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Carer honoured for her work has earned national

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Inspirational carer: Helen was awarded for her work.

Inspirational carer: Helen was awarded for her work.

A woman has earned national recognition for helping to restore the life of a brain injured man. Helen Beddington was honoured at a glittering Oscars-style awards night in Cardiff City Hall, hosted by BBC presenter Lucy Owen, and organised by Care Forum Wales, to acknowledge and reward excellence in the social care sector. Helen, who works for Elliots Hill Care of Haverfordwest, won joint bronze in the supported living care practitioner category, sponsored by Pendine Park Teaching Care Centre, at the 2014 Wales Care Awards A man, who was left in a coma after a horrendous car accident nearly 13 years ago, now produces wonderful sculptures, goes skiing and attends rock concerts, thanks to around the clock care from Helen and her specialist team.

Helen, 56, from Haverfordwest, joined the Elliots Hill care team looking after a man who had been badly injured after he had been hit by a car as he got out of his own vehicle to make a telephone call. The local man, now 58, was left in a coma and emerged with the use of only one arm and brain damage which has severely limited his ability to communicate. “I started as part of the team and then three months later I was team leader. It’s very challenging but very interesting work.

He is particularly vulnerable in every way, especially medically. Although there is a lot of clinical work he attends workshops and he welds and makes amazing sculptures.” But he is also taken sit-skiing, carriage driving, attends concerts and festivals: “He can understand practically everything and he has some speech but working so closely with him we have a very good rapport and he can ask for something by signing or signalling and he can write a little. I have an amazing team of about 10 looking after him 24/7 with always two of us on duty,” said Helen, who involves the man’s partner in all care decisions. Such dedication had Helen working 50 hours a week, sometimes even on her day off, but that changed when her father – who died at the end of August – was diagnosed with leukaemia.

“When dad was diagnosed they gave him six to eight weeks to live but he died a year and a week after he was diagnosed. I used to go in twice a day to give him his chemo injections.” Joe Masters was an instrument engineer – and a talented photographer – who had spent much of his early life working for the oil industry, which involved Helen living in Libya and Abu Dhabi as a youngster. She was about eight when she went to school in Libya and afterwards attended boarding school in Bristol, ‘commuting’ back to Libya in the holidays at a time in the Seventies when plane hi-jacks were a regular occurrence.

After school Helen worked for a time teaching children English in Abu Dhabi and then working as a front office secretary for a large hotel group before returning home. Her colourful Dad, a former youth rugby player in Newport, who had once had to escape from Beirut when ‘things kicked off’, had bought a place in Haverfordwest which in the Seventies he thought was one of the most beautiful places in Wales.

Although Helen has spent most of her working life in the social care sector, she diverted for about seven years to join her father in photography, which played an increasingly more important part of his professional life, and she travelled much of mid and south west Wales for a school photography business. Helen, who attended the awards with partner Ben, has a daughter and son, from her previous marriage, and is awaiting her sixth grandchild.

Elliots Hill training co-ordinator Jo Swift said: “Helen’s dogged determination in pursuit of getting things right and taking on the professionals when she feels they are not meeting this gentleman’s needs is quite extraordinary. She never expects praise as she thinks that what she does should be done by all – a rare quality.” Mario Kreft, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said there was a record number of nominations and the standard was extremely high. He added: “There are only winners here tonight so it is only fitting that the finalists will receive a gold, silver or bronze Wales Care Award.

I trust that they will continue to inspire those around them as role models and encourage others to aspire to even greater heights in the months and years to come. This awards ceremony is our opportunity to pay tribute and to celebrate the talent and commitment that is improving the quality of life for thousands and thousands of people throughout Wales. We take our hats off to them.”

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Community

Haverfordwest Youth Club hosts successful open evening

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Credit - Haverfordwest Youth Club

HAVERFORDWEST Youth Club posted to their Facebook page to thank those who attended their open evening last night (June 30). 

They celebrated Youth Work Week by sharing their amazing new facility in Haverfordwest with the local community. 

Haverfordwest Youth Club

The open evening was located at the new venue at The Picton Centre. They had a range of activities including VR goggles, face painting and jewellery making.

Haverfordwest Youth Club wrote: “A special thank you to Haverfordwest Town Council, Sian – Haverfordwest Morrison’s Community Champion and Martin Jones from Ogi for supporting the evening. Also, to our members Sara, Amelia, Sureya, Pippa and Lily for volunteering their time to help on the evening”.

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Milford Haven’s “To The Sea” carnival returns this weekend

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To The Sea is this year's theme

THE CARNIVAL returns to Milford Haven this Saturday (July 2), after a two year break. With a variety of events, rides and food, it is expected to be fun for all the family. 

This year’s theme is “To The Sea”. Milford Haven Round Table have organised an Under The Sea Parade which will form part of the procession.

This year’s procession will take on an exciting new route, ending at the new and exciting  Carnival Arena on Milford Waterfront. 

It will leave Waterloo Square at 1pm, and travel across Hakin Bridge and up Hamilton Terrace. The carnival will then proceed down Charles Street and Dartmouth Street before arriving at the Carnival Arena. 

Map of the procession (Credit – Milford Haven Round Table)

Acrobats, an animal club, live music, street food stalls, and an amazing “fly board” act on the water are among the fun activities and events planned for the Carnival Arena.

Entry to the arena is £1 for adults and 50p for children. The festivities are expected to begin at 1:30pm. 

Andrew Holmes Fun Fairs will be providing a range of rides and stalls at the Arena, such as the Sizzler, the Can Can, the Terminator and a Circus Funhouse. A superslide and games stalls will also be available. 

Rides and stalls will not accept cash on Carnival Day, but will instead be accepting tokens which are available from the grey token box at the entrance of the arena. 

Each token costs £1. It is advised to pay for tokens with cash. Although card is accepted to purchase tokens, due to the location of the Carnival Arena the signal may be a problem so the card readers may not work as planned. 

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Community

Deadline approaching for £500 payment to unpaid carers

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THE DEADLINE to apply for a one-off £500 payment to eligible unpaid carers in Wales is rapidly approaching.

The Welsh Government scheme, administered by Pembrokeshire County Council, is open to all unpaid carers in Wales who were in receipt of Carers Allowance on 31 March 2022.

The deadline to apply is 5pm on 15th July 2022 and those who believe they are eligible are urged not to miss out.

The Council is also sending out 400 letters this week to those they believe may be eligible and who have not yet applied.

The payment is in recognition of the increased financial pressures many unpaid carers experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic and to help with some of the additional costs they have incurred. 

The payment is targeted towards those individuals who care for someone for at least 35 hours a week and have low incomes.

You will not be eligible for the payment if:

  • You have an underlying entitlement to Carers Allowance but do not receive a payment because you are in receipt of another benefit at the same or higher rate; or
  • You only receive the carer premium  

If you have already applied please be assured the Council is working its way through the applications as quickly as possible.

How to apply

Applicants (this should be the person in receipt of carer’s allowance)

are required to complete the online form at: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/grants/unpaid-carers-500-pound-payment

Required information is:

  • Your name, address, telephone number and email address
  • Date of Birth
  • National Insurance Number
  • Post code
  • A bank statement showing your name, address, account number and sort code

If you are having problems completing the on-line application form please email: UnpaidCarers@pembrokeshire.gov.uk alternatively call 01437 764551 for assistance.

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