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Popular Gorseinon 10k run returns after almost 20 year absence

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The much-loved Brisco 10k run is returning to the streets of Gorseinon in May 2023.

The event, which was last run in the early 2000’s returns after almost a 20-year absence. Local running event company, Front Runner Events will manage and run the event, which will look to replicate the fun and community spirit of the original fun run.

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The return of the popular run is thanks to the efforts of local councillors Andrew Stevens, Nicola Matthews and Jan Curtice (pictured above)

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, said: “As a council, we are delighted to see the Brisco 10k is returning to Gorseinon. The event has been missing from the annual calendar for too long.” 

Councillor Andrew Stevens said: “It has been a long-term pledge of ours to bring back this race to the community of Gorseinon. To see the Brisco 10K return next year is wonderful news, the event has always been well supported by the community and we look forward to welcoming the runners back next year. 

“With the backing of a local company, Brisco and the support of Front Runner Events, the event will see hundreds of runners taking part from all over the city and helping us re-establish the event as an annual race.

“It is wonderful to see this race return to the streets of Gorseinon after so many years away. Seeing local businesses working together with Swansea Council and the town council is wonderful. Events like this are for the community and seeing the community working together to support the return of the race is great”. 

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David Martin-Jewell, Managing Director of Front Runner Events added:  “We are extremely proud to be able to bring this historic race back to the streets of Gorseinon and Swansea. The Brisco 10k has a special place in the hearts of runners in the city and we are excited to be part of the recreated event and bring it into the 21st century.

“This event has a great heritage throughout the city and will hopefully see the new generation of runners from the likes of 3M’s and Swansea Harriers compete for the bragging rights at the event. There are some fantastic runners in the city and the local clubs will want to earn the bragging rights at winning the first one”

Councillor Jan Curtice said: ‘This is great news for the community of Gorseinon and is wonderful that we can realise our pledge to see this much-loved event return. We (with the town council) have been committed to helping establish events such as this for the area. We hope that this will be a great day for everyone. 

“The Brisco 10k will also help local running clubs and provide vital fund-raising opportunities for charities throughout the area. Building on the heritage of the original race, it will certainly help raise the profile of the event, and help attract a new, younger generation of runners to the sport. 

Nick O’Kelly, Operations Manager of Brisco said: “We are proud to return as the headline sponsors of the 10k. We have wanted to see it return for years, so we are delighted to support the event again. 

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The event will take place on April 30th, 2023, and more specific details will be available from frontrunnerevents.co.uk in due course.

Front Runner Events are the organisers of the JCP Swansea Half MarathonM&D Care Llanelli Half MarathonCardiff Metropolitan University Cardiff 10K and the Great Welsh Marathon

They were recently announced as the new organisers of the Port Talbot Half Marathon.

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Cycling

Council awarded over £8m for new cycle and walking routes in Swansea

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Walking and cycling routes in Swansea are set to be expanded after Swansea Council secured millions in Welsh Government funding.

The Council has received confirmation from the WG of more than £8 million of transport funding which will be invested in the city’s growing walking and cycle network.

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Part of the funding will also be used to improve main routes in the city for public transport, in a bid to improve bus services and speed up journeys for passengers.

In total, £8.325 million has been awarded to the Council after it submitted bids earlier in 2022.

A report to Cabinet will seek to approve a list of transport schemes that will help boost sustainable transport and encourage more people to walk and cycle.

Just over £7 million of the funding will be spent on developing new walking and cycling routes.

Included in the plans is a new route across Clyne Common, linking up the village of Bishopston with a recently completed walking and cycling route on Mayals Road.

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New routes will also be developed in the north of the city, including a new route between Grovesend and Pontarddulais and a new link between Penllergaer and Gorseinon.

Funding will also be used to fill gaps in the walking and cycling network along the Tawe corridor in and around the Morriston area.

Andrew Stevens, Cabinet Member for Environment & Infrastructure, said: “Once again, Swansea has been successful in securing important funding that we want to invest in our transport network in the city.

