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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

Public urged to take part in Council budget consultation

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MEMBERS of the public are being urged to participate in Pembrokeshire County Council’s budget consultation 2022-23.

Launched this week, the consultation asks the public where they think the Council needs to spend money, and where it can save it.

As part of the process, the Council has created an online budget simulator, which includes videos from Cabinet members talking about the financial pressure in their portfolio areas.
Cllr Bob Kilmister, Cabinet Member for Finance, encouraged all those interested in how the Council spends its funds to take part in the consultation.

“It’s very important that we hear from as many people in Pembrokeshire as possible,” he said.

“Like other Councils, we are once again facing significant budget pressures and understanding community and household priorities is vital in helping us to make the difficult choices necessary in setting the 2023-23 budget.

“We look forward to hearing from you.”

How to take part in the consultation:

Teams Live Stream event
Join a Teams Live Stream event on Wednesday 1st December from 7pm – 8pm. Put your budget questions directly to Cllr Kilmister or the Council’s Director of Resources, Jon Haswell, or listen to the discussion. Questions are welcomed in English and Welsh.

Budget Simulator
Give your views on the budget priorities for 2022–23 by using our Budget Simulator which is available at https://haveyoursay.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/

Download the survey and return to County Hall
Alternatively you can download and complete our hard copy Information and Response Form. Once complete please return to surveys@pembrokeshire.gov.uk or Pembrokeshire County Council, Policy & Partnerships, County Hall, Haverfordwest, SA61 1TP.

The consultation will end on Wednesday 5th January 2022.

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Community

Milford Haven Council cancels annual Christmas lights switch-on event

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Council cancels Christmas lights

MILFORD Haven Town Council have announced that they will be cancelling the official switching on the Christmas lights event this year.  

The Christmas lights in Milford Haven will be turned on Wednesday, December 1 at 7pm. However, unlike previous years, this will not be an official event. 

In the past, the event would see Father Christmas switching the lights on while on a balcony at the Town Hall. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, the official turning on of the lights is unable to go ahead.

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Community

County Hall to be lit up in orange as part of UN campaign

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COUNTY HALL is being lit up in orange tonight (Thursday, 25 November) to highlight the United Nations campaign against gender violence #OrangeTheWorld: End Violence Against Women Now!

The UN is holding 16 days of activism against gender-based violence from 25th November to 10th December 2021 under the global theme set by the UN Secretary General’s UNiTE campaign.

Among the local groups supporting the worldwide campaign are Soroptimists International Haverfordwest which requested the illumination. “This is a campaign that, as a women’s group, we feel it very important to support,” said member Susie Blacklaw-Jones.

Council Leader Cllr David Simpson supported their request, saying: “This is an incredibly important issue and we are grateful to Soroptimist International Haverfordwest for helping to draw attention to the campaign and raise local awareness.”

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