Arrangements over the Christmas and New Year period
You can find out all the information you need about Council arrangements over the Christmas and New Year period on our website:
- Waste and recycling collections
- Garden waste collections
- Recycling Parks opening times
- Any events on over the Christmas period
- Information about the Free After 3 parking initiative
- Libraries - remember that our online library service is available 24/7
- School holidays
- Opening times for our buildings/services
Free parking after 3pm
The Council’s festive free parking scheme is running until 31 December.
To encourage more people to use their local high street for shopping in the run up to Christmas and New Year, free parking will be available in Council-run town centre car parks from 3pm every day.
The 'Free After Three' initiative will be available in the following car parks:
- Corwen: Green Lane
- Denbigh: Multi-Storey; Crown Lane; Factory Ward; Post Office Lane, Vale Street
- Llangollen: East Street; Hall Street; Market Street; Mill Street
- Prestatyn: Lower High Street; Kings Avenue; Railway station
- Rhuddlan: Parliament Street
- Rhyl: Central; Morley Road; Queen Street; Sky Tower; West Kinmel Street, Rhyl Railway; Rhyl Library (disabled bays only)
- Ruthin: Crispin Yard; Dog Lane; Market Street; Park Road; Rhos Street; St Peter's Square; Troed y Rhiw
- St Asaph: Bowling Green
- Morfa Hall private car park, Rhyl, is not included in the initiative.
Emlyn Jones, the Council’s Head of Planning and Public Protection Services, said: “The Free After Three parking initiative has been established now for a number of years and complements the on-going #LoveLiveLocal campaign to encourage more people to use our high streets for their festive shopping.
“We are delighted to be able to offer this opportunity as a Council again this year and hope that people will see the benefits of using our town centre car parks and will be return visitors.
“There are a wealth of independent shops and businesses county-wide that offer a wide range of goods and services. With our free parking initiative after 3pm, we hope more people will come into our main towns to see what they have to offer. I’m sure they won’t be disappointed.”
A list of car parks and their locations, can be found on our website.
Christmas: the most wasteful time of the year?
Top tips from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the Council on being ‘food safe’ this Christmas, while reducing waste, and saving precious time and money
Christmas and food go hand in hand. We consume approximately 10 million turkeys every Christmas and spend just over £20 per person serving up that, hopefully perfect, Christmas lunch. But food waste is rife… According to food waste prevention campaign Love Food Hate Waste, we are throwing away in excess of 100,000 tonnes of edible poultry each year alone!
In a bid to make this Christmas less wasteful and more wonderful - while maintaining vital food safety practices – the FSA has teamed up with Love Food Hate Waste to compile top tips and innovative recipes so consumers’ festive feasts can go further and not result in unwelcome illness.
“When it comes to food safety, cooking, freezing and defrosting poultry can be confusing. At Christmas, turkey is still our favourite festive food, but people often throw away their leftovers, rather than using them up in a safe way,” explains David Alexander, FSA Head of General Food Hygiene Policy
Helen White, from Love Food Hate Waste, adds: “We’ve all got lots on our minds during the festive season, and throwing away food can get pushed to one side by other things! The cost of binning food can add up quickly, both in terms of the money you waste and the damage this has on the environment. With these top tips, and a bit of clever planning, you can avoid throwing away hundreds of pounds of perfectly good uneaten food – and not just at Christmas.”
TIP ONE: KEEP YOUR CHRISTMAS COOL
Double check your fridge is set at 5°C or below and test this with a fridge thermometer; if you need help you can use Love Food Hate Waste’s fridge temperature tool. As long as your food is within its ‘use by’ date and kept according to storage instructions, it will stay fresher for longer this way. Always store raw meats and ready-to-eat food, such as fresh fruit and cooked meat, separately to avoid cross-contamination.
