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Long serving Cardiff care home manager June is in the running for a major award

A woman who started her long career in caring for the elderly by making a quick visit to the home where he daughter worked as a tea girl and ended up staying for over 30 years has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

Back in 1985 June Lyons was invited one day to take a quick look around Ty Draw Lodge in Penylan, Cardiff where her young daughter Rachel was working as a part-time helper.

June was asked by the manager if she fancied a job there too, had a successful interview and started as a care assistant. She then went on to be a reliable, caring and diligent Registered Manager who has dedicated her life to the home.

She fell into love with the place and its residents and eventually rose to become the manager, retiring earlier this year after three decades in charge.

It is her lifetime of dedication and commitment to her role that has landed 70-year-old June, who lives in Rumney, a place in the final of major national competition, the 2018 Wales Care Awards.

This is the 15th anniversary of the awards and the glittering presentation ceremony will be held at City Hall in Cardiff on Friday October 19.

The awards are in association with Care Forum Wales, a not-for-profit organisation which is celebrating its own 25th anniversary this year after being set up in 1993 to give independent care providers a single professional voice with which to speak on one of the most important issues of our time – how to provide better quality care for those who need it most.

June is shortlisted for the Outstanding Service Award sponsored by Hallmark Care Homes.

Originally from Cardiff, June started work in a children’s nursery but when she had her family switched to the role of home care assistant with Cardiff social services.

She recalled: “When she was young my daughter Rachel was working at Ty Draw Lodge making tea for the residents. I went along to pick her up one day and had a look around. I was asked to have an interview for a job, ended up getting it and never looked back.

“I began as a care assistant working at weekends which fitted in with my family life.

“I then took various training courses and eventually became the home manager. I retired last June after over 30 years, which I understand made me the longest serving care home manager in Cardiff and perhaps even Wales. But I had a fantastic team around me who helped me very much.”

June, who will have been married to her husband Philip for 50 years next year and has three sons, one daughter, seven grandsons and three granddaughters, added: “The things I loved most about my job as manager at Ty Draw Lodge were being able to give people a choice about how they were going to live the rest of their lives and making a difference to those lives.

“During the many years I was manager we must have received thousands and letters and cards from relatives of residents thanking us for how we had looked after them and it was nice to be recognised for doing a good job.

“When I was nominated for the Wales Care Awards I was a bit shocked at first because I’m just used to working in the background and have never flown the flag for myself but when I calmed down a bit I must say I was delighted about it.

“I’m now looking forward very much to going along to the awards evening in Cardiff.”

“I have seen her cover half shifts in the middle of the night, too often this meant leaving her family to do so, but she was always happy to make compromises between her home and work life to ensure our residents had the best possible care they could. This is just one example of how she always put the wellbeing of the residents first.”

Mario Kreft MBE, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said the Wales Care Awards had gone from strength to strength.

He said: “This year’s ceremony is an even more special  occasion because it marks the 15th anniversary of the Wales Care Awards and the 25th anniversary of Care Forum Wales and the event is now firmly established as one of the highlights in the Welsh social care calendar.

“The aim is to recognise the unstinting and often remarkable dedication of our unsung heroes and heroines across Wales.

“The care sector is full of wonderful people because it’s not just a job it’s a vocation – these are the people who really do have the X Factor.

“If you don’t recognise the people who do the caring you will never provide the standards that people need and never recognise the value of the people who need the care in society.

“We need to do all we can to raise the profile of the care sector workforce - they deserve to be lauded and applauded.”

Eva's Story - The work of Manumit Coffee highlighted in a recent Media Wales report

A woman who moved to Britain to work as a nanny but ended up being stripped of her passport and being forced into sex work has described the horrors she had to endure.

Eva - not her real name - was brought from the Baltic States under the promise of working as a nanny – but was forced to work almost constantly as a sex worker by violent gangs who paid her just £5 a day.

After escaping from captors, who regularly beat and sexually assaulted her, Eva now works at coffee production company in Cardiff that was set up to help slavery victims.

