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Short term family accommodation unveiled in Caerphilly Town Centre A state of the art facility has been unveiled in Caerphilly Town Centre to provide temporary accommodation to 13 families who are having problems with housing. Acorn House – or Ty’r Fesen – aims to provide short term accommodation for families who find themselves homeless and supports them into more permanent housing. The facility boasts 13 family rooms, including two units which have been specifically designed to accommodate wheelchair users. The facility, located on the site of the former Encon engineering works in the heart of Caerphilly town centre, forms part of a wider flagship development consisting of an additional 16 much needed new homes. Acorn House not only delivers outstanding accommodation and communal facilities including a crèche area and gardens, but also offers essential life skills classes such as budgeting and cooking; helping prepare and support the families it houses for moving on in to more permanent accommodation. Acorn House has been developed in partnership between Caerphilly County Borough Council and United Welsh. The facility was officially opened this week by Leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council, Cllr Harry Andrews and Chair of United Welsh, Ian Gilbert.   Read the whole story about the new short term accommodation at the Caerphilly Borough Council website.
£2,275 cash incentive for employers taking on unemployed 18-24 year olds Wage incentives could be yours when you take on an unemployed 18 to 24 year old and are available through Jobcentre Plus across England, Scotland and Wales. They are also available if you take on a young person from the Work Programme, delivered by the private, public and voluntary sector to help individuals at risk of becoming long-term unemployed find work. In addition, wage incentives are available for taking on a young disabled person from the Work Choice programme. How it works If you take on a young person for 16 hours or more each week in a job lasting more than 26 weeks then you could claim an incentive. There are two rates: for part-time work between 16 and 29 hours a week – £1,137.50 for full-time work of 30 hours or more a week – £2,275. This will be paid 26 weeks after the employee starts work. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees can claim a part payment eight weeks after the employee starts work. Who can claim? Wage incentives are available to private, voluntary and community sectors and social enterprise employers. Central government departments, their executive agencies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) will be excluded from claiming them, however the wider public sector such as NHS trusts, will not. For more information   Cash Incentive for employers scheme PDF
Welsh dragon
Join St David on his Pilgrim Trail Children across Caerphilly county borough are invited to take a pilgrimage through the shops of Bargoed, Blackwood, Caerphilly and Risca between 18th February and 1st March to celebrate the patron saint of Wales. The St David’s Pilgrim Trail has been developed by the Council’s Town Centre Management Team to encourage school children and their parents to explore their local town centre and support the independent shops that trade there. Before setting out on the trail, children must collect an entry form from the designated point in their town centre. The entry forms will have a list of facts about St David and a list of shops where the clues are being displayed. To be in with a chance of winning a fantastic prize, children must simply match the fact to the shop. When completed, the entry form must be signed by an adult and then deposited in the submissions box at the relevant town centre ‘Drop Off Point’. The entry boxes will be opened on 4th March and the winners selected at random and notified. Cllr Ken James, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Sustainable Development, said, “The trail is a fun and ingenious way of stimulating residents into exploring their town centres and the shops that they may not normally give their custom. Not only will this trail encourage children and parents to shop locally and discover more about their town centre, it will allow independent retailers to expand their customer base.” The designated collection and drop off points in each town centre are as follows: Caerphilly – The…
Tesco contract for local Blackwood business may lead to new jobs Blackwood based Just Love Food Company, which makes nut free cakes has just seen it’s order to supply 42 tesco stores increase to 140 across the UK. The company was created in 2010 by former Memory Lane Cakes manager Mike Woods after he became frustrated sourcing cakes for his children who suffer from nut allergies. He spotted a gap in the market and decided to open up the business in Blackwood employing local people from the Caerphilly area and it is hoped the new contract to supply 4 cake lines to 140 stores and a possible increase of an additional 2 cake lines to 350 stores will lead to many more jobs for the local community. Just Love Food Company has 10 different food lines showcased on their website but they will be supplying Tesco with their nut free Pirate, Princess, Happy Birthday and Celebration cakes. The contract comes after the company met with local Tesco buyer Mr Grant who introduced the cakes to the 42 local stores in Wales within 5 months of the business opening and Mr Grant saw the potential of the business with it’s owner Mike Woods having excellent understanding of the market area with his past experience and introduced the innovative food supplier to head buyers at Tesco. The contract is set to increase turnover at the Blackwood based company up to 80%. For more information on visit the Just Love Food Company website
Taste of Enterprise
Sign up for a Taste of Enterprise An initiative that encourages budding entrepreneurs to test-drive their business ideas opens in Bargoed on Thursday 14 February. Taste of Enterprise is a Welsh Government initiative run by the Centre for Business, and allows people to try out ideas for new businesses with qualified business mentors free of charge. They will also have the opportunity to chat through their plans with established traders, and take part in various workshops and activities in a positive and supportive atmosphere. Taste of Enterprise has proved popular since its launch in 2007, with offices in Merthyr Tydfil and Ebbw Vale, and a stall in Pontypool market.  It has assisted 550 people of which 385 have had a business outcome. David Russ, Managing Director of the Centre for Business, said: “Starting a new business involves a huge financial commitment. Taste of Enterprise will allow people to try out their ideas and find out if they have the potential to succeed, without having to worry about losing money.” Centre for Business already has opened Taste of Enterprise centres in Merthyr Tydfil and Ebbw Vale, along with a stall in Pontypool market. In order to qualify, participants must live in the Heads of the Valleys Region and must not already have their own business. The Taste of Enterprise Bargoed is located at 48 Hanbury Road, Bargoed, next to The Continental Café. To find out more contact the team on 01685 376732, email tasteofenterprise@centreforbusiness.co.uk or visit www.tasteofenterprise.co.uk.
