Youth Circular Economy Initiatives are Growing in Pontypridd

In 2019, young people and students from Europe and all over the world began to take to the streets to demand action to halt environmental and climate change. On one day of action in March organizers said there were more than 2,000 protests in 125 countries. The student movement was inspired by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, now nominated for a Nobel Prize two years in a row, who kicked off a global movement after she sat outside Swedish parliament every Friday beginning last August. Young people have successfully elevated the need for the environment to be included in the school curriculum.
The development of the circular economy is seen as central to reducing damage to the environment and developing positive change. In 2015 the European Commission adopted an action plan to help accelerate Europe’s transition towards a circular economy, boost global competitiveness, promote sustainable economic growth and generate new jobs. The Welsh Government is currently reviewing the responses to its 2020 consultation on circular economy which includes their ambition to become world leaders in zero waste, low carbon and sharing resources fairly.
The Circular Economy for Youth or CEYOU project started at the end of 2019 in the midst of climate strikes and extinction rebellion protests. Our aim, to promote circular economy initiatives to young people as a proactive way of combating the pressing issues of climate change and sustainability.
The project is active in North Macedonia, Greece, Italy, Belgium, France and Wales and despite current restrictions around physical meetings has been successful in supporting and initiating a number of initiatives.
In Italy a series of online Hackathons were held where youth participants worked on ideas for a circular economy business with the best ideas being taken forward for development and a prize awarded to the winning team.
In Wales a younger group of environmental activists participated in online workshops to produce a guide for ‘Staying Green in Quarantine’. The same group reconvened via Zoom a few more times to work with local artists on the themes of biodiversity, biomimicry, and the future, the results of which are now part of the online exhibition Pontypridd 2120. The youngsters were still keen to do more and had suggested growing their own food and making their own compost as part of the staying green guide, so CEYOU in partnership with Pontypridd Friends of the Earth launched Grow Pontypridd, to support and encourage people to grow and share edible produce. With small contributions from both the Town Council and CEYOU to get started, CEYOU’s coordinators Pontydysgu were able to apply for funding from InterlinkRCT. The project has now delivered around 50 home grow veg packs to local residents who would not otherwise be able to get started growing veg due to the financial implications or because of isolating due to covid19. Many of the packs were delivered to residents’ doors by the kind volunteers at the local food bank, others were dropped for collection at community centres.To make the packs, members of the community donated seeds, seedlings and pots and the project provided compost, growing instructions and a welcome note. Our team of youth volunteers made up packs and added in hand drawn pictures and notes.The adults dealt with the tricker issues of coordination, pickups and deliveries.Following the initial success the local council donated compost from their green waste recycling.The social media publicity prompted a local community centre to contact us asking for advice on how to turn their disused raised beds into a community vegetable garden and so yet another initiative began, Little Garden, a family orientated community garden with a long term plan to become a food coop.In parallel to the growing projects CEYOU is also arranging an online youth forum on Circular Economy at which young people from Pontypridd will be able to discuss the pressing issues of post Covid19 recovery and formulate an action plan alongside local government representatives from both Westminster and the Senedd. More information to follow!
Central to CEYOU is the bringing together of youth organisations and networks, together with Circular Economy associations at European, regional and municipal levels including local government. The aim is not only to exchange initiatives and best practice but to establish a permanent forum for dialogue including around policy and practice. Such goals will develop the capacities of all participant organisations and build the foundation for longer term collaboration in this area. For more information contact the CEYOU project coordinator angela.gerrard@gmail.com or check our facebook and website.

Please sponsor me for being selfish.

I’m doing the Cardiff Half Marathon on Sunday 1st October. That’s 13.1 miles (21.1km).

I’m not fast. In fact I’m pretty slow. I’ve not been able to train or prepare as much as I would have liked. It won’t be easy. It will hurt and I will be sore for a few days after, if you see me limping on the school yard you’ll know why.

So why am I putting myself through it?

I like running. I like walking. I enjoy it, it’s good for my health, physically and mentally. I’ve been looking after the kids, preparing food and giving other people lifts so they can exercise, run, and spend time in the gym for long enough. I’m not ashamed that my primary motivation for doing this is purely selfish. I want that time too. The luxury of spending up to 3 hours alone, walking and running in beautiful Welsh countryside, getting back to a long hot bath, eating good food and recovering for the evening with a glass of wine. Guilt free.

Of course it’s rarely worked out like that. Since completing my application form in March I’ve been pretty busy being a Mum, working, negotiating co-parenting, working, evicting an ex, being a Mum, working, having back and ankle issues, starting a new relationship, working, being a Mum, having the boiler replaced and other house renovation work… Oh and running the odd 5k along the Taff trail.

I’m doing it for me, because I can and I’m really excited about it.


