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Social care workforce praised

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Cllr Tessa Hodgson, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for
Social Services, has expressed her gratitude to all members of the social
care workforce in Pembrokeshire, both in the private and public sector.
“Carers have always been on the front line and their work is of the utmost
importance,” she said.

“I’m glad to see their status as key workers has been recognised during this
crisis and I thank them all for their continued support and dedication to the
most vulnerable in our communities.”

The Council’s Home Support Manager Amy Simes said staff had been
doing a fantastic job.

“They’re doing back-to-back visits with a positive smile on their face,
helping people to get up and about and providing emotional support as
well,” she said.

“What they do and the amount of people they support is amazing.”

She said carers often play down their role. “A lot of them say it’s my job –
but it’s not just that. It’s about having empathy and the right approach to
work with someone emotionally and physically.

And she added that the crisis has meant some changes for both carers and
residents.

“We’re working hard to protect and reassure not only our customers but
also our staff.

“All carers use personal protective equipment for every visit, and we have
procedures in place so that we can continue to provide a service no matter
what happens.”

But, she said, the essential aspects of the job – to be a friendly and
reassuring source of support for people – has not changed.

“For some people, their carer is the only familiar face they see all day.
We’re really aware of how much it means to them and how important it is
that we continue to provide this service.”

One carer who says she finds the role ‘extremely rewarding’ is Samantha
Williams from Milford Haven.

Samantha, 44, started working in domiciliary care last year after 22 years at
Tesco’s in Haverfordwest.

“The first day I was terrified!” she said. “I was worried about messing up t or
doing something wrong.

“But as time went on I loved it. It’s just lovely being out and about, meeting
people all the time. Quite often the people we go and see are a bit down in
the dumps and if you can have a laugh and make people smile by the time
you leave, raise their spirits a bit, then it’s great.

“Sitting and talking is a big part of it too. Some people don’t get to see
anyone else. They might see their family and have a chat through the
window, but they can’t come into their home like they used to. They just
want to have a chat.”

The coronavirus pandemic has also seen a number of Council staff
redeployed from other jobs to help, including 20-year-old Nia Matthews of
Maidenwells.

University student Nia has worked as a part-time lifeguard at Pembroke
Leisure Centre for the last three years in between her studies in
Chiropractics at the University of South Wales.

But when she had an email offering an opportunity to be redeployed, she
jumped at the chance.

“I’m always willing to cover shifts and help out so I was more than happy to
give it a go!” said the former Ysgol y Preseli and Golden Grove pupil.
Following manual handling and safe administering of medication courses
and several e-learning modules organised by the Council’s learning and
development team, Nia started working shadowing care staff at a nursing
home in Tenby.

Now in her fourth week, she says it’s been a ‘really positive experience’.
“Everyone has been so nice. I’ve been really lucky. It has given me such a
massive appreciation of the work of carers and what they do; I had no idea.
I’ve loved talking to them and the residents. They’re all so lovely, and they
have so many amazing stories!

“It’s great spending time with people, helping them to get out of bed in the
morning and encouraging their independence, helping them with their
personal hygiene, keeping everything tidy and keeping their spirits up.
“You do hear people saying that you’re either the sort of person who enjoys
care or you’re not; but I’m honestly so keen – I didn’t expect to be! It’s great
seeing people look happy.”

Nia said she’s also finding time to keep up with her university work.
“It’s more than manageable, and actually what I’m doing is really useful for
my studies as well. I happen to live in a house with perfectly healthy people
and so I’m not exposed to people’s different complications and troubles, so
it’s really opened my eyes.

“I’m so grateful for the experience. I come in helping them but they’re also
helping me!”

News

Drug drive arrest following routine check

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A MALE has been arrested following a positive roadside test.

The vehicle, which was stopped this morning, June 6, by the Pembrokeshire Road Policing Unit (Pembrokeshire RPU) was part of a routine check.

Traffic officers suspected the driver may be under the influence after smelling cannabis coming from the vehicle.

A roadside drug test was performed with a positive result with the drugswab provided. A small quantity of cannabis was also found inside the vehicle.

The cannabis was seized and the driver was arrested, later released under investigation, pending the male’s blood test result for the drug drive offence, out of court disposal for the possession.

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Campers from Cardiff sent packing

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PEMBROKESHIRE Road Policing Unit (Pembrokeshire RPU) have this morning, June 5, reported nine individuals for breaching coronavirus regulations.

The occupants of the three vehicles, all from the Cardiff area, had moved barriers that had been in place to close off the carpark to the public and set up camp for the night.

A Pembrokeshire RPU spokesperson said ‘Three vehicles from the Cardiff area located at Abereiddy this morning.

“The occupants of the vehicles, who’d travelled down overnight, had moved the barriers that had been used to close the car park. Having done so they then set up camp nearby.

“All nine persons present were reported for breaching coronavirus regulations. One was further dealt with by means of an out of court disposal for possession of cannabis.

“Rubbish cleaned up, car park closure reinstated, vehicles escorted out of Pembs.”

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News

Police urge visitors to ‘check the rules’

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POLICE in Powys are reminding people to check the rules before they travel, as tourists from the Midlands, London and Bristol continue to visit despite lockdown restrictions.

Last weekend more than 1,000 cars were turned around by police in the Brecon Beacons after visitors attempted to access the area around Ystradfellte known as ‘waterfall country’.

Many of those stopped claimed they thought the rules around travel were the same as in England, while others had deliberately flouted them.

Seventy-two per cent of people reported for breaches of Covid-19 restrictions in Powys since March 27 have been from outside the police force area.

“I would like to thank the communities of Powys for their cooperation in recent months in complying with requirements of the Covid 19 legislation and also reassure them we are still working hard with our partners to police the restrictions that remain in place across Wales,” said Superintendent Steve Davies.

“Our officers have worked hard to engage with the public at every opportunity throughout these unprecedented times by explaining what we are doing and why, and encouraging people to make the best choices to protect public health in Wales.

“But where people have clearly flouted the rules we have dealt with them appropriately and issued fines.”

He said officers will continue to conduct stop checks throughout Powys and across the force area this weekend.

In England, people can now travel an unlimited distance for exercise and to access so-called ‘beauty spots’.

But the Welsh Government has said people must remain local – ideally not travelling further than five miles from their home – for exercise or limited leisure pursuits, and this also applies to anyone travelling across the border.

Wales’ three national parks – which include popular sites such as Snowdon, the Elan valley and the Pembrokeshire coast – currently remain closed to the public, as do all National Trust car parks and properties.

The latest Welsh Government advice is available at gov.wales/coronavirus.

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