Abergavenny Rotary Club

Abergavenny Rotary Club has provided funding to support an exciting and welcoming space for young musicians to share their musical passion at the Black Mountain Jazz Katz 2024 Workshop Programme in the Melville Centre Abergavenny.

Bringing together a handful of talented and experienced tutors, BM Jazz Katz is a workshop project which gives young people aged 11 to 19 years the opportunity to learn to play together in a big band.

Open to those who play any instrument, including voice, to a reasonable level for their age, new members are always welcome.

This is an amazing opportunity for youngsters who want an exciting and welcome space to share and present their musical passions.

The Rotary funding has been used to refurbish a range of musical instruments to allow the young people to play instruments of their choice. The Town Council has also provide a grant to support this project.

The workshop sessions incorporate a mixture of individual and group playing, focusing on rhythm, feel, balance and fun. All three of the professional musical tutors bring their knowledge and enthusiasm and help students feel comfortable, capable and part of the conversation.

The workshops started in January 2024 and are held on one Sunday afternoon per month and one Tuesday evening per month at the Melville Centre.

The workshop on Sunday 10 March was followed by an evening performance at the Centre. The workshops will continue twice a month through to September 2024 with regular performance “gigs”.

The students have been invited to perform at the Town Council’s D-Day celebrations in the Market Hall on Thursday 6th June 2024.

If you are interested in joining the workshops and want to find out more please email Mike Skilton of Black Mountain Jazz at [email protected] or phone him on 07958 612691.

Abergavenny Town Council

The People and Communities Committee of Abergavenny Town Council recently welcomed representatives from Abergavenny Fairtrade Forum to discuss the town’s longstanding commitment to fair trade practices. With Abergavenny celebrating 17 years as a Fairtrade town, the council reaffirmed its support for promoting and utilising fair trade products whenever possible.

Abergavenny Fairtrade Forum, recognising the importance of consumer choices, is currently reviewing information on the availability of over 6000 fair trade products across retailers in the UK.

Additionally, the forum remains dedicated to educating young people about fair trade principles through school visits and raising awareness of trade justice, equity, and sustainable development at local events.

During the meeting, Abergavenny Fairtrade Forum presented a certificate to the Chair of People and Communities, Councillor Gethin Jones, and Mayor Councillor Anne Wilde, recognising Abergavenny as a Fairtrade Community. The certificate will be prominently displayed in the Town Hall.

Aber fair trade
Abergavenny Town Council met with representatives of the Fair Trade forum (ATC). (ATC)

Councillor Gethin Jones announced the intention to propose a resolution at the Council, committing to the use of fair trade products at events and gatherings facilitated by the Town Council in the future. He emphasised the significant contribution of the Fairtrade Forum to raising awareness of Fairtrade within Abergavenny and pledged continued support for their efforts.

"We recognise the incredible contribution this group has made towards raising the profile of Fairtrade within Abergavenny," stated Councillor Jones. "We are committed to supporting their ongoing efforts to educate everyone on the small changes we can make to support fair trade."

Abergavenny Fairtrade Forum expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to present to the Town Council, underscoring their commitment to spreading awareness about Fairtrade principles throughout the community.

"We continue to strive to spread the message about the importance of Fairtrade," said a spokesperson for the Abergavenny Fairtrade Forum. "We are pleased that the Town Council will be committing to supporting this cause, ensuring the town recognises the dignity and rights of producers through a commitment to Fair Trade."

For further information, please contact Principal Officer at [email protected]

Friends of the Brecon Beacons

Friends of the Brecon Beacons were delighted to attend a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act in Wales, the act that led to the creation of 3 National Parks and 5 National Landscapes. Entitled “Celebrating Welsh Designated Landscapes” the Senedd event was hosted by the Campaign for National Parks. The aim was to bring together those who are working towards a positive future for all our National Parks and designated landscapes.

Representatives of our National Parks societies, Friends groups and other partners and allied organisations had the opportunity to listen to a number of speeches, network with each other and discuss our hopes and aims for the future.

Around 100 people attended the event which was sponsored by Carolyn Thomas MS, and keynote speeches were given by Julie James, MS, Minister for Climate Change and Llyr Gruffydd MS. Julie James reminded us that our National Parks and Designated Landscapes make up a quarter of our land mass. This highlights that the work taking place in these areas is vital to improve habitats for wildlife, encourage biodiversity and maintain precious habitats such as upland peats.

Attendees were also treated to a lively speech from Alun Elidyr on the challenges of farming in Eryri, and a presentation from the Our Food 1200 group offered an insight into the project that aims to ensure that 1200 acres of land within Bannau Brycheiniog is available for small scale fruit and vegetable growing, ensuring low food miles and providing local communities with employment opportunities close to home.

We hope that there will be further opportunities to coordinate with Welsh Government on the aims and objectives of keeping our environments beautiful, full of wildlife and home to thriving communities in the years ahead.

If you are interested in joining Friends of the Brecon Beacons (Brecon Beacons Park Society) to help protect and conserve the National Park for the benefit of all we would love to hear from you. We offer several free guided walks a week to members as well as monthly talks and a quarterly online newsletter as well as a twice-yearly magazine entitled “The Beacon”. For more information visit our website www.breconbeaconsparksociety.org