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Sports club bowled over by National Lottery surprise

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Club Secretary Stephen Whitemore with Lottery player Tommy_ Gregory

Club Secretary Stephen Whitemore: With Lottery player Tommy Gregory

THERE WAS a huge surprise for Pembrokeshire Disabled Bowlers Club this week when a National Lottery player revealed their application for funding had been successful.

Club Secretary Stephen Whitmore was presented with a cheque for £7,414 of lottery funding through Sport Wales to help them adapt wheelchairs to allow members to access the green and play more fully.

This was part of The National Lottery’s ‘Thank You Wales’ campaign, allowing players to find out more about the projects that benefit when they buy a lottery ticket.

Tommy Gregory, 23, from Newport, posed as a volunteer at the Milford Haven club and went undercover for the day to find out more about how it supports local people with a range of disabilities.

Stephen Whitmore, club secretary and head coach, explained that the club has doubled its membership since he took over the helm four years ago. More than 30 Pembrokeshire people with disabilities now attend regular sessions, including members who have competed at Paralympic Games and for Wales in the Commonwealth Games.


Stephen, who was registered blind four years ago after living with visual impairment since birth, said: “Despite our efforts to accommodate all our members, since the club was founded in 1984 our wheelchair bound members have had to sit on boards in the corner of the green because the wheels on their chairs are unsuitable to go on our specially made green.

“The grant will make a huge difference to our wheelchair bound members, as it will help us to purchase specially adapted wheelchairs and clip on/clip off wheels. These will allow wheelchair players access to the green, and the freedom to get fully immersed into the game like other members.

“When Tommy revealed that he wasn’t with us to volunteer and presented me with the cheque I was completely shocked.  It’s absolutely amazing, and we are so grateful for the money and the difference it will make to our members.”

Tommy Gregory, who works as an IT support worker in Newport said: “It’s not every day you get to hand over a cheque to an organisation, knowing that the money is going to help make a difference to the lives of so many people. It was really humbling to be involved in the campaign and see the look on Stephen and his wife Olwyn’s face when I handed over the envelope. He was so shocked but extremely grateful. It was a fantastic experience.

“When you buy a National Lottery ticket you usually think about the money up for grabs, but I’d never really thought too much about the fact that some of my ticket money goes to such deserving local community groups like Pembrokeshire Disabled Bowlers Club.”

Jackie O’Sullivan, Director of National Lottery Good Causes, said: “National Lottery players have raised a massive £1.6 billion to fund projects right across Wales. The ‘Thank you Wales’ campaign is thanking lottery players, without whom none of this would be possible. We want to make National Lottery players aware of the thousands of fantastic projects across Wales which are successful, thanks to their funding.”

Stephen is ambitious to continue to grow the size of the club and welcome more people with disabilities from across the county through their doors. He is keen to reach out to other community groups that might benefit from playing bowls, such as people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

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Health

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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Tenby’s famous walrus ‘Wally’ has been spotted again

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TENBY’S most famous marine animal has been spotted again after fears she had been scared away.

Wally was spotted on Friday evening by the seaside town’s Lifeboat station.

Thought to be a two-year-old male, the walrus’s return comes after it was feared she had been disturbed by people flocking to catch a glimpse of her and “getting too close”

The animal has attracted hundreds of people to the seaside town now that the travel restrictions with Wales have been lifted to coincide with the Easter school holidays.

Wally was last seen on Monday, but  members of the public were warned it was in the animal’s “best interests” to be “left alone” as much as possible and they were urged to “avoid the temptation to get near and disturb” her.

A joint statement was issued by the RSPCA, Tenby harbour master Chris Salisbury, Welsh Marine Life Rescue, Tenby lifeboat coxswain Phil John, British Divers Marine Life Rescue, Natural Resources Wales and CSIP Marine Environmental Rescue said that they were concerned to hear that people had tried to get close by using personal watercraft or paddle and surfboards.

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Police plan to deter badly behaved youths from gathering in Tenby

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POLICE in Tenby responded to community concerns over antisocial behaviour and groups of between 15-20 youths gathering and clashing over the Easter bank holiday weekend. They moved the youths on, seized alcohol from them and stopped matters escalating when there were clashes between the groups. And they have a clear message ahead of this weekend – there will be extra police patrols and presence in Tenby, including on the trains, so this type of behaviour won’t be tolerated.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers used powers under the Antisocial Behaviour Act to disperse groups of youngsters meeting to drink alcohol in and around Tenby, many of whom had travelled by train to the area to meet up.

Based on these scenes from last weekend, plans are in place as part of a joint operation with Pembrokeshire County Council licensing officers and British Transport Police, to address and prevent any further gatherings.

A Section 34 Order is in place covering Tenby, which allows officers to move people out of the area and prevent them from returning for up to 48 hours.

Sergeant Stuart Wheeler said: “Following last weekend we had some concern from the community of Tenby, due to antisocial behaviour related to the groups of youths from Pembroke, Pembroke Dock and Tenby, and subsequently those groups clashing. Alcohol consumption by these youngsters was a factor.

“Proactive action was taken, and we are keen to avoid a repeat of this behaviour this weekend, and have therefore put plans in place. Additional resources have been allocated, which will allow us to respond quickly and prevent matters from escalating.

“Tenby Neighbourhood Policing Team and response officers, will be carrying out high visibility patrols in the area, covering areas known to be popular with youngsters. Pembrokeshire County Council licensing officers will be assisting us in ensuring youngsters can’t buy alcohol in the area by visiting shops and reminding them of the laws around selling alcohol, and if they bring it with them it will be seized. And our colleagues in British Transport Police will be patrolling the train network to prevent problematic groups getting to Tenby by train.”

Police are also appealing to parents and carers to know where their children are, and what they are doing.

Sergeant Wheeler added: “We would like to appeal directly to parents to be aware of where their children are, and prevent them from gathering in large groups. This type of behaviour is distressing for people living and working in Tenby, and we are urging you to be accountable for your children’s actions.

“We understand that the past few months have been difficult, and that children want to see their friends, but remember that only 6 people from 2 households can meet outdoors still. Please do your best to ensure they are adhering to regulations that are in place for all our safety.”

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