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‘No woman today should have to give birth in a stable’

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The Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, John Davies,

The Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, John Davies,

AS CHRISTIANS celebrate the birth of a baby in a stable, a bishop is joining an appeal to help improve standards of childbirth in poor countries. The Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, John Davies, is supporting Christian Aid’s appeal this Christmas to help save the lives of women and babies in Kenya and Malawi where having a child can be perilous. It is estimated that a woman is 40 times more likely to die in labour in Kenya than in the UK with many still giving birth in dirty and dangerous places.

The UK Government has promised to match every pound raised in Wales for the appeal. Bishop John, who is chair of the Christian Aid Wales Committee and a member of the Board of Trustees of Christian Aid, says, “NHS performance in the UK seems to come under almost daily scrutiny. It’s easy, then, to overlook the fact that for millions around the world, especially many of the most vulnerable, healthcare is not a right but a scarce luxury. “Christian Aid’s Christmas Appeal focuses upon the risks faced by mothers and their new-born children in Kenya and Malawi.

It’s a particularly appropriate area upon which to focus, coming at a time of year when even people of little or no faith have at least some awareness of the stories about the birth of Jesus in a stable. The Appeal reminds us, in a crisp and clear way that birth in such surroundings, with little or no medical help, remains the dangerous and risk-fi lled norm for many. “I’m very pleased to be able to endorse the Appeal and to welcome the pledge made by the UK Government to support it so generously.”

Cathrin Daniel, Head of Christian Aid in Wales said, “This Christmas help us deliver hope by giving more than 68,000 women access to improved health services, providing life-saving immunisations to 130,000 children under fi ve and training more than 1,000 community health workers. We will also work with local authorities to enable them to provide crucial maternal and child healthcare long term.” When hospitals are far away, and transport is too expensive, or nonexistent, women are often forced to give birth in dirty and dangerous conditions.

Around 40,000 newborns die in Kenya each year, most of those deaths could be prevented with basic health education and facilities. In rural Narok County, southwest Kenya, Christian Aid’s partner organisations TRDP and ADSMKE train community health workers and traditional birth attendants to support expectant mothers, bringing new life safely into the world.

They have provided three village motorbikes and ambulances to get women safely to hospital and built three maternity wings at rural hospitals, equipping them with everything from delivery beds to incubators. Just £5 could provide a day’s training for a community health worker, £13 could buy clean sheets for two beds where new mothers give birth and £35 would pay for a motherto- mother support group session for 50 women. Up until 6 February 2015 the UK Government will double the difference each pound donated makes, up to the value of £5 million, as part of UK Aid Match.

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Fishguard and Goodwick Mural project turns to Crowdfunder to raise money

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PLANS to put up a few bright and decorative murals around the twin towns of Fishguard & Goodwick have turned to Crowdfunder to raise the money needed for their vision.

Andrew Harries, found of the Fishguard Future Projects, wants to place 12 murals around Fishguard and Goodwick “to help brighten up the town and showcase its culture and history”.

Andrew said: “Having been born and raised in Fishguard, I have seen the town’s highs and lows.

“Fishguard and Goodwick has a lot of potential with the tourism trade growing every year and the popular events such as the Music Festivals, The New Years Eve Street Party, The Carnival, The Soapbox Derby and many more helping attract even more visitors.”

The murals, which were initially turned down for funding when a grant application was refused, will focus on the two towns “interesting but lesser known history” that Andrew feels needs to be highlighted.

Andrew told The Herald: “Each design will be 8 x 6ft and mounted professionally on buildings around the area. Having spoken to a few business owners around the town, this project has received a lot of positive feedback.”

“The murals will unfortunately need to be fully funded via Crowdfunder, after a grant application was turned down.

“I have explored the option of having them traditionally painted on, but this would be more cost effective and would need to be maintained every 5 – 8 years. With this in mind, the designs will be created digitally and then professionally mounted on aluminium composite.”

If you want to help, you can find the link to Andrew’s Crowdfunder here.

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Drive for new recruits as Army Cadets re-open

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DYFED AND GLAMORGAN ARMY CADET FORCE are now able to accept new joiners aged 12 (and in Year 8 at School) to 17 years old.

Joining the Army Cadets will give access to a wide range of exciting activities, from adventurous training (AT) such as kayaking, mountain biking and abseiling and Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme to military-themed activities including shooting, fieldcraft and skill at arms, as well as training in first aid, young adults get the chance to discover lots of new experiences and make new friends.  

There is no obligation to join the Forces at all, but they can give some guidance if you are interested.  

There are no subscription charges, uniform is issued free on a loan basis; the only thing you need to supply yourselves is Boots.  

The Cadet Force are also looking for adult volunteers, both uniformed and non-uniformed to assist as well.

They have Detachments located in Fishguard, Haverfordwest, Narberth, Tenby, Milford Haven, Neyland, Pembroke Dock, Tenby, St Clears, Llanelli, Trimsarren and Burry Port.

Most Detachments parade twice a week in the evenings 1900 – 2100hrs on a Monday, Wednesday or Thursday (Depending on Location) and try to get away for a weekend every month as well as organising summer camps. 

Further Information is available at :- www.armycadets.com or call them on 01656 657593 (Option 1) to find out where your local detachment is and what nights they Parade.

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Food Waste Heroes needed in Pembrokeshire

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TESCO’S Pembroke Dock Superstore has joined forces with food sharing app and social enterprise OLIO which is encouraging people across Pembrokeshire to become Food Waste Heroes.

The OLIO app allows anyone who signs up to tackle the issue of food waste at a local level.

OLIO Food Waste Heroes collect surplus food that might otherwise go to waste from supermarkets and other food businesses and share it with others locally for free via a contact-free pick-up.

Food Waste Heroes will be collecting surplus food from Tesco local stores taking part in the scheme, including the Tesco Pembroke Dock Superstore, and take it home ready to upload it to the app and share it with their community.

To reward them for taking part Food Waste Heroes are allowed to keep 10% of anything they collect to enjoy at home.

Saasha Celestial-One, co-founder of OLIO, said: “People become a Food Waste Hero for many different reasons but they each share a commitment to reducing food waste at scale. It is extremely rewarding because distributing large quantities of surplus food via the app means you get to see exactly what food you are preventing from going to waste.

“In the process of sharing our FWHs also get to meet a lot of new people in their neighbourhood, people from all walks of life. Finally, FWHs are able to keep up to 10% of their haul for themselves, so they can enjoy some of the delicious rescued food too!”

OLIO is registered with the Food Standards Agency, which ensures that all food collected is safe for human consumption.

Paul Johns, Store Manager at Tesco Pembroke Dock encouraged people to get involved.

“At Tesco we are committed to tackling food waste and we already donate our store’s surplus food to local charities and community groups through our Community Food Connection scheme with FareShare,” he said.

“But on some days local charities and community groups are unable to collect from us, and that is why we are supporting OLIO in the hunt for Food Waste Heroes across Pembrokeshire so that even more of our surplus food is eaten rather than wasted.”

To become a Food Waste Hero or find out more, visit https://olioex.com/get-involved/volunteer/

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