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New care boss pledges to fight for fair funding

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THE NEW boss of the body that represents care homes and homecare providers in Pembrokeshire has pledged to fight for a fair funding.

According to Mary Wimbury, the new chief executive of Care Forum Wales, which champions the interests of over 450 members, there’s never been a better time for care providers to speak with one voice to ensure the people of Wales can get the care they need.

She said: “Care Forum Wales is strongly making the case that social care is chronically underfunded and desperately needs extra money putting into it.

“The sector is struggling to provide the care that is needed with care homes closing in Pembrokeshire and local authorities are trying to get people to deliver home care packages which they are just unable to do.

“People are now living longer demand for social care is increasing all the time and the needs of those going into care are becoming greater.

“We all want to see care sector staff being properly rewarded but the increases we’ve seen in the minimum wage over the past few years haven’t been reflected in the fees paid by local authorities and health boards to the providers of care homes and domiciliary care.”

Care Forum Wales works closely with the Welsh Government, commissioners and regulators to shape policies that focus on making sure people receive the highest quality care.

It also works to raise the profile of the social care workforce and every year organises the prestigious Wales Care Awards, a celebration of the hard work and dedication of the social care workforce.

The influential not-for-profit organisation also runs training events, professional groups and conferences to promote best practice and share knowledge amongst its members.

Taking the helm as its first ever chief executive is 48-year-old Mary Wimbury who steps into the top job after six years as the forum’s senior policy advisor.

Ms Wimbury, who lives with her husband and three children in Rhos-on-Sea in Conwy County, said: “I’m looking forward to the new challenge, especially as it comes at a key time when our members in the social care sector are under a lot of pressure due to funding constraints and new regulations coming in from the Welsh Government.

“We already have Social Services and Wellbeing Act, which came into force last year and refocuses the way we deliver care in Wales.

“We also have Regulation and Inspection Act with regulations due to take effect from next April requiring every care home and domiciliary care agency in Wales to re-register with the Care and Social Services Inspectorate. Following on from that we will see all care workers required to be individually registered over the next four years.

“These are both significant challenges facing our members and Care Forum Wales is supporting them through it as much as possible.

“This means there’s never been a better time for care providers to be represented by an organisation such as ours which provides a high level of support and enables them to speak with one voice.”

Ms Wimbury grew up in Kent although her family originally hails from Manchester where both her parents were councillors, and her father, Harry Wimbury, chaired the Welfare Services committee, dealing with care provision.

She went to schools in Snodland near Maidstone, Rainham near Gillingham and Chatham and on to Oxford University where she obtained a degree in mathematics.

An early responsibility was as President of the Student Union in Oxford and as a member of the national executive of the National Union of Students.

After university she began her career as a parliamentary liaison officer with the Association of Metropolitan Authorities – now part of the Local Government Association – dealing with legislation involving local government.

Later she joined the BBC, first working in parliamentary liaison then becoming head of public relations in its news department and later a senior communications advisor working on the corporation’s high profile annual report.

She then became head of communications for the Local Government Information Unit and gained a master’s degree in public policy at University College London.

Before joining Care Forum Wales in 2011, she spent five years as director of the UK Mathematics Trust, a charity which runs maths enrichment projects for secondary school pupils across Britain.

Looking at other challenges she faces in her new role with the forum, Ms Wimbury added: “Apart from implementing two pieces of Welsh Government legislation, I’d say that the biggest issue for social care providers is funding, which is a particularly controversial topic at the moment across the UK.

“If we can secure adequate funding for the sector and get that right everything else should follow.

“In the forum we also need to work on newer methods of communications with our members, continue to build our membership and also look at other organisations we can work with as partners.

“Social care providers need to be members of an organisation in order to influence decisions being taken that affect them at a local, regional and national level and I hope that organisation can be Care Forum Wales.”

Care Forum Wales chairman Mario Kreft MBE said: “We were delighted to appoint somebody of Mary undoubted calibre as the new chief executive at such a crucial time in the social care sector.

“Mary has shown during her time as senior policy officer and more recently as the interim chief executive that she has a firm grasp of all the issues and a real determination to campaign for fairness for the providers to ensure we provide the best possible care for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities across Wales.”

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Milford Haven: Cabins to appeal to glampers

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FOUR new arrivals are in place at Milford Waterfront offering visitors a unique on-water ‘glamping’ experience.

The Floatel Cabins were transported from Amsterdam to Pembrokeshire by road before being lifted into the marina by crane yesterday. The self-contained cabins measure 9m x 4m and feature an en-suite shower room, private balcony, WiFi and locally sourced works of art. Each will sleep two people, with one designed to cater for disabled guests in comfort and another that’s dog-friendly.

Over the next few weeks the cabins will be connected to the necessary utilities before fixtures and fittings are installed. Once ready, the accommodation will be managed by Quality Unearthed – a Pembrokeshire based holiday lettings agency that specialises in unusual properties.