Eva said: “I was 19 when I was promised to be a nanny in the UK. I came to the UK and then after about a year I found out what I’m going to do.

“[A captor] brought one of the [working] girls to the house and they told me to shave my legs and put make up on and wear these clothes. And I thought ‘Why?’”

After this Eva was forced into sex work from 10am in the morning to 4am the following day.

“He put me to slavery and made me a working girl. He sold me to a gang for $3,500 so they said I have to work for them.

“They told me I was to work for seven days a week with little sleep. I used to have £5 a day – £2.50 for food and £2.50 for cigarettes.”

After working as a nanny for several months a woman visited Eva and told her what she was going to be forced to do.

Eva said: “My back used to be black and blue. They never hit my face. They used to whip me with belts with all of the metal studs. They would kick me in the stomach.”

Eva added that at point she would be beaten nearly every day because her captors told her she did not make enough money.

Men would be charged £70 for one hour, of which Eva would keep £30.

In early 2007, three years since leaving her home country, Eva decided to leave and managed to escape her captors.

Four years since she last worked as a sex worker, Eva has worked since June part-time at the living wage employer Manumit Coffee Roasters.

The company takes raw green speciality coffee beans and transforms them into ground and whole bean coffee products that are sold online.

Eva, who said she loves coffee, said: “I’m happy with my job. I’m safe now.

“We have a laugh here.”

The company was set up by Dai, whose full name we are not revealing to protect his staff, and his business partner as a way to offer “dignity and hope” to survivors of modern slavery after he became aware of the issue several years ago.

Dai said: “The reason that slavery flourishes is because it happens in the shadows. “We don’t see it because I think if we saw it with our own eyes we would do something about it.

“This is several years into quite a painful but passionate journey we’re on seeking to try and do something and put right what’s wrong in this area.”Coffee firm Manumit hopes to raise awareness of the issues surrounding modern-day slavery (Image: Media Wales)

Dai said he hopes the coffee will raise awareness of the issue and hopes the company will be fully operated by those who have escaped slavery.

He said: “I would love to see this company be run by the people. I have no wage for this job at all and I’m not here to make lots of money.”

All of the coffee used at their site is sourced from ethical slavery-free suppliers and profits are invested in local and international anti-slavery projects.

Taken from a Media Wales Article


Higher Tour is coming to Wales this Autumn

The Higher Tour seeks to boldly proclaim the gospel to young people and see them supported and encouraged as they start their journey of faith alongside the local church.

The Higher Tour begins in schools. Our mission teams will spend a day in each school taking lessons and assemblies, drawing on our 25-year history of representing the Christian faith clearly and authentically in an educational context.

Following the schools’ days are evangelistic gigs– perfect for inviting young people and their friends. These will feature a clear presentation of the gospel and an opportunity to respond and be connected to a church.

The local church is at the heart of the Higher Tour. We long to see young people engaged in a healthy Christian community as they begin their journey of discipleship. After a young person makes a decision to follow Christ during the Higher Tour, our goal is that they would be quickly connected with a youth worker from one of our partner churches.

The Higher Tour aims to raise a generation of culture-shifting disciples. Over the coming years, we'll be touring around the country delivering lessons in schools and sharing the good news about Jesus through concerts and large events. We'll be engaging a generation of young people in evangelism, training and releasing them to see their friends come to the fullness of life through Jesus.

To find out more click here

Creation Series Reading books from Resources for Churches

By special permission from the publisher are able to offer this eight book children's Bible reading resource to you for £4.99 instead of the normal £14.99.

A wonderful pack of eight books produced by Carole Leah.  The Creation Series is a Bible-based Reading project designed to help the reading development of children between the age of three and nine.

Whether it’s the brilliance of a sunset or the antics of tiny ants, God’s creation is staggering. The sheer volume of the beauty, variety, shapes and sizes of it all shows the sheer extravagance of the Creator who amazingly links himself personally with us.  The Bible tells us that we are made in God’s image – how amazing is that

Click Here to order.



