Thursday, 30 September 2010

EcoTeam-Up event

Want to be greener at home, but don’t want to go it alone?

EcoTeams brings people together to make small changes that make a difference: less
rubbish, cheaper bills, and a healthier environment.

EcoTeam-Up events are fun, interactive and a great way to meet like-minded people.
Feel free to bring along a friend or partner.

When: Saturday 16 October, between 10:30 – 13:00 or 14:30 – 17:00

Where: The Marriot Hotel, Mill Lane, Cardiff CF10 1EZ

Book your FREE place at:


All attendees will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win one of 28
EcoManagers (wireless appliances designed to help you and your family get a grip on energy usage in the home), each one worth over £50!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Bric-a-brac sale - forgotten some of life’s essentials?

On Wednesday 29th of September Raise and Give in association with, Cardiff Self Storage, Get It Out For Cardiff and the British Heart Foundation will be holding a Bric-a-Brac sale in Solus at Cardiff Students Union.

The event represents the sale of reusable and bric-a-brac items that were donated by students leaving at the end of term last year and stored over the summer collected during the Get It Out For Cardiff campaign.

Raise and Give will have a stall selling the items at heavily reduced prices including kitchen equipment such as saucepans and cutlery and all the donated re-usable items. Any money raised will be donated to the Lord Mayors Charity LATCH which is a voluntary organisation set up to support the special requirements of the children's oncology centre at the Children's Hospital for Wales.

British heart Foundation will also have a stall with a range of PAT tested electrical items such as kettles, toasters, stereo equipment etc.

The sale starts at 10am Wednesday 29th of September students and the community are invited to come along to pick up a bric-a-brac bargain.

The sale not only offers items at bargain prices but also hopes to encourage students to reduce and reuse household items. It is a financial and environmental winner as people can get their house kitted out without having to purchase new.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Take a fresh look at fresher’s week

On Monday come and say hello to at Cardiff’s fresher’s fair. We will be showcasing our new updates and have some information and giveaways.

Last week was represented at UWIC’s fresher’s fair now the attention turns to Cardiff University. We will be bringing along copies of the ‘You’re in. Now what?’ poster to support students in the private rented sector. The poster provides advice and assistance on the four main issues that concern students: Neighbour relations, Rubbish and Recycling responsibilities, Security and Health and Safety. Please come and take a copy, display and distribute to your new flatmates to help make the transition into the private sector a smooth transition; safer, greener, healthier and more socially aware.

We will be working with waste management helping people understand their waste and recycling responsibilities with some freebies on offer and the chance to sign up for tidy text.

We have offers for the OYBike hire scheme – a voucher that entitles you to annual membership for £10 instead of the usual £18.

Free security door chimes

And information on temporary work for the 2011 census

Plus a showcase of some of our new website additions and campaigns including:

Make a ‘cardifference’ – don’t bring a car into Cardiff; providing information on sustainable travel to make moving around Cardiff easier, trouble-free, greener and more enjoyable.

Lock it. Hide it. Keep it. Working in partnership with Cardiffdigs, South Wales Police and Safer Capital a marketing awarenss campaign has been launched to help prevent the spike in opportunist burglaries around the start of term.

Go Green pages to encourage environmental awareness and reduce carbon footprints covering various topics such as recycling, travel, shopping habits, uni life, food and drink and around the home.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Census recruitment of field staff is now open

In order to make sure the March 2011 Census reaches all areas of the community, people from all hard-to-reach groups (which include students as a hard to reach group) are being hired to help with the census.

The census is an estimate of all the people living in the UK. It takes place every 10 years and asks everyone the same questions on the same day to give a complete picture of the nation.

There are a variety of different positions, all ages and walks of life are needed, with different working hours and patterns - something for everyone. Anyone who has good skills, meets the requirements is looking to earn some extra cash and gain experience of working with the Office for National Statistics should apply.

