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Dinner lady retires after thirty-two years

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Rose Phillips: Served over 2 million meals to the children of Pembrokeshire during her career.

Rose Phillips: Served over 2
million meals to the children of
Pembrokeshire during her career.

ROSE PHILLIPS has been cooking school dinners in our county for 32 years, and this week, Fenton CP School gave her a retirement send off fitting to the service she has given to so many people in Pembrokeshire.

The Herald was fortunate enough to be invited to attend the celebration of this cherished school worker. The whole of Fenton’s pupils turned out, along with its full teaching roster, as headteacher, Mr Mathew Harris, led the assembly. The head pointed out that he had calculated that Rose had served the county’s children over 2 million meals in her career as a school caterer. She was then thanked by the pupils, the staff and Chair of Governors, Cllr Peter Stock who presented her with a specially made Pembrokeshire scarf. She was then given various gifts, presented by two of Fenton’s pupils, and was serenaded with a performance from the school choir, who sang, appropriately, ‘Food Glorious Food.’

Cllr. Stock said to her: “On behalf of Pembrokeshire I’d like to thank you Rose. You have been dedicated to the children. I see teachers and staff come and go, but you Rose have done a first class job, you are loved by the parents and the children and staff, putting them, and this county, first. So I can’t speak more highly about you – just a big thank you.”

After the emotional send off The Herald spoke with Rose Phillips about her long career in this important role in education.

She started by telling The Herald what a typical day in the school kitchen entailed: “I am here by 7am ready for breakfast, after that then I immediately start preparing the meal for the day. It has to be ready by 11.50 when nursery come in, then it’s the infants, and at 12.30 the older ones are in. We serve anywhere between 160-170 meals – but it can go up to 200.”

The Herald wanted to know what changes she had seen in school meal provision in her 32 years in the job. Rose said: “Healthy eating is far more important than it used to be. I started at Taskers and you used to have to cook a lot of burgers back then. Now it’s all prepared here, fresh, as nothing comes in ready cooked. It’s all done from scratch with natural ingredients. The children haven’t changed though, they are still the same.”

After spending many years in Taskers school the Herald was interested to know what the differences were between catering in a secondary school and a local primary school, to which she said: “They have a more cafeteria based set up at Taskers. You had to make a bigger choice of meals, which is a lot harder, whereas here in Fenton everyone has the same.”

Finally we asked Rose what she would miss the most about leaving, but also what she was looking forward to in retirement: “I’ll miss the company with the girls (staff) and of course the children, but I am looking forward to not having to get up at 6am!”

The Herald wishes Rose a happy and long retirement.

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Tesco shoppers in Pembs called to help raise funds for food allergy charity

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SHOPPERS in Pembrokeshire are being encouraged to help an in-store fundraising campaign from Monday 22nd to Sunday 28th April to support medical research into food allergies.

For the fifth year running, Tesco is working with The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation, the UK’s food allergy charity, to help raise awareness and support clinical research into food allergies by contributing 10p from every own brand Free From product bought in stores and online, as well as providing customers with the opportunity to round up their shopping at self-service tills throughout the week.

All money raised will help Natasha’s Foundation to continue its research into reducing the risks of food allergies and further developments into the management of allergies.

In addition to the funds being raised, the campaign aims to increase awareness in Pembrokeshire about the importance of understanding food allergies and clearly highlighting ingredients in food which can cause allergic reactions.

Natasha’s Foundation was founded in 2019 by Tanya and Nadim Ednan-Laperouse following the tragic loss of their daughter Natasha who had a fatal allergic reaction to a baguette that contained sesame seeds that were not listed on the packaging.

Tanya Ednan-Laperouse OBE, said: “We’re thrilled that Tesco is supporting us for the fifth year running. Allergen awareness is so important, and money raised in previous years has helped to fund clinical research exploring the management of food allergies.”

Oonagh Turnbull, Head of Health Campaigns at Tesco, said: “The work that Natasha’s Foundation has done to date has been fantastic and we are delighted to be able to support this for a fifth year.

“There are now 175 products in our Free From range, from meals and desserts to snacks, all created with great taste but without any of the allergens. We welcome any shoppers in Pembrokeshire to try these products or kindly round up their shopping at the self-service tills to help raise money for a fantastic cause.”

Natasha’s Foundation is committed to raising awareness and funds for critical food allergy research. But the real impact of the charity’s work lies in the lives it can change.

Millions of people live with food allergies in the UK and must navigate a world where seemingly simple acts, like grabbing a quick bite to eat, can become fraught with danger. It can affect anyone, at any age.

Billie Hoque, a commercial manager for a maritime security company, from Luton, has three allergic children – Jess, aged 7, Jude, 4, and Jayde, three months.

Billie, 35, said: “Food allergies first entered our lives when my son Jess was born in February 2017. From birth, Jess was presenting symptoms of allergies, yet I didn’t know it at the time. His constant discomfort and breathing troubles led to numerous doctor visits only to be dismissed as new-mum worries, and I felt unheard and alone.

“The switch from breastmilk to formula was a turning point. After initial acceptance, Jess refused all feeds for three days. When he finally ate, he became violently ill and struggled to breathe. Calls to an emergency doctor offered little help, and when he was prescribed “thicker milk” it triggered a terrifying reaction. This was his first anaphylactic reaction, and the first time the doctor diagnosed him as having a severe milk protein allergy.

