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​​Tenby Lifeboats rich history celebrated in new book

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Lifeboat book launch

Book launch: Crew and volunteers with author Trevor Barrett aboard Haydn Miller

WEDNESDAY (Mar 2) saw the launch of a different kind at Tenby Lifeboat Station, as instead of the Haydn Miller heading down the slipway, a new book was launched which celebrates the rich history of the institution in the town, charting the stories of dramatic rescues from across two centuries.

It was a double celebration for the station, as well as releasing the new book, which has been written by local writer Trevor Barrett, the crew were also toasting the tenth anniversary of the arrival of the Tamar class lifeboat Haydn Miller (the most advanced in the world at that time), which arrived to take up duties in the innovative new £5.8 million boathouse and visitor centre which was custom-built to accommodate her.

The new book has been commissioned and published by the RNLI and is available for just £5.95 from the station’s shop during the normal opening hours.
The book is superbly illustrated with archive photographs dating back to the 18th century and many new photos, including some taken during actual rescues. It has been incredibly well researched by author Trevor Barrett, who painstakingly went through hundreds of old archives that are documented in the town’s museum to give dramatic recollections of events from the past.

“It really was fascinating to witness first hand all these old documents charting the real life action and heroism of people from past,” said Trevor.
“It must have been so difficult to acquire all the information and then ever so carefully catalogue it using only a quill and ink. The history of the station really was alive in front of my eyes, with blotches of ink scarring the paper during the tricky operation.

“Now of course it is much easier to document a rescue with the advent of computers, but all that aside it really is a fantastic institution and the volunteer crew, both past and present do a sterling job in keeping our coast safe.

“I must thank Tenby Museum for their help and for letting me access the archives, and also all the people I spoke too who gave me such vivid recollections of rescues from the past.”

The story of Tenby Lifeboats 1835 to the present day is a tribute to all those volunteers who have served the station and who to date have saved more than 900 lives. In addition to describing some of the most harrowing (and sometimes tragic) shouts in Tenby RNLI history, the book also recalls many lighter moments, such as the day when Gustav, a stuffed toy cat, miraculously gave birth to two toy kittens aboard Haydn Miller!

Those who attended the launch were able to chat to the crew members and get their copies signed by both the author and crew members alike. The book is priced at £5.95 and will be on sale during the launch event and then from the station shop during its normal opening hours.

Lifeboat - Author Trevor Barrett signs copies

Personalised copy: Trevor Barrett signed copies for those who attended

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Community

Milford Haven School warms hearts with over 200 gifts for local children

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MILFORD HAVEN SCHOOL has once again led a successful Christmas charity initiative, bringing festive cheer to over 200 children in need.

For several years, the school has been supporting PATCH, the Defender House Charity, through its annual Toy Appeal. This November, a special tradition continued as a Christmas tree adorned with tags stood tall in the school, each tag representing a local child affected by deprivation.

Staff members at the school wholeheartedly participated by selecting a tag, purchasing a thoughtful gift, and placing it under the tree. These gifts were then collected by PATCH for distribution, ensuring a brighter Christmas for many children.

This year, responding to requests from the wider community, the initiative expanded beyond the school gates. Additional Christmas trees with tags were placed in prominent community locations including Milford Haven Library, Neyland Library, and Hubberston and Hakin Community Centre, allowing more community members to contribute to this noble cause.

The response was overwhelming. Over 200 presents were lovingly donated, highlighting the communal spirit of Milford Haven. Ms. Morris, the headteacher of Milford Haven School, expressed her immense pride in the staff’s involvement and extended heartfelt thanks to the libraries and community centres for their indispensable support.

“It’s more than just gifts; it’s about showing we care and understand the challenges some families face, especially during the festive season,” said Ms. Morris. She emphasized the school’s ongoing commitment to supporting local families and raising awareness of the community’s needs.

The initiative’s success not only brought joy to children but also reinforced the strong bonds within the Milford Haven community. The generosity and compassion shown by the school and its wider community stand as a testament to the power of collective effort in making a significant difference in the lives of those in need.