TIP TWO: GET TO KNOW YOUR DATES
It is important to understand the difference between ‘best before’ and ‘use-by’ dates to stay food-safe and ensure you’re not throwing away good food unnecessarily. Best before is about quality: food will be safe to eat after this date, but may no longer be at its best. Use-by is about safety: food shouldn’t be eaten, cooked or frozen after this date, as it could be unsafe – even if it has been stored correctly and looks and smells fine.
TIP THREE: GET YOUR FESTIVE FREEZE ON
80% of consumers have thrown away food that was close to its use-by date without realising they could freeze it and keep it for later. It is safe to freeze food right up until the use-by date. Freezing acts as a ‘pause button’, and you can freeze pretty much everything, including raw and cooked meats, fruit, potatoes (after boiling them for five minutes first), and even eggs. Simply crack your eggs into a sealable container and freeze. You can separate yolks from whites first if you want to use them for different dishes. A big block of hard cheese can also be grated and frozen.
TIP FOUR: LOVE YOUR Leftovers
There are endless ways to re-use or reinvent Christmas leftovers, from stilton and brussels sprouts, to Christmas cake and bread sauce. Cool them, cover them and put them in the fridge or freezer within one to two hours. Splitting leftovers into smaller portions will help food cool quicker, then you can freeze and defrost what you need for future dishes. Turkey, the cornerstone of the Christmas meal, has a lot to give, but after your five-hundredth turkey sandwich you might feel like a bit of a change. If you’re running low on ideas to make the most of your leftovers, check out these delicious and inventive Christmas leftover recipes from Love Food Hate Waste.
TIP FIVE: BEAT THE BACTERIA
When food defrosts, its core temperature rises providing the ideal conditions for bacteria to grow – that’s why it’s best to defrost food slowly and safely, preferably overnight in the fridge. You can also defrost food thoroughly in a microwave – make sure you re-heat until steaming hot. Once the food is defrosted, the pause button is ‘off’, so you will need to eat the food within 24 hours. Remember that previously cooked and frozen meat should only be reheated once. However, you can safely cook defrosted meat into a new meal and freeze that dish for use another day. For example, you can buy your turkey frozen, defrost it, cook it and use the leftovers in a curry, which itself can be frozen to eat and enjoy another day – when Christmas is a distant memory!
For more information, please visit the FSA’s online Christmas homepage.
 Survey conducted by Love Food Hate Waste, 2018
Campaign will be a Christmas cracker for Denbighshire’s high street shops
A campaign has been launched to urge people in Denbighshire to shop local this Christmas to give the county’s high street traders a £2.5 million boost in the run up to the festive season.
On average in the UK each household spends £500 on presents, decorations and food and the Council wants local shops to get their share of the Yuletide action.
They are hoping to encourage at least a third of the county’s 30,000 household to spend half their Christmas cash with their local retailers instead of buying online or go to the expense of travelling to the bigger shopping centres.
By spending locally residents ensure their money will boost the local economy – experts say every £1 spent locally is likely to be re-spent 2.3 times which would mean almost £6 million stays in the county.
The Council is encouraging people to shop locally through the #LoveLiveLocal campaign.
Emlyn Jones, Denbighshire’s Head of Planning and Public Protection Services, who oversees the county’s Economic and Business Development Team, said: “We have a wonderful selection of independent shops and businesses at the heart of our high streets and we want to encourage more local people to choose to spend their money locally and contribute to the local economy.
"Local shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs are at the heart of our towns and play a vital role creating new jobs and improving prosperity and that’s why we are encouraging people to shop local this Christmas.
“It will be good for shoppers too because if they buy more locally this Christmas it will mean less travel, be a far more relaxing experience and they will be able find something a bit different to put under the tree for their loved ones.
“If half the £500 average Christmas spend of just a third of our households was spent with local traders, it would mean a £2.5 million boost to the county economy and crucially to our retailers.
“The other thing I would stress is that shopping locally isn’t just for Christmas. If every adult in Denbighshire spent just £5 extra a week locally instead of online or at a chain store during the rest of the year, that would add up to over £300,000 more a week for the county’s shopkeepers. At a time when margins are tight, that could make all the difference.