Welcoming the arrival of the Floatel Cabins is Clare Stowell, Director of Property and Tourism at the Port of Milford Haven. She said “This is a fantastic milestone for us and I’m delighted to have a really unique attraction right here at Milford Waterfront. We plan to use high quality furnishings from local suppliers to create a quirky yet quality feel with a strong Pembrokeshire identity which I’m sure will be very popular with guests.”

“Milford Waterfront is fast becoming a busy, vibrant destination with attractions to suit people of all ages and interests” Clare added. “As such, the Port is investing millions of pounds into the development over the next 5-10 years to create new hotel, retail, leisure and residential facilities to complement the existing offering”.

The Floatel Cabins are part-funded by the Coastal Communities Fund. The Coastal Communities Fund is funded by the Government with income from the Crown Estate’s marine assets. It is delivered by the Big Lottery Fund on behalf of UK Government and the Devolved Administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

It is anticipated that the accommodation will be ready for letting by the end of the year. More information can be found at www.milfordwaterfront.co.uk/floatelcabins

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Martletwy: Cat’s leg shattered by air gun

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RSPCA CYMRU is appealing for information after a cat’s leg bone was shattered by an air gun pellet in Martletwy.

Trilby made her way back into her owner’s house with a broken leg, and after taking her immediately to a vet, it was discovered that she had been shot with an air gun.

The incident happened in the small village of Martletwy on Monday, September 10.

Following the incident, which shattered the central joint in her front leg, Trilby, who is around five years old, endured a gruelling three-hour operation in a bid to save her leg and avoid amputation.

Her owner Laura Hayden said: “We had a brilliant surgeon who carried out the very complicated, three-hour long operation on Trilby. The vet intended to do a pin and plate operation but the pins and plates they would have ordered in were all too big as Trilby is a small, delicate cat.

“The vet had to improvise with pins he had in stock which were small enough and wires in two figures of eight to hold the bones together. During the operation he found a destroyed blood vessel and because this had supplied blood to a bone, with no blood flow to it, that bone had to be removed.

“We have since been quite concerned about her because she has been very low, but since her splint has been taken off she has been a bit brighter.”

Laura said they have lived in Martletwy for 20 years and nothing of this nature has ever happened before.

She added: “Everyone in our road is very concerned about the safety of their animals and we will be holding a residents tonight (Monday 24 September). It is just shocking that this has happened in our small community.

“What happened to our cat is horrendous enough but this cat is a rescue cat – as are our other two cats and our two dogs – and to further blight the life of a previously badly treated innocent animal makes this even worse.

“The treatment and operation have cost us £2,000. We are lucky in that we have been able to afford this, but it frightens us to think that someone else might not have been able to. It has been, and continues to be, a traumatic, stressful and deeply upsetting experience for us. It has changed our cat’s life and has had a deeply disturbing effect of our lives that I would not wish on anyone.”

RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “Trilby and her owners have been through such a distressing ordeal and it is just horrifying to think that someone may have have done this to deliberately inflict pain on this poor defenseless cat.
“We don’t know exactly where or when this happened and if this was a deliberate attack, so we are appealing for information to try and find out what happened to Trilby. If anyone has any information, they are urged to call the RSPCA’s inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018, which is in confidence.”

If you wish to help RSPCA Cymru look into incidences such as this, you can donate online. The RSPCA is a charity and rely on public donations.

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Angle: Royal visit planned for October

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HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS The Duke of Gloucester is to visit Pembrokeshire on Thursday, October 4.

His Royal Highness will be carrying out four engagements in the county – three of them in Angle.

The highlight of the visit will be The Duke’s unveiling of a memorial at an unmarked Japanese war grave in Angle churchyard.

During the First World War on October 4, 1918, a 7,700-ton merchant ship, Hirano Maru, was torpedoed by a German U-Boat 200 miles south of Ireland.

Of the 320 people onboard, only 28 were saved. Several of the bodies were washed ashore at Angle and subsequently buried in the village churchyard.

Funds for the granite obelisk have been raised locally under the auspices of the West Wales Maritime Heritage Society and by a donation from the NYK Shipping Line, owners of the Hirano Maru.

Representatives from the company will be at the ceremony along with staff from the Japanese Embassy in London.

The memorial has been made locally by a father and son team of stonemasons from Milford Haven.

The Duke will also be visiting Angle lifeboat station – which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year – and Chapel Bay Fort and Museum at the western end of the village.

The coast artillery fort, a scheduled ancient monument, was completed in 1891 and is the earliest known fort in the world constructed principally in mass concrete.

His Royal Highness is Patron of the Fortress Study Group which aims to further the understanding of military fortifications.

Earlier in the day, The Duke will officially open Paul Sartori House in Winch Lane, Haverfordwest.

 

 

 

The building is the headquarters of the Paul Sartori Foundation which provides Pembrokeshire’s only Hospice at Home service.

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