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Hair-raising charity effort raises a grand

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kevin

Fundraiser Kevin Holmes

WHEN a couple of his friends at Rosemarket Golf Club were diagnosed with prostate cancer, local electrician Kevin Holmes was not prepared to let the grass grow under his feet before doing something.

Kevin decided to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK, the charity behind the Men United campaign to raise awareness of and fund research into a disease that affects over 40,000 new sufferers each year and which – in 2012 – claimed the lives of 10,800, thirty a day, across the UK. The way in which he chose to do so brought amusement to his friends, his family, and a touch of Christmas magic for children.

Deciding to do without cutting his hair or shaving his beard for an entire year, Kevin had no idea what he was letting himself in for: “I must’ve spent more on shampoo and conditioner in the last twelve months than I have spent on razor blades in my entire life!” He joked.

“My aim was to raise about £800 for Prostate Cancer UK, but now I am up around £1,000 and my JustGiving page is still there to get extra money in. Sophie Cole sorted out a Facebook page for me and it really helped get things going.”

Speaking about his friends John McLean and Kelvin Townsend, whose diagnoses started him off on his hair raising challenge, Kevin told us: “The fact I was raising money for charity did not stop me getting a fair amount of stick as the year went on. I can safely say that my wife, Rachel, was glad to see the back of all that hair and beard. So was I. The thing with beards is that either you like them or you don’t. It was annoying catching food in my beard and in the summer heat it was unbearable.”

On Saturday (Jan 17), Kevin said goodbye to the beard and the hair in a grand shearing at The Oak Inn, Haverfordwest: “It took about an hour to get my hair cut and the beard trimmed and I am glad that it was Sophie Stanmore from Van Dyk’s Hairdressers who had the job of removing it all safely and not me! It was a really good event, there were about forty of us in The Oak and a raffle raised another £200 to put into the charity pot.”

Kevin continued: “While the wife and I are delighted the beard and hair have gone, while I had it I was able to visit a couple of children’s parties in December and play Father Christmas. Mind you, that was a painful experience. The kids were convinced my beard was a fake and pulled on it to check.”

We asked Kevin whether he had any plans for more charity fundraising in the future and he told us: “This year has been a trying time but a rewarding one. I stuck to it and the money is going to a great cause. John and Kelvin are going okay with their treatment and things look positive, but I am thinking of doing some more fundraising. Next time, however, I will do something which involves more people. I was thinking of a bike ride, but my missus seems keen on me jumping out of an aeroplane. I am not a fan of heights and not entirely clear if she wants me to jump with or without a parachute!”

Concluding, Kevin said: “I would like to say a HUGE thank you to those who came from near and far to watch me being ‘sheared’ and gave so generously. Thank you to The Oak for hosting the event & organising a raffle! Thank you to those who donated prizes – thank you to Sophie Stanmore for giving up her time, putting up with the banter! & doing a brilliant job ‘shearing’ me – also thank you to Van Dyk’s hairdressing salon for their donation. I would also like to say thank you to Dawn ’til Dusk golf club, The Oak, Johnston Country Club & The Windsor who have been collecting donations for me. I am extremely grateful to all if you for all your support. Now where is that bobble hat?”

Herald readers can make a donation on Kevin’s Just Giving page at: www. justgiving.com/Kevin-Holmes1

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Community

Pembrokeshire RNLI crew member completes seven marathons in seven days

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BYRON GREY, 21, an RNLI volunteer at Little and Broad Haven has run 186 miles across the Pembrokeshire coast, raising nearly £5,000, to be shared between the lifesaving charity and a local mental health charity.

The fitness fanatic joined the RNLI crew at the age of 17, following in the footsteps of mum Vivienne Grey, launch authority at the station and dad Andy, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Little and Broad Haven.

He was keen to challenge himself to run the extra mile during lockdown and decide to use his efforts to support two of his favourite charities.

Byron, an apprentice at Valero trained hard to complete the gruelling challenge running from Amroth to Poppit, which he completed on Easter Monday. He said:

‘Though lockdown I got into fitness, running especially and wanted to test what I am capable of. So I came up with the idea of running the Pembrokeshire coast path in seven days and decided to raise money for two charities close to my heart.’

To donate to Byron’s challenge please visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/byrons-pembrokeshire-coast-path-challenge?member=7740034&sharetype=teams&utm_campaign=p_na+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer

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Community

Crymych Library now offering order and collect service

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PEMBROKESHIRE Libraries has extended its popular Order and Collect service to Crymych Library.

