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UWTSD to host Cerebra families during Swansea Christmas Parade

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The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) and Cerebra Innovation Centre will host families who need a quiet space to watch Swansea’s Christmas Parade at the University’s Dylan Thomas Centre in the city centre on Sunday, November 20.

The University has a float in the parade which has been designed and built by students and staff of the University along with the Cerebra Innovation Centre and magical lanterns, made during family workshops run in collaboration with UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art and Swansea City of Sanctuary, will also feature in the festive parade.

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The workshops have been funded by South Wales Reaching Wider Partnership and delivered by UWTSD illustration student Izzy Coombs and photography graduate Shelly Hopkins.

Students and staff will also be gathering at the Dylan Thomas Centre to kick start the festive season with hot chocolate and mince pies. Carols and Christmas songs will be performed by children from Dunvant Primary School choir, led by Mrs Emma Colebrook and Mrs Sue Davies. The children will also join the parade, which starts at 5pm, dressed as Christmas characters with lanterns and glowing umbrellas.

Glowing lanterns as part of UWTSD and Swansea City of Sanctuary’s float (Image: UWTSD)

Professor Ian Walsh, Provost of UWTSD’s Swansea and Cardiff campuses said: “We’re delighted to be part of this year’s spectacular Christmas Parade in Swansea. Christmas is a time for peace, hope and joy and this year it seems more vital than ever that the University joins with all the people of Swansea in celebrating our shared values and hopes for a brighter future.”

The Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC) was established in 2005 as a collaboration between UWTSD and the national charity Cerebra. Dr Ross Head (Associate Professor and Design Manager) has led the centre since its inception. Aligned to Cerebra’s national research strategy, CIC’s discovery research encompasses user-experience evaluation and user-centred development of assistive devices and products to help children with neurodevelopmental conditions discover the world around them.

The lanterns will form part of UWTSD’s float at Swansea’s Christmas Parade (Image: UWTSD)

Dr Ross Head, Associate Professor at UWTSD said: “My team from Cerebra Innovation Centre have worked our magic and created a beautiful float this year. It has been super fun, hard work, but really rewarding knowing that loads of children will love seeing our efforts! And, on top, lots of Cerebra families are being hosted in an autism friendly UWTSD building where they can watch the parade in the warm and quiet. I love my job!”

Amanda Roberts, UWTSD’s Senior Educational Liaison Officer said: “It was a pleasure and a privilege to run an inclusive family workshop for Swansea College of Art, UWTSD and Swansea City of Sanctuary, making magical lanterns and props to display in the Swansea Christmas parade. the popular workshop was fun and festive with beautiful outcomes that we are excited to share in Sunday’s parade. See you there!” 

Swansea College of Art ran a family workshop to make lanterns and props for the float (Image: UWTSD)

Caroline Thraves, Academic Director Art & Media added: “Swansea College of Art (UWTSD) is a City Centre Art College and is rooted within the communities that surround us across the city. It is an absolute pleasure to join with these communities such as the Swansea City of Sanctuary members to take part in this year’s Christmas parade. We had so much fun making decorations for the parade, and I hope that the welcome we provide to all members of our community can be seen on the joy of the faces of everyone taking part in the parade.”

(Lead image: UWTSD)

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