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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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Salvage Hunters: New series is filming in Pembrokeshire, and they need help

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SALVAGE HUNTERS, the well-loved and most watched Quest TV and Discovery Network show, is on the hunt for locations to film at in the Pembrokeshire and the wider South West Wales area to feature in the upcoming series.

We follow decorative antiques expert Drew Pritchard as he travels around various locations in the UK and abroad on his quest to find and buy unusual objects with an interesting history.

Drew really visits everywhere – beautiful estates, old family businesses, barns and attic’s stuffed full of unwanted things, museums, factories, collectors and iconic religious sites buying all sorts along the way – from gorgeous country house furniture and railwayana to 6ft 1980s disco balls and anything in-between.

Now in its sixteenth series and airing to over half a million people in the UK and millions more worldwide, this is a great opportunity for you to promote your business or home to a broad audience, sell a few items that perhaps you no longer need, make some money and celebrate the history and heritage of the UK.

If you think you fit the bill or know somebody that might then please do not hesitate to reach out and speak with a member of our team.

Call us on 0203 179 0092 or alternatively send us an email to – salvagehunters@curvemedia.com

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Fishguard and Goodwick Mural project turns to Crowdfunder to raise money

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PLANS to put up a few bright and decorative murals around the twin towns of Fishguard & Goodwick have turned to Crowdfunder to raise the money needed for their vision.

Andrew Harries, found of the Fishguard Future Projects, wants to place 12 murals around Fishguard and Goodwick “to help brighten up the town and showcase its culture and history”.

Andrew said: “Having been born and raised in Fishguard, I have seen the town’s highs and lows.

“Fishguard and Goodwick has a lot of potential with the tourism trade growing every year and the popular events such as the Music Festivals, The New Years Eve Street Party, The Carnival, The Soapbox Derby and many more helping attract even more visitors.”

The murals, which were initially turned down for funding when a grant application was refused, will focus on the two towns “interesting but lesser known history” that Andrew feels needs to be highlighted.

Andrew told The Herald: “Each design will be 8 x 6ft and mounted professionally on buildings around the area. Having spoken to a few business owners around the town, this project has received a lot of positive feedback.”

“The murals will unfortunately need to be fully funded via Crowdfunder, after a grant application was turned down.

“I have explored the option of having them traditionally painted on, but this would be more cost effective and would need to be maintained every 5 – 8 years. With this in mind, the designs will be created digitally and then professionally mounted on aluminium composite.”

If you want to help, you can find the link to Andrew’s Crowdfunder here.

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Community

Drive for new recruits as Army Cadets re-open

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DYFED AND GLAMORGAN ARMY CADET FORCE are now able to accept new joiners aged 12 (and in Year 8 at School) to 17 years old.

Joining the Army Cadets will give access to a wide range of exciting activities, from adventurous training (AT) such as kayaking, mountain biking and abseiling and Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme to military-themed activities including shooting, fieldcraft and skill at arms, as well as training in first aid, young adults get the chance to discover lots of new experiences and make new friends.  

There is no obligation to join the Forces at all, but they can give some guidance if you are interested.  

There are no subscription charges, uniform is issued free on a loan basis; the only thing you need to supply yourselves is Boots.  

The Cadet Force are also looking for adult volunteers, both uniformed and non-uniformed to assist as well.

They have Detachments located in Fishguard, Haverfordwest, Narberth, Tenby, Milford Haven, Neyland, Pembroke Dock, Tenby, St Clears, Llanelli, Trimsarren and Burry Port.

Most Detachments parade twice a week in the evenings 1900 – 2100hrs on a Monday, Wednesday or Thursday (Depending on Location) and try to get away for a weekend every month as well as organising summer camps. 

Further Information is available at :- www.armycadets.com or call them on 01656 657593 (Option 1) to find out where your local detachment is and what nights they Parade.

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