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Tributes pour in for Derek

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DerekRoberts

ONE of Pembrokeshire’s most popular football figures lost his fight against cancer on Sunday night.

Sixty-year-old Derek Roberts passed away at Withybush Hospital where he had worked as an employee for most of his working life.

Many tributes have already been placed on Twitter and Facebook as the sad news spread amongst the community.

Derek played for Haverfordwest County Youth in the team that beat Carew to lift the Wiltshire Cup in 1970. Derek also made his debut in the early 1970s playing as a defender for Haverfordwest County in the old Welsh League Division One. He later played for the highly successful Merlins Bridge team who won Pembrokeshire Football League division one two years on the trot in 1979 and ’80, and the same team won the Senior Cup three times from 1978 to 1980, and achieved the double two years running.

Following his retirement from football he took up many coaching and managerial positions with teams such as Merlins Bridge, Camrose and Haverfordwest County.

He also gained an ‘a licence’ as a football coach with good friend Michael Ellis, and had spells as an academy coach with Cardiff City and Swansea City.

Earlier this year Derek underwent a successful liver transplant in a hospital in Birmingham.

Following his recuperation this summer he felt a lot better and set up his own football coaching school for children at the Bridge Meadow called the ‘Soccer Blast Coaching For Kids.’ All the money raised from these sessions was handed to Birmingham Royal Infirmary and Wales Air Ambulance.

In August, Derek was thrown a surprise 60th birthday at the Haverfordwest County clubhouse where many family and friends celebrated.

Haverfordwest County chairman Rob Summons said: “Derek was a fantastic and genuine man who was a great friend to me. I will miss him greatly but will treasure the memories of all the good times we had together. He was one of the bravest people I have ever known.”Former Bluebirds manager and friend Michael Ellis said: “It is such sad news that Derek has passed away.“I can’t believe it’s happened so quickly. Life is hard to take when someone so special is taken so early in life.”

Pembrokeshire League secretary Brian Hawkins said: “The Pembrokeshire Football League would like to pass on our sincere condolences to the family. Our thoughts are with them during this sad time. He spent a lot of time coaching in Pembrokeshire and will be sorely missed.”

The funeral will take place next Monday, December 11 at Parc Gwyn Crematorium, Narberth at 3.15pm, and after the service the wake will be at Haverfordwest Golf Club.

There will be no flowers and all donations are for the Liver Transplant Foundation in Birmingham. All cheques made payable to Mr Rob Summons, 19 West Street, Rosemarket, SA71 1JH.

Chris O’Sullivan, Haverfordwest County

The Man was a true Gentleman, a proper mans man, always had class about him no matter what he said or did.! This world at times is very unfair, takes all the good ones.! Was an absolute pleasure to play my football in an around the same football club as him for so long, great coach and an absolute great man.. RIP Mr Derek Roberts you will be missed greatly xxx

Adam Raymond, Formerly Haverfordwest County

Absolutely stunned and devastated to hear the news about a true Pembrokeshire football great. My first county coach and the man who gave me so many opportunities in the game. An absolute gentleman and somebody who I could always rely on for advice and guidance. Rest in Peace Derek Rocco Roberts x

Jason Rice Merlins Bridge

The Pembs football community has sadly lost a great man I’m DEREK ROBERTS, it was Derek that gave me baptism of fire debut in Pembs footie as a 17 yr old way back in 1990 down in S’Foot, I came on for last 10 mins for the Merlins Bridge for legend Tony Jones who got injured (shock)! ,Derek simply said Ricey I know your keen but just enjoy it, show us what u got but don’t do anything silly, next thing I get nut megged so I just turn around and before the bastard crosses it, bang i take him down… yellow card! Fair play mind Derek after game put his hand on my shoulder and said, well done Ricey, good tackle but next time tuck your balls away and close your legs, even only last year we still laughed about that. brilliant advice by a brilliant coach which I’ve never forgotten.RIP Derek.

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Brand new features unveiled at Scolton Manor Park

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ONE of Pembrokeshire’s best-loved family destinations has announced it will be unveiling several new attractions in June, ready for the summer holidays.  

Among the new features at Scolton Manor are an eco-explorer village, a 1.2km woodland cycle track, an outdoor pirate ship play area and a dedicated railway attraction complete with steam train locomotive ‘Margaret’ and ‘Scolton Express’ play train.

Mark Thomas, manager of Scolton Manor Park, said the team were looking forward to showing visitors the new attractions.

“We’re delighted with our new facilities and believe they will perfectly complement the attractions we have here already at Scolton,” he said.

The woodland eco-explorer village aims to give children more opportunities for outside play and spark their enthusiasm to discover more about the natural world.  

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Culture and Leisure, said the village is perfect for all young explorers from toddlers right through to older children.

“Children love playing outside and we want to inspire them through their play to not only find out more about biodiversity and the environment but also how to care for it,” he said.

“As well as eco-explorer areas, games and activities there will be fun tips on how they can reuse, reduce and recycle more and protect the environment.”

