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Self-employment event hailed a huge success

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FOR aspiring business people and entrepreneurs, on May 15 all roads led to Pembroke Dock Jobcentre for the Be Your Own Boss event.

Be Your Own Boss co-ordinator, Fred Hatton, an Employer Advisor with Jobcentreplus who worked with Hilary Vaughan, a Development Officer with PRIME Cymru – a charity Founded by HRH The Prince of Wales and the only organisation in Wales dedicated to providing practical support to people aged 50 and over who want to become and remain economically active – spoke after the event.

He said: “The concept of Be Your Own Boss is a multi-agency approach highlighting all the free help and support that is available for people who are looking to start their own business and take the first steps into self-employment and for existing businesses looking to expand.”

The event featured over 20 organisations and local businesses who were kept busy all day talking to the potential entrepreneurs who attended.

The Deputy Mayor of Pembroke Dock, Cllr George Manning, attended to see what excellent support was being offered in Pembrokeshire in order to support the Government’s initiative to encourage and support all ages to move forward their ideas of running their own business.

“We do not want people to start their own business without talking to the experts,” he said.

“That is when businesses fail. It is really good to come here and talk to the representatives of the organisations here present and I have learned a great deal. They all seem to have been extremely busy especially Business Wales who had a bit of a queue. Excellent work from you all. I am proud to be part of this community that cares for the future of our residents.”

Speaking on behalf of the team at Pembroke Dock Jobcentre, Fred Hatton said: “We would like to thank everyone who took part and who attended our Be Your Own Boss event. It was fantastic to meet so many partners and providers who can offer such excellent support to those seeking Self Employment. It was a great opportunity for our staff to meet them to enable them to advise our customers on what support is available locally.

“We were pleased by the public attendance on the day and it was lovely to meet so many people who would not normally come into our office. Our office truly felt like a community hub on the day, working in partnership with others for the benefit of our community at its best.”

Hilary of PRIME Cymru added: “After previous Be Your Own Boss events across South Wales we have seen a number of businesses starting up after accessing the help and support that was on offer, we are confident that we will see this repeated in Pembrokeshire.”

Many businesses can be very easy to start and operate, for example, more and more self-employed people are running successful businesses from home, these days. Small businesses can easily be fitted around other commitments, making self-employment the flexible option for so many people.

Jobcentreplus used social media to advertise the event and articles appeared in the local press. Social media is a tool that more and more businesses are using as an effective and economical way of publicising their products and services.

After the event Hilary commented: “The hard work starts now. All the organisations will be meeting up with the potential business people they met on the day and working towards turning their dreams, hopes and aspirations into reality.”

For people who were not able to make it on the day, or did not have a chance to visit all the organisations, there is an electronic version of the event directory available, with contact details and brief details of what services are available.

Please email Hilary for a copy: hilary@primecymru.co.uk

Alternatively, you can pop into the Pembroke Dock Jobcentre during normal opening times and pick up a copy.

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Health volunteers thanked for incredible support

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THERE’S no more fitting time than National Volunteering Week to say thank you to all of the volunteers within Hywel Dda University Health Board, management have said in a press release.

‘Volunteering for Health’ is the Hywel Dda UHB’s volunteer service and has covered the three counties of Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire for the past 11 years.

During this period, volunteers have carried out 376,000 hours of volunteering and in 2019 carried out 56,000 hours.

At the start of the year prior to COVID, 400 registered volunteers were providing a range of services to support patients and improve their experience whilst in hospitals, these include; library trolley service, shop trolley service, pharmacy runners, meet and greet, patient befrienders, gardeners and many other roles.

Lisa Gostling, Director of Workforce and OD said: “Volunteers are an integral part of our service and it’s hard to think that only seven months ago we celebrated the 10th anniversary of volunteering within Hywel Dda together at Bronwydd Hall.

“It’s important at this moment in time to recognise that some of our long standing volunteers can’t be with us and we look forward to welcoming you back to the organisation soon.

“And also to recognise those volunteers who have changed what they do to support our patients during these particularly difficult times.

“So I want to just say thank you. Thank you for your commitment, your generosity and your kindness. I look forward to seeing you all soon. Take care and stay safe.”

David Fretwell. Volunteering for Health Manager, added his thanks for the overwhelming response from volunteers old and new to an unprecedented situation: “This year has been unprecedented for the volunteer service with the onset of the COVID pandemic and has dramatically affected the way we have involved volunteers.

“We had an amazing response from the community wishing to help us through volunteering with over 600 offers of support.

“To help manage the numbers of people offering to help we set up a ‘Volunteer Pool’ and are extremely mindful where we can place volunteers for their safety.

“We have now deployed volunteers to support the health board’s transport department as drivers; we also have gardeners, virtual volunteers and drivers delivering food parcels from food banks to some of our most vulnerable patients in the community.

“We appreciate the fantastic support you have provided prior to COVID and through the pandemic. Thank you for your incredible support.”

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Inflatable kayak group rescued by the Coastguard

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A GROUP of people in an inflatable kayak had to be rescued by the Coastguard on Saturday (May 30) evening.

HM Coastguard Dale said they were “very lucky people”.

They had been exploring to the north of Skomer Island when they got caught in the tidal race of Jack Sound and ended up off Gateholm.

A passing Dale sailing vessel helped them to the Little and Broad Haven Lifeboat team before they were transferred to Angle RNLI to navigate Jack Sound.

The casualties were received by HM Coastguard Dale at Martin’s Haven and given safety advice.

The group had no lifejackets on and were not wearing wetsuits, despite the cold water.

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Hart defends a tweet police boss says is incorrect

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WELSH Secretary Simon Hart has defended a tweet accused of being incorrect by a chief constable.

The MP for South Pembrokeshire and West Carmarthenshire told The Herald that he had simply been quoting Dyfed-Powys Police Chief Constable Mark Collins when he said people in Wales were allowed to travel up to 15 miles to exercise.

Mr Collins later said people should not drive to take exercise.

Hart told MPs he was “quite surprised” to hear Mr Collins’ response.

Welsh Government guidelines on lockdown restrictions say “exercise should be undertaken locally – as close as possible to the home”.

They continue: “In general this should not involve people driving to a location away from home for this purpose.”

Last Friday Mr Hart tweeted: “Fascinating to hear from Wales’ four police chiefs today, and the commissioners too, especially on what’s permissible under lockdown.

“Consensus was that travelling 10-15 miles from home to fish, play golf, surf or exercise is fine – subject to all other distancing requirements”.

However responding to questions from MPs on Thursday, Mr Hart said “the reference to 10 to 15 miles to travel to play golf or fish was actually Chief Constable Mark Collins’ own words – not mine – and not disputed by anybody on that call”.

He told the Welsh Affairs Select Committee that he was “quite surprised” to then hear that the comment he tweeted was “interpreted as being incorrect”.

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