“It’s about promoting the diverse and vibrant shopping experiences we have in Denbighshire and whether you’re buying a turkey from your butcher or a pair of socks from a high street store you’ll almost certainly get better quality than you will from the big chains and you’ll be doing your bit for your town or village.
“Our businesses offer great value for money, a wide range of products and fantastic customer service and we want to play our part in showcasing what makes our towns special.”
Meanwhile, retail guru Helen Hodgkinson, from Dyserth, who has worked closely with local businesses, has advice on how to make the most of Christmas which is the most important period of the year for sales.
The Council’s #LoveLiveLocal campaign encourages people to use their local shops and services and for businesses to promote themselves and for everyone to use social media platforms Twitter and Facebook to share their positive experiences of Denbighshire as a fantastic place to shop.
Going online is key, according to Helen, a former fashion retailer and college lecturer, who said: “You have to talk about your offer and really promote it on social media and on your website – a lot of people don’t shop local because they don’t know what’s available.
“You need to really push what you’re offering and the benefits of shopping locally such as saving travelling time and the fact that the offer is very often niche, different and unique and you need to shout that from the rooftops.
“The towns have late night shopping so make the most of it, let people know when it is and what you’re doing – it’s an idea to invite other people like crafters and artists to exhibit in your store.
“For example, Snow in Summer in Denbigh has done that very well so it’s important to work with other people in your high street and telling the world why they should shop in your town.
“Shopkeepers need to get involved in events, Christmas fairs and markets – The Little Cheesemonger in Rhuddlan is doing that and that can drive people to your high street and your store.”
Helen, from Dyserth, worked for Fine Fare and Holland and Barratt before opening her own ethical clothing business in Llandudno and she has taught at Rhyl College, including a series of courses by the retail expert and TV star Mary Portas, on successful retailing.
She said: “There’s a great offer in Denbighshire, lots of unusual, quirky, specialist independent shops offering great products and people do want to buy something that’s a bit different, something with a story behind it, but you can’t just expect them to turn up, you’ve got to get them interested.”
As part of the Christmas #LoveLiveLocal campaign, the Council will be posting a video to highlight what the county has to offer and the campaign will encourage people to support local independent businesses by using the hashtag on Twitter and Facebook to share good experiences they have had as well as promote products and services locally they have ‘loved’.
For more information go to https://www.denbighshire.gov.uk/en/business/business-support-and-advice/love-live-local-caru-busnesau-lleol.aspx and businesses and customers can get involved by including #LoveLiveLocal in their tweets on Twitter and joining the #LoveLiveLocal group on Facebook.
Photo: #LoveLiveLocal - Carolyn Brindle, the Council's Lead officer for Business Support, with Mike Horrocks, Economic and Business Development Manager.
Funding available for open spaces and play areas in Denbighshire
Funding totalling £200,000 is available to improve open spaces and play areas in Denbighshire.
Our Open Spaces Commuted Sums is now open to communities across the county.
A commuted sum is a payment from developers to a local authority when it is not appropriate to provide the required outdoor open space during a development. The funds are held specifically for the enhancement of open spaces and play areas, and are used in the same area as the development.
The fund is open to city, town or community councils, community or voluntary groups.
The closing date for funding applications is Friday, January 31, 2020. Details can be found on our website.
Work starts on a hub for entrepreneurs
A former pub will be transformed into a co-working hub for entrepreneurs.
The Council has been awarded £312,000 through the European Regional Development Fund and the Welsh Government to create the office accommodation at the semi-derelict Costigans building on Bodfor Street, Rhyl.
Work started on site on October 21, creating accommodation for around 20 business start-ups in flexible accommodation with space to host events and a coffee shop on site.
Costigans is owned by the Council who refurbished the exterior after buying it following damage caused by a fire.
Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, Leader of the Council, said: “As part of our work to deliver our vision for Rhyl town centre, the building will be converted into modern co-working office accommodation with space for a coffee shop.
