Category: Jammin’ with…


Art awards give people with learning disabilities a creative output during COVID-19 pandemic

By Raspberry Jim,


A UK-wide art awards originally launched in 2011 is making a welcome comeback to provide a creative outlet for those with special education needs struggling to cope during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Create! Awards have been brought back by popular demand by organisers Beechwood College following a four-year hiatus.

Attracting thousands of entries from across the UK and overseas, as well as winning its own UK Award for Autism Best Practice, the originally titled Create! Art for Autism awards proved to be hugely popular amongst the autism community.

Now known as Create! to reflect wider inclusivity, the awards have been opened up to individuals from six years of age upwards with any special education needs, an autistic spectrum condition or a learning disability.

The theme for the awards this year is ‘Dreams’ with three categories to enter: 2D or 3D Art, Digital Media, Poetry or Short Prose. Each category is divided into age groups that include 6-10 years, 11-19 years and 20 years+ and there are prizes for winners and runners up in each age group and category.

Judge, Mahlia Amatina, who is an award-winning conceptual artist on the spectrum and one of the ‘Top 50 Influential Neurodivergent Women’ as voted by Women Beyond the Box, said:

“I am delighted to sit on the judging panel for Create!. I’m really pleased to see the creative ability of those with autistic spectrum conditions and special education needs showcased throughout the UK.

“Having a creative outlet in these difficult times is extremely beneficial for everyone. It’s a great opportunity to focus the mind on something positive, I really can’t wait to see all of the entries!”

Kelly Hull, Principal at Beechwood College, said:

“We are thrilled to be able to relaunch Create! this year. The awards proved to be a huge success in previous years, and it seemed the perfect time to bring them back. Many people with special education needs have been struggling with the uncertainty that the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has brought, and we know the competition will provide a much-needed creative outlet.

“We are looking forward to seeing all of this year’s entries and we hope that Create! will give everyone an enjoyable opportunity to channel their energies into expressing their creativity and letting their imaginations run free.”

The Create! Awards will see the return of previous judges Anna Kennedy OBE – founder of UK autism charity Anna Kennedy Online, artist and former art teacher Steve Knapik MBE, photographer and founder of autism advisory service ‘Accepting Behaviour’ Aaron Yorke and artist and former teacher Neil Burridge. They will be joined by new judges visionary artist Mahlia Amatina, Director of Hijinx Theatre Ben Pettit-Wade, Liam Ashworth, an artist and learning mentor, Director of Autism Wellbeing Rorie Fulton and founder and CEO of the Autism Directory, Nadine Honeybone.

Entries will open on the 1st July 2020 and close on 31st August 2020. To enter visit www.createart.org.uk 

Beechwood College in South Wales is a specialist day and residential service for young adults between the ages of 16 and 25 with an Autism Spectrum Condition.

Loteri Cymru earmarks ‘unprecedented’ £40,000 for pandemic-hit Welsh charities

By Raspberry Jim,


Struggling charities across Wales are set to benefit from an “unprecedented” donation of £40,000 thanks to the all-Wales lottery, Loteri Cymru.

The lottery, which was established to support Welsh charities, has earmarked the sum to offer vital financial assistance to local causes affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

This comes after it was reported by the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) that charities expected to see their voluntary income plummet by 48% due to lockdown measures, while demand for their services continued to increase rapidly.

In a bid to offer a lifeline, Loteri Cymru has earmarked £40,000 to support charities across Wales this year, of which £10,000 has already been donated to Carers Trust Wales.

The funds will be split between the most vulnerable organisations which have been significantly affected during the pandemic, according to Phil Gerrish, marketing manager for Loteri Cymru. Mr Gerrish said:

“Lockdown has been an extremely challenging time for many of us, and for charities which provide invaluable services to millions of people, this concern has been even greater.

“Despite facing hugely concerning funding challenges due to social restrictions, they have continued to provide a vital lifeline to people in need.

