arts Theatre.
Tickets priced at £9 and £8 for

                                                                                            way to the
Wednesday, April 9 at 7.30pm -
Punchline Comedy Nights feat
Paul B Edwards – Pontardawe
Arts Theatre. Tickets priced at £7
when purchased in advance or £9
on the night.
Thursday, April 10 at 8pm –
Keith Floyd presents Floyd Un-
corked - Pontardawe Arts Theatre.

Tickets priced at £14.
Thursday, April 10 at 7.30pm –
The Fureys – Princess Royal The-
atre. Tickets priced £10-£12.
Tuesday, April 15 until Saturday,
April 19 – Neath Amateur Oper-
atic Society presents Oliver –
Princess Royal Theatre. Tickets
priced £7-£10.
                                            ONTARDAWE Arts                     Parsons - who is a regular on      firm favourite Lucy Porter will be     News For You and V Graham

Wednesday, April 23 at 8pm –
Show of Hands at Valley Roots -             Centre is celebrating              the likes of Have I Got News For   headlining on April 9.                 Norton, will be supported by
Pontardawe Arts Theatre. Tickets                                               You and Mock the Week, -both           The      regular     will    be    Carrie Quinlan on Wednesday,
priced at £12 and £13.
                                            five years of      at-             performed in Pontardawe.           supported by Paul B Edwards            March 12.
Friday, April 25 at 1.30pm and        tracting the kings and                        “Punchline gives many         and the event will be compared             For more information or to
7.45pm – Gethin - Pontardawe          queens of comedy to its                  comedians on the comedy            by Silky.                              book your tickets early
Arts Theatre. Tickets priced at £8,   Punchline Comedy Nights.                 circuit a platform to show what        But if you can’t wait that long,   telephone the box office on
£7 and £5 for schools.                     Since its inception in 2003,        they can do. The audiences are     funnyman Robin Ince,                   01792 863200.
Wednesday, May 7 at 8pm – Ger-        scores of comedians have been            brilliant here and are renowned    whose           credits
main Greer – Shakespear’s Wife -      falling all over themselves to           for being friendly and warm.”      include Have I
Pontardawe Arts Theatre. Tickets                                                    Manager of Pontardawe Arts    G o t
                                      perform in the Swansea Valley
priced at £5 for school and £14.                                               Centre, Angie Dickinson, said
Saturday, May 10 at 7pm – An-         theatre.
                                           Comedy stars from the small         the       comedians      were
nual concert Cantorion Bro Nedd
– Llangatwg Comprehensive             screen, such as Phoenix Nights           performing to meagre
Schoo, Cadoxton. Angharad Mor-        star Dave Spikey and Gavin and           audiences, but in recent
gan (Soprano),Wyn Davies              Stacey writer and actor Rob              times the monthly comedy
(Tenor). Tickets £6. Contact Ran-     Brydon, have played to sell-out          club has grown.
dall Shopland (01639 635787)          crowds.                                       “It has taken a long
Wednesday, May 14 at 8pm –                 The centre has also                 time to establish the
Punchline Comedy Nights - Pon-        provided a platform for up-and-          comedy nights but it
tardawe Arts Theatre. Tickets         coming comedians such as                 was worth it,” she said.
priced at £7, when purchased in       Rhod Gilbert and gives local             “In the very beginning
advance and £9 on the night.          comedians a five minute slot to          we had relatively
Friday, May 16 at 7.30pm –            showcase their talents.                  small audiences,
Melanie at Valley Roots - Pontar-          Most notably, two regular           now artists are
dawe Arts Theatre. Tickets priced     faces from the small screen              performing to
at £20 and £19 when purchased         began their careers at                   a capacity
in advance or £22 on the day.                                                  crowd.”
Tuesday, May 20 at £8pm –
                                           Organiser Silky explained:               T       o
Tinariwen (Mali) + Justin Adams &
                                      “When relatively unknown, Alan           celebrate
Juldeh Camara Trio - Pontardawe
Arts Theatre. Tickets priced at       Carr - whose face is all over            Punchline’s
£20.                                  Channel Four - and Andy                  anniversary,
Thursday, May 22 at 8pm –
Robin Trower - Pontardawe Arts
Theatre. Tickets priced at £14 and
                                                          OMMUNITY Spirit is giving you the