“It will provide a creative, flexible working environment with ultra-fast broadband, to support and encourage a new generation of small businesses to set up or to use the town centre as their base.
“We want to create a space where young people can take their first steps as business owners and help the next generation of entrepreneurs get their start. We want to support all young people to achieve their potential and this project supports that work.”
The scheme is part funded by the Building for the Future programme, funded by the Welsh Government and European Regional Development Fund.
Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn said: “Through our Building for the Future programme we are committed to creating lasting economic change.
“Our funding for regeneration is helping to boost local employment, and tackling economic, social and environmental priorities.
“This iconic old building which has served the community for so long is getting a new lease of life, and I look forward to seeing this centre flourish and grow.
“It will enable local people to come together and act as the social heart of the community and attract a new generation of small businesses to the town centre.
The Council will be looking for a tenant to take on the building and run the space.
The project forms part of the Vison for Rhyl document which aims to help create opportunities for the local community to shape their town and raise aspirations, bringing new business and footfall into the town centre.
Affordable housing increasing in Denbighshire
One in three homes provided in Denbighshire over the last two years were affordable housing.
Since 2017, 30% of homes provided in the county were classed as affordable and include new builds, empty homes returned to use and the re-purchase of former council houses, for a total of 154 affordable properties.
The Council has pledged to support the development of 1000 new homes in Denbighshire between 2017 and 2022, with 260 of those designated as affordable homes and 170 as council houses.
Councillor Tony Thomas, the council's Lead Member for Housing and Communities, said: “The Council recognised a need to ensure housing is available to meet the needs of Denbighshire residents. We made housing a priority in our Corporate Plan and we are delivering on our promise to provide a wide range of accommodation available to suit different needs and affordable homes are an important part of this.
“We have been working closely with developers and in partnership with registered social landlords to ensure demand in the county is being met.
“Building on the good work that has already taken place, we are expecting a rise in the level of affordable housing completed over the next few years.
“Providing more houses, and more affordable homes in particular, across our communities is part of our work to ensure we retain more young people in the county.
“This is also part of our efforts to prevent homelessness and provide more options to secure long-term, sustainable accommodation for those who have unfortunately found themselves homeless.”
As well as properties already built, there are currently 60 affordable housing units on mixed sites under construction in Rhewl, Rhuddlan, Llangollen, Rhyl, Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd and Dyserth.
A further 156 units on 100 per cent affordable housing sites are expected to be complete by 2020, including sites in Trefnant and Rhyl.
Sites with planning permission for new council homes include the former Bodnant School, Prestatyn; The Dell, Prestatyn; whilst a planning application has been submitted for 22 new homes on council owned land next to Tan y Sgubor, Upper Denbigh.
All new council homes are being built to the highest energy efficiency standards.
A property on Brighton Road, Rhyl, has also been renovated by the Council to create three new apartments.
Partnership school uniform recycling scheme scoops national honour
A successful project in Denbighshire to recycle school uniform and support families in the county has earned Citizens Advice Denbighshire a national honour.
They picked up the Best Collaborative Working Award 2019 at the National Citizens Advice Conference, in recognition of the work carried out with the Council and local communities.
The project provides an opportunity for parents to donate any unwanted / outgrown uniforms in good condition so that it can be recycled and made available to other families for free or a donation at a recycle shop (donations will help cover the cost of washing the uniforms). Numerous schools have taken part in the scheme since its launch in 2017. These uniforms have been sold at pop-up shops located in a number of the main towns in Denbighshire.
The scheme has also been supported by Denbigh and Rhyl town councils and the Community Foundation Wales. Citizens Advice Denbighshire has also provided vouchers for school uniforms for low income families, who don’t qualify for the school uniform grant, for children in Denbigh High School and Rhyl’s Christ the Word Catholic School.
Lesley Powell, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Denbighshire, said: “We were delighted to pick up this national award. It’s a great honour to be recognised for the work we do, and none of this could have been possible without the co-operation of Denbighshire County Council and the local community, as well as volunteers who run the pop up shops.
