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Dobbies hosts bee-rilliant virtual event with Neal’s Yard Remedies to celebrate World Bee Day with Swansea customers

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Dobbies, the UK’s garden centre retailer, is marking World Bee Day (20 May) for Swansea customers with a virtual event hosted by natural and organic health and beauty company, Neal’s Yard Remedies.

Following on from the recent launch of their #sustainabledobbies campaign, the experts at Dobbies Garden Centres are teaming up with Neal’s Yard Remedies in this virtual event, to share top tips on making Swansea gardens a bee-friendly haven.

Bees are one of the most vital elements of our eco-system, but with several species now in decline, it’s more important than ever that we all play our part to support these precious pollinators, and World Bee Day serves as a timely reminder to celebrate their significance in our daily lives.

The virtual event will start at 7pm on 20 May, and will be hosted by Tipper Lewis, Brand Ambassador for Neal’s Yard Remedies. Tipper will provide attendees with top tips on the best blooms for bees, and share advice on how to maximise a garden’s ‘pollen power’, so that everyone can play their part in creating a sanctuary for bees in their gardens this summer.

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Tipper will also introduce guests to Neal’s Yard Remedies’ Bee Lovely product range, which is lovingly crafted with ingredients such as honey and beeswax. Every purchase from the Bee Lovely collection helps to support bees across the world, with a percentage of each purchase donated to bee-friendly charities.

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Lucky attendees will also be given the chance to experience the range for themselves too, with the opportunity to win one of five Bee Lovely ‘Head to Toe’ gift sets during the event.

Alongside this, Tipper will be on hand to answer any questions viewers may have, including advice on the best blooms and bushes to plant to attract bees, and how to ensure that gardening techniques are sustainable and bee-friendly at every turn.

Tipper Lewis, Brand Ambassador for Neal’s Yard Remedies, said: “Bees are hugely vital to so many things in our daily lives, from the food we eat to the flowers in our gardens and even the skincare we use. The team at Neal’s Yard Remedies and I are very excited to share our knowledge, passion and love for bees of all kinds with Dobbies’ Swansea customers, and we hope they’ll enjoy learning more about them as we celebrate World Bee Day.”

The Neal’s Yard Remedies expert event is part of a series of free virtual events that Dobbies is hosting this Spring. Following a successful programme of Facebook Live sessions in 2020, they provide a virtual alternative to regular events usually hosted instore.

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Further events have already been announced for the coming weeks, including a virtual event on roses, Britain’s favourite flower, hosted by Dobbies’ Horticulture Director, Marcus Eyles. Advance booking is essential for the virtual events, which are hosted on Microsoft Teams, making it quick and simple for viewers to log on and join in the event from the comfort of their homes.

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The sessions are free of charge and exclusively available to Dobbies Club members. For those who aren’t yet members of Dobbies Club, membership is free and signing up is quick and simple, giving access to a variety of benefits, special offers and exclusive events. To sign up visit dobbies.com

To sign up for the Dobbies virtual event with Neals Yard Remedies, visit https://www.dobbies.com/content/events.html


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Environment

Flash flooding as heatwave breaks and Met Office issues thunderstorm warning

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Flash Flooding in Port Talbot

Parts of Port Talbot town centre were underwater today as torrential rain led to flash flooding as the heatwave came to a dramatic end.

The images captured by local, Jim Jones showed cars struggling to pass through flooded streets outside the art-deco former Plaza Cinema on Talbot Road.

The M4 was also waterlogged causing poor driving conditions between junctions 37 and 38 for Pyle and Margam.

The Met Office issued a yellow warning for slow moving thunderstorms that could cause further disruption, including flooding.

A map tweeted by the Met Office appears to show the worst of the storms heading towards Swansea.

The Waterstones book store on Swansea’s Oxford Street was forced to close as water poured into the building from the roof.

(Lead image: Jim Jones)

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Blaen-y-maes

UK’s largest energy retrofit scheme at a Swansea community reaches 100 home milestone

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The first 100 homes in Swansea’s Penderi community have started their journey to Net Zero, greener living.

As part of a retrofit scheme being delivered by the Pobl Group, Sero and Everwarm, these homes can now enjoy the benefits of generating, storing, and using their very own solar energy.

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At a time when the energy crisis is pushing most households towards fuel poverty, Penderi sees the UK’s first community energy sharing scheme, with renewable energy stored and shared fairly between residents. This innovative billing model allows them to receive a combination of cheaper electricity and a shared fund, used to help save money.

The Penderi area includes homes in Blaen-y-maes, Penlan, Portmead, Fforesthall and Caereithin.