"I can only imagine" a film with a message showing at Nantgarw

Showing this week at Nantgarw Cinema outside Cardiff 

Fri.24th - Sun. 26th August at various times;

Mon. 27th - Thurs. 30th August:  Daily at 3.55pm only

It’s the song that brings ultimate hope to so many … often in the midst of life’s most challenging moments. Amazingly, the song was written in mere minutes by MercyMe lead singer Bart Millard. In reality, those lyrics took a lifetime to craft.

Although he found faith at a young age, life wasn’t easy for Bart. He leaned into an active imagination and his love of music as escapes from a troubled home life. As he grew older, Bart turned to football in hopes of somehow connecting with his abusive father. But a career-ending injury—combined with the vision of a teacher who saw unlimited potential—set Bart on a musical pathway.

Chasing a dream while running from broken relationships with his father and Shannon, his childhood sweetheart, Bart hits the road in an old, decrepit tour bus with his new band MercyMe—named for his grandmother’s favourite expression. With the guidance of a grizzled music-industry insider, the band begins a journey none of them could ever have imagined.

Directed by the Erwin Brothers (October Baby, Moms’ Night Out, and Woodlawn), I CAN ONLY IMAGINEstars J. Michael Finley, Madeline Carroll, Trace Adkins, Priscilla Shirer, with Cloris Leachman and Dennis Quaid.

A gripping reminder of the power of forgiveness, I CAN ONLY IMAGINE beautifully illustrates that no one is ever too far from God’s love—or from an eternal home in Heaven.

Are you and your church committed to reaching Men?

Last year, CVM have teamed up with Cliff College to offer a brand new training course for anyone interested in developing their church’s ministry to Christian and not-yet-believing men. The inaugural Men’s Ministry Training Course was a terrific success with great feedback from all the delegates and we’re running it again from 1 - 5 October.

2017’s course filled up quickly and we had to turn some people away. Already, nearly half our places for this year have been allocated, so if you’re interested, don’t hang around.

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Led by CVM’s Michael Cooper, with other content delivered by Cliff College Faculty and expert men's ministry practitioners, you’ll look at a range of study topics, all within a perspective of male culture and designed to enable new learning with time for personal reflection too. The course seeks to explore new ways of better engaging with men, and leave the student with new skills and resources.

Graduation from this week-long course will be the perfect platform for any men’s/family workers. You’ll also get the opportunity to write and submit a theological assignment, leading to a graduation certificate for successful students.

The amazing Peak District is the setting for the Men’s Ministry Training Course which will take place at the top-quality venue of Cliff College where you’ll be provided with all meals and stay in your own en-suite room.

Subjects Covered: 

  • Ministry tool kits into Theology and the Bible

  • Exploring current issues impacting men

  • Understanding apologetics

  • Relationships in family and in the workplace

  • Pathways into mentoring and forging disciples

  • How to set up and grow an effective evangelistic men’s ministry 

  • Enabling man-friendly church


The Men’s Ministry Training Course

Cliff College

1st - 5th October 2018

£410 per person (includes food & accommodation)

Info and booking here

The Men’s Ministry Training Course is open to men and women and is a chance for you to invest in building up your church’s Christian men in their walk with Jesus and, most vitally, equipping them to bring their ‘not-yet-believing’ mates into that same relationship with the Saviour.

Tearfund's Big Quiz Night - Noson y Cwis Mawr

Many people like a quiz night and here is a way you can have quiz night and help make a huge difference!

Tearfund's Big Quiz Night

 We're asking churches right across the UK to join in with a fantastic event on 17 November.

The Big Quiz Night - Noson y Cwis Mawr

Get together with your friends, family and church for an epic evening of poverty-fighting fun.
On Saturday 17 November – for one night only – churches and other groups up and down the country will be taking part in the biggest multi-venue, nationwide quiz ever. We’d love you to join in!

Dewch â'ch ffrindiau, eich perthnasau a'ch eglwys ynghyd i gael noson wych o hwyl yn brwydro yn erbyn tlodi. Nos Sadwrn 17 Tachwedd - am un noson yn unig - bydd eglwysi a grwpiau eraill ledled Prydain yn cymryd rhan yn y cwis aml-leoliad mwyaf erioed. Byddai'n braf cael eich cwmni!