Anyone interested can visit

The posts available include Census questionnaire collectors, census compliance staff and census coverage survey teams. Some of the posts and the type of work is ideally suited to students on a part time or full time basis so if you are interested don’t hesitate.

2011 Census staff will be employed directly by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), with ONS contractor, Capita, running recruitment, training and payroll services.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Go green with tidy text

Tidy Text is a free texting service just launched in Cardiff. This easy to use service sends text messages to remind you when your recycling bags and waste are being collected.

Students are being encouraged to make full use of this service to help them understand their waste and recycling responsibilities. Sign up is free when you subscribe online at

The new service will raise awareness of being responsible for putting your recycling and waste out on the correct day and week at the correct time. Information will be available in ‘real time' via your mobile phone ensuring that you never forget to put out your recycling and waste again!

Sign up is free when you subscribe online but alternatively, you can register by texting ‘Tidy' with your house number and postcode to 60066. This service is also available in Welsh.

Please note that normal text message charges will apply for your initial sign up text - after that all texts are free depending on your service provider.


With tight finances it’s tempting to find avenues of getting hold of some extra pennies but The Wales Illegal Money Lending Unit (WIMLU) is warning students in financial difficulties about the dangers of resorting to un-reputable money lenders or loan sharks.

If you turn to loan sharks for credit you can soon find yourself in dire straights as the interest rates are sky high. Some top tips have been released at:

UK students have fallen prey to loan sharks via text or social network sites where they have been offered ‘easy money’. Others have been approached by cold callers at the door offering loans.

WIMLU advise students who are facing a severe cash crisis to contact their University’s Welfare Officer or Finance Officer immediately for advice and support.
Students who turn to loan sharks are likely to:

• Pay extortionate rates of interest
• Have no paperwork or proof of repayments
• Be ordered to make additional payments as the loan shark sees fit
• Suffer from threats or intimidation if they fall behind with payments

Steven Hay, Trading Standards Manager for WIMLU says: “The credit crunch has made students with low incomes very vulnerable making it difficult for them to access affordable loans. Turning to a loan shark will never solve your money problems. They charge very high rates of interest and can often resort to violence and intimidation. They should be avoided at all costs. “

Students who have fallen victim to a loan shark should contact the Wales Illegal

Money Lending Unit 24 hour hotline in confidence on 0300 123 3311.

Email: or text ‘loan shark’ to 60003.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

When the University Bubble Bursts

My thanks to Helen Turner and the Western Mail for publishing my essay on ‘When the University Bubble Bursts’ which can be found by clicking here

The essay is about how Graduates and their Parents are facing an unsettled time. Both are suffering from the end of university life and the return to the family nest. The concern is the ‘stop gap’ of moving home may be lengthening with associated issues.

Below you can find some top tips for families adjusting.

I’ve also written a guide which offers some simple advice for students and parents dealing with this transition of leaving university and the move back home. The guide can be found on and a condensed top tips guide.
Top tips:

Communicate expectations and concerns openly, verbally.

Discuss financial contributions.

Agree house rules; communal cleaning, room cleanliness, having guests to stay and what communication is expected when out of the house.

Respect privacy

Be open about difficulties and future aspirations

Graduates should ask not assume that parents are able to take them back. An open discussion about options is a positive start and face to face dialogue throughout is essential.

Find out how long universities will offer career advice and support after graduation. These services are often open to graduates and offer essential ongoing support.

Discover local area/authority support services

For additional support and advice contact, Parentline: 0808 800 2222 or The Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90

I would welcome your experiences or methods that have helped deal with this unsettled time:

Kieran McCann, Student Liaison Officer, working in partnership with Cardiff, UWIC and Glamorgan University and Cardiff Council and founder of a one stop website for all student housing and living needs.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Make a cardifference coming soon…. is working on some exciting additions to the website to be launched before the start of term including a section on sustainable travel: Make a cardifference – don’t bring a car into Cardiff.