“We have been working extremely hard for a number of years, creating new walking and cycling routes that give residents and visitors alternative ways to get around without needing to use a car.

“Our aim is to make walking and cycling a serious option for people, even more so with fuel prices continuing to rise across the country.

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“Swansea is a vast city with many communities and we are continuing to plan and develop routes that link up these communities. Residents have already taken part in city-wide consultations on new routes so that we can plan ahead and we will continue to work with residents, cycle groups and other representative bodies to ensure new routes help achieve our aims.”

Some of the funding (£1.2 million) will also be used to improve main routes in the city – specifically targeting routes used by public transport services.

Cllr Stevens added: “We need to ensure busy routes used by public transport services are improved and can assist in making bus services more reliable and more attractive for potential passengers.

“The latest funding will assist us in improving bus priority as well as upgrading bus stops.”

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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Gardening

Gorseinon Hospital’s new-look garden a blooming success with patients

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Gorseinon Hospital is using its newly-developed courtyard garden as a way of aiding patients’ recovery.

Patients can enjoy nature and admire the bees, butterflies and flower beds following a transformation of the garden, but a new daily programme has also been set up to boost their recovery in a natural way.

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The seeds were sown for the redevelopment after the hospital came top in a nationwide vote to secure some of the £50,000 secured by Keep Wales Tidy’s Healthy Hospital Gardens initiative through the National Lottery People’s Project.

An outdoor area used by Morriston Hospital’s burns and plastic surgery unit, along with Ysbyty Cwm Rhondda in Cwm Taf Morgannwg, has also benefitted from the funding.

The Gorseinon garden has already proved a budding success with raised beds, a covered seating area and wildflower turf among the new features.

Debra McNeil, matron at the hospital, said the new-look garden offers many mental and physical benefits.

She said: “I witnessed first-hand the dedication from the volunteers, local businesses and community – without their sheer determination and commitment to the project we would never have achieved this beautiful space for our patients and staff to enjoy.

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“With the gardens now complete, a daily programme has been created so patients can have input in the garden by planting, feeding and weeding the planting areas.

“This will give many patients confidence to realise their rehabilitation potential in a natural way.

“Staff wellbeing is high on our agenda and the gazebo is there for staff to enjoy during their much needed breaks in a non-clinical area.”

Patients at the hospital in the new garden (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

The completion of the work is a dream come true for Christine Pettifer, site manager at the hospital.

She has spent 13 of her 26 years working in the NHS in Gorseinon. She’s in no doubt how beneficial the new-look courtyard will be to all concerned.

She said: “For years this has been my vision. We were lucky enough to have won the lottery and I’m ecstatic with the end result.

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“It is a dream come true for me because the patients, staff and visitors can now enjoy the area.

“One of our patients told me she used to be in a gardener’s club, so she’s hoping to be in the courtyard garden every day for half an hour either doing some gardening or just taking in the view.”

Work on the courtyard started in February 2020 and was expected to be completed within a year, but the start of the covid pandemic stunted progress.

However, a combination of commitment, community spirit and sheer goodwill has finally resulted in a project which will benefit the wellbeing of patients, staff and visitors.

Mark Humphreys, assistant technical services officer, has been involved in the project since its inception in 2018.

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He said: “From day one, this project has been something the community has got behind.

“Once we were among the projects in the running for the funds, I spoke to staff in Gorseinon Hospital and elderly age groups in the area. They offered to take leaflets around the area for people to vote.

A view of the garden before work commenced (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

“People were also voting at the hospital when they were having their blood tests.

“We canvassed in Morriston Hospital too, with all levels of staff helping out. It meant we had the most votes in Wales with just under 5,000.

“Gorseinon is very lucky in that it has a real strong sense of community. We’ve had so many volunteers help out on top of the fantastic support we’ve kindly received from local businesses.

“A lot of people that have been part of this were doing their day job and then putting in a shift in the garden on top of that. That gives you an idea of their commitment to making this courtyard a place to relax and enjoy.”

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Relaxation and enjoyment form part of the benefits the courtyard brings in terms of wellbeing.