“We wanted to show our gratitude to these dedicated charities with a donation of £40,000, which we hope will enable them to continue the life-changing work they undertake.

“We’re grateful to our lottery players who have made this donation possible and to the charities in Wales for their endless dedication.”

Loteri Cymru supports numerous Welsh charities annually, including LATCH – the Welsh Children’s Cancer Charity, Welsh Hearts, The Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales, Youth Cymru, and North Clwyd Animal Rescue (NCAR).

For just £1 a week, players can help raise vital funds for charities in Wales, as well as try their luck at scooping the £25,000 weekly jackpot cash prize.

Play today at www.loteri.cymru

Over 80 ‘dedicated’ Welsh Scouts to receive prestigious national awards

By Raspberry Jim,


Over 80 inspirational Welsh ScoutCymru volunteers are set to receive the organisation’s highest national honours thanks to their “perseverance, dedication, and commitment” to uniting communities.

Scouts from Caerphilly, Cardiff, Cwmbran, Flintshire, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Swansea, Vale of Glamorgan and Wrexham are among 82 highly achieving members who are set to be recognised as part of this year’s Good Service Awards celebration.

The event, which traditionally takes place in Windsor on St George’s Day with Chief Scout Bear Grylls OBE in attendance, sees prestigious awards including The Silver Wolf, The Silver Acorn, and Bar to the Silver Acorn handed out.

With this year’s celebration cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, members will be receiving their awards throughout the year from their local Scouting organisations.

Among those to receive Scouting’s highest awards this year are Claudia Currie, Deputy District Commissioner for Cardiff North; Ian Stephens of 25th Cardiff Cub Scouts; Lucien Boudier and Phillip Perks of Penarth and District Explorer Scouts, Susan Evans of 15th Barry Scouts, Jenni Aazem of 44th Sketty, David Jenkins, Area Appointments Chairman in Pembrokeshire, Bernard Gravill, Group Skills Instructor at Pen-y-Ffordd, Colleen Graham of 6th Wrexham, John Heaps and Monika Gravill of Flintshire, and Philip Bentley of 1st Rossett who will receive the Silver Acorn, an accolade which is given after at least 20 years’ distinguished service.

While David Burton, the Assistant Section Leader for Wrexham Explorer Scouts, will receive the Bar to the Silver Acorn, which is awarded after The Silver Acorn and following an additional five years’ exceptional service.

The Welsh recipients were among Scouts nationally to receive prestigious awards celebrating their achievements across Scouting throughout the past year.

Chief Commissioner of Wales Rhian Moore congratulated all the “outstanding” volunteers who were recognised this year. She said:

“This year, once again, our volunteers have shown exceptional perseverance, dedication, and commitment to Scouting in Wales and we are incredibly proud of them.

“They have gone above and beyond to unite and support communities, and ensure young people develop invaluable skills for life which help them succeed now and in the future.

 “These exemplary individuals enable over 15,000 young girls and boys to explore the outdoors, enjoy fun and adventure, and grow in confidence every year.

 “Thanks to the support of these volunteers, we are creating stronger communities in Wales and inspiring positive futures for the people of Wales.

“Now more than ever, these dedicated volunteers are vital for uniting, inspiring and motivating Wales’s youth at a time when we cannot be together.  We’d like to thank them for their truly remarkable commitment, and we look forward to celebrating with them in person in the near future.”

Welsh award recipients have supported over 15,000 young people in Wales to gain skills for life through ScoutsCymru in the past 12 months.

The organisation is open to all young people in Wales regardless of faith, gender, sexual orientation, race or social background, and encourages its members to do more, learn more and be more

On the outstanding achievements of this year’s award winners, Chief Scout Mr Grylls said it was “vital that we recognise those that have truly shone”. He said:

“It’s so important that we thank and recognise our fellow Scouts for their incredible service. These are the shining lights who make Scouts possible.  Most of us in Scouts look for, and expect, no reward. But a timely word of thanks is always appreciated and can work wonders.