“We recognise that many families struggle with buying uniforms and we wanted to come up with an innovative and practical solution to help people access uniforms at prices they could afford.
“All the families attending the scheme are offered a follow up advice session to make sure everyone is claiming all their benefits, credits and grants”
Paul Barnes, Contracts and Performance Manager with the Council, said: “We are delighted to be working In partnership with Citizens Advice Denbighshire on this ground-breaking initiative, to make sure people can access services that help them out financially and practically.
“This project has grown from strength to strength, with more schools coming on board each year offering high quality unwanted school uniforms and more pop-up shops appearing in various communities. We look forward to developing the partnership further over the coming year and making sure that as many families as possible have access to this ground-breaking initiative”.
For more information on the location and opening times of the pop up shops visit www.denbighshire.gov.uk/school-uniform-recycle-scheme
Denbighshire Community Development Support
The recently launched Brenig Windfarm Fund and eagerly anticipated Clocaenog Windfarm Fund have created an exciting buzz in communities across the county hoping to successfully bid for funding. With a combined value of circa £900,000 per annum, it is easy to understand why, these two new community benefit funds provide a brilliant opportunity for many communities within Denbighshire, particularly in some of our most rural areas.
In the north of the county, communities already have access to a number of offshore windfarm funds with a combine value of more than £950,000. These funds include the Gwynt y Môr Windfarm Fund, Burbo Bank Windfarm Fund, Rhyl Flats Windfarm Fund and North Hoyle Windfarm Fund. Considered alongside the new additions mentioned above, windfarm funds now provide community grant funding opportunities for a significant proportion of Denbighshire.
Nevertheless, communities across the whole county are able to apply for a broad range of other grant funds, some of these funds are theme specific and others are more flexible. When developing a community project and seeking funding, it is important that communities carefully consider all funding options available to them and are able to present a strong case to demonstrate their project’s value. The Denbighshire Community Development team are able to help with this:
They can offer a broad range of support and guidance to groups across Denbighshire who are developing their own community projects. This includes City, Town and Community Councils.
The support offered is flexible to suit each group’s needs but most commonly the team offer guidance on topics such as funding availability, project development and community planning. The team can also act as a critical friend to help critique applications and business plans, providing strategic commentary.
The Community Development Team often signposts to key contacts within the Council. For example, if you need to speak to someone about a council function such as planning, parks, support for vulnerable people, business development, etc. the team can put you in touch with key council colleagues and other public sector colleagues.
We also signpost to Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council (DVSC), the membership body for the voluntary and community sector in the county. DVSC provides support in areas such as volunteering best practice, guidance on good governance, including a FREE organisational health check, advice on how to set up as a group or organisation and support using Funding Wales and Denbighshire Volunteers websites.
Their Winter Funding Fair launched the latest round of DVSC community led grants which will be open to the 23rd January. Their Spring Funding Fair takes place on Wednesday 25th March from 10-1pm. Funders will be on hand to provide advice. To register your attendance please follow this link bit.ly/SpringFundingFair2020.
If you would like support to develop a community project or idea please get in touch with our Community Development Team via email: email@example.com or phone 01824 706000
For more information on funding availability and community development please visit our community planning webpage: http://www.denbighshire.gov.uk/community-planning
To find out more about the support on offer from DVSC please visit: https://www.dvsc.co.uk/ or call: 01824 702441
Council appoints firm for environmental campaign
The Council has entered into a new partnership with a company to tackle environmental crime in the county.
District Enforcement work with a number of other local authorities across the country and have been appointed in Denbighshire to assist the council in dealing with environmental issues, with a key focus on educating the public and raising awareness of the issues around dog fouling and littering.
The company will work predominantly in areas where key issues have been identified and they will be highly visible in communities. Their main task is to engage with communities through education activities. They include visits to schools and community groups, as well as assisting the council with regular awareness campaigns.
There will inevitably be some enforcement action and Fixed Penalty Notices served, but law abiding residents have absolutely nothing to fear.
