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Swansea to pay its respects on Armed Forces Day

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The Lord Mayor of Swansea Cllr Mary Jones and other local dignitaries will be honouring those who’ve served their country in the armed forces at a special ceremony at Swansea’s Guildhall Rotunda on Saturday.

Cllr Jones along with the council’s Armed Forces Champion Cllr Wendy Lewis, HM the Lord Lieutenant Louise Fleet JP and the High Sheriff of West Glamorgan Joanna Jenkins will be paying tribute to those who have served as the culmination of Armed Forces Week.

Last year the tributes had to be broadcast online due to the pandemic, but now restrictions are easing the socially-distanced ceremony will take place on the Guildhall Rotunda at 11am.

Also present will be representatives from the armed forces, reservists, veterans and local cadet units and singer Kirsten Orsborn who will perform the national anthems.

Normally the tributes are paid during the Wales National Airshow but due to the pandemic the airshow has been postponed to July next year. However, the Armed Forces Day tribute ceremony at Guildhall has been planned to comply with all the current Welsh Government restrictions.

Cllr Jones said: “Armed Forces Day is the community’s opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to those in the armed services who have served and are serving.

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“There are many men and women from this area who are part of the armed forces risking their lives for their country in a wide range of roles. 

“We ask those who serve to go into harm’s way on our behalf, often on humanitarian or peace-keeping missions, and I know their assistance made a real difference for Swansea Bay Health Board during the current crisis.

“Armed Forces Day this year is an opportunity to come together to raise public awareness of their commitment and sacrifice. It is a debt we can’t repay, but we can show them our support.”

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The Council is showing its support this year by proudly flying the Armed Forces Day flag all week on its civic buildings. In addition Guildhall will be lit up in red, white and blue on the evening of June 26.

Cllr Lewis said: “Swansea Council has always stood side-by-side with the Armed Forces, supporting veterans, reservists and those currently serving and their families. This was the case during the pandemic and it won’t change as we emerge from it.

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“I know many of us were disappointed we weren’t able to meet together last year but it’s great that this year the event will be able to go ahead socially-distanced to keep everyone safe. It’s important that those who serve still know that we at Swansea Council and communities across the city are here for them.”

Anyone wishing to attend the ceremony on Saturday 26th June 2021 at 11.00 a.m. should contact lord.mayors.office@swansea.gov.uk


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Armed Forces

Swansea dignitaries mark Armed Forces Day

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The Lord Mayor of Swansea Cllr Mike Day and other local dignitaries honoured those who’ve served their country in the armed forces at a special ceremony at Swansea’s Guildhall Rotunda this morning.

Cllr Day along with the council’s Armed Forces Champion Cllr Wendy Lewis, HM the Lord Lieutenant Louise Fleet JP and the High Sheriff of West Glamorgan Stephen Rogers paid tribute to those who have served.

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Dignitaries at the Armed Forces Day event at Swansea’s Guildhall (Image: Swansea Council)

The tributes took place on the Guildhall Rotunda at 11am and also present were representatives from the armed forces, reservists, veterans and local cadet units.

The Lord Mayor said: “Armed Forces Day gives us the opportunity to celebrate our armed forces and give thanks for our serving personnel and those who have served in World Wars and other conflicts and to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for us to enjoy the freedom we have today.”

“Our Armed Forces deserve the respect and admiration of us all and we are immensely proud of them.”

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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Armed Forces

Free swimming in Wales to continue for the Armed Forces

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On Armed Forces Day, the Welsh Government has announced the continuation of the Armed Forces Free Swimming scheme.

The scheme enables serving members of the Armed Forces and Veterans to swim for free at participating leisure centres and pools, using their Defence Privilege Card.

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The Armed Forces Free Swimming Scheme (AFFS) was first introduced in 2016 and represents the continued commitment to provide the Armed Forces community with access to services which meet their specific needs and recognise the service they have given to their country.

Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden, said: “I’m very pleased that we are able to continue to support this scheme which is designed to ensure members of the Armed Forces past and present are able to benefit from the physical, and mental, health benefits swimming can offer.”

Deputy Minister for Social Partnerships, Hannah Blythyn, said: “We are committed to supporting our Armed Forces personnel and recognise how initiatives like this can boost their mental and physical wellbeing. I hope they can enjoy the benefits from this scheme over the next three years.”

Chris Llewelyn, WLGA Chief Executive said: “Local government is proud to deliver free swimming for our Armed Forces personnel and Veterans. We hope that even more people take part in the scheme in the coming year, taking advantage of the significant recuperative and social benefits physical activity offers. There are participating pools in each of Wales’ local authorities; to find out where your closet facility is, visit your local authority website.”

Throughout the 2021-22 financial year the scheme was taken up on average each quarter by 569 serving military personnel and veterans across Wales. The trend shows an increase in uptake as restrictions have been lifted, with the last quarter recording a peak of 879 people benefitting from 2641 visits to their local community swimming pools.

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To support the scheme, £45,000 to be issued every year over a three-year period; in 2022-23, 2023-24 and 2024-25.

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Armed Forces

Free breakfast for Armed Forces as Tesco recognise Armed Forces Day

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cooked food

Members of the Armed Forces will be able to get a free hot breakfast at Tesco cafés across Wales to mark the Armed Forces Day celebration in June.

As a thank you for their service, on Sunday June 26, all serving Armed Forces personnel, around 159,000 regulars and 32,000 reservists, can present their MOD90 identification card at any Tesco café and get a free full cooked breakfast, vegan cooked breakfast, sausage bap or a bacon bap.

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All 295 Tesco cafés across England, Scotland and Wales will be offering the promotion – limited to one free breakfast per cardholder.

Ashwin Prasad, Chief Product Officer at Tesco and Director Sponsor of the Armed Forces Network said: “We’re proud to be able to support National Armed Forces Day which celebrates the tremendous contribution that the armed forces make to our country. It’s an exciting opportunity for store colleagues across the country to celebrate. Everyone loves a free breakfast and we thought it was a gesture that showed how much we value members of the Armed Forces.”

Rhys Little, Chair of the Armed Forces Network at Tesco, said: “We’ve got a long history of getting behind those who have been in the forces. We’ve received the Gold award from the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme twice now (in 2016 and 2020), and we were also the first retailer to sign the Armed Forces Covenant in 2014. We also do our best to give anyone leaving the army, navy, or RAF a chance to forge a new career.”

Over the weekend of June 25 and 26, local events will be taking place in towns, cities, and villages up and down the country, and Tesco stores will be holding a nationwide collection for Help for Heroes.

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