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Independent journeys course praised

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independentjourneyA NEW road safety course has been introduced teaching Year 7 pupils in Pembrokeshire how to be careful when travelling locally by themselves.

The programme – entitled ‘Independent Journeys’ – has been written specifically for local children by Pembrokeshire County Council’s road safety team.

To date, it has been delivered in three secondary schools – Tasker Milward, Sir Thomas Picton, and Pembroke – and it will be run at Milford Haven School in May.

Sally Jones, Child Pedestrian Coordinator, delivers the course. “The aim is to increase awareness and understanding of road safety among children aged 11 and 12,” she said.

“In many cases, these children are starting to make independent journeys for the first time. We look at lots of different scenarios like going to school, into town, or out with friends, and how they can plan a safe journey – whether it’s by bus, car, bike or by foot.”

The children discuss ways to improve their safety like planning their route, knowing their timings, and being aware of where pedestrian crossings are.

They talk about factors which could be helpful, like taking their phone with them, telling people where they are, and wearing suitable gear if visibility is an issue.

Sally said they also discuss potential dangers and risky behaviour like listening to music on headphones, being on the mobile, or playing by the road.

“We also talk about peer pressure – what it is, how someone can facilitate this, how to resist it, and giving children ways to deal with it,” she said.

“It’s about considering all these different factors before they set off on a journey by themselves.”

Lauren Davies, Head of Year 7 at Tasker Milward School, said the course had some very valuable messages for pupils.

“The safety of our pupils travelling to and from school is of paramount importance to us, and we welcomed this opportunity to provide them with some road safety advice specific to their age group,” she said.

“As well as taking on board the advice given, we hope these pupils will also provide role models to younger pupils starting in September.”

Isabel Winstone, a pupil at Tasker Milward, said: “It made us think about the dangers on busy roads and how we need to try and be safe when we’re near them.”

Fellow pupil Amber McFadden added that the course had made them think about many different issues to do with road safety.

“It teaches you a lot about the world around you, and how you need to keep your eyes open and be looking around for anything that might be a problem,” she said.

Cllr Rob Lewis, Cabinet Member for Transportation, said he was pleased that the new course had been introduced. “We have a range of different road safety interventions, including Kerbcraft – which is taught to all primary school children from the age of five – and Crucial Crew, which delivers safety messages to all pupils in Year 6,” he said. “The new ‘Independent Journeys’ programme is an important addition.”

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Community

There’s Treasure at the end of the rainbow for Saundersfoot!

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Funding from Welsh Government of £10,000 is to be awarded to Saundersfoot

The West Wales Care Partnership (WWCP) is launching three Participatory Budgeting pilots, one each in Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion, and locally in Saundersfoot.  Funded through the Welsh Assembly Government’s Transformation Fund, these pilots aim to explore a different way to manage public money and help to build stronger communities. Community members decide how part of a budget will be spent, by engaging with local people to find out what matters most to them and to generate ideas to achieve them.

This method empowers local people to play a key role in deciding how public money is spent on activities, projects, and services in their communities. In practice, this means community and voluntary groups can apply for funding to deliver projects of value to local people, and local people decide where the funding goes.

Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services (PAVS) is working in partnership with a local steering group to make this happen in Saundersfoot as part of this Pembrokeshire pilot project. Saundersfoot was selected due to the fantastic work accomplished during the pandemic by the Saundersfoot Connect Facebook group and the appetite from the village for positive community action.

Funding from the Welsh Government of £10,000 is to be awarded to the village, and the community will be given the opportunity to decide what are the priorities, where and how it will be spent. An informal steering group to develop the pilot has been set up under the project title Saundersfoot Community Treasure Chest – Your Cash Your Voice, Your Choice.

Local businesses are also being asked to consider making a financial contribution to increase the money available in the Community Treasure Chest.

Three community engagement events have been organised to take place from 10am – 1pm at the Regency Hall on the 28th September and the 5th & 12th October. Come along to find out more information, and to tell us what matters to you. There will also be an opportunity to have your say on the Connect Saundersfoot Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/SaundersfootConnect Community members will asked to decide what will be the priorities and eligibility criteria, and surgeries will be organised to offer support and information to anyone who wishes to apply.

Chairman of the Steering Group and County Councillor for Saundersfoot Cllr. Phil Baker said: “We are delighted that the Village had been chosen to deliver a participatory budgeting project. It is a recognition of the exceptional volunteering effort that Saundersfoot has witnessed previously and brought into sharper focus during the Covid pandemic. The project is an exciting way for community groups to apply for funding for existing and new projects in the Village. I would take this opportunity to thank PAVS for putting us forward for this £10,000 pilot project.”

