Category Archives: Community

Montgomery Canal waterway fun in Welshpool

The Canal & River Trust charity is organising a weekend of fun waterway activities at Welshpool Wharf, as part of the Welshpool Transport Festival on 23 and 24 June.

Boathorse Cracker by Dave Barker at Bywater Cruises

Boathorse Cracker by Dave Barker at Bywater Cruises

Free canoeing and coracle taster sessions will be on offer on the Saturday (10.00am-5.00pm) and paddle boarding taster sessions on the Sunday (10.00am-2.00pm). Narrowboat trips, also free courtesy of the Heulwen Trust, will be available throughout the weekend.

These activities and other community events are being promoted by the Canal & River Trust, which manages 2,000 miles of the nation’s waterways, as part of the Heritage Lottery-funded project to restore the Montgomery Canal.

Also on both days will be a rare opportunity to enjoy a horse-drawn boat trip along the Montgomery Canal. For the first time in years, this unique mode of transport will take visitors along the Welsh stretch of the waterway. Trips are heavily subsidised and cost only £2 per person. Tickets are available on the day from the bottom of Smithfield Car Park (postcode SY21 7DD).

Sylvia Edwards, Montgomery Canal community development officer with the Trust, explained: “This special weekend offers visitors a marvellous chance to try out a range of exciting activities on water. Research proves people feel happier and healthier by water so it’s a great event for introducing visitors and local residents to opportunities for enjoying leisure time on the beautiful waterway.

Canoeing

“For people with a more competitive streak, we are hosting a coracle relay race at 2pm on the Saturday. This is free to enter. No previous experience is necessary as participants will have chance to practise in the morning up to midday.

“We hope lots of supporters will come down for the race to cheer on the competitors.”

Teams of four need to have registered their coracle race entry by 21 June by emailing Sylvia.Edwards@canalrivertrust.org.uk or calling 07787 508 635.

Music will keep everything swinging along throughout the weekend and a special charity concert, in aid of the Montgomery Canal restoration, will be held on Saturday night in the Assembly Room at Welshpool Town Hall. Advance tickets at the special price of £8.00 each are available through the Restore the Montgomery Canal website or £10 on the door.

Known for its outstanding natural beauty, wildlife and heritage, the Montgomery Canal runs for 35 miles between England and Wales and is currently only partly navigable. This weekend of community activities are part of a much larger HLF-funded £4 million project which involves the creation of a new three-hectare wildlife habitat within Aston Locks Nature Reserve and navigation restored to 1¼ miles of the canal, from Maesbury to Crickheath in Shropshire.

A dedicated turning point for narrowboats, known as a ‘winding hole’, is also being created, enabling boats to return to the area for the first time since 1936 when the canal was closed. The project includes access improvements to the canal and nearly five miles of towpath upgraded.  The Canal & River Trust works with 15 partner organisations which make up the Montgomery Canal Partnership. The Partnership aims to restore the canal fully within the next decade as a haven for people and nature.

For more information about visiting your local canal, the Montgomery Canal restoration or becoming a Friend of the Canal & River Trust, please go to www.canalrivertrust.org.uk.

Charity concert all set to help reopen the Montgomery Canal

Organisers of a charity concert and music festival in Welshpool this summer have announced more details about the event.

Music for the Monty logo

Music for the Monty will be taking place in Welshpool during the Welshpool Transport Festival (Saturday 23 – Sunday 24 June 2018) and more than a dozen musicians and bands have volunteered to busk at sites around Welshpool to raise funds for the Restore the Montgomery Canal appeal.

The evening concert features Welshpool and Shropshire bands, One Crow Sorrow, I am Sam Acoustic and the Shropshire Boatmen, who are donating their talents for free.

All proceeds from ticket sales will be going towards the appeal to reconnect the Montgomery Canal between Powys and Shropshire.

Said David Aylwin of Music for the Monty: “The Montgomery Canal is one of the UK’s most beautiful canals and over the past few years great strides have been made in reopening it to boats. But now we want to help raise awareness – and funds – so that the canal is reopened through to Welshpool and Newtown which will provide a significant tourist boost to the area.

