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A Badger special: Badger and the money tree

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moneytreeCHINESE mythology is not Badger’s forte. In his sett, Badger’s main concern with matters oriental is that his crispy hedgehog in bo’s’n sauce and worm Chow Mein are suitably yummy and come with a side order of prawn crackers. The legend of the money tree does, however, seem pertinent to the Local Health Board’s treatment of charitable funds raised for healthcare charities. You see readers, the coins on the money tree link paradise with a material bounty in this world. Paradise. readers. That’s what it is all about. In order to create an earthly paradise. the Health Board needs material bounty in excess of that provided by that loveable scallywag Mark Drakeford, whose world begins and ends in Cardiff Bay. And when it needs that material bounty it shakes the money tree and out the readies tumble.
twenty pence pieces and pound coins you give to local charities mount up over lime. The charities and appeals involved are above reproach in their conduct with your money. They have constitutions that set out how they are able to spend the money you donate to them. Let’s look at just one example. The Adam’s Bucketful of Hope Appeal. Registered Charity Number 1136641. its purposes, according to the Charity Commission website, are:

• Fundraising for additional facilities in proposed new cancer care day unit.
• Cancer support services to patients referred from local hospital.

• Distraction therapies including tranquillity room and pamper room. • Counselling venue and information centre also used by organisations. such as CRUSE, bereavement counselling, Pembs counselling services plus Pembs breast cancer support group. The Appeal has raised over half a million pounds to fulfil those purposes. Not Badger’s guess – he words of the Local Health Board who in 2010 wrote in a press release: “To date. almost £500,000 has been raised through the Bucketful of Hope Appeal and other donations to Ward 10 and the Chemotherapy Day Care Unit in readiness to fulfil Adam’s dream. “in a recent meeting between the charity members, the C h a irm an of the Board Chris Martin said that the Health Board is currently in discussions with clinical staff about the future of chemotherapy services and the chemotherapy day unit in Pembrokeshire.

“He said: “The Health Board will work closely with Adam’s Bucketful of Hope, and other fundraisers. to ensure that chemotherapy services are delivered in a modern day facility and that the funding which has been donated for this purpose will be used for the benefit of Pembrokeshire patients. Future proposals will be available by the early summer of next year and we look forward to working closely with the Bucketful of Hope appeal during that time.” “Adam’s mother Chris Evans-Thomas commented: “We did not envisage fundraising for this amount The Bucketful and the Board And what a lot of readies they are readers. All the f time and frustration was setting in, but to know that we will have a definite date for a new CDU by May 2011 is wonderful news!

It this means we can move forward with a real message of hope for the New Year!’ Almost four years have passed since that announcement. Where is the hope? More to the point, where is the money? The Health Board has callously claimed that the Bucketful of Hope Appeal has raised only £1 5,500 or so to the costs of a new Cancer Day Unit. Poppycock, readers! The Board are speaking out of an orifice that if spoken from would usually be subject to the sort of significant colorectal examination the Board could ill afford.

And the product of such speech reminds Badger of nothing so much as the fate of flatterers in Dante’s inferno. The Board is. however. not lying. It is, however, being very (very) economical with the truth. Bear with Badger readers and he will explain how and why he has reached that conclusion.
The money-go-round NHS charitable funds are organised into two types, like other charitable funds. Those funds are “Restricted” (which means that the funds can only be used for the specific purposes of the charity) and “Unrestricted” (which means that they can be used more broadly and at the discretion of the charity trustees). Under “Restricted Funds” are two sorts of other fund “Endowment” for example where someone donates the income from an asset for a specific purpose and “material funds, that is funds that can only be used for the purposes either specified by the donors or by the terms of the appeal which led to their donation.

