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Ben Dain-Smith

Ben Dain-Smith currently presents afternoon shows and writes online content for Bro Radio. You can email Ben at:

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has confirmed that the Belle Vue Pavilion and Play Area will receive a significant upgrade and are looking for feedback regarding their draft plans for the area.

The Council received Section 106 financial contributions for Community Facilities from nearby developments which they have allocated to the area and have applied to Lottery and the "people and places" grants for funding for the project following an initial consultation in 2019 to understand and fully appreciate the views of residents and user groups. This is a two-step process and after a successful first stage, the Council are preparing the documentation for stage two.

The consultation in 2019 highlighted that the existing Pavilion is limited in its current form, in terms of how far it can expand to meet the existing and future population's needs. The existing building and extensions has a lot of impracticable space.

The Council's proposal is to erect a new building, which will have a multi-use hall and flexible space, kitchen/café, toilets, a changing place space, and an outdoor seating area. The new building will be located in the same position within the park upon a similar footprint.

Draft plans for the Pavilion have been drawn up as a starting point to support discussions going forward.

To view the draft drawings and have your say on the upgrade plans click here.

The Volunteer Beach Clean group, headed by Trevor McGarrigle, managed to raise £1,600 for poorly tot, Reign, while cleaning Aberthaw's beach on September 19th.

The voluntary group, who regularly convene on the beaches of the Vale of Glamorgan to pick up litter, met at 12:00 on the 19th to clean the beach, before heading to the pub for a well-earned drink.

They managed to fill half a skip with the rubbish collected, all while raising a hugely impressive £1.6K for Reign Miller-Hardy, an 11-month-old from the Vale of Glamorgan, who has a rare condition where his immune system attacks his healthy tissue and organs.

Residents of the Vale and beyond have rallied around Reign and his family to try and ensure he gets the vital and urgent bone marrow transplant he needs to survive.

The Volunteer Beach Clean Group will be hosting another event, a nature walk and bug hunt, on Saturday 26th September, at Aberthaw Nature Reserve. Prizes will be on offer and all children who attend will receive gifts.

More details about the group and their events can be found on their Facebook page, here.

The Duke of Wellington pub in Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, took to social media to confirm that one of their team members has tested positive for Covid-19, and as such, they have decided to close the pub as a precautionary measure.

The S.A Brain & Co establishment, based on High Street in the idyllic town, posted a status update on Facebook to inform patrons and locals of the news. In their post they said:

"We can confirm that a team member has tested positive for Coronavirus at the Duke of Wellington Cowbridge.

We are working with the relevant authorities to ensure we follow all the prescribed guidance. We have implemented our own, robust procedures, to respond to this situation and have already deep cleaned the establishment."

The news comes as Nursery and Reception pupils at Barry's Oakfield Primary School have been told to self-isolate after a member of staff tested positive for the virus and 4 new cases were confirmed in the last few days, here in the Vale of Glamorgan.

The team at the Duke of Wellington have taken the precautionary measure to close the pub for the immediate future. Their statement on Facebook continued:

"As a precautionary measure we have taken the decision to close the premises with immediate effect, and are working closely with Public Health Wales to establish when the premises can be opened securely. We have placed our team into self-isolation and will continue to work with Public Health Wales to provide all information to assist the track and trace system being effective."

Since Thursday 17th September, 84 new cases have been confirmed in Wales, with one death, and infection rates have risen from 20 per 100,000 people to 35 per 100,000 in the past week.

Bestselling author, Lesley Pearse, will be virtually visiting the Vale of Glamorgan libraries as part of her virtual library tour.

The British novelist, who has achieved more than 10 million global sales, will be holding a live session for Vale libraries on September 22, at 7pm.

During the evening Pearse, famous for books, "Dead To Me" and "Never Look Back" among others, will be discussing her life and writing.

In 2014, Pearse was the first ambassador for National Libraries Day. Her latest novel is Liar (Michael Joseph).

She said:

"I am so thrilled to be asked to launch #LibrariesFromHomeLIVE. Libraries have always held a special place in my heart. As a child they were escape from a harsh home life, a place I could soak up tales of adventure, transport myself to lands across the world and imagine being anyone I wanted to be. Now with this virtual series, readers will be able to meet writers they love in their own homes talking about their craft, and discover other writers they may not be so familiar with while finding new exciting books to read."

Tickets for the event are free and can be claimed via Eventbrite here.

South Wales Police are working to help HM Coroner track down the family of a recently deceased man from the St Athan area.

Peter Bolton, 76, died of natural causes in his home in the village on September 3rd and HM Coroner are appealing for help in trying to track down relatives of his, having so far been unable to trace a next of kin or establish whether any even exist.

South Wales Police have urged anyone with any information which could assist the investigation, or anyone who believes they may be related to Mr Bolton, to contact HM Coroner's Office, Pontypridd on: 01443 281 101.

