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Conservationist right at heart of relief work

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relief workA PRESELI girl and conservation activist is on the front line of the Typhoon relief effort in the Philippines.Last month, the world was shocked to see the devastation left behind in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan which had recorded record wind speeds.

With many areas cut off and in desperate need of essential supplies, such as food and water, the country has since relied on a worldwide effort to provide both material and human relief.

The Pembrokeshire Herald had an exclusive interview with one of those helpers, Sally Snow, who is also a shark researcher.

Sally explained the organisation for whom she works and what her role is.

“I work for a non-profit organisation called Physalus. I guess I am primarily a whale shark researcher in the Philippines. Earlier this year I co-ran our whale shark project in Southern Leyte, one of the provinces that has been hit worst by Typhoon Haiyan.”

Asked about her and her organisation’s contribution to the relief effort, she said:

“We organised a relief trip to Ponson Island in Camotes who had received very little relief before we came (this is what you will have seen us doing on S4C or ITV).

“The Caluya islands were badly affected by the Typhoon and their main livelihood, seaweed farming, was swept away. Operation Seaweed is all about helping the community get back on their feet. Money raised will help replace lost seaweed plants so they can get their lives back on track. With their houses now destroyed they are in desperate need of this resource in order to help rebuild their homes and lives.”

Sally went on to talk about the current state of affairs in the region: “Conditions are improving: power is coming back and, now that the people have food and water, it’s more about building materials. Now is the time when things get harder, when the world takes less interest; those who needed saving are still alive but the rebuilding is the greatest challenge. So many people have been displaced and are without homes or work, it will be a long time before these people are able to stand up on their own feet again”.

“If people want to support our relief effort with Operation Seaweed then they can donate via paypal on the operations seaweed facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/operationseaweedcaluya.

Alternatively, people can donate via our paypal link on the physalus website: www.lamave.org/publications/donate/.

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Masks now advised in all secondary schools

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PUPILS across Wales are now being advised to wear facemasks in all communal areas of secondary schools (including playgrounds), colleges and on transport to and from places of learning by the Welsh Government.

Although not compulsory, the new recommendations have been made by ministers to ensure a consistent approach in tackling COVID-19 across Wales.

People picking up and dropping off children are also advised to wear face coverings too to minimise the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19.

The new guidance, aimed mainly at secondary schools, which the Education Minister has described as ‘easy to follow’ was announced today and now means that the only spaces where staff and pupils can safely remove their facemasks is in the classroom.

The majority of councils already require secondary pupils and staff to wear masks in corridors and on most school transport with those rules extended to primary pupils too in some areas.

Education minister Kirsty Williams said: “It is vital that young people, parents, adults and the workforce feel confident that all measures are being taken to ensure the educational environments are as safe as possible.

“We have been clear that we will keep every policy under review and will continue to follow scientific advice. The policy we are announcing today does just that”.

The new advice has been recommended by the Welsh Government’s Technical Advisory Group (Tag), which has been looking at the “possibility of wearing face coverings for older age groups in more circumstances, including on public and dedicated transport” and could “even include in the classroom on a risk assessed basis…. balancing benefits with harms to overall wellbeing of students.”

Tag is also looking at how feasible a mass asymptomatic testing programme in schools and colleges could be, the Welsh Government has said it is considering that approach.

Debbie Thomas, Head of Policy at the National Deaf Children’s Society Cymru, said: “Face masks and coverings in communal areas could have serious consequences for Wales’ 2,500 deaf children, almost all of whom rely on lip reading and facial expressions to communicate.
“Socialising in corridors, break time chats and playground games are all rites of passage, but deaf young people now risk missing out because they can’t understand what others are saying. They’re also more likely to experience loneliness, isolation and bullying.
“Public health is the priority, but schools and colleges must move quickly to introduce reasonable adjustments to help deaf young people during this difficult time.”

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Two day centres to close temporarily as a precaution

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TWO north Pembrokeshire Day facilities for older people and people with learning disabilities are to close temporarily as a precaution following the rise in coronavirus cases in Ceredigion.

Bro Preseli Day Centre in Crymych and Wintern Day Centre, Goodwick, are to close temporarily from tomorrow (Tuesday, November 24).

The decision to close each site will be reviewed regularly.

It is emphasised that there have been no positive cases of Covid-19 detected at either site and the temporary closures have been put in place as a precaution.

 

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North Pembrokeshire schools remain closed

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THE SIX North Pembrokeshire schools which were closed today (Monday, November 23) as a precaution following the increased spread of coronavirus in South Ceredigion, will remain closed tomorrow (Tuesday, November 23).

The Pembrokeshire schools are:

• Ysgol Preseli
• Ysgol y Frenni
• Ysgol Llandudoch
• Ysgol Eglwyswrw
• Ysgol Cilgerran
• Ysgol Clydau.

The Pembrokeshire schools are closed as a precaution as they share services – such as transport – with the Ceredigion schools.

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