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Workways+ helps Rob build better life

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AT 48-years-old, low skilled and long-term unemployed, Rob Driscoll of Pembroke thought that his chances of finding a job that he could enjoy were extremely limited.

In fact, he had all but given up hope. Then Rob was introduced to Workways+ and his life changed. Workways+ is dedicated to helping people improve their lives through volunteering, work experience, training and employment.

Rob’s history included caring for his mother and a series of unsatisfactory temporary labouring jobs. Rob was under great stress and on occasion, this manifested itself in unsociable behaviour. Rob had large gaps in his employment record and he felt this was another barrier.

Rob first signed up with Workways+ in December 2016 but through stress and anxiety caused by his situation, he was not able to take full advantage of the support available. However, after a period of false starts Rob fully committed to the support and has not looked back. Workways+ assigned Rob a dedicated mentor to work with him on a one to one basis.

Rob’s mentor worked with him to identify what type of job would suit him best. Enjoying practical work and the outdoor life, the building trade was an obvious match and a sector Rob already had experience. Workways+ provided Rob with support to develop his CV, job search and build his confidence. They funded his application for the Construction Skills Certification Scheme card and helped him pass the online test. Without a CSCS card, you cannot work on a building site.

The next step was to get Rob a placement within a building company to develop his skills and build his work experience. Workways+ funded a ‘Paid for Work Opportunity’ with Pembrokeshire-based building company Miles Plant Hire.

‘Paid Work Opportunities’ run over several weeks and enable businesses to employ and provide experience to people without any cost to them. Rob started work with Miles Plant and loved it. Employed as a general labourer, Rob has demonstrated great enthusiasm and commitment for the role.

Miles Plant Hire supervisor Mike Miles said: “First onsite and last to leave, Rob is a great example to everyone. Always happy, cooperative, willing to learn and take on new roles, Rob is someone that we are confident in investing in. Rob started with labouring in groundworks but showed he was able and willing to do other tasks like building kerbs, scaffolding, landscaping and mixing concrete. We are now moving him on to other roles and are training him to use plant like operating the JCB and dumper truck.”

Rob’s 16 week ‘PWO’ ended on the 21 st April and Miles Plant Hire was pleased to offer Rob a fulltime job from that day onwards.

A delighted Rob said: “Workways+ gave me my chance to prove to everyone and myself that I could have a good job. I am now employed at 40 hours per week and for the first time I have money in the bank. I love my job not just because it is regular work but also because they believe in me and are willing to train me to do new things. It is the first time that I have felt I have a good future. I can’t thank Workways+ enough. The practical support they have given me has been great and the fact that they funded a placement for me in a company so I could prove what I was capable of was what really got me on my feet. It’s a wonderful service and would recommend them to anyone looking to get on.”

Workways+ is part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government. For further information on how Workways+ can help you please call 01437 776609 / email workwaysplus@pembrokeshire.gov.uk or visit www.workways.wales.

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Simon’s Hart to Hart with Pembroke constituent

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SIMON HART has got into a heated doorstep discussion with a Pembroke pensioner whilst canvasing for next week’s general election.

Michael Hart, 70, who is no relation to Simon Hart, contacted The Herald at lunchtime today (5 December) to say that he had been in a heated discussion with the Tory incumbent, who was out door-knocking on his street.

The argument was sparked by the swastika saga – as exclusively reported in last week’s Herald – in which Simon Hart REFUSES to account for the appearance of offensive Nazi graffiti on one of his election placards, two years after it was taken down from public display.

Simon Hart photographed the placard in question in 2017 – at which point the only evidence of graffiti it bore was written text. But he posted a new photograph of the same placard to kickstart his re-election campaign last month, in which two swastikas are visible where none appeared before.

The MP is still refusing to give any public explanation, and has threatened legal action against those speculating over what he says is “demonstrably untrue.”
Since being reported by his favourite local weekly, Michael Hart tells us that he noticed how Simon Hart was still keeping quiet on the swastikas’ appearance – despite being approached by journalists reporting on the matter for the Independent, Daily Mirror, iNews and Western Mail titles.

Earlier this week WalesOnline reported that, when approached, Simon Hart failed to offer “an explanation as to how the swastika signs ended up on the election board, or who might be responsible”, but he told them: “Any suggestion that I had anything to do with this is malicious, false and defamatory and lawyers have been instructed”.

Michael Hart tells the Herald that he became aware Simon Hart was out campaigning on Kingsbridge Drive at lunchtime, when the candidate’s poster landed on his doormat.

