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Bethany home from rickshaw challenge

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bethany homeMILFORD Haven is proud to welcome home the stars of The Children In Need Rickshaw Challenge this week.

16-year-old Bethany Freeman and her mother Amanda have recently arrived back in Milford Haven after cycling 700 miles across Britain over eight days. The trek began in Giants Causeway, Ireland and ended in London.

The Herald managed to get hold of Amanda for a talk about how much she enjoyed The Rickshaw Challenge.

“It was so much harder than I thought,” said Amanda. “Bethany loved it. She missed her father a lot at the beginning. I had tried to tell her that he wasn’t going to be there but I don’t think she actually realised it. We were riding along one day and she saw somebody that looked like him and she started shouting ‘Dad!’”

Bethany and Amanda cycled with four other people in The Rickshaw Challenge as well as their partners and met many celebrities on the way.

“We met Jason Donavan, but Bethany wasn’t phased by that. She knew who he was, and she stood with her arms around him for about half an hour! We also saw Amir Khan in Bolton and we met the cast of Eastenders in Albert Square,” says Amanda. “It was such an adventure”.

Amanda had to cycle five miles up hill in the Lake District. She told The Herald how she got to do it: “This was the highest point in The Rickshaw, and all the men were wanting to do it saying ‘I’ll do it’, then someone else would say ‘No, I’ll do it’. In the end, Matt Baker came in and said ‘The next part is five miles up hill. You’re doing it Amanda’. I couldn’t really say no!” Amanda was filmed with tears in her eyes while cycling uphill due to the intensity of it. Amanda recalls the moment: “I was dying. Had it been a normal push bike I would have got off and walked, but The Rickshaw isn’t like a normal bike. It’s very solid and you can feel every bump. Plus it was being filmed!”

Bethany is only 4ft 11ins and was the smallest rider on The Rickshaw. Bethany had to have a special seat which was lower than the rest and was softer.

When cycling out of Birmingham, Bethany fell off The Rickshaw bike. Amanda said: “I didn’t see her fall over but when I looked she was lying on the road. I rushed out to her to see if she was okay, and she lifted her head and said ‘It’s all your fault mum’, which is her usual reaction to falling over. I knew that she was okay after she said that!”

Amanda continued: “She was okay. She had a helmet and protective clothing on, which did help her. Her coat ripped though and she wouldn’t wear it again, so I had to wear it afterwards! I also had to get on The Rickshaw then for her. I could see she was fine, so I didn’t mind”.

Bethany rode The Rickshaw bike into Oxford on day seven. BBC Children In Need raised £250,000 in half an hour that night through text messages. “It was such a great experience. People were chanting her name when we cycled past and one lady ran after us and gave Bethany a pair of reindeer slipper to put her feet up afterwards – she loves them!”

After meeting a number of celebrities and getting a mention from Oprah Winfrey, Milford Haven is proud to have Bethany and Amanda home safely.

Congratulations to you both from all here at The Pembrokeshire Herald.

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Local florist creates stunning tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

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GWENDA’S Flowers From Home have created a beautiful floral display as a tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II following her passing on September 8. 

Chris used four flowers from around the country in his display. Daffodils from Wales, red roses from England, Eryngium (similar to thistles from Scotland) and Molluccella, which is also known as ‘the bells-of-Ireland’.

Gwenda’s Flowers From Home create high quality arrangements and guarantee a personal touch with every bouquet. 

Chris, 39, named his business after his grandmother. Chris said she was a royalist and she loved the Queen. 

He feels as though this tribute is very fitting and is proud to make the display in his grandmother’s name. 

The display is currently located in Haverfordwest at the War Memorial. 

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Veteran opens Slimming World in Milford Haven

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ARMY Veteran, Rachel, has launched her own Slimming World group in Milford Haven after her own positive experiences. 

“I changed lives in the army and hope to continue changing lives for people in Milford Haven.”

Rachel was born and raised in Milford Haven. As a small child, she was “active and busy” and a real tomboy alongside her brothers. 

In 1998, she joined the Army at 16-years-old as a Combat Medical Technician. Following training, Rachel served in Germany, all over the UK, overseas in Cyprus, and was deployed to Oman, Kosovo, Bosnia and Poland before retiring from service in May 2021.