The 100-home milestone has set the pace for the rest of the scheme, which, once completed, will be the largest scheme of its kind in the UK, with 650 homes reducing their carbon footprint by as much as 350 tonnes per year.

The homes are owned and managed by Pobl Group, Wales’ largest provider of affordable housing, who have partnered with net zero energy technology and service supplier, Sero, and lead contractor and installation specialists, Everwarm.

Solitaire Pritchard, Director of Regeneration at Pobl Group said: “We’ve been able to complete these first 100 solar installations by working closely with the community and together as partners.

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“This is just the start but the benefits are already being seen. Each installation helps decarbonise energy in Penderi and helps reduce home energy bills today and long into the future – that will make a huge practical difference to the community at a time when energy prices are soaring.”

Sherrie, a Penderi resident, said: “When I first heard about it, I wasn’t keen, but then chatting to neighbours, they were saying they were having real benefits and the way things are at the moment, with energy prices obviously, it would be dull to not have it in.

“Obviously there’s the environment issue, we all worry about that. Eventually I might have grandkids who will want to live on this planet so we all want to do what we can to help the environment. If I had a message for the neighbours it’s just do it.”

James Williams, co-founder and CEO of Sero said: “We have in the last few weeks seen the highest temperatures ever recorded in Wales, and this has brought into focus more than ever why we need to be tackling the climate emergency, and reducing carbon emissions from our existing homes has a critical role to play in this.

“Alongside the spriralling cost of living crisis, the need for retrofit has never been greater, and that is why it is so important to be demonstrating how we can deliver innovative projects at scale, such as Penderi.”

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Scott Paton, Operations Director at Everwarm said: “This is a really exciting milestone for the project, and already we are seeing the positive impacts for both individual residents, as well as in relation to the wider community.

“In particular we are proud to be able to say that three members of the team that are on the ground installing this cutting-edge technology are from the Penderi community, helping increase awareness and understanding of the project, as well as the wide range of training and opportunities the growing green energy sector can offer.”

The Penderi Energy Project is supported by £3.5m EU funds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Welsh Government and is seen as the first part of a wider investment into the Penderi area that aims to have a positive impact across the entire community.

(Lead image: Pobl)

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Environment

Specsavers launch glasses and contact lens recycling initiative

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Specsavers in Swansea is offering customers the chance to recycle their glasses and contact lenses in-store for free.

The new initiative comes after the high-street opticians teamed up with recycling experts MYgroup to install recycling collection boxes at Specsavers stores up and down the country.

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Customers at Specsavers Swansea will be able to drop off both metal and plastic glasses and sunglasses, as well as contacts lenses and accessories, including blister packs, contact lens cases and solution bottles.

Once the collections bins are full, the items will be shipped off to MYgroup recycling plant.

The glasses and contact lenses will be given a second lease of life and repurposed into a wide range of items such as furniture, home and garden accessories, including benches and play park equipment.

It can also be used in the building trade as a great alternative to plywood. Unlike some recycled items, the recycled board created by MYgroup has the potential to be recycled over and over again, so any items dropped off for recycling can be repurposed multiple times.

Specsavers say that this is just one of many steps they’ve taken to try and protect the planet and achieve its goal of becoming climate positive – removing more CO2 from the environment than the company generates – by 2035.

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Christopher Jones, Specsavers Swansea director, says: “At Specsavers we are striving to improve what we do to protect the planet, so we are pleased to be offering customers the chance to recycle a range of eyewear products.

“We know from customer feedback that people want to be able to recycle eyecare products, so we are really pleased to be able to meet our customers needs in this important way.

“Sustainability is at the core of our plan for the future and by offering this service we’re making it easier than ever for customers to play their part.”

What can I recycle at Specsavers?

  • Glasses
  • Sunglasses
  • Contact lenses
  • Contact lens plastic packaging (solution bottles, blister packs, cases and tweezers)

What cannot currently be recycled at Specsavers?

  • Glasses cases – unfortunately these are made of lots of component parts and are not practical to recycle at the moment.
  • Lens cloths

Michael Derbyshire, business development manager at MyGroup, said: “MyGroup are delighted to be working with Specsavers and helping provide an instore recycling solution for their difficult to recycle waste.

“Using our expertise, knowledge and innovative recycling systems this initiative will allow Specsavers’ valued customers to recycle material that would have previously been destined for landfill or incineration by turning them into a range of useful products.

“Partnering with Specsavers validates the hard work we’ve been doing over the years, and we can’t wait to get started.”

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