“Our Good Service Awards are on opportunity to make that occasional ‘thank you’ even more special. They’re for those special volunteers who, over time, you find yourself thanking more frequently.

“I also love the fact we celebrate those young people and adults who show courage in adversity and quick thinking in the face of danger.  While we can’t recognise everyone every year – it’s vital we recognise those who have truly shone and I’m sure the awards listed mean the world to those outstanding people and their families.”

COVID-19: Top tips on communicating with people with learning disabilities

By Raspberry Jim,


With updates on the Covid-19 pandemic provided daily, the sheer volume of information has been challenging for most people to digest, but more so for those with learning disabilities.

However, as communication is a basic human need and right, despite the many challenges of communicating this complex information, it’s important that people invest the time to make sure everyone has the opportunity to fully understand what is happening around us.

Communicating the changes effectively with those who have learning disabilities is essential to maintaining their mental health during this worrying time.

Dr Hayley Thomas, a Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Pinetree Hospital, a specialist care provider for those with learning disabilities, behaviours that challenge and complex mental health needs, explained that the changes in routine and the sheer amount of information to process can prove traumatic for those with learning disabilities.

In a bid to support families, carers and professionals, Hayley has offered her expert advice during Learning Disability Awareness Week on the challenges being faced and how to effectively communicate complex information and support those living with learning disabilities during the pandemic.


What are the communication challenges people with learning disabilities face and how has COVID-19 exacerbated these?

The challenges largely depend on the level of learning disability the person has. We have people at Pinetree Hospital who have mild disabilities and are able to use and understand verbal language and written communication methods pretty well. But, we also have service users who have significant communication impairments and struggle to process information and understand new situations.

One of the biggest challenges people with learning disabilities have faced is the change to their routine and predictable, familiar day. In particular, people with Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC) find it hard to adapt to, and understand new situations; so being told overnight that they couldn’t go out or follow their normal routine was difficult for them to comprehend.

Another challenge of COVID-19 has been the complexity of the information being distributed. A lot of what is coming from the Government is very technical, so we’ve had to simplify it quite significantly. The challenge has been in explaining information in the simplest terms without losing its meaning or undermining the significance of the situation.

PPE and face masks have also had an impact on communication, particularly non-verbal communication. Some individuals rely heavily on being able to see someone’s facial expression to interpret emotions; whilst others might rely upon lip reading due to hearing impairments. All of which is made more difficult when those supporting them are wearing a face mask.


During the pandemic there has been some complex information to communicate, how have you gone about this? What tools, tactics, programmes have you used?

We have been using easy read guides provided by Public Health Wales and Public Health England, along with developing material specific to our service users.

We’ve created a lot of our own bespoke material that specifically meets the individual’s particular needs and circumstances. For some of our service users, we use packages such as Photosymbols, which uses pictures to supplement simple text. For others, we use augmented communication systems which are picture-based communications rather than speech or text to support their understanding. In order to ensure everyone is supported to be able to access the same consistent messages, we’ve needed to have the same information in a number of different formats.

We have also used a lot of Social Stories which are short stories created to illustrate certain situations and problems and how people deal with them in order to help our service users understand the changes to their particular routines. We’ve also put together a set of frequently asked questions, which we keep adding to, to ensure that we maintain a consistent message.


As restrictions start to lift, we’re still in a state of flux, what are your top tips for communicating with someone with a learning disability during this time?

The first thing would be to check the information that you are giving out.  While this may sound simple, there’s so much misinformation out there it’s important to check your sources to ensure what you’re communicating is accurate, up-to-date, and relevant to where you live. Also, it is important that it is communicated in a timely manner to avoid individuals seeing or hearing it elsewhere and misinterpreting it. Any confusion or misinterpretation could add to anxieties. 