What is Tearfund?

Is an international organisaiton created by Christians who work through local churches to unlock people's potential, helping them to discover that the answer to poverty is within themselves. And when disaster strikes, we respond quickly. We won't stop until poverty stops.

A Christian Coffee shop for the centre of Cardiff

There are lots of great projects that happen around Cardiff but we came across this one and thought some of you might like to get behind it. 


Weʼre raising £10,000 to Christian café and charity shop.


Four years ago God gave me a vision of opening a Christian Café/ charity shop. Now, God made this happened by giving us a free shop unit in Cardiff City shopping centre. Our goal is to create a place for Christians to have a Godly environment where they can share, talk, preach and spread the love of God. A place where Christians can grow, connect, bless, encourage, praise, worship God, help each other and develop or enhance their God given gifts. Also a place for a non-Christian to know, interact, mingle, talk, share life experiences, or just to have someone to talk to. A non-denominational Christian coffee shop that focus on a Christian relationship with God and His people. To make an impact and meaningful contribution to the community. Be sustainable and to create more opportunities to help on charities, missions and help the growing homeless population in Cardiff.

The just giving page for this project is found here

Created for Relationship!

There was a joke doing the rounds on social media a few weeks ago: "Why does no one talk about the miracle of Jesus having 12 close friends in his 30s?" Jo Frost, director of communications at the Evangelical Alliance, asks, how do we build community?  

We live in a fast-paced, rapidly changing, hyperconnected world, yet loneliness is becoming a national epidemic. I visited a church last week where the practice was to share grace by hugging every person gathered there that day. As I was greeted by dozens of smiling, gracious people, I wondered, for how many people in the room was this their only source of human contact that week? 

We have all been created for relationship. The desire to belong and the need to be accepted and welcomed are innate in all of us. But, as well as needing to feel like we belong, we each have the power to build community and make others feel like an accepted part of something bigger than themselves. 

Jesus modelled offering such acceptance to others in His ministry. He accepted Zacchaeus, the social pariah by inviting Himself round for dinner (Luke 19). He accepted Mary's lavish act of worship, by honouring her and her actions in the presence of the rich and powerful (Luke 7). He accepted a criminal alongside whom He was executed, by welcoming him into heaven as he hung from a cross (Luke 23). 

How can we be people who welcome and accept others? 

  • Share a meal with someone. Sit at a table in your home, in theirs, or somewhere else, and break bread and get to know them. There is  something deeply profound about eating food with others; it helps us to foster relationships that are based on the things that unite us. Food can be a power precursor to the sense of belonging. 
  • Think about how can you invite someone into your life. Can they help you walk the dog? Might they be able to join you when you collect your children from school? Will they sit with you on the couch as you fold laundry? Offering someone a sense of belonging doesn't mean you have to find more time to dedicate to them; it can simply mean opening up and sharing with someone the things you already spend your time doing. 
  • Celebrate the unique in others. Consider how people demonstrate the image of God, and find ways to encourage, affirm and pray for the beautiful you can see in them. Be an encourager who speaks over other people's lives with words seasoned with grace, and watch them blossom.

Taken for Evangelical Alliance Website


Feast from the East with the Eden Bus

In June the Eden Bus team, run by the Message in Wales planned a meal nicknamed ‘Feast from the East’ for their local community and the surrounding areas.

The team planned for 50 guests but 174 turned up on the night. This came with its challenging – trying to provide food and seats for everyone. Alongside the Eden Bus they had face painting, bouncy castles, live music and Andy Hawthorne preached the gospel. They saw nine responses to the gospel during the evening. The meal took place in a local school and sadly the keys to the school were stolen. The team prayed and as the evening went on one of the local youth managed to locate and return the keys.

Please pray for the Eden bus in Wales, that there would be follow up for the young people that responded to the gospel that night. And for the Bus itself – that funding for a new bus would come in.

Find out more about the Eden Bus here.

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