The eco-explorer village is funded by a £50,000 grant from the Landfill Disposals Tax Community Scheme and £25,000 grant from Community Facilities Programme (Welsh Government), in partnership with the Pembrokeshire Beekeepers’ Association.

Mark Thomas said the current attractions at Scolton have also proved very popular since the outdoor areas at the park re-opened to the public earlier this spring.

As well as an adventure play area for older children which includes a 30-metre zip wire, a spinning climbing web and ‘super swings’,  younger visitors can enjoy the wooden playground, sensory musical play area and woodland play features.

“The many and varied attractions at Scolton enhance its role as a community facility while providing a wide range of countryside experiences at a lower cost,” said Mark.

“The new features in particular will also help to continue the development of the site into a must-visit tourist attraction within mid and North Pembrokeshire.”

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Public engagement exercise over new hospital between St Clears and Narberth

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HYWEL DDA is asking the people of Pembrokeshire to help it further shape and deliver future services by taking part in a six-week engagement exercise.

Since the publication of its strategy, A Healthier Mid and West Wales: Our Future Generations Living Well in 2018, the health board has worked with partners to provide care and develop services. However, the coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on health and care services. As a result, the health board now wants to learn from the public about how the pandemic has affected their health and care, and access to it.

This week, Hywel Dda UHB has been distributing a discussion document for the public to consider, along with a questionnaire for completion.

Hywel Dda UHB is also asking for the public’s feedback in relation to its long-term strategy to develop and build a new hospital in the south of the Hywel Dda area, somewhere between and including St Clears, in Carmarthenshire, and Narberth, in Pembrokeshire.

This location is the most central for most of the population in the south of the Hywel Dda area, and it was determined through the public consultation held in 2018.

The public is also being asked to nominate sites for a new hospital based four criteria:

The nominated site must be within the zone between and including St Clears in Carmarthenshire and Narberth in Pembrokeshire. This location is the most central to most of the population in the south of the Hywel Dda area.

The nominated site should be a minimum of 35 acres of reasonably developable land.

The nominated site should have realistic prospects of obtaining planning permission for a new hospital.

There should be appropriate transport infrastructure for a major hospital site.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “The global pandemic has had a major impact on all areas of our lives so it’s crucial that the health board considers, reflects and learns from this extraordinary period. This engagement exercise will allow the public to tell us in their own words how COVID-19 has affected their health and care, and access to it.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to participate because the feedback we receive will play a major role in helping shape future services. This in turn will allow us to deliver on our long-term commitment for a healthier mid and west Wales.

“I would also stress that this engagement exercise is part of an ongoing process. Over the coming months and years, we plan to engage with the public, stakeholders and partners on a wide variety of issues, such as service models. Everyone will have their chance to give their views and opinions because we are committed to continuous engagement with the public to ensure we provide the best possible care.”

The engagement exercise will run until Monday June 21.

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Paul Sartori taking action to support climate with National Lottery grant of nearly £14,000

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LOCAL hospice at home charity, Paul Sartori Hospice at Home, is taking action to support the climate with the installation of solar panels at its main head office in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.

The charity which delivers end of life care services across Pembrokeshire, has been awarded a grant to fund the purchase and installation of solar panels at Paul Sartori House, Winch Lane. This investment is part of an ongoing commitment to address the climate emergency and the charity joins many others who are taking action. Paul Sartori was one of 35 community groups, who were selected to take part in the Climate Action Boost scheme, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund.

Working alongside Renew Wales, a partner in the initiative, the group explored methods to help tackle the causes and consequences of climate change, and to operate more sustainably. A number of options were discussed to reduce their impact on the environment and Renew Wales helped the charity to develop an environmental action plan, which is to be implemented over the coming months. The scheme available to cover a variety of environmental reduction activities, including renewable energy, reducing consumption, local food and reduced or less impactful travel.

Paul Sartori Hospice at Home wouldn’t normally be associated with environmental activity. Through regular consultation over many months, the charity has been really encouraged by what they have learnt.

“We have invested a lot of time in developing the plan; discussed a number of alternatives along the way, but feel that the solar panel installation will have the biggest impact for the charity in the long term”, said Sandra Dade, Charity Manager. “The National Lottery Climate Action Boost has really inspired our charity to minimise our impacton the environment and we will continue this journey,” added Sandra.

Jemma Nurse, Funding Manager at The National Lottery Community Fund said, “The climate emergency is everyone’s business, which is why The National Lottery Community Fund is acting to support and inspire communities to minimise their own impact on the environment. We are proud to be a significant funder of environmental projects and Paul Sartori Hospice at Home, along with the other groups participating in Climate Action Boost, will play a valuable part in building our knowledge so we can share our learning with other funders across Wales and the UK.”

The services provided by the Paul Sartori Hospice at Home enable people in the later stages of any life-limiting illness to be cared for and to die at home with dignity, independence, pain free and surrounded by those they hold most dear, if that is their wish.

All of the services are free of charge, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, thanks to the generosity of the Pembrokeshire Community. Further information on the charity and its services can be obtained by visiting their website www.paulsartori.org, or by phoning 01437 763223.

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