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Concern over ageing dads

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letstaklelonelinessPEOPLE across Great Britain with older parents have spoken out about their fears for their lonely Dads after new research revealed that 63 per cent believe their Dad is lonely even though 30 per cent say they don’t think their Dad would admit to it. Half (50 per cent) of people with an older Dad (over 75) who lives alone said that they don’t think their Dad enjoys his hobbies as much as he used to.

The reasons for older men letting go of their hobbies include a lack of motivation (35 per cent), having no one to enjoy them with (19 per cent) and 10 per cent said a lack of transport was a reason for letting hobbies go. The research is released to coincide with the launch of Royal Voluntary Service’s ‘Let’s Tackle Loneliness’ campaign which aims to recruit more male volunteers. The initiative will help the charity to rekindle dwindling social lives of older men who live alone. A host of high profile rugby clubs have pledged support and the charity is calling on more to come forward now to help raise awareness of the issue and encourage their supporters to become volunteers.

‘Let’s Tackle Loneliness’ clubs including Cardiff Blues, Leicester Tigers, Castleford Tigers and Harlequins, and rugby legends including Dan Cole and JPR Williams, are pledging their support by joining the charity’s virtual Silver Squad (#tackleloneliness), calling on men across Great Britain to share their skills and hobbies and a small amount of time to help local older men stay connected. David McCullough, Chief Executive at Royal Voluntary Service, said: “Supporting your local or national sports team gives a feeling of belonging and comradery for many men and women.

Our research shows that on average men spend 3.3 hours a week chatting about sport with their friends and family. So it also provides an excellent common ground to grow new friendships. “Through the Let’s Tackle Loneliness campaign we want to minimise the barriers to continuing with hobbies and interests. Our volunteers can provide companionship, give a lift where it is needed or buddy-up go to the local rugby game.”

JPR Williams, Welsh rugby legend is supporting the Let’s Tackle Loneliness campaign: “It’s hard to imagine what life will be like when we are older when we are in peak physical fitness but it is important to realise that everyone has something to offer. We all have different skills and interests, whether that’s supporting your local or national team, playing golf, popping to the pub for a pint or going for a drive, those skills and hobbies can easily be shared with someone local to you.

As part of the Let’s Tackle Loneliness campaign I encourage you to register to volunteer for as little as an hour a week to share your skills and interests with an older man who may be suffering from loneliness in silence.” Launched in 1938 as the Women’s Voluntary Services, the charity’s founder, Lady Reading, attracted over one million female volunteers to lend their support on the home front during the war.

Now called Royal Voluntary Service, the charity supports older people and wants more men to volunteer. The charity currently has an army of over 35,000 volunteers but less than a fifth of its cohort are men. Royal Voluntary Service helps over 100,000 older people with services such as Good Neighbours (companionship), Meals-on-Wheels and Books-on-Wheels that help alleviate loneliness. Royal Voluntary Service also provides practical support for older people who have been in hospital through its On Ward Befriending and Home from Hospital services. To volunteer or find out more about Royal Voluntary Service or to sign up as a volunteer call 0845 608 0122 or visit www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk

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Extra police patrols at Tenby skate park after ‘men approached young girls’

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CONCERNED locals in Tenby have taken to social media to write about concerns of inappropriate behaviour – between males they think may have been asylum seekers currently housed at Penally Army Camp – and young girls in Tenby.

The police have said they are investigating the matter.

Witnesses have said that young girls have been approached by males while at the skate park in Tenby.

The Home Office has said that the camp will be used to house up to 250 male asylum seekers whilst their claims are processed due to a shortage of alternative accommodation, caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Reports circulating on Facebook have claimed to have direct knowledge that male residents of the camp have been talking and exchanging contact information with local school girls, some suggesting that they were in school uniform when talking with the men.

However, the police have not confirmed that that is the case – it remains an unproved allegation.