Located at Ysgol y Preseli, the library becomes the latest in the county to operate the service, which is already available at libraries in Fishguard, Haverfordwest, Milford Haven, Narberth, Newport, Neyland, Pembroke, Pembroke Dock, Saundersfoot and Tenby.

On weekdays, orders can be placed online via the Order and Collect form at pembrokeshire.gov.uk/libraries-reopening, by e-mailing george.edwards@pembrokeshire.gov.uk and copying in bibs@pembrokeshire.gov.uk, or over the phone by calling 01437 776126.

On Saturdays, orders can be placed by e-mailing crymychlibrary@pembrokeshire.gov.uk, or over the phone by calling the library on 01239 832092.

Library members can select up to a maximum of six items, and can either ask for a pre-selected collection such as romance or thrillers, or select specific titles from the online catalogue that are located at Crymych Library.

To access the online catalogue, log on to pembrokeshire.gov.uk/libraries-and-culture, and select ‘Find Library Books’.

When placing an order, members can also specify their preferred format, such as Spoken Word, Large Print or items in the Welsh Language.

On submitting an order, members will be allocated a timeslot on Saturdays between 10am and 1pm to collect their items.

Library members should be aware of the following guidelines when using the Order and Collect service:

·         The service is for collection only – you will only be allowed to collect your chosen items and will be required to wear a face covering.

·         Queue only if you have an appointment to use the service.

·         Aim to arrive no more than 10 minutes before your allocated timeslot.

·         If you wish to order books but are unable to collect the items yourself, a friend or family member can do so by prior arrangement.

·         You will need to provide your own bag/box when collecting your items.

·         2 metre social distancing must be observed during the collection process.

·         Do not use the Order and Collect service if you or a member of your family is displaying COVID-19 symptoms.

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, said “I am delighted that we are now in a position to add Crymych to our list of libraries who are offering the Order and Collect service.

“We continue to work hard behind the scenes towards our ultimate goal of reopening all libraries across the county, when it is safe to do so, and we will announce further developments in due course.”

Library members can also continue to enjoy free access to thousands of e-books, e-audio books, e-magazines and e-comics from home via the 24/7 e-Library.

To access the 24/7 e-Library, log on pembrokeshire.gov.uk/libraries-and-culture, and select ‘24/7 e-Library’.

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Community

Ambitious community project to capture untold stories from across Pembrokeshire

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MILFORD HAVEN’S Torch Theatre is launching ‘The Pembrokeshire Story’, an exciting new community project that aims to connect people across generations in celebrating the Pembrokeshire spirit.

We all love a good story, but they are especially good if they throw light on the place that we are from. The Pembrokeshire Story is trying to bring local artists and our community together by mapping the county through everyday stories told by the people who live here. A story might be something as simple as how life has changed over the years or it might be a special event that you would want to remember. So often these stories remain as legends within our own families, but this is a chance to share them with the world. Everyone has a story to tell and this project will facilitate these stories to be recorded and remembered for generations to come.

The inspiration behind the project originated from the Torch Theatre’s Artistic Director, Peter Doran, who, whilst caring for his father who was suffering with Covid-19 at the start of the pandemic in 2020, encouraged his father to elaborate on stories which previously he had only touched on in passing.

Peter said: “My father told us of his time as an evacuee, having been sent from his home in Liverpool to the Welsh speaking village of Llamberis in North Wales. It was a fascinating tale and one that we might never have heard about had it not been for Covid-19. We’re all so busy, I feel we just don’t spend enough time with each other to allow these wonderful moments to happen, we’re all so busy it would seem.”

Peter’s father has thankfully gone on to make a full recovery from Covid-19 and is continuing to tell many more stories.

The Pembrokeshire Story is being led by Tenby based creative James Williams, who has assembled a team of freelance artists to capture extraordinary stories in different mediums from across the county. These stories are only part of the project and the Torch Theatre requires your help to capture your stories told across the generations.

James added: “Local artists have already been working to gather stories from over the county, and now we’d like to ask you to join in. We are putting out a call for videos made by young people where they interview their grandparents or older relatives about their experiences and stories of Pembrokeshire. These videos will be added to an online Living Archive which will be available for anyone to access.”

All the stories submitted will be added to the Living Archive on the Pembrokeshire Story website which will be launched in April. Videos can be made on a phone or recorded from a digital platform call (ideally filmed in landscape), they can be in English or in Welsh but must be no longer than 5 minutes.

If you would prefer not to film your submission, we would be happy to receive your story as an audio recording (mp3 format) or in writing, with an accompanying photograph.

For more information visit https://www.torchtheatre.co.uk/the-pembrokeshire-story/

If you would like to submit a story, please contact James Williams via this email address marketing@torchtheatre.co.uk

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