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Pembrokeshire puffins to star in new children’s books

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puffinPEMBROKESHIRE’S famous puffins and the other island wildlife on our local islands are the lead characters in a new series of children’s books by Lucy Griffiths from Marloes and her co-author and designer Christopher Thomas.

The initial print run will be funded by a  ‘Crowdfunding’ campaign using the popular online site ‘Kickstarter’ which helps creative people get their projects off the ground by taking pledges from backers who receive rewards for their pledges.  The campaign which launches this week offers backers the opportunity to pre-order copies of the books via the site, and if it’s successful in achieving its £1000 target the books will be printed here in Wales and despatched in time to be sent out as Christmas gifts.

The pair created their first three books as a way of encouraging very young children to learn about nature whilst also developing an adventurous, enterprising and independent approach to life.

They are keen supporters of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales and are planning to create educational materials using the characters from their books that will help the Trust reach out to young children with their messages about conservation.

Lucy and Chris are both lecturers at the University of Wales Trinity St David, where they run enterprise education and career development workshops to encourage students to take an enterprising approach to their careers.  However, in order to reach beyond the students they work with at the University they set up their Social Enterprise ‘We Are Lucky’ to provide resources and experiences based on the principle that you ‘make your own luck’ in life.

Lucy says ‘I was born and raised in Marloes, so the puffins and other wildlife on Skomer and Skokholm have played an important role in my childhood.  Through these books I’d like other young children to learn about the amazing natural resources we have here in Wales, whilst also developing some of the wonderful  enterprising characteristics these birds show in adapting and surviving in difficult conditions.’

Chris said ‘We hope anyone who loves Pembrokeshire’s wildlife, and the messages behind these stories will back us by pledging their support to the Kickstarter campaign.’

Further information about the project can be found at: www.wearelucky.org

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Meals on Wheels St Davids celebrates success at Ystadau Cymru Awards

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A COLLABORATIVE project involving St Davids Befriending Group and Pembrokeshire County Council has scooped the ‘Delivering Social Value’ award at the prestigious Ystadau Cymru awards for its Community Meals on Wheels (MoW) project.

Ystadau Cymru encourages excellence in active management of the Welsh public sector estate through strategic collaboration and good practice guidance.

The MoW project, which has been running since April, has provided people with a hot meal and helped the vulnerable in the community through the pandemic.

In total, the St Davids Befriending Group is made up of local individuals who work together on a voluntary basis in collaboration with Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi.

The Award was presented to the winners by Minister for Finance and Local Government, Rebecca Evans MS. The judging panel hailed the project for being an inspiration to bringing a collaborative effort to life and realising what can be done when the public sector and resilient communities come together.

A Meals on Wheels service was last operated in St. Davids in the late 1980’s when it was run by the Royal Voluntary Service.

And although Pembrokeshire County Council tried twice to re-establish this in the early 2000’s – it was without success.

But, come the autumn of 2020 the St. Davids Befrienders got together to try once more to restart the service. After an initial meeting held last January between the volunteering group and local authority staff, the service launched in April 2021 – and it has gone from strength-to-strength.

All the meals are cooked by the staff at the Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi canteen as it’s a suitable venue to mass-produce the food in a safe environment with trained staff.

The Head teacher was supportive of the concept as the school is at the heart of the community.

Cllr David Lloyd said: ‘I am honoured to be part of such an incredible team that time after time delivers a wonderful service to people in St Davids.

‘This is a true team effort from the St. Davids Befrienders to our friends at Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi school.

‘The delight on the people’s faces when the food arrives, or when someone knocks on the door just for a chat, is something to behold. As one of those who deliver the food I can’t express the excitement and pleasure on the faces when I knock on their door, it is absolutely moving.

‘It makes everything worthwhile and brings the community together in ways that sometimes can be slightly missed. I want to take this opportunity to thank Sarah Oliver at Pembrokeshire County Council, Ystadau Cymru for this marvellous award and Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi’s school for enabling the St. Davids Befrienders to provide the amazing Meals on Wheels service.’

Applications were encouraged to demonstrate how the projects achieved social value through collaboration with multiple partners – and this is exactly what the Meals on Wheels realised.