One local claimed on Facebook: “So tonight a few of us concerned local parents decided to go to Tenby skate park.

“As we got there two young girls where sat on a bench waiting for someone.

“Some kids told us they were the ones talking to the men yesterday exchanging Snap Chat details and stuff.

“Then the men from the day before turned up… saw us and scurried off down the beach.

“The two girls then quickly wandered off.

“These girls were about 14.”

One resident had stated that they had reported the incidents he had seen and heard to the local police station, he claimed that an officer told him they were in talks with Greenhill School about the incidents.

Pembrokeshire County Council said that they are unable to comment on the alleged incidents, however a spokesman told The Herald in a statement: “All I would say is that our schools regularly advise pupils not to engage with strangers.”

Dyfed-Powys Police confirmed they are investigating two alleged incidents at the skate park, and have been in contact with the local schools.

A police spokesperson told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “We have received two reports of alleged inappropriate behaviour at the skate park in Tenby and are looking to speak to the people who contacted us.

“In the meantime the skate park is now part of our patrol plans and we have linked in with local schools to reinforce the School Beat Stay SMART online messaging.”

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Off-duty lifesavers were lost but ready to react

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A PEMBROKESHIRE man whose life was saved by multiple twists of fate has praised those who stepped in during his hour of need.

Keen amateur triathlete Steven Landrey, 51, of Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire, was out on a post-lockdown bike ride when he suffered a cardiac arrest that was to set off the incredible chain of events.

Steven said: “We were about 40km into an 80km ride when it happened.

“It was strange and lucky as only two weeks earlier I was running alone in Paris, and the night before I swam 2km alone in the sea, and during lockdown had done lots of exercise on my own.

“But that day, I had met my brother-in-law, Chris, and some friends.

“I dread to think what would have happened if I would have been alone.”

Meanwhile, just a mile or so away was off-duty Welsh Ambulance Service Community First Responder Angharad Hodgson, from Martletwy, and her firefighter partner Steve Bradfield, from Narbeth.

Steven Landrey, 51, of Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire

“We were heading to meet friends at Barfundle Beach. We hadn’t been there for a few years so were following the sat-nav in the car,” said Angharad.

“We were running late and had taken a wrong turn as the sat-nav must have frozen or lost signal.

“We decided to turn back on ourselves, and that’s when we saw Steven on the floor being worked on by Chris.”

Always travelling with their defibrillator and kit, Angharad and Steve, who is also a trained medical responder, were able to pull over swiftly and step in with their life-saving defibrillator.

Angharad, 23, said: “We put the pad on his chest and after about 30 manual chest compressions, Steven had stopped breathing and the defibrillator told us we could shock him twice.

“We did it and he came back to us, but his breathing was very sticky so we continued CPR until the air and land ambulances arrived to take over.”

Steven was taken by road to Swansea’s Morriston Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to fit a stent into a lower left artery of his heart, which had flooded with blood and caused the cardiac arrest.

Steven is making a good recovery at home and is taking the first steps back to work in his role as a European Managing Director for Babcock Aviation, an aerial emergency services business.

He said: “I’m working with the National Cardiac Referral Scheme and also a personal trainer and am feeling well and getting strength back every day.

“With my work, I have seen emergency care provision across Europe and Canada and the care I received at every step of the way here in Wales has been world-class.

“I can’t thank Chris, Angharad, Steve, the air ambulance crew and the paramedics enough, along with the doctors and surgeons at Morriston, they were all amazing.

“I realise everything went my way that day, and for those few hours I was the luckiest man alive, but having these trained people in our communities to support emergency medical services is absolutely vital.

“Community First Responders like Angharad, CPR training and Public Access Defibrillators really do save lives and are to be respected.”

Glyn Thomas, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Community First Responder Officer in Mid and West Wales, said: “The prompt actions of Angharad and Steve were no doubt a major factor in the patient’s survival.