“We are really pleased to be working with Welshpool Transport Festival to provide music around the town, especially in the Canal Wharf area, which is on the Montgomery Canal.”

Tickets for the evening concert priced at £8 are available online at www.musicforthemonty.co.uk.

Powys communities sign up for new plastic film recycling scheme

Town and Community Councils in Powys are introducing a new recycling scheme, developed by Welshpool-based charity Cae Post, to deal with unwanted plastic film.

Mayor of Brecon, Councillor Ieuan Williams, at the launch of the  plastic film recycling scheme with Chair of Cae Post, John Harrington

Mayor of Brecon, Councillor Ieuan Williams, at the launch of the plastic film recycling scheme with Chair of Cae Post, John Harrington.

Following the decision by Powys County Council to stop the collection and recycling of plastic film, waste and recycling experts Cae Post were approached by a number of Community and Town Councils to see if they could fill the gap.

Although Powys County Council no longer offers recycling collections for plastic film and suggests disposing of it with household refuse, stretchy plastic film items, such as carrier bags, magazine wrappers, bread bags, frozen food bags, cling film and bubble wrap, can be recycled.

Cae Post is working with eight councils in Powys, including Brecon Town Council, to roll out its new film recycling scheme and the results to date have been very encouraging.

Mayor of Brecon, Councillor Ieuan Williams, said: “We are delighted with the response to our new plastic film recycling point that has been set up outside the Co-op in Brecon. Although we were originally expecting to empty the bin once a month, demand has been so great that we are now emptying it at least once a fortnight. This shows that the people of Brecon recognise the importance of recycling plastic film and that there is a real need for the service. We would like to thank Cae Post for setting it up.”

John Harrington, Chair of Cae Post said: “We are pleased to be working with councils in Powys, such as Brecon Town Council, to manage plastic film recycling for their communities.

“The environmental impact of plastic film should not be underestimated. Studies suggest that plastic bags, for example, can take anywhere between 20 and 1,000 years to degrade, if they degrade at all in modern landfill sites. In fact, many countries around the world have now banned them. So, if we are going to use items made from plastic film, it is important that, as a society, we do what we can to recycle them.

“At Cae Post, we believe it is vital that these items do not end up in general waste and so we are pleased to offer a collection service for communities in Powys, as well as for businesses, charities and other organisations.”

While it is true that plastic film can be difficult and expensive to sort from other materials by mechanical means, Cae Post has maintained its manual sorting capacity and so is happy to offer this service.

John Harrington added: “As a charity and social enterprise, Cae Post has a mission to tackle disadvantage and create opportunity through environmental initiative. By using Cae Post to recycle plastic film, communities in Powys are helping us to fulfil our social objectives, providing work opportunities for disabled people and those who are disadvantaged in the jobs market.”

The other Community and Town Councils in Powys that are trialling the scheme include Banwy, Castle Caereinion, Dwyriw, Llangunllo, Llangynidr, Llanwrtyd Wells and Trewern.

If your community group or organisation would like to find out more about plastic film recycling in Powys, contact Cae Post on 01938 570426 or email info@caepost.co.uk.

Calls for musicians to help reopen the Montgomery Canal

A new music event to be held in Welshpool in June 2018 is on the lookout for bands and musicians to help draw attention to the campaign to reopen the Montgomery Canal between Shropshire and the Welsh border.

Montgomery CanalMusic for the Monty Cerddoriaeth i’r Monty will be taking place in Welshpool during the Welshpool Transport Festival (Saturday 23 – Sunday 24 June 2018) and organisers are looking for musicians who would like to busk at one of a number of venues around the town.

Musicians will be asked to perform at venues hosting events for the Transport Festival and will be able to collect money from visitors which will go towards the Restore the Montgomery Canal campaign.

As a charity event, all money raised from Music for the Monty will be going towards works that are needed to reopen the Montgomery Canal, which would link Shropshire to Welshpool and Newtown.

