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Could you be a foster parent? Families urgently needed in Pembrokeshire

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NEW foster families are urgently needed in Pembrokeshire – in particular, families who can foster teenagers, sibling groups and children with additional needs.

And it’s a similar picture across Wales, with more than 500 new foster families needed across the country in the coming year, according to the Fostering Network.

The charity says that without more foster families coming forward during 2018, some children will find themselves living a long way from their family, school and friends, being split up from brothers and sisters, or being placed with a foster carer who might not have the right skills and experience to meet their specific needs.

More foster families mean that a fostering service can match the needs of each child more closely with the skills and experience that each foster carer brings, allowing them to find the right home for each child and improve stability for fostered children.

During Foster Care Fortnight (May 14-27) Pembrokeshire County Council is raising the profile of fostering and calling for people who think they might have the relevant skills and experience to come and find out more.

Cllr Tessa Hodgson, Cabinet Member for Social Services, said: “Foster carers do something amazing on behalf of our society, opening their hearts and homes to fostered children, often offering them their first experience of a stable, secure and caring home.”

Meg, who fosters teenagers in Pembrokeshire, said: “I am proud to foster vulnerable children and young people and provide them with a safe place where they can be themselves.”

Francis, who supports foster children in both long-term and emergency placements, added: “Some of the best things about fostering is seeing the young person turn themselves around and relax and have fun.

“Seeing their joy in doing the simple things of going to the beach and jumping in the sand dunes, walking the dog and including them as part of our family makes me proud to foster.”

Jess, who supports young people in short-term placements, said: “If you have a lot of patience, compassion and a sense of humour then I urge you to find out more about fostering – it’s the best thing we ever did!”

People who think they have the relevant skills and experience to be able to look after fostered children, who enjoy a challenge and have a spare room, can find out more by ringing the Family Placement Team on 01437 774650 or visit pembrokeshire.gov.uk/fostering

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Hoax call wastes RNLI time and resources following large search

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A HOAX call left RNLI crews wasting vital time and resources yesterday morning (Jun 23) as they searched for a vessel which they believed to be taking in water.

St Davids RNLI, Angle RNLI and a Coastguard helicopter were involved in the search for nearly four hours.

St Davids RNLI said in a statement on Facebook: “At 06:20 this morning our Tamar launched on service to join in a large-scale search for a vessel which was reportedly taking in water.

“We proceeded at full speed to a position south of Skokholm island and commenced a search of a designated area, which was planned by Milford Haven coastguards.

“Also involved with search was Angle lifeboat and a coastguard rescue helicopter from St Athan.

“After searching for several hours, the coastguards received information that this was a HOAX call.

“This call had tied up vital rescue resources and come at a large cost.

“With this informatio,n all SAR assets were stood down. Our Tamar was rehoused and ready for service at 10:00.”

Among the comments on Facebook, the hoax phone call has been called ‘disgraceful’, ‘disgusting’ and ‘disrespectful’.

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Police call for vigilance to report illegal raves

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is asking farmers and local landowners to be on the alert over the next few months for warning signs of any illegal gatherings planned for their land over the summer.

Gatherings – such as illegal raves – can cause considerable anxiety to the community and if they are not dealt with swiftly, they are difficult to stop or otherwise control, due often to the sheer numbers of persons involved and the safety aspects surrounding breaking up such an event.

Superintendent Robyn Mason said: “There is little doubt that these type of events are very well planned, organised and that local knowledge is important in drawing down the main group to a particular ‘vulnerable’ field, or area of land which has been targeted previously as a suitable venue.

“Farmers, landowners and local communities are encouraged to report any suspicious activity immediately to the Police; this may be an unusual numbers of vehicles, especially camper vans, vans or trucks in the locality, illegal trespassers who may be doing ‘recce’ of sites in advance of the event.

“I can assure local communities that Police will take the appropriate action to deter illegal gatherings and deal robustly with any criminal offences discovered or disclosed.”

Members of the public are also urged to be vigilant of persons who approach landowners or enquiring for land, in the guise of hiring for apparently acceptable activities such as gymkhanas and scouts/guides events.

Please contact Police on 101 with reports on any suspicious activity.

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Discover Coast and Cleddau boat trips launched at Milford Waterfront

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A NEW way to appreciate the spectacular Pembrokeshire coast has been officially launched at Milford Waterfront.

Discover Coast and Cleddau offers two exciting boat trips; ‘Discover Coast’ takes passengers on a guided tour around Skomer Island to see the array of wildlife while ‘Discover Cleddau’ explores the more tranquil waters around Benton, Cosheston Woodlands and Lawrenny.

Both trips celebrate the rich history of the Waterway. Suited to all ages from five upwards, what makes these trips unique is that all passengers are seated comfortably inside a heated cabin.

Director of Property and Tourism at the Port of Milford Haven which owns and operates the vessel, Clare Stowell, said “There is so much to see within the Milford Haven Waterway and out towards the islands that we’re confident both trips will be really popular. The trips form part of our wider strategy to transform Milford Waterfront into a vibrant destination where visitors will enjoy a memorable leisure experience.”

As well as the regular boat trips, a number of special tours will be publicised throughout the summer such as photography expeditions.

Excursions can be booked by calling the Skipper Gareth Light on 01646 696370; tickets are £25.00 per person with the boat departing from Mackerel Quay at Milford Marina.

For the latest information on Discover Coast and Discover Cleddau please follow Milford Waterfront on social media.

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