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New project launched to help Milford Haven families for ‘when the going gets tough’

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Pictured from the MCA project are Fiona Griffiths from Milford Haven School, Scott Powell from Team around the Family, and Chris Davies from Milford Haven Rotary.

A NEW pilot project has been launched to support some of the most vulnerable families in the Milford Haven area, helping them to get through what is perhaps the most difficult part of the pandemic so far.

The ‘Milford Community Action’ project is aiming to help up to 100 local families who are experiencing financial hardship, require additional support from local services, or whose children care for other family members.

There will be a variety of practical support given in an attempt to help families both in the short term, and also guidance to help them build for a brighter future.

Resources will include food packs, the provision of slow cookers, cook books and live cookery sessions, educational activity packs for children, IT resources for pupils without access to digital devices, budgeting tools, and signposting to helpful organisations.

The 12-week project has been designed and developed in a partnership between Milford Haven School, Milford Youth Matters and Pembrokeshire County Council.

“There will be widespread engagement across Milford Haven, with local businesses and groups already pledging their support,” said Gemma Baker from Milford Haven School, who is co-ordinating the project with Dayle Gibby from Milford Youth Matters.

“Milford Haven Rotary Club were the first local group to contribute to the project, assisting with the delivery of meal packs as well as generously donating 30 slow cookers to be given to families in need.

“This collaborative approach is vital to enrich the experience of those families taking part, as well as strengthening community links and making the project sustainable for the future.”

Cllr Tessa Hodgson, Cabinet Member for Social Services, said it was a very welcome and timely initiative.

“This prolonged period of lockdown is difficult for everyone, but for those for whom life is already tough, it’s even harder,” she said.

“Hopefully this project will provide ongoing support for families, and hope where it is needed most.”

One aspect of the project is tackling food poverty, and so families will receive guidance on life skills such as meal-planning and household budgeting, as well as weekly food packs.

Another aspect is family wellbeing and welfare, and so the TAF (Teams around the Family) and Sport Pembrokeshire teams in the Council will put together activity and play packs, baking kits and craft kits, as well as increasing access to books and traditional games to encourage family participation.

Home-schooling will be supported by providing IT resources for digitally disadvantaged pupils, and period poverty is being addressed through the supply of feminine hygiene packs.

And alongside this, families are being signposted to useful advice and support from CAB (Citizen’s Advice Bureau) and other local organisations which can help with employment skills or training.

Pictured is Emma Kedward (Futures Leader for Numeracy at Milford Haven School) who has generously donated a selection of games that support numeracy skills in young people, such as telling the time. 

Darren Mutter, the Council’s Head of Children’s Services, said the aim is to create a range of positive outcomes.

“We hope that beyond their engagement with the project, families will feel more positive about their ability to improve their own circumstances; more confident in knowing where to seek support and more connected to their community,” he said.

“This isn’t just about dealing with the issues of food poverty or financial hardship but more about providing ongoing community support for the children and young people and their parents who need us.”

Headteacher of Milford Haven School, Ms Ceri-Ann Morris, said:

“We are immensely proud to support this project and utilise the school facilities to help our community. Schools are at the heart of every community, they are the common link that ties everyone in the community together.

“Everyone knows someone connected to the school, and the work of Miss Baker (Milford Haven School) together with Dayle Gibby will be the driving force in getting resources out to the people most in need within our catchment area.”

Cllr Guy Woodham, Cabinet Member for Education & Lifelong Learning, said: “Once again Milford Haven School and Milford Youth Matters are demonstrating the fantastic things that can be achieved when you work with others for the benefit of the local community. Gemma Baker and Dayle Gibby continue to find ways to seize opportunities as they arise and make great things happen in Milford – they are excellent ambassadors and role models for not just young people but everyone in our community.”

The pilot project is funded by Pembrokeshire County Council with numerous contributions, both financial and time, from local groups and businesses which will further develop the positive reach of the project.

If successful, the County Council will be looking to roll it out with local partners in the Fishguard area.