Cardiff is easily accessible by bus, taxi, bike or foot that you can leave the car behind when coming to Cardiff. These new website pages will act as one-stop-shop providing information on sustainable travel to inform everyone about moving around Cardiff in an easier, trouble-free, greener and more enjoyable way.

Leaving the car behind not only saves money, reduces journey times and helps improve the environment it also takes the hassle and stress out of travelling around in congestion and finding limited expensive parking spaces.
In the meanwhile check out our little lego video we've made:

Great Taff Tidy results

The Great Taff Tidy that happened over the weekend of the 3rd-5th of September has been hailed an environmental success. The Keep Wales Tidy run event heralded the largest clean up of the 52 mile river Taff. Tonnes of rubbish was pulled out from the river and the banks cleared. David King from Cardiff Rivers Group one of over 60 organizations who adopted stretches of the Taff to clear up said:

‘The weekend exceeded expectations, I am very grateful for all the people that volunteered, we had people in waders, in boats, in canoes, in wetsuits and walking along the bank picking up litter and it fills me with optimism that so many people were inspired by this project.

Objects removed from the river included numerous, tyres, shopping trolleys, even a motor bike, various car parts and three safes. Estimates suggested that somewhere in the region of 30 tonnes was collected over the weekend with 20 tonnes from Cardiff based events. The final confirmed total is expected to wildly exceed expectations. Keep Wales Tidy are now working towards Tidy Wales Week on the 20 -26th of September and are appealing for volunteers who missed this weekends opportunity to get involved. Anyone wishing to undertake a clean-up should contact their local KWT project officer, call 029 2072 6994 or email

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Great Taff Tidy and Cardiff Rivers Group

As part of Keep Wales Tidy’s ‘Great Taff Tidy’, Cardiff Rivers Group have 4 events planned next week. All details are listed below and you are welcome to come along to any event you fancy... or all 4 if you like!

As usual, we will provide equipment and tools, and all volunteers are covered under our insurance. All you have to do is turn up in suitable clothing and wear sturdy footwear or wellies. If you have waders or wetsuits please bring them along as we will be going into the water where possible to remove rubbish from the river itself.

Fri 3 Sept
Taffs Mead embankment, opposite Merches Gardens
Litter pick from Tudor Bridge to Penarth Bridge. Work until 11.30am

Fri 3 Sept
Blackweir Footbridge
Join KWT large event to clean bad stretch on east bank. Work until 3.30pm

Sat 4 Sept
Taff embankment, opposite Aber St
Clean from Penarth Bridge to Clarence Road Bridge. Tackle steep bank. Work until 12pm

Sat 4 Sept
Llandaff Rowing Club car park
Join Rowing Club to clean rubbish from river and weir along their waters. Work until 3.30pm

Please just let me know which events you are attending so we can ensure we have enough equipment for everyone.

If the weather is bad we will probably carry on regardless, but obviously will restrict our work to the riverbanks only. If you have any queries please just get in touch. Hopefully see you at some point next week!

Please contact Louise if you are interested in participating

Louise Tambini
Tel: 07824 504790

Help shape the future of cycling in Cardiff

Cardiff Council are working hard to change the way we travel, making it easier, quicker and more fun to travel more actively into and across the city.

Help shape the decision making process and give and insight into your ideas for improved cycling around Cardiff - fill out this short questionnaire:

Hel plan Cardiff's Cycling Network Plan for the future.

For the first part of the Community Engagement Plan (a series of activities to ensure as much public feedback as possible is collected in order to help shape the decision making process) this very short questionnaire will help gain an initial insight into your opinions and ideas....please tell us what you think

There are going to be many other fun and exciting community engagement opportunities on the topic of cycling. Non-cyclists, new cyclists and those recently back in the saddle can get involved.

When you fill out the questionnaire join the Transport Policy mailing list to get involved and keep up to date on all things cycling in Cardiff.

If you have any questions about the market research or community engagement plan please contact Miss Sheena Aikman at Local Transport Projects Ltd at