Said David Aylwin of Music for the Monty: “The Montgomery Canal is a beautiful link between Shropshire and Powys and we want to showcase some of the great music that is being made by musicians near the canal.

“Once reopened, the canal will connect Welshpool to the rest of the canal network and provide a tourism boost to the town and the surrounding areas.”

To find out more about Music for the Monty, please visit www.musicforthemonty.co.uk.

If you would like to take part in Music for the Monty, please email a short sound file of one of your songs along with a contact name and number to theoddbods.musicbox@gmail.com and organisers will be in touch.

Music for the Monty is being held to support The Montgomery Canal Restoration Appeal. The appeal is being managed by the Appeal Steering Group on behalf of:

  • The Friends of the Montgomery Canal, registered charity number 510448.
  • Shropshire Union Canal Society, registered charity number 245875.
  • IWA, Shrewsbury District & North Wales branch, registered charity number 212342.

Charity recycling service expands in Llandrindod Wells

Environmental charity and social enterprise Cae Post is expanding its trade waste and recycling service in the Llandrindod Wells area and is inviting local organisations to a drop-in session to find out more.

Cae Post colour logoWelshpool-based Cae Post, which specialises in collecting waste and recycling from businesses in Powys and North Shropshire, will be meeting business people and charity representatives from the Llandrindod area at the Herb Garden Community Café on 18th July.

Cae Post has over 30 years’ experience and, as a charity and social enterprise, the work they do benefits people with disabilities and those who find it difficult to access the jobs market. At the drop-in session, Cae Post is hoping to encourage businesses and organisations in Llandrindod to put their waste to good use and recycle as much as they can.

Sue Packer, General Manager of Cae Post, said: “Although all businesses have a duty to deal with their waste in a legal and environmentally responsible way, many people we speak to do not realise exactly what can be recycled.

“At Cae Post we offer a wide range of recycling collection services across Powys, including food waste, stretch film and pallet wrap, and all sorts of plastic packaging. At our drop-in session at the Herb Garden Community Café on 18th July, we will be showing businesses in Llandrindod just how much can be recycled and how their waste can be put to good use.

“What’s more, by choosing Cae Post, businesses will be supporting a valuable local charity and social enterprise which provides work to disadvantaged people.”

Cae Post will be holding its drop-in session at the Herb Garden Community Café, Station Crescent, Llandrindod Wells, on Tuesday 18th July from 1pm to 3pm.

Sue Packer added: “Anyone who has their own business, or who works for a local business, organisation or charity, is welcome to drop in and see us – no appointment necessary. Just come along and find out more about recycling and how we can help – we’d love to meet as many people as possible.”

For more information about the drop-in session, please visit www.caepost.co.uk.

The Big Busk is back!

The Big Busk in Shrewsbury takes place on Saturday 1st April 2017 and performers this year include Martin Stephenson, Beth Prior, Nikki Rous and The Shropshire Boatmen.

The Big Busk logoNow in its fifth year, The Big Busk celebrates music, dance, art and entertainment, with local talent and acts performing throughout the day and night in every part of the town – in shops, cafes, bars, pubs and even on a boat! it’s an event for everyone and accessible to all.

Raising awareness and funds for The Shrewsbury Ark, which provides support for people who are homeless or vulnerable, The Big Busk commemorates the tragic killing of busker Ben Bebbington in 2012. This year the event will highlight mental well-being and how music can provide therapy for the soul. In 2016 The Big Busk raised over £10,000.

The centrepiece of the event is The Big Sing, which takes place at 1pm in The Square in Shrewsbury and everyone is invited to join in with two well known songs. There will be workshops running throughout the day and The Big Busk team will be on hand at their HQ at the back of The Square to answer any questions and help people make the most of the day.

Performances will cover a wide range of musical genres from opera and classical to contemporary and folk, and will take place on the streets and in pubs and venues around the town, including on board the Sabrina Boat on the River Severn.