Her role as a combat medical technician meant she often had to deal with soldiers who had been injured in war zones. Rachel described dealing with the range of injuries as “life-changing”.

Rachel’s job not only consisted of helping soldiers physically recover; she also helped them with their mental well-being. 

She said she: “always pointed out the positives ahead of them for their lives and their families.

“The fulfilment I would get from seeing them recover and their family made whole again is so rewarding, I cannot put it into words.”

She has always been a strong, physically fit person. She enjoyed an active lifestyle and felt as though she “could always eat what she wanted.”

In 2017, she was posted to Harrogate. Rachel was 36 years old and had recently given birth to her third child, a daughter, after already having two sons aged 13 and 5. 

She says she was almost two stone overweight even before her pregnancy. 

Rachel said: “So here I was with four stone to lose. I had lost all confidence and was at a loss.

“I was at a GP surgery when I saw a poster for Slimming World. I was there for my daughter’s first vaccinations and that’s when I decided to join my local Harrogate Slimming World group.”

Rachel said she was welcomed to the group with open arms. She described the members as being lovely, offering to make her a hot drink after being weighed or hold her baby while she got settled into the group. 

It was at this group that Rachel found her love for Food Optimising, which is Slimming World’s unique plan to lose weight and get healthy. 

She swapped takeaway meals for ‘fakeaways’ using recipes she learned from her group. 

After only a week, Rachel had lost 4 lbs and knew this new plan was one she could follow. 

Over the next 10 months, she enjoyed curries, chillis, chips loaded with a variety of toppings and cheese within her daily allowance, and she could still enjoy treats every now and then. 

By June 2018, she had hit her target and lost the whole four stone. She said she “felt amazing!”

Unfortunately, during lockdown, she became a single mum and was at an “all-time low”. She moved back to Pembrokeshire in December 2021 and quickly swapped healthy meals for quick and easy, high-fat processed meals.

Rachel said: “Being stuck in the house with three children during lockdown was hard. 

“As I was working from home with nowhere to go, I found myself mindlessly eating as I was only eating out of boredom. 

“I put almost two stone back on and I was devastated.”

In January 2022, she decided to get into shape again. She joined the local Slimming World group in Johnston. 

Rachel said she had two stone to lose and was determined to return to her target weight. 

She claims she was blown away by the consultant Kelly’s knowledge of the plan and her motivation. 

“She guided me back through the new member talk, reintroduced me to my love of Slimming World and allowed me to fall in love with the plan all over again!” Rachel added. 

“The warm atmosphere and the gentle reminder that the plan can be used for all the family reignited my passion.

“Since January 10, 2022, I have lost one stone and five pounds. I am only two-pounds away from my personal target.”

After talking about Slimming World and the freedom it allows Rachel to have, she joined Slimming World and trained to be a consultant. 

Thanks to her time in the Army, helping those with their physical and mental health, Rachel feels that she would be well suited to helping those achieve their goals. 

She commented: “The training is thorough and covers not only the plan but the psychology of wanting to lose weight. 

“It has totally changed my views on how I shop, cook and eat food, and I hope my drive and motivation will help others to do the same.”

To join Rachel’s Slimming World group, call Rachel on 07391 634033 or visit Milford United Football Club, Marble Hall Road, every Thursday at 5.30pm. 

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National one-minute silence for the Queen will be held at 8pm on Sunday

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A NATIONAL one-minute silence will be held in honour of the Queen at 8pm on Sunday, Downing Street announced on Monday (Sept 12).

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “At 8pm on Sunday 18 September, the night before the state funeral, there will be a one-minute silence where the public are invited to come together and observe a national moment of reflection to mourn and reflect on the life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II.”

“The silence can be marked privately at home on your own or with friends and neighbours, out on your doorstep or street with neighbours, or at any locally arranged community events and vigils.”

“We encourage local community groups, clubs and other organisations to mark this moment of reflection. And if you are overseas, people are encouraged to mark the silence at their local time.”

“The shared national moment of reflection is an opportunity for everyone across the UK to mark the death of Her Majesty and we will set out details of where the Prime Minister will mark it closer to that time.”

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