Under “Unrestricted Funds” come “unrestricted funds” are those donated for a wider purpose and “designated funds’, which are set aside by the trustees for designated projects at their discretion. In the latter case the use of the funds to fulfil a purpose, such as building a new cancer day unit at Withybush, is entirely down to the trustees. So far readers. so dry. But what happens do you suppose when you give a Health Board the power to re-designate charitable funds? So that a Board can switch funds from restricted to unrestricted ones to suit itself? Well, readers what happened was this: In 2009/2010 the Health Board had £6.9 million in restricted funds. It had £13m in endowment funds and just under £5.4m in material funds. Remember readers that material funds can only be spent on the projects the donors direct. That is £5.4m that had to be spent on specific projects. And then POOP With a wave of a bean counter’s pencil some of it disappeared. Yes, in 2010/2011 there were only E1.5rn in material funds dedicated to the donors” intentions. £3.9m readers. £3.9 million went walkies out of a restricted material fund and became unrestricted for the trustees of the Board’s tame in-house charity to spend on whatever the Board wanted it spent on.
Why change?
Now the Board claims all this was all above board and all according to the law of the land. But was that accounting jiggery-pokery in the spirit of the law or in the spirit in which donations were made by Pembrokeshire residents to Pembrokeshire health causes for the benefit of Pembrokeshire residents? Or was it simply a cynical money grab to meet the agenda of a centralising Board. jealous of too much money being held in ways that meant the money was beyond its sticky mitts? Draw your own conclusions readers, pray do. Now from the above, certain issues

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Buckingham palace announces Prince Philip’s funeral arrangements

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PRINCE PHILIP’S royal ceremonial funeral will take place April 17 at Windsor Castle — a slimmed-down service amid the COVID-19 pandemic that will be entirely closed to the public.

Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, took part in planning his funeral and its focus on family was in accordance with his wishes. The 99-year-old duke, who died Friday, also took part in designing the modified Land Rover that will carry his coffin.

“Although the ceremonial arrangements are reduced, the occasion will still celebrate and recognize the duke’s life and his more than 70 years of service to the Queen, the UK and the Commonwealth,” a palace spokesman said Saturday while speaking on condition of anonymity in line with policy.

Prince Harry, Philip’s grandson who stepped away from royal duties last year and now lives in California, will attend the service along with other members of the royal family. His wife, the Duchess of Sussex, who is pregnant, has been advised by her doctor not to attend.

Palace officials said the ceremony would be conducted strictly in line with the British government’s COVID-19 guidelines, which restrict the number of people attending funerals to 30. They declined to say whether the royal family would be required to wear masks.

The palace appealed to the public not to gather in Windsor, and for those who wished to pay their respects to Philips to stay at home instead.

“While there is sadness that the public will not be able to physically be part of events to commemorate the life of the duke, the royal family asks that anyone wishing to express their condolences do so in the safest way possible and not by visiting Windsor or any other royal palaces to pay their respects,″ the palace spokesman said. “The family’s wish is very much that people continue to follow the guidelines to keep themselves and others safe.”

The announcement comes after military teams across the U.K. and on ships at sea fired 41-gun salutes Saturday to mark the death of Philip, honouring the former naval officer and husband of Queen Elizabeth II whom they considered one of their own.

Batteries in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast — the capitals of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom — as well as other cities around the U.K. and the Mediterranean outpost of Gibraltar fired the volleys at one-minute intervals beginning at midday. Ships including the HMS Montrose, a frigate patrolling the Persian Gulf, offered their own salutes.

“The Duke of Edinburgh served among us during the Second World War, and he remained devoted to the Royal Navy and the Armed Forces as a whole,” Gen. Nick Carter, chief of the defence staff, said in a statement. “A life well-lived. His Royal Highness leaves us with a legacy of indomitable spirit, steadfastness and an unshakeable sense of duty.”

Members of the Commonwealth, a group of 54 countries headed by the monarch, were also invited to honour Philip. The Australian Defence Force began its salute at 5 p.m. local time outside Parliament House in Canberra, and New Zealand planned to offer its own tribute on Sunday.

Philip joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1939 and once had a promising military career. In 1941, he was honoured for his service during the battle of Cape Mattapan off the coast of Greece, when his control of searchlights aboard the HMS Valiant allowed the battleship to pinpoint enemy vessels in the dark. Philip rose to the rank of commander before he retired from active duty.

Two years after the war ended, Philip married Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey when she was 21 and he was 26. Philip’s naval career came to an abrupt end when King George VI died in 1952 and his wife became queen.

At the queen’s coronation in 1953, Philip swore to be his wife’s “liege man of life and limb” and settled into a life supporting the monarch. The couple had four children — Charles, the heir to the throne, Anne, Andrew and Edward.