As the festive season approaches, the Milford Haven community can take pride in their substantial contribution to the PATCH Charity Toy Appeal, embodying the true spirit of Christmas and bringing the warmth of “Nadolig Llawen” – Merry Christmas – to many.

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Community

Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office wins prestigious national award for its custody visiting

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The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed-Powys has won a prestigious national Gold award for the quality of its Independent Custody Visiting Scheme.

The Independent Custody Visiting Scheme is a volunteer scheme that is run by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Arising after riots in the 80s centred around public distrust in policing, and in particular the policing of black communities, independent custody visitors (or ICVs) are volunteers who give their time to make unannounced visits to police custody across the UK, ensuring the rights, entitlements and wellbeing of detainees throughout the country.

In Dyfed-Powys, there are currently eighteen volunteers who act as Independent Custody Visitors, and make unannounced visits to police custodies in Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and Powys. 

They report their findings to the Police and Crime Commissioner, who in turn holds the Chief Constable to account.

The Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA) Quality Assurance Awards were presented at a ceremony at the Old Library, Birmingham on 29 November.

ICVA is the national organisation which supports, leads and represents locally-run custody visiting schemes. Schemes manage teams of independent volunteers who visit those detained in police custody.

There were four graded levels of award, and the Dyfed-Powys Scheme was delighted to have received the Gold standard; meaning their Scheme provides an excellent standard of custody visiting and volunteer management. The Scheme was established in Dyfed-Powys in 2001, and since its roll out, thousands of visits have been made to custody suites across the force area.

Welcoming the award, Dafydd Llywelyn, Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed-Powys told The Herald: “I am thrilled to announce that our Independent Custody Visiting volunteer scheme in Dyfed-Powys has been honoured with a prestigious national Gold Award.  This recognition reflects the commitment and dedication of our volunteers and the high standards of custody visiting and volunteer management in our region.

“It is a testament to the collaborative efforts of our community, Dyfed-Powys Police and my Office, reinforcing our commitment to excellence in ensuring the welfare and rights of individuals in Custody.  I would like to congratulate and thank all of our volunteers for their hard work – we are proud of this achievement and will continue our efforts to maintain this gold standard in the service we provide to our community”.

On a blog, published following the awards ceremony to congratulate volunteers, ICVA Chief Executive Katie Kempen said; “I am so grateful for all of your incredibly hard work on the Quality Assurance Framework, in what for many have been quite challenging times.

“At the opening of the assessment window, many of your schemes were still in a period of Covid recovery and getting schemes back up to resilience, recruiting and training new volunteers all over the country.

“As we have moved through the process, many of you have come into post and as well as getting accustomed to your new role have taken on the Quality Assurance Framework too. I am so proud of each and every scheme and their award.

“It hasn’t happened without a commitment to the scheme, to the amazing volunteers and ultimately to the fair and effective treatment of those deprived of their liberty by the state. Thank you all so much.

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Community

Pure West Radio is Prestige Wales Awards Radio Station of the Year

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PEMBROKESHIRE’S very own Pure West Radio is celebrating it’s multi-award winning status after being crowned Radio Station of the Year for a second year running.

Prestige Wales Awards is available to around 30,000 readers across Wales who nominate their favourite businesses in variety of categories.

Pure West Radio has now built to a strong team over 90 – a mix of volunteers and paid-staff – that provides a comprehensive and varied programme of shows and outside broadcasts covering Pembrokeshire.

Its commercial community radio station business model has been recognised as sustainable and attractive to advertisers and the wider community in Pembrokeshire and Pure West Radio is one of the most trusted media brands in the region.

“It’s a great honour to receive this award again” said Toby Ellis, Station Manager. “We love what we do with great passion serving Pembrokeshire, it’s our duty to deliver quality hyper local content to the community and to be recognised for that is just wonderful”

Pure West Radio will be launching on DAB in 2024 and will be looking to recruit people in marketing, sales, content creation and broadcasters – so watch this space!

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