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Mind Cymru secures funding for perinatal mental health project

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mind cymruMIND CYMRU has announced £145,000 grant funding from the Welsh Government for a twoyear perinatal mental health project targeting women in Pembrokeshire, and across Wales.

The project will raise awareness of perinatal mental health and the support available to ensure the general public and health and social care professionals better understand the problems women can face.

Alan Briscoe, the Welsh mental health charity, Mind Cymru’s Training and Consultancy Manager, said: “Mental ill health during pregnancy and early motherhood is a serious issue with potentially lifelong consequences for the mental health and wellbeing of women and their families.

“Pregnancy and early motherhood should be a happy and exciting time but for too many women this is sadly not the case. Expectant and new mums can be very vulnerable, but are often overlooked and not given appropriate help early enough. It was with this in mind that Mind Cymru developed the new perinatal mental health project.

“Our aim is to not only increase the number of women who seek early support but to also ensure support is available when needed. To do this we will work with a broad range of partners within communities and the voluntary and health sectors targeting women across Wales, including those living in rural areas and from BME and refugee backgrounds.”

Chris Coe, Regional Director for Wales for Farm Community Network, one of the organisations involved in the project, said: “Perinatal mental health problems affect women across Wales. People in rural areas can feel more isolated than those in larger towns and cities and find it harder to access the help and support they may need. I am therefore delighted to be involved with this project on behalf of the Farm Community Network.”

Two kinds of perinatal mental health training will also be developed and rolled out as part of the project. Alan explained: “The first will be aimed at health and social care professionals to help increase recognition of the early signs of perinatal mental health problems. This will increase opportunities for early intervention, resulting in improved support and better outcomes for those involved.

“The second will focus on helping to increase the resilience of women from at risk groups. This will allow those who take part in the workshops to learn skills that will have a long lasting impact on their personal health and the wellbeing of their families.”

Laura Jane, a mother of two, experienced mental health problems following complications during pregnancy. She said: “My pregnancies certainly weren’t easy. My problems probably started about 16 weeks into my first pregnancy and continued until after the birth of my second child. During this time I had a lot of physical health problems including intense pain and sickness, which had an effect on my mental health.

“As someone who experienced severe depression from my twentieth week of pregnancy, this project cannot come soon enough. I believe I would have really benefitted from resilience training.

“I also believe improving general awareness and recognition of signs and breaking down the stigma associated with perinatal mental health will certainly benefit women and families for years to come.”

Mark Williams’ wife suffered severe postnatal depression, which spurred him on to create Fathers Reaching Out, a charity to support men whose wives and partners experience postnatal depression. He said: “People struggling with perinatal mental health problems shouldn’t have to struggle in silence. This project is well overdue and will make a big change to the lives of many families across Wales.”

Mind Cymru is also looking for women who have experienced perinatal mental health problems to get directly involved with the project by sharing their story and help shape the content of project information and resources.

Allan added: “We’d like to offer women the chance to share their story by helping them to create their own digital story. Those who would like to get involved will be given training and support to create their story. We’re also asking women to help shape the content of the project’s information resources to ensure they are as useful and accessible as possible. We are especially keen to hear from Welsh speakers and women whose first language is neither Welsh nor English.”

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Vulnerable man targeted by rogue trader

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A ROGUE trader has been ordered to pay almost £2,000 by a court after carrying out shocking DIY work for a vulnerable Jameston man.

Pembrokeshire Trading Standards prosecuted 20-year-old Douggie James Whitbread who traded as Wales and West Property Solution.

Haverfordwest Magistrates were told on Friday (Oct 23) that a joint investigation with Dyfed-Powys Police discovered that Whitbread of 8 Coldwell Terrace, Pembroke, first approached the 66-year-old victim in the summer of 2019.

After agreeing to cut the man’s grass, Whitbread made regular accompanied visits looking for other jobs and pressurising the pensioner to have them done.

The victim did not know him as Douggie Whitbread as the defendant gave a false name.

Whitbread offered to fit new floor lino in the toilet and small adjoining passageway of the victim’s home, saying he would do a good job. Instead, the court heard, he and a fellow worker spent less than an hour and charged £300.

The standard of the work was shocking and showed Whitbread’s inept ability. Jagged edges and numerous gaps were left where it had not been fitted correctly, exposing the existing floor underneath.

Despite there being enough lino on the two metre by two metre roll, Whitbread told the victim he needed more to finish the job.

A few weeks later the victim was approached by Whitbread at a bus stop near his home. He said he would return the next day to finish the work and that he wanted another £300.

