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Cyclist in 24 hour fundraising marathon

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A LOCAL cyclist is to stage a 24 hour marathon static-bike ride on March 27 at Tesco in Haverfordwest to raise vital funds for Pembrokeshire’s Mind charity.

Local fundraiser: Lee Anson hopes to raises thousands for Mind.

Local fundraiser: Lee Anson hopes to raises thousands for Mind.

Lee Anson suffered a family tragedy 3 years ago when his brother Mike Anson sadly took his own life as a result of severe depression. Lee spoke exclusively this week with The Herald and explained the reasoning behind what will be a gruelling 24 hours.

“In my mind after Mikey passed I wanted to do something to raise awareness for something that has a lot of stigma. Not enough people talk about mental health. We all suffer it at some point in our life but some of us don’t realise we are suffering with it. I myself have suffered and continue to – not to the extremes of my brother – fortunately, some of us come out of those dark places. There is always someone you can talk to. Michael was such a loud personality and really well liked – he hid his mental health problems so well – even on the day he passed he seemed normal, you wouldn’t have known. It’s very difficult to diagnose. I had been chatting with Mind since before Christmas. They are a Samaritan-style support network for people with mental health problems; you call them and they try and help you.”

The Herald wanted to know what sort of equipment was needed for such a feat and also what had inspired Lee to pick cycling for his fundraiser. He continued: “I’ve cycled for a lot of years and used to compete. I thought why not do something I enjoy and make it as difficult as I can for myself. I was going to do 12 hours but felt that wouldn’t be too much of a struggle. I have a normal road bike set up on a turbo trainer that applies magnetic resistance to the back wheel. I’m going to attempt to do 400 miles at about 85- 100 revs per minute, and an average speed of 15-17mph. I am sponsored by ‘Mike’s Bikes’ in Haverfordwest who will provide everything I need for the day; kit, wheels, sports drinks, etc.”

He went on to explain what preparations he has made, and the diet required for the ride. “I have taken a lot of advice – from Iron Man competitors. The key is avoiding salt loss and dehydration and keeping up calorie intake. I’ll burn between 600 to 800 calories an hour – so I need easily digestible food. I don’t think I’ll run out of food in Tescos! I still have to do some research on how much fluid I need, but as a rule about 750 ml per hour. Sweat is the biggest enemy and for the ‘sensitive areas’ there is a cream. I will change when my clothes are saturated, and pause for toilet breaks too. It’s about carb loading prior to the event so that I have a reserve tank. I’ll probably need about 150-200 calories per half hour.”

He then explained that he would need endurance to get through the full 24 hours and had support that would be invaluable for the event. Lee informed us that he would have another bike next to him where people can join him and offer support, but also could come along if they just wanted someone to have a chat with. On how much money he wanted to raise he finished by stating: “I chose that weekend as it’s the weekend before Easter; if you can spend a fiver on an egg I’m sure a pound would be OK so hopefully we will raise a lot and get some support – I’d love to say thousands – but it will be what it is and hopefully people will be generous.”

The Herald will be following the event and would encourage support and donations which can be made by going to the website www.justgiving. com or simply by turning up on the day and donating then, as well as offering some support for Lee. The award for innovative fundraising – for organisations that have run campaigns or events demonstrating creativity and innovation in fundraising.

WINNER

Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association Youth Group was set up to help Merthyr Housing reach its goal of raising the aspirations and life experiences of its young people through education and fundraising.

RUNNERS-UP

Inner Wheel District 15 is part of the largest women’s organisation in the world. The District has 31 clubs across West and South Wales, and in 2013 – 2014 raised more than £30,000 for charities.

Xcel Project– Towy Community Church in Johnstown, Carmarthen – the only charity-run bowling alley in the UK. Proceeds are invested back into the community through a foodbank and a recycled furniture project.

Award for the most admired organisation – for organisations most respected for their inspirational work and the causes they represent.

WINNER

Swansea-based Ethnic Youth Support Team (EYST), which was set up in 2005 by a group of ethnic minority young people to fill a gap in provision for young BME people aged 11 to 25 by providing a culturally sensitive and holistic support service to meet their needs.

RUNNERS-UP

Taking Flight Theatre Company was founded to promote complete inclusivity for disabled actors.

Time to Change Wales, the first national campaign to address the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems.

 

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Community

Library reservations service expanded

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PEMBROKESHIRE’S Library Service has extended its reservation service.

Customers can place up to two reservations for books and audiobooks, which are available and in stock at libraries in Fishguard, Haverfordwest, Milford Haven, Narberth, Newport, Neyland, Pembroke, Pembroke Dock, Saundersfoot and Tenby.

Items are also available to reserve from the service’s Stack (store).

Library members can place reservations free of charge, in person or via the online catalogue.

To access the online catalogue, log on to https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/libraries-and-culture and select ‘Find Library Books’.

Customers can also place a request for an item not currently in stock, to be purchased as one of their two reservations.

The Library Service is not offering an Interlibrary Loan service at the present time.

For details on the library services currently offered in Pembrokeshire, please view https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/libraries-and-culture

 

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Community

Extra police patrols at Tenby skate park after ‘men approached young girls’

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CONCERNED locals in Tenby have taken to social media to write about concerns of inappropriate behaviour – between males they think may have been asylum seekers currently housed at Penally Army Camp – and young girls in Tenby.

The police have said they are investigating the matter.

Witnesses have said that young girls have been approached by males while at the skate park in Tenby.