Cllr David Simpson, Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council added: ‘This is a hugely successful and significant project for the people of St David’s – and I’m delighted it has been celebrated in this way.

“The St David’s Meals on Wheels is a great example of collaboration between volunteers, stakeholders and the local school.

“It has breathed new life into a voluntary service that was lost decades ago. This is an incredible achievement.’

Since April, the MoW team have delivered meals, ensuring some of the most vulnerable in the community receive a hot, healthy and delicious meal. 

Chief Executive Will Bramble said: ‘This collaborative project, involving the public estate, has made a significant impact on the community they serve.

‘I am immensely proud that this partnership approach has enabled this Authority to help provide a Transformative way of working which benefits those who need it most.

‘This recognition is a symbol of what can be achieved when communities pull together, utilise local resources to solve problems – and more importantly, show they care.’

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Art Auction in support of Tenby Museum

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TENBY Museum and Art Gallery opened it’s doors to the public on the 9th September after being closed for eighteen months due to Covid. During this time a new roof and replacement Velux windows were installed as well as extensive internal redecoration carried out.

Being closed for all this time has resulted in a loss of revenue for the museum,  and with this in mind the ‘Friends of Tenby Museum’ are organising an Art Auction on Friday 10th December at the museum to help raise much needed funds

There was a wonderful response from artists who contributed their work in support of the museum including Naomi Tydeman, Sally Green, Tom Sloan, Jon Houser, Meirion Jones, Brian Froud and Louise Burdett to name just a few. All the work will be on display at the museum gallery and can be viewed for free by the public on Thursday to Saturday from 25th November until Friday 10th December.

Doors open to the public at 6.15pm and the auction will start promptly at 7.00pm. Our auctioneer for the night will be the very talented local artist Guy Manning.

All proceeds will go to the Tenby Museum and Art Gallery which is the oldest independent museum in Wales. We appreciate your support and if you can’t make it on the night, you can either leave a bid in a sealed box at the museum or on-line at the museum website www.tenbymuseum.org.uk

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Ultra-runner demonstrates to never give up on your dreams

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Rhys O’Mara (Left), Sanna (Centre) and Hollie Thomas (Right)

INSPIRATIONAL speaker Sanna Duthie recently inspired Military and Protective Services learners at the College with her story of running the 186 mile Pembrokeshire Coastal Path in a record breaking 51.5 hours without any sleep, to help raise money for the Welsh Air Ambulance.

Former College learner Sanna Duthie, an office manager by day and active runner by night, shared her experience of running the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path in record breaking time. Sanna had participated in a few marathons over the years such as Tenby Long Course Weekend, the Gower 50 and the London Marathon.

However, the real adrenaline rush to complete the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path was when Sanna competed in a 100 mile race of the coastal path in 2017.

“I realised I wasn’t too bad at that distance and then that’s when I got it in my head about doing the whole thing.”

Running a coastal path isn’t the easiest challenge and Sanna had to be prepared with an extensive training programme running over 300 miles a month equivalent to 10 miles a day. Sanna also had strength and conditioning training at a local gym to ensure her successful recovery.

“Coast running is hard on your muscles and joints and you need to strengthen those in order to not get injured,” said Sanna.

Originally Sanna started to run the entire coastal path in August 2020 but after 63 miles had to abandon the race due to dangerous weather conditions. This only made Sanna more determined and she completed her ultra-run on 8 th May 2021.

Sanna explained the highs and lows of the run, “There were times when I just wanted to quit, and I even started to hallucinate but I used a tactic where rather than focus on the whole run I broke it down into sections – this made things less overwhelming. Close friends and family would join alongside me on different stages of my run, and this motivated me to get to the finish line.”

Protective services learner Rhys O’Mara was thoroughly inspired by Sanna’s story, “I feel like, from the talk, I’m more inspired to go out and push myself to take on bigger and better physical challenges, the talk really showed that you can achieve anything when you dedicate yourself to a task. After College I’m looking to join the RAF as a drone pilot and have a full career in the forces.”

Sanna was the first female to run the entire coastal path and breaking the previous record of 64 hours and 32 minutes and raised an impressive £5,768.14 for charity.

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