Bro Radio launched its Vale Business Directory in August of this year to help support local businesses in the county and held a competition for £2,000 worth of spot advertising on the station to celebrate.

Every business that entered their details into the directory in the month of August was put into a draw to win the advertising and one business, Langdon Osteopathy, was randomly drawn as the winner.

LISTEN: Ben called winner, David, from Langdon Osteopathy to reveal the good news.

Langdon Osteopathy

Congratulations to Langdon Osteopathy - the winners of £2,000 in spot advertising on Bro Radio. Even better, we are keeping our Vale Business Directory free for the remainder of 2020. Register via

Posted by Bro Radio on Tuesday, 8 September 2020

David Langdon, Owner of Langdon Osteopathy, told Bro Radio of how he had only recently moved to Penarth, just over a year ago, and had been building the business from scratch until the Coronavirus took hold of the country.

Up and running again, Langdon Osteopathy offers holistic, whole-body treatment from clinics in Penarth and Barry, to help their clients through the initial, often acutely painful phase of their injuries and managing their recovery and rehabilitation so that they can return back to their normal life. You can find out more about the business on their website here.

Bro Radio has decided to keep its Vale Business Directory free for the rest of 2020 to continue to support local business in the county. You can enter your business via our website here.

The RNLI will be holding their annual "Fish Supper" charity event this October to help them raise funds to support their vital lifesaving work.

The campaign encourages people to sign up to host a fish supper for friends and family at their home on one day between the 9th - 25th of October this year.

The charity has posted a number of helpful recipes and activities for those who are interested in hosting an event this autumn.

In a post on their website the RNLI have said of the event:

"Our crews are ready to drop everything – even their supper – at a moment’s notice to go to the rescue of people in trouble on the water. The money you raise when you host a Fish Supper supports all aspects of our lifesaving work and could help us buy kit for our crew members or fuel for one of our lifeboats.

Events like Fish Supper raise vital funds for our lifesaving work. Last year, our increasingly busy volunteer lifeboat crew and lifeguards aided 41,619 people and saved 329 lives."

The RNLI rescued 9,379 people in 2019 and helped over 29,000 on beaches around the UK, but they rely on donations to fund their work.

You can find out more information about the event and sign up via the RNLI website here.

A new series coming to BBC Wales and BBC iPlayer focuses on Penarth school, Ysgol Y Deri.

WATCH: The trailer for "A Special School".

The series, titled "A Special School" takes the viewer inside Wales' biggest special education school and gives an insight into the incredible work done by staff and classroom life for the students.

Among those featured in the three-part documentary series is Headteacher, Chris Britten, who can be seen in the trailer for the show saying:

"We all know what these children can’t do. I've always wondered what they might do."

Ysgol y Deri is a special school which caters for students aged 3-19 years with a range of learning and physical needs and autism.

"A Special School" will be available as a boxset on BBC iPlayer from the 14th September.

Castleland Community Centre's "FareShare" food sharing and distribution service is resuming from this week.

The project offers free food, courtesy of their food partners such as Tesco, Greggs and Lidl, to anyone who wants it in the community. As stated on their website, the idea is to make sure no food goes to waste, so everyone is welcome.

FareShare will be returning beginning this week at 2pm on Wednesdays only, with a number of changes in place to ensure that the process is safe for all involved.

Those who plan on using the service must wear a mask. Face coverings will be available at a cost for those who do not have access to their own. The programme will also now run at the rear of the building, with only one person allowed in at a time and those queuing asked to follow social distancing guidelines and remain 2 metres apart from one another.

The team working on FareShare have made it clear that they are aware that some may need this service now more than ever, and this, they say, is why they are taking every precaution to ensure people's safety.

You can find out more about the project on the Castleland Community Centre website, here.

Loving Welsh Food have announced the launch of their first online event, “Music, Poems & Pints” which will take place on on Saturday 26 September.

The event will consist of a combination of a virtual entertainment show with plenty of interaction & Welsh banter and the chance to enjoy some delicious Welsh cheeses, beers or award-winning Welsh wine.

Well-known Welsh songs such as Suo Gan and Ar Lan y Mor will bring a smile to guests’ faces, as will the poems of Max Boyce, Harri Webb and Roald Dahl. There’s no need for guests to drive anywhere or worry about social distancing, guests enjoy “Music, Poems and Pints” from the comfort of their own home. The cheeses and drinks are delivered by courier to the front door.

Presenter Sian Roberts is the owner of Loving Welsh Food and has travelled all over the world promoting Welsh food and drink. Loving Welsh Food offers food tours, cookery workshops and demonstrations. Sian has worked in the media for over 20 years as a freelance Television Director/Producer and News Reader / Continuity Announcer.

Prices start at £15 for the event (early bird option of £12.50) with a selection of delicious and refreshing Welsh food & drink options. Guests pay per screen as opposed to per head.

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