The Home Office has said that the camp will be used to house up to 250 male asylum seekers whilst their claims are processed due to a shortage of alternative accommodation, caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Reports circulating on Facebook have claimed to have direct knowledge that male residents of the camp have been talking and exchanging contact information with local school girls, some suggesting that they were in school uniform when talking with the men.

However, the police have not confirmed that that is the case – it remains an unproved allegation.

One local claimed on Facebook: “So tonight a few of us concerned local parents decided to go to Tenby skate park.

“As we got there two young girls where sat on a bench waiting for someone.

“Some kids told us they were the ones talking to the men yesterday exchanging Snap Chat details and stuff.

“Then the men from the day before turned up… saw us and scurried off down the beach.

“The two girls then quickly wandered off.

“These girls were about 14.”

One resident had stated that they had reported the incidents he had seen and heard to the local police station, he claimed that an officer told him they were in talks with Greenhill School about the incidents.

Pembrokeshire County Council said that they are unable to comment on the alleged incidents, however a spokesman told The Herald in a statement: “All I would say is that our schools regularly advise pupils not to engage with strangers.”

Dyfed-Powys Police confirmed they are investigating two alleged incidents at the skate park, and have been in contact with the local schools.

A police spokesperson told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “We have received two reports of alleged inappropriate behaviour at the skate park in Tenby and are looking to speak to the people who contacted us.

“In the meantime the skate park is now part of our patrol plans and we have linked in with local schools to reinforce the School Beat Stay SMART online messaging.”

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Community

Off-duty lifesavers were lost but ready to react

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A PEMBROKESHIRE man whose life was saved by multiple twists of fate has praised those who stepped in during his hour of need.

Keen amateur triathlete Steven Landrey, 51, of Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire, was out on a post-lockdown bike ride when he suffered a cardiac arrest that was to set off the incredible chain of events.

Steven said: “We were about 40km into an 80km ride when it happened.

“It was strange and lucky as only two weeks earlier I was running alone in Paris, and the night before I swam 2km alone in the sea, and during lockdown had done lots of exercise on my own.

“But that day, I had met my brother-in-law, Chris, and some friends.

“I dread to think what would have happened if I would have been alone.”

Meanwhile, just a mile or so away was off-duty Welsh Ambulance Service Community First Responder Angharad Hodgson, from Martletwy, and her firefighter partner Steve Bradfield, from Narbeth.

Steven Landrey, 51, of Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire

“We were heading to meet friends at Barfundle Beach. We hadn’t been there for a few years so were following the sat-nav in the car,” said Angharad.

“We were running late and had taken a wrong turn as the sat-nav must have frozen or lost signal.

“We decided to turn back on ourselves, and that’s when we saw Steven on the floor being worked on by Chris.”

Always travelling with their defibrillator and kit, Angharad and Steve, who is also a trained medical responder, were able to pull over swiftly and step in with their life-saving defibrillator.

Angharad, 23, said: “We put the pad on his chest and after about 30 manual chest compressions, Steven had stopped breathing and the defibrillator told us we could shock him twice.

“We did it and he came back to us, but his breathing was very sticky so we continued CPR until the air and land ambulances arrived to take over.”

Steven was taken by road to Swansea’s Morriston Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to fit a stent into a lower left artery of his heart, which had flooded with blood and caused the cardiac arrest.

Steven is making a good recovery at home and is taking the first steps back to work in his role as a European Managing Director for Babcock Aviation, an aerial emergency services business.

He said: “I’m working with the National Cardiac Referral Scheme and also a personal trainer and am feeling well and getting strength back every day.

“With my work, I have seen emergency care provision across Europe and Canada and the care I received at every step of the way here in Wales has been world-class.

“I can’t thank Chris, Angharad, Steve, the air ambulance crew and the paramedics enough, along with the doctors and surgeons at Morriston, they were all amazing.

“I realise everything went my way that day, and for those few hours I was the luckiest man alive, but having these trained people in our communities to support emergency medical services is absolutely vital.

“Community First Responders like Angharad, CPR training and Public Access Defibrillators really do save lives and are to be respected.”

Glyn Thomas, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Community First Responder Officer in Mid and West Wales, said: “The prompt actions of Angharad and Steve were no doubt a major factor in the patient’s survival.

“Even off-duty as they were, they demonstrated control and organisation – they are both a credit to their communities and organisations.

“We wish Steven a smooth recovery and all the best for the future.”

Today is Restart a Heart Day, a national initiative run by the Resuscitation Council UK, British Heart Foundation, St John Ambulance and the ambulance services across the UK to promote education around Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

In the absence of physical events due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Welsh Ambulance Service is encouraging people to watch a video by Resuscitation Council UK and keep an eye on social media from partners like Save a Life Cymru who are promoting key messages such as early recognition of cardiac arrest, early CPR and early defibrillation.

Restart a Heart Day runs parallel to the Trust’s month-long Shoctober campaign which aims to educate primary school children on the benefits of getting confident with CPR – even making this brilliant animated video.

Angharad, who also works for the local authority’s social services team in Pembrokeshire, has been a Community First Responder since April 2019 and was inspired to make that brave step by another incident back in 2018.

She said: “I was driving home from shopping along the A40 in Carmarthen when I came across a terrible car accident on the opposite carriageway.

“I pulled my car over and crossed the road to try and assist without any thought process really.

“Seeing the work of the paramedics on scene really spurred me on to become a Community First Responder.

“I’d like to thank Tony Wall who is my CFR Co-ordinator for being so supportive and giving so much of his time to fundraise for life saving equipment such as defibrillators in local communities.”

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