The victim informed a neighbour and Pembrokeshire County Council’s Trading Standards team and when Whitbread returned he was arrested by police.

Whitbread was also questioned about another incident involving hedge-cutting for an elderly lady and admitted taking away the waste as advertised on his business flyer. However, he did not hold a Waste Carrier Licence at the time.

Whitbread admitted four offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. These were: carrying out work not fit for purpose; trading without professional diligence; omitting to give required information for doorstep contracts and advertising and conducting waste removal services when not licensed.

A £200 fine was imposed for each offence together with £1,000 costs plus a £110 victim surcharge. A compensation order for £300 was also awarded to the victim and a restraining order imposed prohibiting Whitbread from approaching the pensioner indefinitely.

“I am appalled by the standard of work and how this vulnerable gentleman has been hounded and taken advantage of” said Sandra McSparron, Lead Trading Standards Officer. She added that the incidents had left the victim anxious and unwell.

The County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection, Cris Tomos, said: “This court case sends a clear warning to rogue traders that targeting the elderly and vulnerable for financial gain will not be tolerated. We will pursue and prosecute all those who commit such despicable crimes.”

Councillor Tomos also said the case showed the great community spirit of Jameston residents looking out for one another and was a fine example of successful partnership work between the police and Trading Standards.

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Drug driver arrested in Milford Haven after driving through stop sign and into roadworks

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A DRUG driver who drove through a stretch of roadworks on the wrong side of the road, before hitting a parked car and trying to hide from police has appeared in court.

Christopher John Brown led Dyfed-Powys Police officers on a pursuit through Milford Haven on Friday afternoon (October 23), putting pedestrians and other road users at risk.

Pembrokeshire Roads Policing Unit have thanked people for their help in tracing the 31-year-old, of Meyler Crescent, after the manner of his driving became so dangerous they could no longer follow him.

A Roads Policing Officer had attempted to stop Brown at around 1pm when he was seen driving out of The Mount estate at speed.

However, he failed to stop when requested and sped away in his BMW.

As police followed, Brown drove on the wrong side of the road, overtook a number of cars waiting at roadworks, and drove through a stop sign, forcing an off duty officer to take evasive action as the defendant drove towards him.

Police deemed the danger level too high to continue the pursuit when Brown drove through a coned area of roadworks where there were a number of people working.

At this point, members of the public pointed out to officers which direction he had driven in.

Brown went on to collide with a parked car, before getting out of his vehicle and attempting to hide behind another. He was found by a PC, who arrested him on suspicion of dangerous driving and administered a drug wipe.

A Pembrokeshire RPU spokesman said: “This was a highly dangerous incident, during which Brown put a number of people’s lives at risk.

“Driving through a stop sign and into a coned area of roadworks was simply beyond comprehension, and could have had a tragic outcome.

“As we decided to end the pursuit, we were assisted by a number of people, and the team would like to thank members of the public in Milford Haven for their help in tracing Brown.

“Your support is greatly appreciated.”

Brown was charged with dangerous driving, driving with no insurance, driving while disqualified, failing to stop when requested by police, and possession of cannabis.

His vehicle, which had no insurance, tax or mot, was also seized.

He was remanded to appear in front of the next available court, and admitted all five offences at Swansea Magistrates’ Court on Saturday, October 24. He also pleaded guilty to an additional charge of driving whilst unfit through drugs, which was laid on at court.

He will be sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on November 16.

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Five arrested in connection with large cannabis grow in Whitland

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FIVE people have been arrested in connection with the discovery of a large amount of cannabis in Carmarthenshire.

Dyfed-Powys Police carried out a warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act at an address in Whitland, on the morning of Friday, October 23.

Officers found a significant number of mature cannabis plants, with a sophisticated hydroponics set-up, numerous bags of cannabis bud, and cannabis resin.

Police seized electronic devices, several thousands of pounds in cash and silver bars, as well as vehicles under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Five people – a 58-year-old woman and four men aged 28, 30, 60 and 61 – were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the production of cannabis, and possession with intent to supply.

They have been bailed with conditions pending further enquiries.

Detective Inspector Rhys Jones said: “This is an example of excellent collaborative work between a number of different departments in the force, which has taken a significant amount of drugs off the streets.

“As our investigation into this cannabis cultivation continues, we ask anyone with information that could help enquiries to please get in touch.

“We urge anyone with information about suspicious or unusual activity in rural areas report it to us, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously.”

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