Most importantly the power is in the community’s hands. Once applications have been received there will be a community event, which will give the voting power to the community. Local people will be given the voice to decide which projects are prioritised in Saundersfoot.

For more information or to get involved please contact Vanessa John at PAVS development@pavs.org.uk or Chairman of the Steering Group Cllr. Phil Baker

cllr.phil.baker@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

Look out for more information and ensure you’re part of the next chapter for Saundersfoot.

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Community

4 Young Friends 7 marathons in 7 days along the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path

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On 12th September, 4 childhood friends will set off to complete 7 marathons in 7 days to Conquer the Coast in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Rufus McGrath, Geordie Wainwright, Jamie Prowse and Sam Lebus, all in their early twenties, aim to raise £40,000 for mental health charity CALM, the ‘Campaign Against Living Miserably’ which is leading a movement against suicide – particularly amongst young men.

The coastal path, which they will be running, covers 184 miles. It stretches from St Dogmaels in the north of Pembrokeshire to Amroth in the south. They will be covering the distance together, running 7 marathons in 7 days. The route has a total elevation change of 35,000ft, which is greater than the height of Everest.

Rufus McGrath comments: “In these odd times, I know that people can go for a run or bike ride or do exercise to clear their head, but it is only treating the short-term solution. CALM can view each individual from a neutral standpoint, calmly and dispassionately, and the fact that CALM is free is incredibly important in tackling this societal issue.

“We chose Wales and the Pembroke coast for this run as it is so astonishingly beautiful: the sea, the cliffs, the surrounding farmland and the totally awesome coastal paths. All four of us have felt so much goodwill locally and, though it is a daunting prospect, we are so lucky to be undertaking this challenge here in Wales.”

They aim to raise £40,000 for mental health charity CALM, the ‘Campaign Against Living Miserably’

Geordie Wainwright – runner 2: “Running is often a solitary activity, so it’s great to feel a sense of togetherness by working together towards a common goal. Doing this challenge has already helped me develop a different attitude towards mental health. I now make a conscious effort to ask my friends how they’re doing so I can be there for them.”

Jamie Prowse – runner 3: “The challenge itself will be incredibly mentally tough, which aligns it with the charity we have chosen. It is a cause that is relatable to each and every one of us who has undergone a personal mental health battle or knows a loved one who has. It will undoubtedly test not only our physical endurance but also our mental fortitude like never before.” 

Sam Lebus – runner 4: “I’m doing this challenge because the new focus on mental health illnesses has made me more aware of how problematic the current global circumstances can be for people everywhere. Running, for me, has been a real source of strength. It’s provided a focus when life feels messy and is often the antidote to a stressful day. I love the rhythmic movement and the power and control one feels when you’re moving your body through the motions.”

For more info on the challenge:

CALM website

Conquer the Coast JustGiving Site

Conquer the Coast Instagram Site – @conquerthecoast2021

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Community

School road safety improvements made following parents’ requests

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Cllr Viv Stoddart and Gelliswick VC School Headteacher Nick Dyer with the new bollards and safety rails.

A SERIES of road safety improvements have been made at Gelliswick VC School in Milford Haven.

Bollards and safety rails were installed over the summer following concerns about parking on pavements on the approach to the school.

Work was completed in August in time for the start of the new term in response to requests from the local County Councillor and parents.

Viv Stoddart is the County Councillor for the Hubberston Ward. She welcomed the Council’s work as “a very positive start to the autumn term at Gelliswick VC School.”

Cllr Stoddart added: “I am pleased the authority has prioritised this issue as a result of listening to my and the community’s concerns regarding the dangerous practice of some drivers parking on the pavement at the school’s busy drop off and pick up times. 

“During a site meeting in the spring at pick up time, parents were very vocal on airing their concerns about pavement parking.

“There are also long-standing issues about the traffic dangers posed by the limited parking available for staff, visitors, and parents to the 500 pupil-strong school. 

“Meetings with stakeholders has resulted in the Authority reviewing various options to mitigate the situation. 

“I hope the siting of the pavement safety rails is just the start of additional improvements that the authority is considering to progress in the autumn.”

Cllr Phil Baker, the Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, confirmed further adaptations are under review at the site.

This includes examining the current configuration of the car park opposite the school and considering time-limited parking bays.

Cllr Baker added: “I’m pleased to see that these improvements have been completed in time for the new term.

“The safety of young people attending school is of the highest priority and we thank parents and the local Councillor for raising the issues so they could be dealt with effectively.”

Gelliswick VC School Headteacher Nick Dyer, added: “Gelliswick School is very pleased to see the bollards and railings installed at the top of Gelliswick Hill. 

“This has been the most recent stage in working with our partners in Pembrokeshire County Council to make Gelliswick Road safer for our children.”

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