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Lifeboats reflect on busy summer

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Tenby lifeboat crewFOR THE first time in many years, Pembrokeshire was blessed with weeks of sunshine, resulting in a significant increase in the tourism trade and amount of holidaymakers in the county.

Temperatures soared into the high twenties, attracting thousands of locals and tourists to the beaches of Pembrokeshire’s coastline. Tenby’s RNLI volunteers faced the arduous task of responding, aiding and rescuing a considerably higher number of ocean users. Crewmember, Ben James told The Herald: “This year has been extremely busy for us. Tenby lifeboats have been launched seventy times this year alone”.

The RNLI rely on donations from the general public to keep them afloat and the money left to them through legacy wills have been pushed to their limits this season.

An RNLI spokesperson said: “Our commitment and perseverance is often over looked by those that use the ocean for both recreational and commercial uses”.

Bob James, who used to work for RNLI, said: “I know the importance of public donations as it ensures the service can afford the best possible equipment, which could make saving someone’s life that little bit easier. We don’t have an exact figure on what the average rescue costs but it certainly isn’t cheap. Valero oil refinery has been supplying free fuel to both Tenby and Angle.”

“Equipment like this, although costly, is imperative to ensure our main lifeboat can be launched quickly. When someone is in danger at sea, time is of the essence and you can’t put a price on someone’s life” explains Bob.”

Crew member Daniel Thomas said: “The sheer size and speed of this vessel allows us to get to those in danger very quickly, even in stormy conditions”.

Today’s RNLI lifeboats have intricate mechanisms and engineering devices. This shows how developed and sophisticated the lifeboats are, and are developing along with technology itself. It is an accomplishment for the RNLI to have come too far in 150 years, when they relied purely on man power alone.

The brave and valiant volunteering crew members at Tenby Lifeboat Station put their lives at risk to ensure our waterways and beaches are kept safe with very little recognition and praise for their efforts.

For more information on the RNLI and details on how to donate visit http://rnli.org/findmynearest/station/Pages/Tenby-Lifeboat-Station.

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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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Pembrokeshire young carers to capture their lives on camera

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ACTION FOR CHILDREN and the Royal Photographic Society launch photography project challenging young carers to get creative and show what’s important in their lives

Action for Children and the Royal Photographic Society, supported by Arts Council England this week (From May 23) launching a nationwide photography project to celebrate young carers across the UK.

The charities who share HRH The Duchess of Cambridge as Patron are asking young carers to get creative to photograph what’s important to them in their lives and learn a fantastic new skill along the way.

Selected entries will form a nationwide photography exhibition entitled ‘Young Carers – A Life in Focus’. This will follow a series of free online workshops and resources available to all young carers across the UK, created by leading photographers, on how to take unique images on their mobile phone, device or camera.

Caiden Meacham (10) from Haverfordwest is supported by Action for Children’s young carers service in Pembrokeshire. He said: ‘I want to learn how to take good photos and can’t wait to learn. I like taking photos of lots of different things like nature and my pets which mean a lot to me.’

Vikki Phillips, service coordinator for Pembrokeshire Young Carers, added: ‘The project has generated a lot of excitement amongst our young people like Caiden. It’s a generation that love to take photographs and document their lives so this is a perfect opportunity to do that while learning new skills from experts in the field. I’d love to see some of their work showcased in the exhibition.’

Celebrated photographer and visual artist Jo Bradford has produced the innovative and creative online workshops, which will cover technical topics such as composition through leading lines and interesting placements of subjects, lighting using objects you can find around your home to achieve professional results and editing using homemade filters and apps found on your phone.

Budding photographer: Caiden Meacham (10) from Haverfordwest (Image: AFC)

With an estimated 800,000 children and young people across the UK caring for a family member with a disability, illness or mental health issue – some as young as five years old – Action for Children and the Royal Photographic Society are encouraging young carers to capture their thoughts, emotions and life experiences.

Typically, young carers help with practical tasks around the home such as cooking, housework and shopping; physical care, such as helping someone out of bed; and personal care, such as helping someone dress.

To launch the project, photographer Jo Bradford shares her top three tips for young carers to get them experimenting with their photographic skills:

1. Shine a torch on reflective, shiny objects around your home to make interesting light patterns in your photographs. A CD, vase or glass can create a glimmer or reflection
2. Use the objects in your home to create frames by placing them in the fore and background. Placing plants in the foreground could give a great jungle effect or a hole in some bubble wrap could make a fun frame for a face
3.Get experimental with your phone settings – using the panorama setting and shaking your phone up and down can produce abstract patterns around you

Action for Children supports over 3,700 children and young people who are young carers across the UK, giving them advice and respite through short breaks, activities and the chance to connect with other young carers.

Melanie Armstrong, Chief Executive at Action for Children, said: ‘We see first-hand the impact of loneliness and stress on young carers, who are dedicating a large part of their childhood to helping loved ones. These children and young people are often desperate for a break from their duties so it’s important for them to have some fun by doing a hobby or something they enjoy.

‘Our photography project will offer young carers the chance to do something for themselves while learning a new skill. We can’t wait to see the creative contributions later this year!’

Evan Dawson, Chief Executive of the Royal Photographic Society, adds: ‘There are thousands of inspirational young people in the UK performing regular caring duties for their loved ones, whilst also completing their education and somehow finding time to have a childhood.

‘Every situation is different – but these remarkable lives are rarely seen in the media or understood by their peers. We will provide new photography skills to these young people, and help celebrate their vital contribution to UK communities.’

If you are a young carer in the UK, we’re asking you to take photographs of what’s important to you in your everyday life and we’d love to see them. Selected entries will be part of a nationwide exhibition called Young Carers – A Life in Focus.

For more information: https://rps.org/opportunities/young-carers-a-life-in-focus/

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