“The loneliness and isolation I felt from becoming an allergy parent were all-consuming. The family and friends who I had been closest to, quickly became the ones who made me feel the most alone. They didn’t understand or seem to take seriously what I was going through.

Billie continued: “Life changed for me in June 2021 when I found The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation. I found a community – parents united by the fight for awareness. Meeting Nadim and Tanya, who lost their daughter Natasha to allergies, laid bare the heartbreaking truth of this condition. Yet, their strength resonated deeply.

“Though every single allergy story and experience shared through Natasha’s Foundation was different, the community all had one thing in common; we understood the fear, the loneliness, and the exhaustion of the continuous battling needed to keep our children alive. This community transformed me. No longer alone, I found strength and inspiration among these incredible people.

“Today, my purpose is clear. With this supportive network and a collective voice, we can raise awareness and fight for a future free from food allergies. This journey not only saved my sons, but it has also saved me too. I’d urge everyone to support the fantastic work of The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation and their goal of making food allergies history through research and raising awareness of food allergies.

“Tesco’s Free From range offers my children a chance to be included in all the tasty treats other children enjoy. Their clear labelling on the front of the packaging is not only helpful to me but is easy enough for my 7-year-old to clearly see that a food is safe for him. This limits the anxiety he has around eating new foods.”

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Community

Cardigan Radio launches daily live broadcasts

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Cardigan Radio/Radio Aberteifi says it is excited to announce a new line up of daily live broadcasts starting every evening from 7 PM at www.cardiganinternetradio.wales. Live shows will be hosted
by founder and presenter Bobby Kelly and other dedicated volunteer members.

The Cardigan Radio stream is constantly alive with great music that spans various genres, providing something for everyone. Listeners are encouraged to tune in and experience the quality and diversity of
Cardigan Radio’s programming for themselves.

You can listen 24/7 not only through their website www.cardiganinternetradio.wales but also on platforms such as Online

Radio Box and Radio Garden.

Online Radio Box: https://onlineradiobox.com/uk/cardiganinternet/
Radio Garden: https://radio.garden/visit/cardigan/DyV8OcNC

Interested in getting more involved? Cardigan Radio is always looking
for passionate volunteers to join our team. Whether you’re keen on
presenting, handling tech, or engaging with the community, we’d love to
hear from you. Contact us at [email protected] or call
01239 543025.

Connect with us on Facebook for updates and more information:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/friendsofcardiganradio
https://www.facebook.com/RadioCardigan

Tune in to Cardigan Radio and discover your new favourite sound!

If you’re interested in being a guest on our station, whether remotely
or in one of our member’s studios, we’d love to hear from you!

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Community

Pembrokeshire’s ‘Pure West Radio’ celebrates sixth birthday

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THERE ain’t no birthday like a Pure West birthday! 

Pure West Radio – Pembrokeshire’s multi-award-winning radio station is celebrating its sixth birthday this month – and is ready to move up a gear when it starts broadcasting on DAB later this summer. 

Pure West, which now has a staff of 12, and a team of over 90 volunteers bringing news, sport, entertainment and information to the airwaves of Pembrokeshire, celebrated its sixth anniversary on April 4 – and decided to share its celebrations with its loyal listeners – giving no fewer than 1,100 of them free tickets to some top local events. 

For the Pure West Team the birthday was marked with a staff party at Seven Spice in Haverfordwest – but for listeners the treats were more varied. 

Pure West Radio joined forces with Ocky White Travel – itself celebrating a 60th anniversary – to give away a cruise holiday to one lucky winner. On April 3 nurse Ffion Thomas, from Johnston, was announced as the winner of the seven-day P&O cruise to the Norwegian Fjords. She is taking her mum along with her as a 60th birthday treat when the Iona sets sail from Southampton on May 18. 

And the giveaways didn’t stop there… Mark Edwards kindly shared 100 free tickets for a celebratory Silent Disco at Eddie Rocks, in Haverfordwest, that were snapped up within an hour – so a hundred more were released; Pure West Radio also teamed up with Hangar 5, also in Haverfordwest, and offered two one-hour free bounces for listeners, but again demand far outweighed expectations, so another hour’s bounce was provided. 

In addition, Pure West Radio joined forces with The Palace Cinema, in Haverfordwest, for a free showing of Shrek – the Movie – but, yet again, a second showing had to be booked to accommodate all those who wanted tickets. 

And sports fans haven’t been left out of the party – Haverfordwest County AFC, media partners of Pure West, have supplied 100 free tickets for the Bluebrids final home game of the season against Colwyn Bay to the broadcaster’s listeners. 

“Our birthday celebrations were immense,” said Toby Ellis, Station Manager, “We gave away 1,100 free tickets to local events to make sure our dedicated listeners and followers were able to join in the party… putting a smile on the faces of more than a thousand Pembrokeshire people. 

“And while the birthday celebrations are winding down – Pure West Radio – the only radio station based in Pembrokeshire – is gearing up for the next phase in our story. 

“The licence for DAB broadcasting is in place – and we hope to go live within the next few months. 

“We’ve expanded our staff and are currently looking for a full-time show producer – so anyone interested should email [email protected] to find out more, and we have some new sponsors – Ocky White Travel is now the official sponsor of Pure West’s daytime show and Folly Farm sponsors the breakfast show. 

“And we’ve teamed up with yet more Pembrokeshire businesses who are taking advantage of our huge reach to spread their message across the county. 

“There really is something for everyone on Pure West Radio – tune in via app, smart speaker and check out our website for the latest going on in Pembrokeshire, he added.” 

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