Emlyn Jones, Head of Planning and Public Protection, said: “Residents in Denbighshire tell us time and time again that issues such as littering and dog fouling is an issue of concern. We have listened to residents and we have made that one of our key priorities and we have been running an awareness campaign over recent years.
“We have seen a marked decrease in the number of complaints coming into the authority generally we have received a positive response from residents, but complaints are still coming in. The vast majority of people in Denbighshire also dispose of their rubbish in the correct manner and clean up after their dogs and we thank them for behaving responsibly.
“It is only a small number of people who think it’s right to litter our communities. Not only is that anti-social, it also makes an area look unsightly and people say it affects the quality of life. That is why we are serious about tackling the issue, but doing so predominantly from an education perspective.
“We recognise that there is a perception about enforcement teams nationwide, but we would like to reiterate the main focus is about having clean and tidy streets. The company will be providing regular reports on their work and they will be adhering to strict customer care guidelines, as would be expected of any organisation working with the Council.
“Those who comply with the law have absolutely nothing to worry about.
Warren Hodson of District Enforcement, said: “Obviously we’ll be going to engage with the public, educate them as well as educating the public on the impact that dog fouling and littering has on our kids. We’re also looking at doing presentations to primary schools, educating them from a young age so when they grow up there’s a culture there of knowing what to do.
“Our officers are highly trained in customer service and its very important to District Enforcement how we speak to people and we always calm any situations down. There’s going to be a lot of focus on dog fouling in this contract we’re looking at doing 16 hours a week on dog fouling in hot spots and public parks”.
Previously a similar arrangement was in place with Kingdom Securities Ltd, but the company took the decision to cease operating in the county in 2018.
Time running out for concessionary bus pass applications
Don’t forget that applications for concessionary bus passes need to be submitted by December 31st.
Transport for Wales are working with local councils and Welsh Government to roll out new-style Concessionary Travel Cards by the end of December 2019.
These cards will replace the current green 'bus passes' across Wales. The old-style cards will not be recognised by electronic readers on buses after 31 December 2019.
The new-style cards offer the same free travel rights and benefits as the current bus passes. The new cards are designed so that they can work as part of an integrated travel network in the future.
Advice and support with the application process is also available from your local council, Age Cymru and other community organisations. Find out where you can find help in your local area by contacting the help desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 303 4240.
Residents are encouraged to apply online or ask a friend, family member or someone they trust to apply online on their behalf.
Paper application forms are available here or by emailing your contact details to email@example.com. They’re also available from the council.
If you’ve applied for a new card, your application will be process and a new card will arrive before 31 December 2019.
If you’d like to track your application, please select “My existing card or application”. You’ll be asked to enter your National Insurance number, date of birth and postcode. Please be aware, it may take up to a week from when you applied before you’re able to check the status of your application.
If you know of people who’ve applied after you but have already received their new-style card, please don’t worry. There are instances where this will happen due to the way we check and verify applications.
In the meantime, your existing green bus pass is valid for travel until 31 December 2019
Further information is available here.
Let us tell you about Julie Bradley
Grandmother-of-12 Julie Bradley knows a thing or two when it comes to looking after people.
Having started life as a self-taught sewing machinist, Julie gave up work to raise her own children before moving to Rhyl in 1994.
As her own children got older, Julie decided to return to work and eased herself into the workplace beginning with a spell volunteering in Rhyl’s YMCA shop. But a range of health conditions including fibromyalgia, heart difficulties and infections, left Julie unable to work and she spent almost 13 years without a job.
“I really wanted to be working,” explains Julie, “but raising my children and my ongoing health problems meant I spent a great deal of time out of the workplace. When I first started in work you just used to knock on factory doors and ask if they had a vacancy. By the time I was able to return to work, everything had changed and I didn’t know where to start.”
During a jobs fair at Rhyl Town Hall, Julie came across Working Denbighshire and from there things started to look up. Working with mentor Cerian Asplet - Phoenix, Julie began to take the first steps back into employment.