IT Amnesty
Caerphilly residents urged to donate unwanted equipment for ‘IT Amnesty’! A campaign in the Caerphilly county borough for residents to put their old computers and mobile phones to good use will be in full swing in the New Year. The ‘IT Amnesty’ campaign aims to recycle and refurbish old computers and mobile phones, and put them to good use in the community. The items are fully refurbished and provided to people who don’t currently have access to modern digital equipment. Cllr Ken James, Digital Champion for Caerphilly County Borough Council said, “Many of us find ourselves with old unused equipment gathering dust, such as laptops, mobile phones, computers or games consoles. This campaign aims to put these items to good use by refurbishing and recycling them back into our communities. There are a number of residents still not online and who don’t have access to the very equipment we hope to collect. This is a fantastic way for people to help others who don’t currently have access to the latest digital technology.” Rose Davies, a young carer from Cefn Hengoed, is the latest recipient of a refurbished laptop through the scheme. Rose is an unsung hero and cabinet member of the Caerphilly Youth Forum who helps to take care of her mother. Providing Rose with a laptop will enable her to get online and be able to do school work, and apply for vocational training courses. The ‘IT Amnesty’ is driven by the local Get Caerphilly Online partnership, with support from Caerphilly County Borough Council, Partners IT, Communities 2.0 and the Get IT Together project. Members of the public can…
Ystrad Mynach business wins major high street contracts over Far East International Greetings, an Ystrad Mynach based company producing christmas wrapping paper has just fought off competition from the far east to win half a dozen contracts to supply major high street shops. The company, which is one of Europe’s biggest producers of gift wrap employs over 500 employees and upto 700 over summer months in the run up to Christmas. With a lot of business being sent to countries outside the UK due to cheaper labour costs this is great news for the local economy and workforce of Ystrad Mynach in Caerphilly. The Christmas cracker arm to the business is based in China but the wages there have more than doubled recently and are expected to do so again in the the next few years. Coupled with increased freight charges International Greetings saw the potential to ramp up production at the Ystrad Mynach site in order to meet the increased orders over Christmas. This might be a the shape of things to come and lets hope other companies follow suit and decide to invest in local businesses in Wales instead of sending production abroad.
school banner competition
Schools fly the flag at festive medieval market Pupils from schools across the county borough have been busy preparing special banners that will be on display in Caerphilly town centre on 8th & 9th December, during the much-anticipated Caerphilly Medieval Christmas Fayre. Over 40 colourful medieval banners have been produced to line the walkway to Caerphilly Castle during the event with over 15 schools participating. The banners have been created by schools from all over the county borough and will bring added colour to the festive fayre. Local schools have been working hard over the last few weeks to create some fantastic masterpieces for all the visitors of the market to see. The creators should be proud of their work and encourage friends and family members to come along and view their work, whilst also soaking up the medieval atmosphere! The banners really show a sense of ownership from the schools and this year to ensure each school gets a fair chance of holding the winning title, we are handing the voting over to the public. Over the two days members of the public both young and old will be able to come along and vote for their favourite banner. One lucky winner will receive vouchers for the school and the banner artwork will be featured in the 2013 promotional material and/or website. All schools will receive a certificate for taking part in this fun and festive activity. The schools have really worked hard with the children and the effort and quantity of banners made has been overwhelming.  
Christmas Tree
Caerphilly Medieval Christmas Fayre Caerphilly Medieval Christmas Fayre returns on Saturday 8th December (9am – 5pm) and Sunday 9th December (10am – 4pm) Caerphilly Town Centre. Over 100 traders will line the town with indulgent food and Christmas gifts with activities and entertainment for all the family. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of a town preparing for Christmas. Please note that Cardiff Road will be closed from approx Midnight on Fri 7th December to approx 9pm on Sun 9th December.
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