“Even off-duty as they were, they demonstrated control and organisation – they are both a credit to their communities and organisations.

“We wish Steven a smooth recovery and all the best for the future.”

Today is Restart a Heart Day, a national initiative run by the Resuscitation Council UK, British Heart Foundation, St John Ambulance and the ambulance services across the UK to promote education around Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

In the absence of physical events due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Welsh Ambulance Service is encouraging people to watch a video by Resuscitation Council UK and keep an eye on social media from partners like Save a Life Cymru who are promoting key messages such as early recognition of cardiac arrest, early CPR and early defibrillation.

Restart a Heart Day runs parallel to the Trust’s month-long Shoctober campaign which aims to educate primary school children on the benefits of getting confident with CPR – even making this brilliant animated video.

Angharad, who also works for the local authority’s social services team in Pembrokeshire, has been a Community First Responder since April 2019 and was inspired to make that brave step by another incident back in 2018.

She said: “I was driving home from shopping along the A40 in Carmarthen when I came across a terrible car accident on the opposite carriageway.

“I pulled my car over and crossed the road to try and assist without any thought process really.

“Seeing the work of the paramedics on scene really spurred me on to become a Community First Responder.

“I’d like to thank Tony Wall who is my CFR Co-ordinator for being so supportive and giving so much of his time to fundraise for life saving equipment such as defibrillators in local communities.”

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Employees at Pembroke Power Station raise over £10,000 for good causes

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COLLEAGUES at Pembroke Power Station have raised £10,300 for the NHS (National COVID Response) and Pembrokeshire-based, GTBAL (Get the Boys a Lift).

The money was raised via a new initiative launched by the power outage team at Pembroke Power Station in June. ‘Coins’ were awarded to individuals and teams throughout June, July and August who demonstrated positive safety behaviour on site. Throughout the Summer, hundreds of positive safety moments and suggestions were recorded and rewarded with ‘coins’.

Members of the team were encouraged to actively engage with newly implemented COVID-19 site safety procedures through various activities. Games and activities such as the coin toss kept staff aware of safety procedures while providing them with a reason to engage. Colleagues were invited to throw a coin at a marking on the floor two metres away, those who hit the mark were awarded a prize. Games such as these provided fun, non-intrusive reminders of the need for social distancing in the workplace and encouraged employees to talk openly about safety measures.

Ensuring that no safe, positive behaviour was missed, supervisors and colleagues were encouraged to nominate team members who displayed a proactive approach to keeping site operations safe and employee welfare a priority.

The money raised by the outage team at Pembroke Power Station will be split evenly between the NHS (COVID-19 Response) which aims to support staff and volunteers caring for COVID-19 patients and Pembrokeshire-based GTBAL. Get the Boys a Lift is a local charity which runs a free drop-in centre to help improve mental health within the community as well as those further afield.

Richard Little, Pembroke Power Station manager said; “The money raised by our dedicated team at Pembroke Power Station is testament to their commitment to the raising of safety standards and to giving back to those within their community. Together, our employees have come together to drive forward the conversation on COVID-19 safety measures and mental health awareness. The response we received from team members has been extremely positive. Their willingness to throw themselves into making the working environment better for everyone, while having some fun along the way is admirable. I want to thank them all for their dedication.”

Ryan Evans, managing/fundraising director at GTBAL, comments: “The money generated will help us to fund our free drop-in centre, which we use to provide support for people in the community. ‘Our place’ provides somewhere for people to pop in for a coffee and someone to chat to about anything that may be bothering them. If people need to see a counsellor, your donations will pay for this. The money you’ve raised will pay for nearly 150 hours of counselling, helping many people work through their issues.”

RWE generates over 10% of the UK’s electricity needs, with a combination of flexible power assets in addition to wind and solar. The fleet includes over 7GW of flexible CCGT, some biomass and hydro: RWE has set the ambitious target of being carbon neutral by 2040.

Pembroke Safety for Charity Initiative

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