Friday, May 23 at 7.30pm - No1                            chance to win a pair of tickets for the
70s – Princess Royal Theatre –                            anniversary Punchline extravaganza.
                                                                                                                                                                                     Picture by Andy Hollingworth

Tickets priced £10-£12.                                To win just answer this simple question
Tuesday, May 27 at 2pm – Roll                       and send to Community Spirit, Civic Centre,
out the Barrel - Pontardawe Arts                    Port Talbot, SA13 1PJ, by April 1.
Theatre. Tickets priced at £6.                         First correct entry drawn wins.
Wednesday, May 28 – Roll out                           Name the act headlining
the Barell - Princess Royal The-                    the          anniversary
atre. Tickets priced at £6.                         performance?
Wednesday, May 28 at 1pm –
The Man who Planted Trees -
Pontardawe Arts Theatre. Tickets
priced at £4.
Thursday, May 29 – Harry and
his Bucket Full of Dinosaurs –
Princess Royal Theatre. Tick-
ets priced £6-£24.
Thursday, June 5 at
1pm – Yellow Moon -
Pontardawe Arts The-
atre. Tickets £4.
12                                                                  Community Spirit                                                                         March 2008

Youngsters honoured for outstanding performances
       PORTING stars of the future have     includes the heads of school for sport and   plan their lifestyles to fit around sporting   injuries and illnesses and treatments.

S      been presented with Sport and
       Cultural Scholarships by Osprey
Jonathan Spratt.
                                            performing arts.
                                                NPTC is renowned for producing stars
                                            of pitch and stage. Previous students of
                                                                                         and performing commitments.
                                                                                            The diary is used to set long and short
                                                                                         term targets, in which the students note
                                                                                                                                            In addition, monthly meetings are
                                                                                                                                        scheduled with Vice Principal Keith
                                                                                                                                        Booker to monitor and encourage their
    Thirteen Neath Port Talbot College      the college include Wales and Osprey         key     competitions,         performances,    academic and sporting and performance
(NPTC)       students    who     showed     star, James Hook, captain the Welsh          assessments and exams. They also have               progress, with reviews held at the end
outstanding skills and qualities in their   rugby team during the tour of Argentina,     to keep a                                                        of each term and year.
sporting and cultural interests, whilst     Duncan Jones, and Olympic and                record     of
maintaining their academic studies,         Commonwealth athletes Hayley Tullet and      a n y
received the awards, which also             Phillipa Roles. Member of staff, Helen
encourage pupils to expand their skills.    Jones,      also    competed      in   the
    The winners receive £500 in             Commonwealth Games, as part of the
instalments over the year to put towards    2002 netball team and performing Arts
travel, equipment and training.             star, Steve Balsamo, is also an ex-pupil.
    Students who want to win have to            As well as the financial award,
submit an application form showing their    students are also provided with support
achievements, and why they would            and guidance from the college to nurture
benefit from receiving the award. They      their talents. They are required to keep a
are then interviewed by a panel which       diary to track their progress, as well as

                                                                                                          A lifetime in sport
Pirates look to                                                                                         A
                                                                                                               SPORTS lecturer who has
                                                                                                               dedicated 30 years to
                                                                                                               teaching and coaching
                                                                                                        joined Wales Interntaional James
                                                                                                        Hook in being honoured at a
                                                                                                                                                very proud of the players and
                                                                                                                                                coaches the college produces.”
                                                                                                                                                    The girls’ netball academy,
                                                                                                                                                reigning      Welsh      Colleges’
                                                                                                                                                Champions, was crowned Team

rule the waters
                                                                                                        lavish ceremony at the Princess         of the Year after finishing 4th in
                                                                                                        Royal Theatre.                          Great Britain. They are also
                                                                                                            PE and Sports Science               Academy Champions 2006/7,
                                                                                                        teacher Judith Thomas received          Welsh Schools Champions and
                                                                                                        the Lifetime Achievement Award          the Urdd Under 18s Champions.
                                                                                                        for 25 years of coaching and 30             Netball coach and ex NPTC
      HE Neath Port Talbot Pirates are        The South Wales Mini Polo League was                      years teaching at the Annual            pupil, Danielle Thomas, was

