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Council scheme helps Swansea people back into work and volunteering



Swansea workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic have been given new hope thanks to a Swansea Council back-to-work scheme.

More than 200 people have been helped by Swansea Workways+ Short Term Unemployed project in the past 15 months.

Over 100 of them are now back in work – others are completing training or volunteering.

Council cabinet member Alyson Pugh said: “We want to improve peoples’ lives – and that’s just what this project is doing.

“The pandemic has brought challenges, including the loss of jobs so our short term unemployed project can be a big help.

“As Swansea leads the way out of the pandemic, I’m pleased that we can help our communities in this way.”


The Swansea Workways+ short term unemployed project offers training and employment support opportunities to unemployed citizens aged over 25. 

Backed by £1.2m of EU funds, the project is been supported by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.  
Support includes helping people search for jobs, develop their CVs, access funded training and qualifications, build their confidence, develop interview skills, access work experience and introduce people to potential employers.  
Hugh Blackwood (pictured top), aged 56, Southgate Swansea, used the project to find new work at construction and regeneration group Morgan Sindall.

He said: “I was made redundant due to Covid19 and, although I had a wide range of experience in the military and in retail, finding full-time work was a challenge. 

“Officers at the short term unemployed project, with support of the council’s Beyond Bricks and Mortar Team, helped me. 

“They secured me a range of training and this led to my new role as a gates person with Morgan Sindall. 


“I’m really pleased with the support I’ve received from the project. Officers couldn’t do enough to help and the result’s clear to see.

“I’m looking forward to the future and want to thank officers for all their help.” 

Danielle Riley, aged 47, of Killay, used the project to find new work at South Wales Auction Facilities.

She said: “After working since leaving school 15 years ago I lost my job with Arcadia Group this year when the company ceased trading.

“Due to the current employment circumstances, Danielle found she was suffering with lack of confidence, anxiety and a dip in her mental health.  She became unsure of her transferable skills and felt her lack of qualifications was a barrier to her.


“Support from the short term unemployed project was fantastic; officers were encouraging and understanding – and I can’t thank them enough.

“I’d recommend the project to anyone who find themselves in the same position as me – they really do make a difference.”

Kathryn Hynes, aged 63, of Brynmill, used the project to secure valuable roles as a volunteer with two charity organisations and has now entered full-time employment with assistance of the scheme

She said: “At the beginning of lockdown last year I found myself out of work for the first time in 32 years.

“It wasn’t possible to walk straight into another job but the short term unemployed project has been invaluable as I look for employment.


“They’ve helped me in creating a CV, writing personal statements, filling out application forms, taking courses and have opened my eyes to the skills I have.

“I’m now volunteering in a Local Aid charity shop and am also starting as a volunteer for Hourglass, an elderly abuse charity, as a telephone help-line advisor.

“Due to all the effort and ongoing support Workways have provided I am still improving and learning all the time but most of all I am still optimistic about my future. 

“A big heart-felt thank you to all of the team for all their continuing support.

“Due to all the effort and ongoing support has provided I am still improving and learning all the time but most of all I am still optimistic about my future.”


The Swansea Workways+ short term unemployed project has a team of dedicated employment liaison officers attached to the council’s Workways team.

Support, using local labour market knowledge and expertise, is personalised and focused on the needs of the individual to progress into sustainable employment.

The officers have a strong working relationship with local businesses, with an network of more than 250 employers providing access to jobs not available on job search websites.

More – 637112.
Lead image: Hugh Blackwood, of construction and regeneration group Morgan Sindall (Image: Swansea Council)

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Pupils create lasting legacy ahead of move to new school




Pupils counting down the weeks until they can move into their new school building have created a lasting legacy to let children in the future know what school life is like today.

The children at Ysgol Gymraeg Tan-y-lan have worked with staff to gather items for a time capsule that has been buried on the site of the new £9.9m build in Clase.

The development is nearing completion and they are due to move from their existing site at Tan-y-lan Terrace in Morriston to their new home in Clase after the Christmas holiday break.

Pupils joined Swansea Council Leader Rob Stewart, Cabinet member for Education Improvement Robert Smith and other senior councillors at the new site to bury the time capsule.

It includes photos and recordings of performances along with items of news and information that will give a flavour of school life in 2021.