The second tip would be tailoring your communication method to suit the individual and making sure the information is really clear and concise. For a parent or family member, use whatever method works best for the person you’re communicating with. For professionals, it’s about having the same information in multiple formats so that it’s accessible for all.

Thirdly, be open-minded in the way you share information. From videos to symbols, there are lots of different communication methods out there. Think creatively about how you can share the information in a way that is understandable to the individual.

Finally, whether you are a carer, family member or part of a professional team, have joint discussions about what information you actually need to share. It’s about knowing what’s important to the individual and what may cause them distress. People with learning disabilities have the same rights as everyone else to have information. So always share information, unless you have a really good reason not to.

Despite the complexity and uncertainty of the situation, we find ourselves in don’t shy away from communicating with people with learning disabilities and making sure they’re up-to-date with what’s going on. Like everyone else, it’s crucial for their mental and physical health to understand the new world around them.


Dr Hayley Thomas works at Pinetree Hospital in Cardiff, which is part of the Ludlow Street Healthcare Group.

Traveline Cymru proud to sponsor Wales Transport Awards

By Raspberry Jim,


Traveline Cymru is delighted to be supporting this year’s Wales Transport Awards and shining a light on the outstanding work taking place across the nation’s transport sector.

The Welsh Government’s public transport information service is among leading businesses which are sponsoring the awards at the second annual event, which is set to take place on October 9th.

The event, which will be held at Mercure Holland House in Cardiff, will celebrate the achievements of businesses and individuals from a variety of different transport backgrounds across Wales.

Nominees are recognised across 16 categories including Customer Care, Excellence in Technology, Fleet of the year and Exemplary Environmentally Friendly Businesses.

This year Traveline Cymru, which provides route and timetable information for all bus, coach and rail services in the country, will be sponsoring the Services to the Transport Industry Award.

The award, which recognises a person or organisation that has consistently delivered excellent services to the transport sector, was claimed by Traveline Cymru in 2019.

The transport information service, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, was recognised after helping customers plan over eight million journeys across Wales online since 2012, delivering over 5.1 million pieces of transport information in 2019, and seen its app used over 1.5 million times in 2019 alone.

The not-for-profit information provider’s North Wales contact centre also handled over 93,000 calls in 2019 and received a 94% customer satisfaction rating this year.

On sponsoring this year’s award, Jo Foxall, Managing Director at Traveline Cymru, said it was a pleasure to be highlighting the exceptional work of those who are going above and beyond in the transport sector “now more than ever”. She said:

“COVID-19 has caused unprecedented financial strain, logistical and health and safety issues for the transport industry.

“We are delighted to be sponsoring this year’s Services to the Transport Industry category and shining a light on unsung heroes going above and beyond every day.

“Now more than ever, it is vital to recognise the contribution that transport businesses are making in continuing to provide essential, safe travel under difficult circumstances.

“Thousands of drivers, cleaners, engineers, call centre workers and many others have worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic to ensure they can be there for passengers when they are needed most.

“We’d like to thank the Wales Transport Awards for continuing to recognise these incredible workers, and we look forward to celebrating their fantastic achievements later this year.”

Entries to the Wales Transport Awards will close on June 19th, to nominate please visit  https://www.walestransportawards.co.uk/awards/2020/enter

Traveline Cymru is a not-for-profit company providing route and timetable information for all bus, coach and rail services in the country. The company is based on a partnership between the Welsh Government, public transport operators in Wales and Welsh local authorities. Its services are delivered via a bilingual website, a freephone telephone number, an app and text service and social media.  

Cardiff networking team say ‘adaptability key to business survival’ during coronavirus

By Raspberry Jim,


The Cardiff networking team behind Warrior Women Collective, whose events were transformed overnight due to the coronavirus pandemic, say “adaptability is key to business survival”.

Charlie Morgan and Amy Holland, the creators of the increasingly popular series of female-focussed events, are urging business leaders to adopt greater flexibility in their approach following the worldwide virus outbreak in March.

