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Aneurin Bevan Care Award For Valley Veteran

Mr Bromwell, who lives in Rhondda, has been presented with the Aneurin Bevan Community Care Award, in recognition of his work in Rhondda Cynon Taf, supporting the Armed Forces community.

A former Welsh Guardsman and Falkland Islands campaigner, Mr Bromwell remains passionate about support for the Armed Forces personnel, past and present, and their families.

Councillor Maureen Webber, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Deputy Leader and Armed Forces Champion, said: “On behalf of the Council and our proud Armed Forces community, I send my congratulations to Paul on this wonderful award in recognition of all the amazing work he does to support our Armed Forced community.

“We owe so much to our Armed Forces, past and present, and we will never forget the sacrifices they have made and continue to make.”

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council was one of the first local authorities in Wales to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant in 2012. On June 2, 2018, the local authority also granted the Freedom of the County Borough to MOD St Athan, and all local service personnel of the Royal Air Force, past and present.

Support for our Armed Forces

Mr Bromwell founded the Valley Veterans, having been a long-tern sufferer of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following his time in the Armed Forces, and now works closely with Rhondda Cynon Taf Council.

Valley Veterans is a veteran-led organisation, supported by the Council and based in Rhondda Cynon Taf. It was founded over 10 years ago as an informal support group for PTSD sufferers. It is now a vibrant community hub with more than 140 active participants.

Mr Bromwell’s late diagnosis over 20 years ago gave him an insight to identify the acute need for a community-based hub for fellow sufferers to gather to exchange information and connect to the growing but confusing network of organisations and support services.

He has also given a presentation to NHS Boards across Wales, attended by all levels of staff, from healthcare workers to consultants, to explain the conditions of PTSD and its effects, and how to recognise if someone is presenting with PTSD. He has also campaigned for “quiet rooms” in hospitals, particularly in A&E and Outpatient Departments for veterans suffering with PTSD, to reduce their levels of anxiety in crowded, busy environments.

Among the activities of the Valley Veterans Group, Welsh Government restrictions permitting, is the successful gardening group and the Breakfast Club, where like-minded people can get together to share their experiences and passions and get the help they need.

Valley Veterans founder, Paul Bromwell, said: “I am both honoured and delighted to receive the inaugural Aneurin Bevan Award for Care, named after the man who founded our National Health Service to which we all owe so much, particularly through the pandemic.

“I set up the Valley Veterans group to get help for the people that needed it, those people who put their lives on the line in the defence of our country. It was clear to me that these people, many who live in our own locality and communities, needed our help and support.”

The inaugural Aneurin Bevan People’s NHS Awards were held to recognise and celebrate the work of all those unsung heroes who have a huge impact on communities across Wales.

For further information about Valley Veterans, contact the group via email at enquiries@valleyveterans.org or by calling 07733 896 128

Summer Reading Challenge 2021

The Council is once again supporting the annual Summer Reading Challenge for its younger book lovers, in line with current Welsh Government COVID-19 guidelines and regulations.

This year, The Reading Agency, which runs the Summer Reading Challenge, has teamed up with WWF, the world’s leading independent conservation organisation, for a very special natured-themed Summer Challenge – Wild World Heroes.

Youngers readers interested in being a part of this year’s FREE Summer Reading Challenge can join online or ask for further details at their local library. Those who successfully complete the Challenge will receive a medal and a certificate.

Meet the Wild World Heroes

All Rhondda Cynon Taf libraries have now re-opened to the public, with restrictions in place for the safety of staff and visitors. Face coverings must also be worn indoors and the use of hand sanitiser is encouraged.

The Council’s online ‘Order and Collect’ service, which has proved extremely popular since launching in 2020, also remains in place for book lovers across the County Borough.

Younger readers are also being encouraged to pick up a book during the summer school holidays in a bid to maintain or improve their literacy skills.

The aim is for 4-to-11 year-olds to read up to six books as part of this year’s online Summer Reading Challenge during the school holidays, a time when children’s literacy skills traditionally dip.

The Summer Reading Challenge 2021 is available in both English and Welsh formats.

Councillor Rhys Lewis, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Well-being and Cultural Services, with responsibility for Libraries, said:

“I am delighted that our libraries across the County Borough have now reopened to the public, including the brand-new facility at Llys Cadwyn in Pontypridd.

“I am also pleased that our online Order and Collect service has been well received by the public and will therefore continue for the foreseeable future.

“The summer school holidays are an important time for our young learners to recharge their batteries after a very difficult time, but it is equally important that they maintain and continue to improve their literacy skills.

“The annual Summer Reading Challenge therefore remains an important and enjoyable initiative which runs throughout the school holidays, with the help of our libraries staff and The Reading Agency.

“It not only encourages our young people to pick up a book at a time when they may not necessarily do so, but it is also a great way to introduce young people into the world of literature and broaden their imagination.”

Young readers will be transported to the fictional town of Wilderville, a cool place where the Wild World Heroes can do more to make their town even better for the people and animals that live there.

Join the Wild World Heroes for the Summer Reading Challenge 2021 and discover how you too can make a difference to the environment and the place you live.

Wild World Heroes feature amazing books, awesome rewards and plenty of ideas for taking care of our local environment and our planet

The Summer Reading Challenge is the largest children’s ‘reading for pleasure’ programme in the UK. The first Summer Reading Challenge took place in 1999 and is an annual initiative based on a different theme each year.

The programme is delivered by The Reading Agency in partnership with public libraries, publishers and schools across the UK and is supported by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council.

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