Cerian worked with Julie to establish the kind of work she’d like to do, write a new CV, and help Julie search for jobs. Working Denbighshire also helped Julie by providing an outfit for interviews.
Cerian says: “Julie has been out of work for quite some time, so it was important to help build her confidence and point her in the right direction. Sometimes our help is about more than the search for a job but about giving people the tools they need to move forward. Julie represents herself well in interviews but needed the support to open the doors in the first place. We knew from spending time with Julie that she wanted to do a job where she could look after people.”
Julie then came across a role at Bodelwyddan’s Glan Clwyd Hospital, providing retail services across the wards.
An interview swiftly followed, and Julie has now joined the hospital team, selling refreshments and other goods to patients. For Julie, who sat a business studies course at Rhyl College, the job is a dream come true.
“My great nan lived until she was 94 and I listened to her stories and helped her around the house. I saw the advert for the job at the hospital and knew it was ideal for me. I love caring for people and helping them. I’m now doing my dream job and also training the other volunteers who work alongside me on the wards. My hours have been increased too.
“My health issues won’t go away but I can manage them in a way that works. Without Working Denbighshire, I don’t think I’d be where I am today. I didn’t know how to look for a job or even how to apply. Working Denbighshire proved to be a lifeline and, even though I am now in employment, they are still on the end of a phone if there is anything I need. They are not there to judge but to help and I can’t thank Cerian enough,” added Julie.
Ready for Work Careers Fairs
Working Denbighshire in partnership with Careers Wales organised and held Ready for Work careers fairs at Denbigh Leisure Centre and The Nova in Prestatyn. Students from year 9 in the local high schools were invited and supported to attend the events which gave them an opportunity to talk to potential employers, explore a variety of career options and engage with people who are working within different industries to get an insight into what the role entails. We had 69 employers and providers attend the events offering a widespread selection of sectors to help enrich the experience for students and stretch them beyond the school environment.
The careers fairs this year were highly interactive and students were exposed to different employers and providers including local colleges, Universities, local employers and businesses, entrepreneurs, armed services, NHS, public services and apprenticeship providers. Each exhibitor offered advice, guidance and an engaging activity to give students a taste of their area of work. Chester Zoo and Eric and Friends both had interactive sections allowing students to discover the possibilities of working with animals and also provided the opportunity for students to explore different roles available within this area of work that they may not have thought about previously. Henllan Bakery attended and provided taste samples of their products along with an interactive map showing the production pathway of the bakery and an example of the career progression. We had entrepreneurs discussing how they developed their companies from a single idea into a business enterprise and the local Natwest Community Bankers who provided an insight into the roles within the banking industry as well as educating students on local scam awareness. Local colleges and universities provided students with the opportunity to discuss the wide range of courses on offer including marine engineering, forensics, and hair and beauty. Techniquest brought science into the mix allowing students to discover how accessible science is and how we use it in everyday life. Working Denbighshire used a conversational Jenga game to prompt discussions with students about their careers and encouraged them to consider what they can do now to help them in their future career. Interactive virtual reality headsets offered by Careers Wales gave students a glimpse into the life of certain professionals including care, police, paramedics and the fire service. Drawing on the expertise of the employers/organisations and the many others that attended the events, our aim was to help students make informed career decisions and plans.
The 611 year 9 students from Denbighshire who attended the event thoroughly enjoyed the day, and the events were successful in encouraging students to explore the different career pathways available to them, with many students widening their aspirations and considering careers that they previously had not considered. The events allowed students to interact, develop their communication skills and think about what they can do now to help them in their future. On leaving the event each student was invited to feedback if they thought the event was ‘very useful’, ‘useful’ or ‘not useful’. 75% of students found the event was ‘Very Useful’, 24% considered it to be ‘useful’ and only 1% deemed the event ‘not useful’.