T     stealing their way to victory in the formed through an Improvement Fund grant as
      newly formed polo league.
   The group of under 12s recently recorded
wins against teams in Swansea and Bridgend
                                           a joint project from ten authorities across
                                           South Wales – NPT, Swansea, Newport,
                                                  Cardiff, RCT, Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend,
                                                                                                        District Sports Award Ceremony.
                                                                                                            Judith has produced 95
                                                                                                        international players, as well as
                                                                                                        hundreds of county players, and
                                                                                                                                                named Coach of the Year for her
                                                                                                                                                work with Neath Colts, and her
                                                                                                                                                Welsh Talent Centre teams, who
                                                                                                                                                came first and second in The
                                                  Torfaen, Monmouthshire and Caerphilly, to             founded the Neath Colts Junior          Welsh Talent Centre Tournament.
and are hoping to emulate this success at the     develop mini polo and provide a pathway to full       netball club which runs teams at            Tri-athelete and cross country
West Region tournament later this month.          water polo.                                           U12, U14 U16 and U19.                   runner Jack Newton, who is
   The top two teams after the tournament             The league has been divided into South                Wales star and past pupil           studying for a National Diploma in
progress to the South Wales finals in Newport.    East and South West for the preliminary round.        James Hook who was named                Sport at NPTC’s Sports Academy
   The NPT Pirates squad was selected from        NPT currently top the South West league table.        Senior Sports Person.                   at Llandarcy, won Young
mini-polo sessions that took place as part of     Funding has helped provide training to staff,             Judith Thomas said “We are          Sportsperson of the Year award.
the Welsh Assembly Government’s Free              equipment and t-shirts to all the teams as well
Swimming Initiative in Celtic Community           as helping cover pool hire costs for the final.
Leisure sites throughout Summer 2007.                 Hanna added: “The squad of fifteen
   NPT Swimming Development Officer,
Hanna Guise invited participants to join the
squad at weekly training sessions in Neath
Leisure Centre.
                                                  children are improving week by week and a
                                                  forming firm friendships and team spirit. Hopes
                                                  are high for the remaining fixtures!”
                                                                                                         Coach it like Claire
                                                      The squad trains every Wednesday under                     DINNERLADY has turned              “The 11-year-olds are doing
   Hanna, who plays water polo for Cardiff in
the GB Women’s Water Polo League, said: “I
am really proud of the progress that the squad
are making. I hope that some members of the
                                                  the guidance of Neath Leisure Centre staff
                                                  member, Dewi Williams, who is also involved
                                                  with coaching of Neath Ladies RFC.
                                                      For more information on
                                                                                                        A        football coach to help a
                                                                                                                 group of schoolgirls achieve
                                                                                                         their goal.
                                                                                                                                                really well,” said Claire. “They got
                                                                                                                                                through to the semi-finals of the
                                                                                                                                                schools tournament. We even
squad progress into the full game as they                                                                    Cwrt Sart Comprehensive            have a Welsh International playing
                                                  mini-polo contact Hanna                                School catering assistant Claire       for us, Jessica Mair.”
show great potential and skill.                   Guise on 01639 861142
   “Most importantly, everyone is learning new                                                           Gladwin trained to become a                The girls are emulating the
                                                  or     email      h.e.guise                            football coach with Dragon Sports      boys’ success, but have to borrow
                     skills in the water          @npt.gov.uk.
                      and are having                                                                     last year as a hobby.                  their kit.
                                  fun.”                                                                      “I had been involved with after        “We are looking for a local
                                                                                                         school clubs but needed                business to sponsor the girls, so
                                                                                                         something to fill in a few spare       they have their own kit. They are
                                                                                                         hours now that my children have        doing so well it is a shame they
                                                                                                         grown up,” said the grandmother-       don’t have their own jerseys.”
                                                                                                         of-one.                                    Any interested in sponsoring
                                                                                                             Claire is now steering the         the girls can contact the school on
                                                                                                         girls      to                                                   0 1 6 3 9
                                                                                                         success.                                                            777890.

                                    The Neath Port Talbot Pirates                                                         Claire Gladwin and the Cwrt Sart girls

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