To find out more about The Big Busk visit www.thebigbusk.co.uk. You can also follow The Big Busk on Twitter @TheBusk (#TheBigBusk) and Facebook: @ShrewsburyTheBigBusk.

Charity looks to secure its future by leasing premises from Powys County Council

Cae Post, an innovative charity and social enterprise, has submitted a bid to Powys County Council to take over its premises in Trewern, Welshpool, through a Community Asset Transfer.

Sue PackerCae Post is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and is looking to the future with its bid to take over the Trewern premises so it can carry on providing employment and training opportunities to local people for years to come.

Speaking about the bid, Sue Packer, General Manager at Cae Post, said: “Cae Post exists to help people take part in economic and community life and we actively develop links with the public, private, voluntary and community sectors. These are two of the main aims of a Community Asset Transfer, according to Powys County Council, and so Cae Post clearly meets the criteria for this bid to be accepted.”

For 30 years it has delivered services that ultimately provide people who have a range of disabilities, or who are disadvantaged in the labour market, with the same opportunities as anyone else for contributing to their community through work. Currently, Cae Post offers waste management and recycling to businesses and households across mid-Wales.

Added Sue: “Recently, Powys County Council decided not to extend our contract to deliver kerbside recycling, bringsite collections of plastic and cans and the operation of the materials recovery facility – services we have successfully operated for well over a decade. We accept, of course, that the County Council has the right to bring the service in-house – but it will impact significantly on our clients who benefit so much from working at Cae Post each week.

“The important thing for us now is to be secure in our premises, so that we can plan for the future and develop new income streams that allow us to continue our work with some of the county’s most deserving people.”

Cae Post will be contacting all of Powys’s councillors to remind them of the important work the social enterprise does in giving people who, for whatever reason, find it difficult to get jobs, offering people the chance to improve their lives and contribute to society. Cae Post will of course be asking councillors to support the Community Asset Transfer.

Cae Post is unique within Powys in the way it has pioneered a model of working that empowers people who otherwise might find it difficult to secure work and training opportunities.

Cae Post’s future plans for the building in Trewern will see it increasing the opportunity for young people to access work-based learning, improving access to work for people with learning disabilities and encouraging more people to volunteer.

Said Sue Packer: “If we are successful with our bid to Powys County Council, ownership or a long lease of the building will enable us to seek investment to develop new businesses. This will mean we can provide increased job and volunteering opportunities, reduce poverty and assist in the economic and environmental well-being of not only Powys but the rest of Wales well into the future.”

If you would like to find out more about Cae Post, please visit www.caepost.co.uk.

Muscle charity seeks funding from Aviva

Aviva Community Fund bannerNMC Midlands, a charity set up to offer support to people with muscular dystrophy and other muscle wasting diseases in the Midlands region, has been shortlisted for the Aviva Community Fund and is looking for people to vote for them.

The Neuromuscular Centre (NMC) Midlands, based in Coventry, provides support for over 400 clients who suffer from muscular dystrophy, a muscle wasting disease with no treatment or cure. The Centre has been shortlisted for the Aviva Community Fund, and now needs votes to help it win up to £1000.

The Aviva Community Fund offers the chance for local community projects to win funding and with enough votes from supporters, NMC Midlands has the chance to be entered into the finals, where a judging panel will award the funds.

The correct physiotherapy is essential to people with muscle wasting diseases as it maintains mobility and reduces the rate of muscle deterioration. However, people with these conditions experience a significant reduction in the amount of physiotherapy they receive from the NHS after turning the age of 19.

One of the main services NMC Midlands offers is free and continuous specialist physiotherapy for people with muscle wasting diseases. In addition, they have services available to offer support for other areas of life that become challenging to people with these conditions.

To vote for NMC Midlands, click on the following link before 18 November 2016: https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/16-913.

To find out more about the wide range of services offered by NMC Midlands and how to get in touch click here.

Powys social enterprise wants people to ‘share their memories’

Cae Post logoCae Post, the Welshpool based social enterprise which is celebrating its 30th birthday this year, is looking for people to share their memories to mark this important milestone.