The duo are speaking out after being forced to swiftly adapt their events offering, which have soared in popularity since their launch in 2017.

Warrior Women Collective aims to empower and celebrate women through their series of female-focussed events. The uplifting, inspirational, and empowering events aim to engage women in thought-provoking and positive discussions.

They have featured speakers including some of Wales’s leading businesswomen and entrepreneurs, including Sophie HoweFuture Generations Commissioner for Wales, and Hannah Pycroft co-founder of Spectrum Collections, while also shining a light on thriving female-run businesses.

Their popularity has soared over the past three years, with up to 1,000 women attending their 12 events last year and a 290% surge in attendees from the previous year.

Ms Morgan said: “Warrior Women Collective has been growing in strength over the past three years and we have been blown away by our growing community of women who attend our events and support us online too. We have also been humbled by the amazing women and inspirational speakers who have really made our events so memorable.

“Our events have consistently sold out, our audiences have increased, and the venues have grown, so we were really delighted with how well the events were doing and had big plans on how to keep developing and growing them.

“I think Cardiff was really ready for an informal, uplifting, and empowering series of events which celebrate the achievements of women.”

However, like millions of other businesses worldwide, the Warrior Women Collective co-founders were forced to re-valuate their business rapidly when the coronavirus pandemic broke out.

Ms Holland said: “Our events were completely transformed overnight by coronavirus.

“Social distancing and lockdown restrictions have indefinitely put a stop to our networking style events in their existing format, which is such a shame, and something which we were devastated by.

“But we didn’t want to just give up and let our amazing audiences and community down. More than ever women need to be supported, united, and empowered during this challenging time.

“So, we were forced to quickly regroup and re-evaluate how we could still cater to our audience and continue to host these events.”

After discussions, Ms Holland and Ms Morgan decided to launch their sell-out events online, enabling existing, and new attendees from across Wales and beyond to get involved. Ms Morgan added:

“Initially we weren’t sure how successful these would be online, would the format translate to Zoom? What happens if we have technical issues? Would our speakers be able to open up and share their stories as effectively on an online platform?

“These were big concerns for us as it’s the connection between our audience and the speakers that is really special at a Warrior Women event.”

Thankfully, the duo has seen their online events sell out, and over 100 attendees log in to listen to thought-provoking and inspiring speakers since March. Ms Morgan said:

“We’re amazed with the response to these online sessions, which have been beyond our expectations. 

“We have been able to reach a far wider audience online, and become more inclusive helping to benefit those who we previously couldn’t reach.

“Women who previously may have been too nervous to share their stories are speaking out for the first time, women who were unable to attend due to childcare responsibilities, and many others who for varying reasons couldn’t take part are now logging in and enjoying our events.

“We can’t thank our network and speakers enough for all their support and for adapting with us in these challenging times. 

“Warrior Women Collective, like millions of other initiatives, has had to become flexible and draw on creativity in order to survive.

“Our success underlines the importance of adaptability and how that is key to business progress in this unprecedented time.

“Yes, it was daunting taking the leap and deciding to recreate our offering in this format, but it was worth the risk, we have learnt so much and we’d encourage anyone considering it, to just go for it.”

Warrior Women will be hosting its next event on June 18. For more information and tickets visit https://warriorwomencollective.co.uk/next-event

Disease litigation specialist appointed to Watkins and Gunn to ‘expand offering’

By Raspberry Jim,


A disease litigation specialist is “thrilled” to have been appointed to Newport firm Watkins and Gunn to help “expand and strengthen” the firm’s offering.

Lyndsey Gordon-Webb has joined the award-winning firm as an associate solicitor and will also head up the growing Disease Litigation team from this month.

As part of her new role, the 35-year-old will handle all aspects of industrial disease, which have been created as a result of work-related negligence.