Before he retired from official duties in 2017, the prince carried out more than 22,000 solo public engagements and supported over 780 organizations, including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for young people.

Members of the public continued to honour Philip’s life of service on Saturday, leaving flowers outside Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle despite appeals from authorities and the royal family to refrain from gathering.

“I think everyone would like to pay their respects,” Maureen Field, 67, said outside Windsor Castle. “Because of the virus, a lot of people have to stay away. He didn’t want a big funeral. He wanted a very private time with his family to say their goodbyes. So, we’ve all got to respect that.”

Mike Williams, 50, travelled from his home in Surrey, southwest of London, to Buckingham Palace to honour the prince.

“He’s a massive loss to the country and to the world, I think, so we wanted to come and pay respects,” Williams said. “I don’t know what it achieves, but it just felt like the right thing to do.”

(Associated Press, London – by James Brooks and Tom Rayner)

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Police: RNLI ‘most likely saved man’s life’ following tombstoning incident

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POLICE have issued an urgent warning following a tombstoning incident Tenby on Saturday evening (Apr 10).

A multi-agency operation was launched just after 6pm following reports of a man in difficulty after jumping from cliffs into the sea.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys police told The Herald: “We were called to the beach opposite St Catherine’s Island at around 6.15pm today, where a man had got into difficulty after jumping off the cliff into the water.

“On the arrival of officers, RNLI were at the scene and were administering CPR to the 23-year-old who was unconscious and not breathing.

“Fortunately, he regained consciousness shortly after and was taken to hospital for assessment.

Inspector Gavin Howells added: “This incident highlights the serious danger posed by tombstoning or cliff jumping, and the potentially life-threatening consequences.

“We urge people not to take part in this sort of activity anywhere along our coastline, and not to put themselves or the emergency services at risk for a thrill.

“We would like to thank our colleagues at the RNLI for their swift response to this incident, and for their actions which most likely saved this man’s life.”

RNLI Tenby posted on Facebook the following: “The Georgina Taylor was launched after person seen in difficulty in water

“Tenby’s RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched at around 6.25pm on Saturday, following a report of somebody in difficulty in the sea off Castle Beach.

“The volunteer crew were quickly on scene and immediately saw the casualty, who had been pulled from the water and was on the rocks.

“The casualty was taken from the rocks and into the lifeboat, where Casualty Care was administered whilst the helmsman made best speed to the harbour.

“As the lifeboat was entering the harbour, an ambulance was arriving at the slipway.

“The crew then assisted the ambulance personnel in getting the casualty onto the stretcher and into the ambulance, before re-housing the lifeboat.

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Police and drugs advice service issue warning over ‘deadly batch’ of heroin

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POLICE have asked the media to issue a warning over a batch of heroin.

The drug circulating in west Wales, first detected in Llanelli, is particularly dangerous, it has been confirmed.

“We are warning drug users to take extra care following reports of a particularly harmful batch of heroin circulating in the Llanelli area” said a Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson.

“We have reasons to believe some drugs being distributed and used in the Carmarthenshire area at present have been contaminated with other substances and could be extremely dangerous for anyone taking them.

“We would also appeal to drug users to seek medical attention immediately if they become unwell.

“Please share this information with anyone you believe could come into contact with these drugs.

”In an emergency or if you think someone’s life is at risk always dial 999.”

Earlier this week Barod, the drug and alcohol abuse service reported a dangerous and toxic heroin circulating in Pembroke Dock which a spokesperson described as being ‘potentially deadly’.

To comes as Public Health England issued a formal alert about the risks of heroin containing fentanyl or carfentanyl.

The warning reads: “There is significant evidence from a small number of post-mortem results of recent drug user deaths and from police seizures that some heroin may contain fentanyl or carfentanyl added by dealers.

“These are highly potent synthetic opioids and very small amounts can cause severe or even fatal toxicity.

“Those of you in contact with heroin users should be alert to the increased possibility of overdose arising from heroin cut with these synthetic opioids, be able to recognise possible symptoms of overdose and respond appropriately.”

The fentanyls are a group of synthetic opioids; some have legitimate uses while others are illicit drugs.

Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine and is a licensed medicine used to treat severe and terminal pain. Carfentanyl is 4,000 – 10,000 times more potent than morphine and principally used as an animal tranquilliser.

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