The retiree says that the swastika issue led to the disagreement – in which words were exchanged and threats of legal action were inferred made towards him by the government minister.

Michael Hart, a retired teacher and mechanical engineer, said that he tackled Simon Hart to explain how the swastikas came about. He says his prodding produced what he calls a “tentative explanation” from the Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire incumbent, which he finds “hard to believe”.

“I opened my door and went out to the drive, and politely said I did not want the poster. A few moments later, Simon Hart came up the road and onto my drive.

“I complained to him about two things – the Conservatives’ illegal proroguing of Parliament, and all that I’ve read about his publishing of the photo on his Facebook page of his defaced election board with the swastikas on.

“When I asked him about the signs, he got agitated, angry, and threatened me with legal action, and said he would pursue anybody who made out that he had anything to do with it”.

“On pushing him further, he told me how he thinks they got there. He says when his signs were in storage in a shed, that the shed was broken into, and a large number of placards including the swastika placard were ‘damaged or defaced’ for a second time!

“It really is quite some theory – and if it is true now, then it was true last week when the issue was first exposed. So why didn’t he mention this before now, when the Herald and other papers started asking him questions, or why didn’t he contact the police?

“Why was it when he put the poster on Facebook did he not then explain how the swastikas got there?

“I’m not sure why but he was recording our conversation on his phone. At the end of the visit no one from Mr Hart’s party would accept the poster back – so I threw it in the road and then it was picked up.”

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Jeremy Corbyn 100% confirmed to visit Pembrokeshire this weekend

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LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn will be visiting Pembrokeshire this weekend to shore up support for Labour candidates in the area.

Although the exact itinerary has not yet been confirmed, Labour HQ in Cardiff has confirmed to The Pembrokeshire Herald that Mr Corbyn will definitely be in attendance.

Mr Corbyn will be keen to rally votes for Philippa Thompson, who is standing in the Preseli Pembrokeshire seat – the second most marginal in the UK.

At the 2017 election she lost to Stephen Crabb by just 314 votes.

An email sent out to Labour members states: “Jeremy Corbyn will be in Haverfordwest to talk about how we win a better society, and we hope you can join him.

“This election is a once in a generation chance for us. Together we can reverse a decade of austerity. Take power from the billionaires, the bad bosses and the big polluters and give it to workers, young people, communities and everyone the Tories have failed for so long.

“We’re coming together to make our voices heard in Haverfordwest this weekend. This is about getting together, being inspired, and making a difference in the final week.”

The exact location will be sent out to those who register to attend, the email ads. The indoor rally is expected to start at 5.30pm.

Corbyn’s supporters said they hope that their leader will also attend an outdoor rally taking place in Haverfordwest town centre, at a location to be confirmed, the same afternoon.

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Haverfordwest boy caught taking drugs by officers thirty miles away

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A TEENAGE boy was arrested in Haverfordwest last week, after he was caught smoking cannabis on CCTV cameras which are monitored in Carmarthen (on Nov 28).

As part of the ongoing effort to crack down on anti-social behaviour in the town centre, known as Operation Spitfire, Haverfordwest Inspector, Reuben Palin, was at police headquarters, where the cameras are monitored, when he spotted the boy on-screen.

He saw a group of teenagers known to police, and the camera operator was able to zoom in for a closer look at their activities. After a call to local officers, they quickly arrived at the scene. The group was searched and one of the youths was arrested for possessing the class B drug.

Insp. Palin said: “We’re doing all we can to address community concerns about anti-social behaviour in Haverfordwest, and this includes putting the town’s new CCTV system to best use.

“Seeing the capability of the cameras in live-time has shown that CCTV is not just useful when an incident has occurred, but can also help us monitor what’s happening in town, and will hopefully deter bad behaviour.

“Obviously this can’t replace good old fashioned foot patrols, and we have a plan that sees CCTV complementing a visible police presence.”

The teenage boy arrested on suspicion of possessing the small amount of cannabis admitted the offence, and will be dealt with by the Youth Offending Team to ensure he gets support for his drug use.

He continued: “We are also working with other agencies, in particular the council, which has recently opened a drop-in centre for young people at No 2 Old Bridge, with the aim of offering a wide range of activities and opportunities that reflect their interests.

“While we have a strategy to minimise anti-social behaviour in this area, we would like to remind parents that the actions of their children are not the responsibility of the police. We urge you to be aware of what your children are doing, and where they are spending their time.

“No one should have to put up with anti-social behaviour and I would encourage the community to contact Haverfordwest Police to report any issues or concerns.”

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