The Bridgend-based solicitor is also aiming to expand the firm’s specialist Disease Litigation department, and enhance its offering throughout Wales.

On her appointment, Mrs Gordon-Webb said:

“I am thrilled to have joined the team at Watkins and Gunn and have the opportunity to work with this fantastic team of dedicated solicitors.

“The prospect of heading up and really growing the Disease Litigation department was such an exciting opportunity, and one that I am looking forward to undertaking.

“I am sure it will be a challenge, but one that is certainly worthwhile, and I am very excited about what the future holds. I’d like to thank the managing partners for their belief in me, and I look forward to working alongside them to make the department a success.”

Mrs Gordon-Webb joins the firm after amassing 14-years’ experience as a senior associate solicitor at Hugh James, and also building an extensive reputation for her specialist work in international disease litigation.

On her appointment to Watkins and Gunn, managing partner at the firm, Clive Thomas, said Mrs Gordon-Webb’s experience would be an asset to the firm. He said:

“We are delighted to welcome Lyndsey to the firm, who will head up our growing Disease Litigation department.

“Lyndsey’s breadth of experience, is certain to be an asset to Watkins and Gunn as we look to expand and strengthen our offering going forward.

“Lyndsey’s expertise and knowledge in this area precedes her, and as such we are sure that she will enhance the reputation and capabilities of the team.

“We’d like to congratulate her on her appointment and look forward to working alongside her.”

Watkins and Gunn Solicitors are Newport, Cardiff and Pontypool Solicitors offering a wide range of legal services including Accident Claims, Medical Negligence, Wills and Probate, Employment Law,  and Business Law.

Traveline Cymru celebrates “exceptional” customer service results

By Raspberry Jim,


Satisfaction levels among public transport passengers using Traveline Cymru’s suite of information services have reached 94% thanks to its ease of use and helpfulness, according to its latest report.

The research, which was conducted by independent organisation Finger on the Pulse, reveals that customers found its ‘one-stop shop’ for travel information to be highly regarded and valued over the past 12 months.

Customer feedback suggested that staff helpfulness, accuracy of information and ease of use were among the reasons users rated the bilingual service highly.

The research found that the public transport information provider’s website scored an overall satisfaction level of 80%, with users most likely to view it on their mobile phone.

Its freephone number, managed by its contact centre in Penrhyndeudraeth, also achieved an impressive overall satisfaction rating of 94%. Among the main reasons cited for its success by survey respondents were staff helpfulness and its ability to efficiently deliver information to customers.

The research showed that thanks to its effectiveness, few customers were able to suggest improvements to the service.

The positive results follow an impressive year for the Welsh Government’s public transport information service and umbrella organisation PTI Cymru, having won the Services to the Transport Industry Award at the 2019 Wales Transport Awards. They have also secured two new contact centre contracts with National Rail Enquiries and the Rail Delivery Group’s ‘Rail to Refuge’ initiative after quickly adapting its business to facilitate staff working from home during the coronavirus crisis.

Jo Foxall, Managing Director at Traveline Cymru, said:

“We are proud to have maintained an extremely high level of customer satisfaction this year with these exceptional results. Our dedicated team work hard to prioritise customer satisfaction and are thrilled by their continued success.

“While our scores this year are high across the board, we are keen to take on board comments which highlight opportunities for us to improve our services so we can continue to offer the exceptional standard of service our customers have come to expect.”

Traveline Cymru is a not-for-profit company providing route and timetable information for all bus, coach and rail services in the country. The company is based on a partnership between the Welsh Government, public transport operators in Wales and Welsh local authorities. Its services are delivered via a bilingual website, a freephone telephone number, an app and text service and social media.  

ScoutsCymru launches Celebration Awards searching for ‘dedicated’ Welsh Scouts

By Raspberry Jim,


ScoutsCymru has launched its fourth annual Celebration of Scouting Awards searching for the most “inspirational and innovative” members across Wales.