Overall it was a very successful venture and a valuable experience to continue to move forward with and build on to create bigger and better opportunities for young people. We would like to thank all the exhibitors that attended on the day, allowing the young people of our County to get an insight into the different careers on offer and hopefully guide them into a fun and fulfilling career in the future. We will be holding focus groups with both employers and students to build upon the success of these events and inform our planning for next year.
Meet Cristyn Jones .......
Some people say that their best friend is their dog and for Cristyn Jones that’s certainly true.
The 18-year-old animal lover has transformed her life thanks to a very special companion and help from Working Denbighshire.
Cristyn, from Rhyl, came to Working Denbighshire 18 months ago. For the past five years, Cristyn has been living with anxiety which had made it difficult for her to live her life as she would like. Chronically shy, Cristyn is autistic and also has epilepsy.
Attending college was overwhelming for Cristyn and she had left a travel and tourism college course as a result. But her love of animals has now set Cristyn, who is being mentored by Working Denbighshire’s Siobhan Hughes-Jones, on a different path.
“Before we could look at training or employment for Cristyn one of the first things we needed to do was help her with her anxiety. Cristyn left the college course as her social anxiety meant she found it overwhelming. We funded a course to help her learn how to handle social interactions with little tasks each week to build up her confidence.”
By spending time with Cristyn, Siobhan discovered the teenager’s love of animals and that she had taken in a rescue dog, a Bedlington Terrier called Bruce.
Three-year-old Bruce came from the Pet Rescue Welfare Association in Dyserth. Siobhan hit on the idea of securing Cristyn a placement at the rescue centre.
“I was actually a little scared of dogs before I got Bruce,” said Cristyn. “But he became my best friend. Siobhan came to the placement with me in the early days to help my confidence and together we’d walk the centre’s dogs and look after the other animals. By looking after the dogs there and from caring for my own I realised I’d like to consider dog grooming.”
Siobhan found an assistant dog grooming course at Llysfasi College. The fact the course is part-time was more manageable for Cristyn and Working Denbighshire paid for her to attend.
“Cristyn has almost completed the course and when it finishes in May she’ll leave with a qualification. We’ve been able to help her on so many levels – building her confidence, finding work experience, and paying for training. We’ve also funded the dog grooming equipment, such as clippers and scissors, she needed to take the course. It is amazing how far Cristyn has come in 18 months. We’ve held her hand when she needed it and will let her go when she’s ready.”
Cristyn has also found the confidence to apply for jobs. Working Denbighshire helped Cristyn develop her CV and she will be joining the team at Rhyl’s new SC2 water park, helping out in the cafés during busy periods. In the meantime, Working Denbighshire continues to support her as she looks for work with a dog groomers’ or considers starting a further college course.
Cristyn is delighted with the turn her life has taken. “I can’t believe how much has changed. Before I came to Working Denbighshire I wouldn’t go anywhere on my own. Now I’ve had work experience, been for interviews, nearly completed a college course and found something I love doing. I hope one day to open my own dog groomers and I’ve got my eye on my mum’s garage!” she said.
Working Denbighshire at the Oaktree Centre, Rhyl
Working Denbighshire are always thriving to build relationships with new teams and venues across Denbighshire.
In October, they had the opportunity to engage with staff and parents at the Oaktree Centre in Ffordd Las, Rhyl for the first time. A stand was set up in the foyer, equipped with Working Denbighshire leaflets and information. There was a good stream of parents popping into the centre throughout the morning and it was used as an opportunity to offer employability support and a free paediatric first aid course to all who were interested.
In the afternoon, the ‘Little Adventurers’ group met, where young children are free to play with a wide range of fun toys, supported by youth workers and parents were offered support. The paediatric first aid course held, was particularly well received.
The team welcomed the opportunity to chat with the youth workers in such a relaxed environment with plans to establish further communications with Working Denbighshire moving forward.
The staff at the Oaktree Centre were very grateful for Working Denbighshire's support to parents at the centre. They're hoping to visit the centre again soon!
For future engagement sessions at the Oaktree Centre, please have a look at the Council's events page on their website.