The new build is jointly funded by Swansea Council and the Welsh Government under the 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme and is part of a £170m investment in new and improved schools in Swansea which is the largest such investment in the city’s history.


Cllr Smith said: “The new school building and facilities are absolutely first class and I can see how excited the staff and children are about moving into their new home.

“This will give them the very best surroundings in which to work and is very different to the old outdated accommodation of their current buildings.

“The contractors Kier have done an amazing job in building this school while working safely during the pandemic and I can’t wait to see the pupils settle in. I’m really looking forward to visiting them again when it opens.”

The new build at Hill View Crescent has an increased capacity and a nursery that will help meet additional demand for Welsh medium education in the future.

YGG Tan-y-lan headteacher Berian Jones said pupils and staff were very excited about the move and said they had all worked together to create the time capsule.


He added: “Pupils from each year group were involved in preparing USB’s filled with examples of activities, photos and performances that have been placed in the capsule.

“We have also collected items that represent the school and our ‘cynefin’ habitat – we also included items and information from current time that explain our current situation and current events in history.”

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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Health board warning flu cases leading to hospital admissions in Swansea Bay




woman lying on bed while blowing her nose

The flu virus is already circulating and has led to people being hospitalised according to Swansea Bay University Health Board’s Director of Public Health, Dr Keith Reid.

Dr Reid said the cases, although small in number, should be a timely reminder that everyone eligible for a free flu vaccination should take up the offer.

Dr Keith Reid

“Flu was non-existent in autumn and winter 2020 as lockdowns, mask wearing and increased hand hygiene stopped it and other winter bugs from spreading from person to person,” he said.

“But we have been expecting to see flu come back this year and potentially at levels up to twice as high as a normal flu season.

“People were simply not exposed to flu and other seasonal viruses last year, so the level of immunity in the community is likely to have dropped and people will be susceptible.

“Plus we are all mixing far more now and, with the bad weather coming, we are all going to be heading indoors which will give flu and other bugs the ideal opportunity to spread.”

Flu can be fatal and research has shown that those infected with both flu and Covid are more than twice as likely to die as someone with Covid alone.


Dr Reid said: “This will be the first winter when we will have significant levels of flu and Covid circulating at the same time, so I must urge everyone, if they are eligible for a free flu vaccination, to take up the offer as soon as possible.

“While no vaccine can offer 100% protection, the flu vaccine remains our best defence against this nasty virus.

“And remember, if you haven’t yet had your first Covid vaccination you can still do so.”

(Lead image: Andrea Piacquadio /

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Installation of gold-coloured panels nears completion at arena




Installation of all gold-coloured panels surrounding Swansea Arena is now just about complete.

Over 1,600 of the panels have been installed – each equipped with LED lights to enable the hosting of displays around the attraction.

It’s another milestone for the £135m Copr Bay phase one district, which is being developed by Swansea Council and advised by development managers RivingtonHark.

Construction of the district – led by Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd – will be complete this year, with the arena opening its doors in early 2022.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: “This is another great milestone for our Copr Bay phase one district, which will be worth hundreds of jobs and £17.1m a year to Swansea’s economy.

“Significant progress is being made every day. This includes the planting of trees and other greenery in the 1.1-acre coastal park next to the arena and major construction progress on the new restaurant in the park that will be run by a Swansea business.


“Our arena tenants and operators – Ambassador Theatre Group – have also started announcing arena acts, helping build excitement towards the announcement of a headline opening music act.

“People walking, cycling or driving along Oystermouth Road may also have seen more greenery being introduced recently along the roadside, with a living wall soon being introduced nearby too.

“The arena is creating a stunning new landmark on Swansea’s transformed cityscape. It will combine with many other projects to ensure our city quickly bounces back from the economic impact of the pandemic.

“Copr Bay phase one has been and continues to be delivered despite the challenge of Covid, while also paving the way for phase two that will be progressed with Urban Splash – our preferred development partner for the regeneration of several key sites in Swansea.”

Other features of Copr Bay phase one include the new bridge over Oystermouth Road, which will soon benefit from a permanent lighting scheme. Apartments are also being constructed, along with spaces for more businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors.


The arena feature of Copr Bay phase one is being part-funded by the Swansea Bay City Deal as part of the Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District project that also includes the new office development soon being constructed at 71/72 The Kingsway.

The bridge over Oystermouth Road is part-funded by the Welsh Government’s Active Travel fund.

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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