Cae Post provides employment to disabled and disadvantaged people in and around Welshpool through the delivery of waste management and recycling services across Mid Wales and North Shropshire. To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Cae Post is putting together a ‘memory book’ to bring together the thoughts and impressions of the people who have been involved with the organisation over the years.

“Maybe you used to work or volunteer at Cae Post, or maybe you know someone who did,” suggests John Harrington, Chair of Trustees at Cae Post. “Perhaps Cae Post helped you get into employment for the first time and you went on to do other jobs elsewhere. Did you help us get off the ground in the early days or have you benefited from our services in other ways? Whatever, the reason, we would love to hear from you.”

Cae Post started out in 1986 as a small ‘not for profit’ community business set up by a group of parents, professionals and supporters, to help create work for people with learning disabilities. It has now become a highly successful social enterprise providing work opportunities to many people who are disadvantaged in the labour market.

“In the beginning, we operated a residential and employment project for young people with learning disabilities at a cottage called ‘Cae-Post’ in Pool Quay (hence our name!) providing real work and ‘ordinary life’ experiences,” explains John.

Cae Post sorting line“Cae Post began recycling plastic bottles collected from the bring sites of north Powys in March 1996 and, within a year, we were providing 12 days’ work a week to people with learning disabilities at our sorting depot in Trewern, a former council workshop. We now recycle thousands of tonnes of materials each year.”

As a social enterprise, the income generated from Cae Post’s business is used to fulfil its objectives to give more people a chance to be part of the working world.

John says: “There are nowhere near enough places in Shropshire and Mid Wales where people who find it difficult to get work can get training and meaningful employment. We believe Cae Post is an asset to the local community, which is why we thought it would be a nice idea to create a memory book to show how much we mean to people – both now and into the future.”

If you would like to share your memories, please email info@caepost.co.uk, with your thoughts about what Cae Post means to you.

Click here to find out more about the achievements of Cae Post over the last 30 years.

Arctic Monkeys elephant hits the streets of Sheffield

The Arctic Monkeys are famous for their love of their home city, and now they have become involved in the biggest mass participation art event Sheffield has ever seen – by putting their own personalised sculpture into the city centre in support of The Children’s Hospital Charity.

The band, on a brAM2eak from touring round the world, visited the charity’s secret elephant warehouse and took a sneak peek at their finished elephant before adding their signatures to the 40kg fiberglass sculpture.

“We’ve never been asked to sign an elephant before,” said bassist, Nick O’Malley.

The elephant, painted by Sheffield based Mural Artists, pays homage to the striking sound wave cover of AM, designed by graphic designer and illustrator Matthew Cooper.

Speaking of his involvement Matthew said: “I was asked to come up with a design for the band’s contribution to The Herd of Sheffield. The black and white oscilloscope from the band’s 2013 album “AM” seemed like a good place to start – a striking, minimal and instantly recognisable design. I sketched out the idea and made numerous adjustments, always with the thought at the back of my mind that ‘less is more’. Finally I handed over the drawings to Sheffield arts company The Mural Artists to interpret as necessary and make it all work seamlessly on the full-size 3- dimensional elephant.”

In a statement released by the band, the Arctic Monkeys said, “We are absolutely delighted to be involved in the Herd of Sheffield and supporting The Children’s Hospital Charity.”

The AM elephant is one of 58 sculptures that will appear throughout the city centre this summer for the Herd of Sheffield – a Wild in Art event brought to the city by The Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity. Sheffield Children’s Hospital is world renowned and treats children from all over the UK and beyond.

Rebecca Staden, Manager of the Herd, said: “The Herd is all about the community coming together as a whole to create something really special. It celebrates Sheffield’s creative status so we’re absolutely delighted that one of the city’s most iconic bands has put their mark on an elephant for thousands of visitors to see.”

The Herd of Sheffield elephants will be on display in locations throughout Sheffield from 11th July to 5th October and will raise funds for life-saving equipment at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.