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Homeless issue tackled by locals

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Milford charity: local campaigners to help the homeless

Milford charity: local campaigners to help the homeless

LOCAL campaigners, Sara and Peter Hurley, are about to launch a local charity, whose working title is Feed the Homeless’. Statistics from July of last year (published by the Joseph Rowntree Organisation) stated that in Wales, the numbers of those officially accepted as statutory homeless by criteria set down by the National Assembly and UK Government was just under 5300. Of those, 860 (16.8 percent) were homeless due to a violent break up of a relationship and a further 1100 (22 percent) were due to friends, parents or relatives no longer being able to accommodate them. The Herald spoke exclusively with the Milford couple to find out what the purpose of the charity was, and how they hoped to launch it in Milford Haven.

Sara Hurley explained: “This idea came about just before Christmas after a lady on Facebook had spoken about giving money to those selling the Big Issue, and I said you are better off finding a rough sleeper and buy them a hot drink or a sandwich. “I don’t know that there are enough people in Milford itself to warrant just feeding them. I think we are going to have to look at other people; there are a lot of people who work who are even more hard-up than those on benefits.

“Also, there are a lot of isolated lonely people and I want to reach out to them as well. If they are financially able and they’ve come along to us and had a nice meal we could have a voluntary contribution box. This could feed someone else who has absolutely nothing”. She went on to explain what was required to make the venture succeed: “What I desperately need at the moment are premises. “I have a meeting here next week, and anyone who might have something to contribute should contact me. Many people have already come forward to offer support. Bakers could help; yesterday’s bread is today’s croutons or bread pudding. If you are sleeping rough you need something to warm you up and keep you going for the day.

“I am not going into this with rose tinted glasses. I know these people have problems and we would deal with that as these things arise.” The Herald asked how many people she thought were sleeping rough in the Milford area, to which she continued: “I have emailed Pembrokeshire Action for the Homeless, but nobody really knows how many people are sleeping rough.

“What I do know is that, from the end of March to the beginning of November, people who are not priority needs are not given temporary accommodation. If you didn’t have anywhere to sleep you would be sleeping rough. “No one wants to be identified as isolated and lonely so we need to find a way to get those people in as well as the homeless. We aren’t offering the same service as Patch, for example, we are not giving out food parcels, we would be actually feeding them. “If you give a homeless person a box of food how will they cook it? I have a chef who can cook.” Sara went on to explain how they would find the people to come to the centre, once it is up and running:

“We will have to go out, find them and approach them, and hopefully they’ll spread the word themselves. Hopefully Patch can tell us places where people do sleep rough.” The Herald was interested to know why Pembrokeshire County Council was not providing this service, to which she responded: “I am not critical of the Council as they have hard budget restraints and they supply the minimum service by law. They haven’t got the money to put all these people up in bed and breakfasts.

The help they are obliged to give is primarily advice, even if they have put them on a list (for housing). There is no obligation to give people sustenance. “Our next step is to find premises, and we are meeting someone next week who will assist in this. The premises don’t need to be big, but we will need a working kitchen. If someone could donate this it would be great. “We are looking to the private sector and have invited local councillors to a meeting we are having next Thursday, and some have said they will come, Peter Stock, for example.” Sara said that if anyone wanted to help out or get involved they could contact her on 01646 694364.

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Community

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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Food Waste Heroes needed in Pembrokeshire

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TESCO’S Pembroke Dock Superstore has joined forces with food sharing app and social enterprise OLIO which is encouraging people across Pembrokeshire to become Food Waste Heroes.

The OLIO app allows anyone who signs up to tackle the issue of food waste at a local level.

OLIO Food Waste Heroes collect surplus food that might otherwise go to waste from supermarkets and other food businesses and share it with others locally for free via a contact-free pick-up.

Food Waste Heroes will be collecting surplus food from Tesco local stores taking part in the scheme, including the Tesco Pembroke Dock Superstore, and take it home ready to upload it to the app and share it with their community.

To reward them for taking part Food Waste Heroes are allowed to keep 10% of anything they collect to enjoy at home.

Saasha Celestial-One, co-founder of OLIO, said: “People become a Food Waste Hero for many different reasons but they each share a commitment to reducing food waste at scale. It is extremely rewarding because distributing large quantities of surplus food via the app means you get to see exactly what food you are preventing from going to waste.

“In the process of sharing our FWHs also get to meet a lot of new people in their neighbourhood, people from all walks of life. Finally, FWHs are able to keep up to 10% of their haul for themselves, so they can enjoy some of the delicious rescued food too!”

OLIO is registered with the Food Standards Agency, which ensures that all food collected is safe for human consumption.

Paul Johns, Store Manager at Tesco Pembroke Dock encouraged people to get involved.

“At Tesco we are committed to tackling food waste and we already donate our store’s surplus food to local charities and community groups through our Community Food Connection scheme with FareShare,” he said.

“But on some days local charities and community groups are unable to collect from us, and that is why we are supporting OLIO in the hunt for Food Waste Heroes across Pembrokeshire so that even more of our surplus food is eaten rather than wasted.”

To become a Food Waste Hero or find out more, visit https://olioex.com/get-involved/volunteer/

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