copyright Lisa Baker 2021

Second booster jab for most vulnerable

Bridgend County Borough’s most vulnerable residents will be offered a second Covid-19 booster this spring. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended the second booster dose be given to adults aged 75 years and over, residents in a care home for older adults and individuals aged 12 years and over who are immunosuppressed.

 

Changes to Covid-19 rules

First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced major changes to coronavirus restrictions will take place across Wales from March 28. From that date, face coverings and self-isolation will no longer be required, routine PCR tests for the general public will end and mobile testing sites will be gradually shut down. It will remain in place for people admitted to hospital, care home residents, prisoners with symptoms and health and social care staff. Lateral flow tests will be available to anyone with symptoms and will be free to obtain.

 

Funding for Welsh language projects

Welsh Government has announced funding for two projects in Bridgend County Borough to support the growth of the Welsh language. Plans include a £3.25m Welsh-medium ‘seedling’ or starter school for the Porthcawl area and a £270,000 double mobile classroom at Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Ogwr to address the immediate demand for places. A consultation is being undertaken over the proposed enlargement. An additional £1.2m funding has been announced by Welsh Government to support the Urdd.

 

Plans for new seafront park to be discussed

Cabinet will meet next week to discuss a range of new proposals for Porthcawl’s ongoing regeneration. Proposals include an all-new coastal park along the seafront which would be capable of accommodating a wide range of recreational, leisure and community uses that will benefit visitors and residents for many generations to come. There are also plans to significantly enlarge an area of planned open space which will connect a pedestrianised extension to Dock Street with an adjoining piazza.

 

Free gym memberships for valley teenagers

Young people aged 16-18 who live in the Llynfi, Garw and Ogmore valleys can take advantage of eight weeks of free gym membership as part of the Winter of Wellbeing initiative. Funded by Welsh Government and provided by Halo Leisure and the local authority, the programme is designed to encourage young people to live active, healthier lives. To take advantage of the offer, eligible teenagers must sign up before the deadline of 31 March 2022 – visit www.haloleisure.co.uk/sign-up/ for more details.

 

County borough offers support to Ukraine

All around Bridgend County Borough, communities are coming together to offer their support to the people of Ukraine with thoughts, prayers and donations of money, food and other essential items. Collections are being taken for food, medicines and other essential items. The Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations (BAVO) will be accepting drop-off donations of toiletries, personal hygiene and medical items at its community hub based at 112-113 Commercial Street in Maesteg between 10am-2pm on Tuesday 8 March and Wednesday 9 March.

 

Programme for female founders

Female business founders in the county borough are being offered a free accelerator programme which aims to take their business to a new level. The programme, launched by Radikl, is fully funded by the UK Government’s Community renewal Fund and offers 40 free places to businesswomen and non-binary business owners in Bridgend a fully online learning tool designed to take ambitious individuals through a combination of powerful, practical lessons and workshops. The programme begins on 14 March 2022. For more information and to apply for a free space, visit the Radikl website.

 

Free business school coming to Bridgend

Award-winning Rebel Business School will be delivering their popular course at Halo Life Centre from the 21-25 March. The free course, which is part of the local authority’s Elevate and Prosper project, will help local start-ups throughout the county borough to get their ideas off the ground and existing businesses to grow. A free place on the course can be booked on the Rebel Business School website.

 

Health board launch vaccination survey

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board are asking people to take part on a survey which focuses on experiences of both the flu and Covid-19 vaccination programmes in the region. The survey is open to any individual aged 16+ and the health board are particularly interested in hearing the opinions of parents and carers of children aged 2-3, and adults aged 16-64 with underlying health conditions. The survey can be taken in both English and Welsh.

 

Register for garden waste collections

Residents in Bridgend County Borough can now register for the council’s garden waste collection service. The local authority’s waste partner Kier is also offering a chance for 100 lucky residents to win a free subscription – simply sign up online for collections and winners will be contacted in March. Garden waste is collected every two weeks and collections will run from 14 March 2022 until 18 November 2022. Until the end of March 2022, costs are set at £38.91 per household, £34.85 for pensioners and additional sacks at £5.08. To sign up, visit the Recycle for Bridgend website.

 

Deadline approaching for full-time nursery admissions

The deadline for submitting an application for full-time nursery in September 2022 expires at 4pm on Friday 25 March, with notifications due by 16 May. People interested in part-time nursery places in January or April 2023 have until 4pm on Friday 27 August to apply, and will be notified by 31 October. To apply sign up for the free My Account service at the council’s website.

 

Give blood this March

Donor appointments are available on 8, 9, 21, 30 March with the Welsh Blood Service at the Heronston Hotel. To find out more or volunteer, simply book online – please note that anyone who has recently received a Covid-19 vaccination must wait seven days before making a blood donation.

 

Free webinar for mature motorists

The Older Drivers Forum is running a free webinar for members of the public on changes recently made to the Highway Code. Participants will also have the opportunity to ask questions to the speakers in a Q&A section. The same webinar is available on two days, Thursday 10 March at 2pm and Monday 14 March at 7pm. Each webinar will have 500 free places and those interested can register here.

 

Consider a career in social care

Residents in Bridgend County Borough are being encouraged to ‘consider a career in social care’ as part of the council’s recruitment drive. The latest phase of the campaign, focuses on why choosing a career in social care is a strong and rewarding choice. A mix of videos, social media posts and graphics will introduce potential candidates to staff already working in the sector and their stories of building careers for life in social care. A full list of social care vacancies at Bridgend County Borough Council can be found on the local authority’s website.

 

Jobs available in catering services

The Catering Services team is urgently looking for cooks, senior dining room assistants, assistant cooks, general kitchen assistants and more to help prepare and serve meals for children at local schools. With benefits ranging from flexible term-time working hours to a staff pension scheme, the Catering Services team offers excellent rates of pay such as £9.50 an hour for a general kitchen assistant. Find out more by visiting the jobs pages at www.bridgend.gov.uk.

 

Mobile testing arrangements

Free mobile testing for anyone experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 remains available at the former Revlon site in Maesteg (CF34 9TS) from 9am-5pm and is open all week except Tuesdays. This site incorporates a drive-through testing facility, which must be booked in advance. Drive-through testing is also available at Coity and Litchard Community Centre (CF31 1PA) from 9am-5pm, and at the walk-through facility based at the Bowls Hall car park in Angel Street, Bridgend (CF31 4AH) which is available between 8am-8pm – booking for both of these sites is essential.

 

Apply for tenancy hardship grants

Tenants renting privately in Bridgend County Borough may be eligible for a Welsh Government grant aimed at helping those who have fallen behind on their rent due to Covid-19. The £10m grant was announced by Welsh Government earlier this year. To learn more about the grant and to check if you are eligible, visit the Welsh Government website. To make an application, please email housing@bridgend.gov.uk and include ‘THG Support Grant’ as the subject line of your email.