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Culture to help tackle poverty

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ken skatesWALES will take the lead in using culture to help tackle poverty, said the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates as he outlined the Welsh Government’s response to the ground-breaking Culture and Poverty report. The Welsh Government commissioned Baroness Kay Andrews OBE to conduct a review to find out how enabling people to engage in culture can reduce poverty, by developing new skills and raising levels of attainment.

The report, published in March, made a compelling case for the Welsh Government, local government, cultural organisations, community bodies and schools to work together to ensure culture is accessible to all, regardless of their background and where they live. Deputy Minister Ken Skates told The Herald: “I am pleased to announce our intention to establish Pioneer Areas across Wales which will be influential in pushing ahead our work to mainstream access to arts, culture and heritage to the most disadvantaged communities in Wales.”

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Community

Nature is blooming at Withybush Woods three years after enhancement project

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THREE years after the launch of a project to enhance Withybush Woods, there are abundant signs that biodiversity is thriving.

Swathes of early purple orchid – a scarce wild flower – have been spotted in shadier parts of the tranquil woodlands while a pair of rare breeding stock doves have made the woods their home for the second year.

Song thrushes can be heard everywhere on the 1.5km accessible footpath together with chiffchaffs, willow warblers, nuthatch, woodpeckers, blackbirds, blue tits and many other woodland birds.

Mallards and moorhens and their young can be seen on the restored lower pond, together with the resident swans, and a new wetland area nearby is providing a new habitat for other species of invertebrates and pollinators.

The EU-funded improvement project was led by Pembrokeshire County Council, which owns the woods on the outskirts of Haverfordwest.

Dr Steven Jones, Director of Community Services, said: “Withybush Woods has always been a beautiful and special place to visit and even more so now, thanks to its increasing range of species and biodiversity habitats.

The enhancement work received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government. 

The scheme also received funding through the Landfill Disposals Tax Communities Scheme, through the WCVA.

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Community

£10,000 National Lottery Heritage Fund grant for project on Haverfordwest Castle plans

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has been awarded a £10,000 grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to carry out Community Engagement on the future of Haverfordwest Castle.

This community engagement will inform planning over the future heritage redevelopment of the medieval castle.

The Council will engage with local people to ensure the project benefits the local community and shapes the castle’s future as a heritage asset for Haverfordwest.

This will aid the Council’s ongoing regeneration of the County Town and provide a popular space for local people and events.

A consultant will be appointed to assess local views; collate ideas and perspectives; capture local people’s memories and stories; identify audiences and ensure engagement with people of all ages and all sectors of the community.

Further information will be made available following the appointment of the organisation that will undertake this important work.

Built in about 1110, Haverfordwest Castle dominates the County Town visually from its hilltop site.

It is a Grade 1 listed Scheduled Ancient Monument and the extensive castle fabric that survives, dates mostly from the 13th century.

The castle was once owned by Queen Eleanor of Castile and within the castle is the Georgian former county gaol and governor’s house, both Grade II listed.

Mike Cavanagh, Head of Culture, Leisure and Registration Services said: “We’re delighted to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players.

“The castle is an integral part of Haverfordwest’s rich history and this money will help ensure the community is at the forefront of shaping this magnificent piece of history to be an important part of the future too.”

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Community

New card for young carers welcomed

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL and Action for Children are proud to share the success of the launch earlier this year of the first Young Carers ID Card in Pembrokeshire.

Almost 200 ID cards have been issued so far to children and young people with a caring role across the County. The card gives them a quick way to inform professionals such as teachers, pharmacists and GPs, that they have a caring responsibility.

“The Young Carer ID card offers a discreet but effective way for young carers to identify themselves without having to publically share details about their caring role,” said Gemma Baker from Pembrokeshire County Council’s social care team.

A young carer is someone that cares for a friend or family member who, due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction, cannot cope without their support.

It is estimated that in Wales there are more than 30,000 young carers, which equates to one in every twelve young people across the country.

Funded by Welsh Government, the Young Carers ID card is part of a national scheme to ensure that carers get the recognition and support that they need. The scheme was launched in Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire at the same time as it was rolled out in Pembrokeshire to make it easier for young carers who access services in more than one county.

Jonathan Griffiths, Director of Social Services, praised the scheme and said he was pleased it had been so successful.

“This is a really valuable initiative which will help young carers, and I’m pleased it’s been so popular already,” he said.

Young carers in Pembrokeshire already registered with Action for Children have automatically been given a Young Carer ID card; and since the launch nearly 70 new young carers previously unknown to local carer support services have also come forward.

Vikki Phillips from Action for Children said they were proud to be implementing an ID card that will help young carers in a variety of practical ways.

“This card will not only make the young carers lives a little easier by not having to explain their caring responsibilities, but it will also raise awareness of Young Carers within Pembrokeshire and is helping to identify hidden Young Carers,” she said.

The Young Carer ID card also holds additional benefits, including fantastic offers from local venues such as Scolton Manor who are currently offering a free annual car parking pass to Young Carer ID card holders, as well as a free hot drink from their café. Young Carers who hold a valid ID card can also access a six month free membership at their local leisure centre via the Passport to Leisure scheme.

“The card has already proved popular with the Young Carers that we support, with many keeping it with them every day and using it to access local benefits on offer,” said Vikki.

If you think you might be a young carer, or possibly work with a young person who has a caring role, please contact Action for Children for more information on how to claim a card and the many benefits they hold.

Alternatively you can visit the Action for Children website, where they have information on the card, how it is used by young carers in Pembrokeshire, and a direct application form.

For more information on local support available for young carers, or to register for a Young Carer I.D. card, please contact Vikki at Action for Children.

Contact details for Action for Children: Tel: 01437 761330 / Email: Vikki.Booth@actionforchildren.org.uk / Website: www.afcwestwales.co.uk/idcard

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