The organisation, which supports over 15,000 young people in Wales to gain skills for life through exploration and adventure, will this year recognise volunteers of all ages across nine categories.

These include Inspirational Volunteer, New and Innovative, Community Impact, Group, Trustee Volunteer, Adult Volunteer, young Volunteer, Lifetime Achievement, and this year’s newly launched award Excellence in Leadership and Resilience.

The awards, which will launch online, aim to celebrate and recognise the success of Scouts throughout Wales, who strive to do more, learn more and be more.

On this year’s launch, Chief Commissioner of Wales Rhian Moore, said they were extremely excited to be celebrating the very best in Welsh scouting once again this year. She said:

“The Celebration of Scouting Awards are the highlight of our calendar here at ScoutsCymru as they enable us to shine a light on the fantastic work being undertaken here in Wales.

“Our awards recognise the outstanding work of volunteers of all ages and experience and act as a thank you for all their inspirational and innovative work over the past year.

“This year’s awards will be even more special as we’ve added a new category, recognising leaders who have demonstrated excellence and resilience and truly made a difference within Scouting and their community during unprecedented times.

“This is your chance to get involved and nominate a leader, fellow Scout, or volunteer who you think has gone above and beyond and deserves to be celebrated.

“With most of us now socially isolating, this is a chance to come together to recognise and celebrate those who are uniting communities and inspiring positive futures for the people of Wales.”

The Celebration of Scouting Awards will take place later this year with a date set to be determined by ScoutsCymru.

To nominate a volunteer please fill in this form www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/COSA2020 or to complete in Welsh fill in this form www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/COSA2020Cymraeg by 31st August

Newport Scouts hike to the moon for charity

By Raspberry Jim,


Adventurous Scouts across Newport have taken social distancing to astronomic levels by hiking to the moon in aid of life-changing local charities.

The Newport District Scouts have taken part in Scouting’s UK-wide Hike to the Moon challenge, which saw members walk the equivalent number of miles to the moon in aid of charities supported by Comic Relief and Children in Need.

Over the last few weeks, 150 Newport-based Scouts and three Explorer units have taken part in the challenge, with each member tasked with completing a mile in the most creative way possible.

Across the nation, they were joined by thousands of Scouts, friends, and family who collectively walked 240,000 miles raising over £328,000 for Children in Need and Comic Relief.

Newport’s Scouts added around £500 to that total by completing approximately 300 miles from their homes, gardens, and local areas while adhering to social distancing rules.

Deputy District Youth Commissioner Dylan Murray said he was “thrilled” with the creativity and determination shown by Newport’s Scouts and Explorers when taking on this initiative. He said:

“The Hike to the Moon challenge was a fantastic way to bring our groups together for something worthwhile a time when they are apart.

“The challenge really brought out the best in our members, who displayed their determination and creativity in undertaking their individual mile. Whether they skipped, danced or walked it was a highly enjoyable and rewarding event for all involved.

“We are thrilled with how much we helped to raise, which will make such a difference to the lives of vulnerable people throughout Newport and beyond at this particularly difficult time.

“We’d like to thank all those who took part, and supported us during this nationwide initiative.

“As Scouts it’s our mission to unite people through adventure, activity, and exploration, and we feel that this challenge really underlined our core values.”

The Hike to the Moon challenge is part of The Scout’s Great Indoors initiative, which has been launched to entertain and inspire children during the coronavirus lockdown.

Great Indoors is a collection of over 200 free activities suitable for families to undertake at home. The collection aims to enable families to have fun and develop skills for life during self-isolation.

To explore the Great Indoors visit https://scouts.org.uk/the-great-indoors.

ScoutsCymru gives over 14,000 young people in Wales the opportunity to enjoy fun and adventure while developing the skills they need to succeed, now and in the future. Open to all young people in Wales regardless of faith, gender, sexual orientation, race or social background, the movement encourages its members to do more, learn more and be more.