No changes to Covid rules but plea for people to continue to take precautions

First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed there will be no significant changes to Covid rules in the 21 day regulations cycle. Three weeks ago Wales moved to Alert Level Zero. This removed legal restrictions on meeting others and enabled all businesses to open, while also keeping key legal protections in place. Face coverings are mandatory in most indoor public settings, everyone must continue to isolate if they have Covid symptoms or a positive test result, and businesses must take reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus. However, with coronavirus cases increasing, people are urged to take precautions to protect themselves and others, and to stop the virus spreading. For more details visit the Welsh Government website.

Recommendation for secondary school pupils to undertake lateral flow tests

With the new school year starting in early September, it is recommended that all secondary school pupils undertake lateral flow testing before their first day back. Many pupils will already have lateral flow tests at home, having used them before schools broke up in July. However, for all new Year 7 pupils who would not have been able to access stocks in schools previously, and any other pupils who have run out of supplies, it is recommended that parents, carers, or pupils, collect the tests from either local testing sites, local pharmacies or order them online for home delivery. Lateral flow tests are only for people who do not have coronavirus symptoms. Pupils are recommended to take two lateral flow tests, three days apart during the week leading up to their first day back. Schools will continue to provide lateral flow tests during term-time. For more details visit the council website.

Have your say on new youth hub plans

Young people are being asked to have their say on plans for a new youth hub in Bridgend town centre. Initial plans involve a multi-purpose facility at Evergreen Hall, next to the council’s Civic Offices. Run in partnership between the local authority’s Youth Development, 16 plus and Youth Justice Services, activities offered onsite will range from training and classes for young people aged 11 to 25 years old, and youth club provision a couple of weekday evenings for all young people in the local community that want to attend. As part of the plans, young people are being invited to have their say on what they would like to see at the youth hub, including any specific equipment, and any help or support services. To have your say, just fill out a short survey on the council website by the end of September.

Teaching support to receive boost with new placement scheme

More than 20 additional trainee teachers will be in Bridgend County Borough schools this autumn term as part of a new Welsh Government placement scheme. Aimed at supporting newly-qualified teachers by providing them with a term of employment to support their transition into teaching, the scheme will also allow schools to increase capacity and free up other teachers to provide extra help to vulnerable learners. Within Bridgend County Borough, 17 primary, secondary and special schools will benefit from a total of 21 trainee teachers. Funded by a Welsh Government grant of around £250,000 to Bridgend, the programme will run until the end of December with schools having the option of extending contracts by making use of things like the Recruit, Recover and Raise Standards grant funding.

Bank Holiday waste and recycling collections changes
Due to the bank holiday, there will be no waste and recycling collections on Monday 30 August. Collections will take place one day later than usual until Saturday 4 September.Community recycling centres are currently operating their summer opening hours:8.30am until 7pm Monday to Fridayand8.30am until 5pm Saturday and Sunday. Please be aware that gates may shut up to 20 minutes early. This is to accommodate cars that are already queuing on site before recycling centres closes.For more details on recycling and waste collections visit the Bridgend.Admin.

Update on mobile testing arrangements

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board has confirmed changes to mobile testing facilities. New testing centres have opened in Porthcawl and Coity. Testing is available at Porthcawl RFC (CF36 3DH) from 9am-5pm, seven days a week. The site includes both a drive-through testing facility with booking required and a walk-in option for which booking is not required. A new drive-through testing centre has also opened at Coity and Litchard Community Centre (CF31 1PA) from 9am-5pm and booking is essential. You can arrange appointments by visiting the Welsh Government website or calling 119. If you have hearing or speech difficulties, you can call 18001119 as an alternative. For more details visit the council website.

Free car parking extension welcomed

Businesses across the county borough have welcomed news that several council-maintained town centre car parks will continue to be free to use. The offer, which was due to end this month, will now continue until after Christmas. It means that drivers can park for free for up to three hours at the Rhiw multi-storey car park in Bridgend town centre, and between noon and 3pm at the John Street car park in Porthcawl. Town centre businesses say they are already reaping the benefits of the Bridgend County Borough Council scheme and have welcomed news of its extension.

Youth Mayor encourages young people to take up Covid-19 vaccine
Bridgend Youth Council’s newly elected Youth Mayor has urged 16 and 17 year olds across the county borough to get their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Anyone aged 16 and over who has not had their first dose can walk into a Covid-19 Vaccination Centre to receive it. With no prior booking required, the walk-in appointments are available at community vaccination centres within the region. Anyone who wishes to take advantage of the first dose walk-in appointment will need to bring along a form of ID such as a passport, driving licence or a utility bill for proof of address. Bridgend Youth Mayor Xander Payne said it was an important step towards being able to do the things that we used to love doing before the pandemic. The latest figures from the health board show that 99,000 people in Bridgend County Borough are now fully vaccinated. Details of vaccination centres in the region are available on the health board’s website which is updated weekly.

Help and support available for 16 to 24 year olds who have finished school and college

Got your results and don’t know what to do next? The Inspire 2 Work programme can help by providing 1-2-1 support and advice from qualified youth workers, free professional CV development, support to complete applications for college or work, access to free online training, interview skills / work experience / confidence building and much more. Get in touch via the team’s youthsupport

Shopmobility office closes temporarily

Bridgend town centre’s Shopmobility office has been temporarily closed due to the unavailability of staff. It is anticipated that the office will reopen on Tuesday August 31. Members of the scheme are advised to phone Shopmobility (01656 667992) prior to making their journey to ensure the office is open and that scooters/wheelchairs are available for hire.

Recruitment drive launched for social care workers

A new recruitment drive has been launched for social care workers in a bid to help meet the increasing need for care and support enabling people to be as independent, and as well as they can be, in their own homes. Within Bridgend County Borough, the local authority is looking to recruit social care workers and support workers in a variety of areas, from home care and reablement teams to young people’s services. To find out what jobs are available or to apply, just visit the council website. The recruitment drive links in with a national campaign currently being run by Welsh Government and Social Care Wales, aimed at promoting the benefits of working in care and encouraging people to apply for roles within the sector. For jobs across Wales, visit the WeCare Wales website or find out more via @WeCareWales on Twitter or Facebook.

Survey on free swimming sessions

Sport Wales and Halo are running a survey about the Free Swim Initiative and want to hear from young people aged up to 16 and older swimmers who are over 60 and over. The first 20 completed surveys from people aged 16 or under will receive a free pair of Zoggs junior goggles and 25 per cent off any Zoggs products available at your local pool. To take part, include a screenshot of the acknowledgement message displayed when the survey is completed, and present to staff at reception. The survey is live until 3 September and is available in both English and Welsh.

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