Patients and staff can quickly switch from a clinical setting to embracing nature within a few footsteps.

Des Keighan, assistant director of estates, said: “We have transformed the courtyard to an area which will benefit the well-being of everyone involved.

“Biophilia is the recognition that humans benefit from interacting with outdoor space.

“You don’t feel like you’re on hospital grounds when you’re sat on a bench in the courtyard looking at the beautiful garden.

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“Just having a place where you can sit, relax and rest your mind can’t be underestimated.

“This garden epitomises what we are trying to achieve, which is providing inspiring spaces on our sites.

The official opening of the courtyard garden at Gorseinon Hospital (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

“We have a lot of space across our hospitals that are concrete parking spaces.

“Now we are looking at our spaces differently – we are trying to make the most of the environment we have got, and that doesn’t finish at the bricks and mortar, it’s about looking the grounds.

“It’s important that we build on successes like the courtyard in Gorseinon.”

The project bloomed thanks to Keep Wales Tidy’s Healthy Hospital Gardens initiative.

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Pamela Bacon, Keep Wales Tidy regional manager, attended the opening ceremony of the courtyard to see the full extent of the work.

“We’re very proud in what we’ve been involved with in Gorseinon Hospital because it will make a difference to a lot of people,” she said.

“It feels like you are part of nature in the courtyard.

“It’s great for the patients but also for the staff, who have high pressured jobs, along with relatives. It’s a place to rest and refresh and to enjoy the flowers, bees and butterflies.

The new courtyard garden at Gorseinon Hospital (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

“It won’t be onerous in terms of maintenance. That’s why we’ve gone with wildflower turf, which has taken really well.

“We’re looking forward to seeing how the garden flourishes.”

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Nuria Zolle, independent health board member, cut the ribbon to officially open the courtyard.

She said: “I have had been humbled by all the support and help the health board has received. It stands as a beacon of what we can achieve when working together.”

(Lead image: Swansea Bay NHS)

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Clydach

Funding secures additional 49 life-saving defibrillators for Swansea communities

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An additional 49 easily accessible life-saving defibrillators are being installed at retail locations in communities right across Swansea in the coming months.

Swansea Council is working with the charity Heartbeat Trust UK to increase public access to this vital equipment and to become the UK’s first ‘defib-friendly’ city.

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The Council has agreed more than £60,000 in grant funding that will enable the Charity to place and insure defibrillators in locations that have 24-hour access in all 36 council wards.

These will include additional machines in retail locations in the city centre, high streets in communities including Morriston, Clydach, Gorseinon, Pontarddulais and Sketty and outside community shops or pubs in more rural locations such as Gower.

Swansea Council Leader Rob Stewart said: “This equipment can easily mean the difference between life and death when someone suffers from a medical emergency such as a heart attack and we want to ensure all our residents have as much support as possible.

“There has been an increase in number of accessible defibrillators in Swansea in recent years and the Council will continue to play it’s part in growing the coverage”

Deputy Leader Andrea Lewis, who has driven the initiative, added: “Heartbeat Trust UK is already doing a fantastic job working with our communities in Swansea.

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“This grant will ensure we can get these machines installed all across the city and help save lives. Our ambition is to be Britain’s first defib-friendly city where no-one is far from a defibrillator.

“I’m confident residents in all our communities will welcome this additional support as part of our partnership with Heartbeat Trust UK.”

It is anticipated that all 49 additional machines will be in place within the next few months.

Henry Gilbert, Chair of Heartbeat Trust UK, said: “We are proud to be partnering with Swansea Council to make this city ‘defib-friendly’ in terms of the strategic placement of defibrillators in all communities, generating greater awareness of their locations and providing CPR / Defibrillator training.

“Out of hospital cardiac arrests is one the top causes of death in the UK. The timely intervention of CPR and defibrillation can improve the survival rate from less than 3% to as much as 75%. This initiative will definitely save lives in Swansea.”

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(Lead image: Wikimedia / Tanja-Denise Schantz)

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