If you would like to support me, please donate to Bangla Cymru

The Pontypridd based charity is run by Wil Morus Jones, there is no Just Giving or other online sponsorship form because every single penny goes directly to helping people in Bangladesh with facial disfigurement and burn injuries. To date they have helped 1,211 people. You can read the full story here.

Every £120 raised = one more operation paid for.

So if 12 of you sponsor me £10 for running a half marathon, we change one person’s whole life for the better.

There aren’t many charities around who can guarantee that kind of return.

Use the Paypal Donate button on the website or you can give me the cash and I’ll call round and give it to Wil! Please let me know if you have donated so I can keep a track on how much was raised.

 

 

What can Open Data do for public services?

The Good Practice Exchange Blog

The Wales Audit Office is holding a Google Hangout on Open Data. It will look at how Open Data can help public services to deliver joined up, transparent and effective public services. In this blogpost, Dyfrig Williams looks at why the Good Practice Exchange is interested in the topic.

Last year the Effective Services for Vulnerable Groups team at the Welsh Government approached us about the possibility of doing some work around highlighting good practice around effective data sharing. When we held a scoping meeting, we found ourselves being drawn into two slightly different discussions – one on sharing personal data, and another on the merits of Open Data. To do justice to both, we decided to hold two separate events. The event on personal data really helped bust some myths around data protection, especially where the Assistant Information Commissioner for Wales got to grips with the issues that public services…

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Tackling tricky topics – Cyber Bullying

Babi Tech

Cyber bullying is when someone uses technology like texting, online chat rooms and social networks to bully someone. Children may find it hard to talk about cyber-bullying so it’s important to let them know that they can talk to you about anything.

Top tips for broaching the subject;

Stay calm. Children need to know that you’ll listen without judging or threatening to deal with a bully yourself.

Conversation starters;

Who’s sent you a message today? What did you talk about?

How to deal with it;

Keep the evidence, find out how to take screen shots on http://www.take-a-screenshot.org

Don’t punish the victim by removing internet access or phone use as fear of this may prevent children from wanting to tell you if something is going on.

Do monitor internet access and phone use and take an active interest in what’s going on.

Don’t feed the trolls. As with all bullies, ignoring…

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Tackling tricky topics – Adult content

More from my O2 guru content – this is part one of Tricky Topics and how to approach them with young people.

Babi Tech

Let’s face it, no one wants to talk to their children about adult content. In fact if we were playing cringe-worthy-parent-moments top-trumps, porn beats them all. The trouble is, no matter how good our home internet parental controls are, you only need to walk around the magazine aisle of a supermarket to expose your child to an abundance of sexualized images. It’s something we need to talk about and I’d rather brave my inevitable blushes than let someone else talk to my kids about it first.

Top tips for broaching the subject;

Keep it age appropriate, if your children are very young, you can talk to them about respect for their own body and respect for other people. You can also reassure them that they can talk to you about anything.

Prepare yourself;

Think about what messages you do and don’t want to get across to your child. You…

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Preparing kids for unsupervised internet use

Babi Tech

More of the content I produced for O2 Telefonica, you can find the published versions and more on the O2 guru bites site but I thought the Babitech and Pontydysgu audiences would appreciate their own versions…

The internet is an amazing place for learning, creating, playing and socializing for the whole family. You wouldn’t let your kids play outside unaccompanied unless you were confident they could cross the road safely and not talk to strangers and the same applies to the internet. We all want online experiences to be positive so here’s a green cross code for unsupervised internet use.

For Parents;

Turn on the parental controls by logging in to your internet provider and opting in to the safety options.

Turn safe search on for Google by going to www.google.com/preferences and clicking “filter explicit results”

Remember to do this on all computers, mobiles and tablets your child has access…

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A Plain Speaking Guide to the KS3 Computing Curriculum in England

Babi Tech

I did some writing for O2 Telefonica at the end of last summer, you can find the published versions and more on the O2 guru bites site but I thought the Babitech and Pontydysgu audiences would appreciate their own versions…

A Parents Guide to the KS3 Computing Curriculum

Learning about computing is learning to think in a logical way. You need to be able to break a problem down into smaller parts, to look for and recognise patterns, to work out what the most essential details are and come up with a step by step method for solving the problem which anyone could follow and produce the same results. All of these things can be taught without any technology at all. You could programme your kids to make the perfect cup of tea!

If you have children in years 7, 8 or 9 in England, they will be studying the…

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Are you sure you want to delete this post?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how people use the same platform in completely different ways. Taking Facebook as an example, the information and type of information people choose to share varies from a running commentary of what’s happening on the TV to thoughts that would or should otherwise have been kept secret.

I was interested to see a “facebook friend” deleting status updates and removing news feed items, personalising the platform by removing the auto-generated content rather than adding to it.

In his blog entry Graham expresses concerns about privacy and draws our attention to the issues around tagging photographs. He says that it is critical that we have the rights and the tools to manage our digital identities, but with rights come responsibilities and I think that we have a responsibility to exercise those rights.