● If you have any questions about the project, or would like information on how you can get involved, please contact Gemma or Dayle at gbaker@milfordhavenschool.co.uk or dayle.mym@outlook.com

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Permit applications open for Tenby pedestrianisation scheme

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is now accepting applications for vehicle access during this year’s Pedestrianisation of Tenby.

The scheme, which is due to start on Monday, July 5 and conclude on Friday, September 10, will again see the walled town divided into three ‘zones’, each having varying degrees of vehicle access.

Whilst all necessary plans are being put in place for it to start and finish on the above dates, the scheme will remain under constant review in light of Government guidance relating to Covid-19, and the Council will provide any updates as necessary.

Possession of an ‘access permit’ does not provide any exemption from Government restrictions, and any regulations relating to travel and the occupation of holiday accommodation or second homes must be observed at all times.

Following the success of last year, the permit application process will continue online, with paper application forms and guidance notes no longer being delivered to residents and businesses.

The application form and guidance notes are available from pembrokeshire.gov.uk/tenby-pedestrianisation

Residents and business within Tenby are encouraged to complete the application process as soon as possible, to ensure that there is sufficient time for the application to be processed.

Permits will be issued approximately 7-10 days prior to the start of the scheme.

For enquiries, e-mail tenby.pedestrian@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

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Join the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Panel as an independent member

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THE Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Panel is looking for two members to join them in their work to support and challenge the Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Panel is made of up of members nominated by Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys county councils along with at least two independent members.

Opportunities have now arisen for two independent members to join the Panel and carry out key statutory roles that will support the Commissioner exercise his role effectively.

Members will be expected to attend and take part in regular meetings and take part in decision making, creating reports and making recommendations to the Commissioner.

They will review the Commissioner’s annual draft Police and Crime Plan and annual draft budget, review and scrutinise his decisions and actions, and if necessary review the proposed appointment or removal of the Chief Constable and other senior police force appointments.

Applicants will need to demonstrate that they can take a balanced and objective approach in supporting the Panel and the Commissioner, make strategic and well-informed decisions, and interpret and question financial, statistical and performance related information.

They will also need to be able to act as a ‘critical friend’, challenging views or proposals for change constructively.

Applications close on May 31, and appointments to the Panel will be made until October 31, 2024. 

For further information, visit www.dppoliceandcrimepanel.wales

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Successful Fire Service and Health Board partnership to enhance COVID-19 vaccine roll out comes to end

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TUESDAY 11 May 2021 marked the end of a hugely successful partnership between Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Hywel Dda University Health Board, initiated to enhance the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine to the communities of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

Since February, Community Safety Staff from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service have transported 125 passengers over 9450 miles to ensure they were able to receive their COVID-19 vaccination.

Chris Davies, Chief Fire Officer for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “Recognising the configuration of our Service, the areas we cover and indeed the people we employee, this seemed an ideal opportunity for us to widen our response to the pandemic and support our partners in safeguarding our communities.

“Whilst we already collaborate with the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust, this opportunity enabled us to expand our assistance further within the health arena. This partnership with Hywel Dda University Health Board was the first of its kind for Fire and Rescue Services in Wales and paved the way for a number of similar partnerships for us and the other Fire and Rescue Services in Wales.

“I am extremely proud of our staff who have participated in this collaboration and have made a huge difference to the lives of so many people. Their contribution has without doubt had a positive impact on our response to this global pandemic”.

Mydrian Harries, Corporate Head of Prevention and Protection for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, coordinated the Service’s response to this call for assistance.

“Our communities are at the heart of our core business. Knowing we were in a position to make an impact, we put in place a robust solution in record time, to not only ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff, but to also safeguard those who were eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination, but may have had barriers preventing them from attending their appointments.

“Using this partnership as template within which we could expand, we have since been able to offer our assistance to other Health Boards across the Service area. Indeed, a group of 10 vaccine heroes from our Service have joined Powys Teaching Health Board’s vaccination team, playing their part in distributing vaccines at mass vaccination sites in Newtown and Builth Wells. This is another fantastic example of how working together has been vital in our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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