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The British obsession with possessions

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Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 13.37.41A NEW survey has revealed that British people just love to hoard possessions, struggling to let go of items even when they know that they don’t need them and will never use them again.

The survey was conducted by insurance specialist RIAS to mark the start of National Spring Clean Week which kicks off today (Apr 14).

Results from the survey identified that 79% of people have at least one space in their home full of items that they’re fully aware they will never need again.

For 31% of people, that space is a drawer, 28% it is a cupboard and for a shocking 19%, that space is an entire room.

An astounding one in 10 people admitted that they had never had a clear-out of items they do not use or want any longer, but the majority of people, 64%, admitted to having a clearing once a year at most.

Yet, 79% of everyone questioned acknowledged that they were fully aware that they were holding onto items they no longer need, want or use purely for sentimental reasons.

The research also found that when moving home, which is a key opportunity to remove clutter and reappraise current belongings, many people decided to just take their ‘junk’ with them.

In fact, a whopping 55% of people who moved home in the last five years stated that they didn’t clear out any of their possessions when they moved. Once settled into their new home, 79% of people said they realised they had kept items that they shouldn’t have.

Psychologist Dr Elizabeth Forrester said: “People seem to struggle to let go of material things, often citing emotional attachment or sentimental reasons for holding onto unnecessary items.

“It seems to be a subconscious decision to simply hold onto things even though it’s known there’s no need to use for them anymore. Items are kept out of sight and never used, but hold comfort simply in the knowledge that they are there.

“For many people this ‘comfort’ extends from a kitchen drawer to occupying an entire room.”

To put these survey results to the test, RIAS put blogger Louise Parker in touch with Dr Forrester to help her take a less emotional view of possessions she no longer needed or wanted.

Having recently moved home, Louise was not one of the 55% of people who held onto everything through the move, instead opting to clear out a large portion of her unwanted items. However, she realised that she was still clinging onto a lot of her clothing, toiletries and other beauty items unnecessarily.

Louise said: “I was a little nervous about de-cluttering with Liz if I’m honest! I like to think I’m quite a streamlined person, so I really thought that there wouldn’t be anything that I would deem as clutter. However, my wardrobe and drawers that were bursting at the seams were telling a different story, so something really needed to be done!

“Liz’s approach was very simple. After putting all my clothes from my wardrobes and drawers, and secret suitcases filled with further clothes, on the bed, it was as easy as picking up each item one by one and really assessing whether I wanted it or needed it.

“Asking myself whether I actually wore it or if it was too similar to lots of my other clothes was a particularly handy approach. I found that I hadn’t really thought about many of the items of clothes for quite a while, just because I rarely saw them in my packed wardrobe!

“My drawers full of bottles, make-up and skincare were an area that really needed addressing. It was amazing the great feeling I got when I found something in amongst the clutter that I forgot I had.

“It was also really great to rid myself of the little sample sachets and bottles from magazines and make-up counters. Physically seeing the piles of stuff that I was happy to get rid of was quite a shock and that image will really stay with me when I next go into Boots!

“Another thing Liz taught me was to contemplate the amount of things I bring into the house every day, and whether I clear the same amount out. Now when I do choose to buy something new, I’ll be thinking about what I could get rid of to balance it out.”

Dr Forrester said: “Louise made some interesting comments about some of the items she’d struggled to discard. This applied to quite a few cosmetic items which had lain unused and unloved in the drawer

“Attempts to avoid unpleasant, negative feelings is a key reason for not tackling clutter. When Louise came face-to-face with these items, it reminded her of money she had spent on them, so getting rid of them felt wasteful, and led to further feelings of guilt.

“A self-confessed lover of shopping, I asked her about the feeling she experienced when she bought the items. When we shop, we see items that we desire and it often seems as if we will never get over that intense feeling of longing we experience.

In fact, that feeling has too often fizzled out before we’ve even set foot through the door and the item loses its magic. In a similar way, we may fear that the negative thoughts and emotions we get when contemplating getting rid of some unworn or unused purchases won’t go away either.

“By clearing out a significant amount of clutter, such as half-used tubes and bottles, and taking a novel approach to discarding her unwanted purchases, such as passing them onto friends and colleagues or a donation to a favourite charity, Louise had a very different experience.

“She found that, rather than being left with uncomfortable feelings, she got the same familiar buzz she would get when acquiring something new. What’s more, delighting friends with a nearly-new bargain, and being able to give some cash to a good cause, will give her some additional ‘feel good’ experiences.

“So, by having a good clear-out, it is possible to fall in love all over again with some things that have been languishing in the back of cupboards.”

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Ultra-runner demonstrates to never give up on your dreams

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Rhys O’Mara (Left), Sanna (Centre) and Hollie Thomas (Right)

INSPIRATIONAL speaker Sanna Duthie recently inspired Military and Protective Services learners at the College with her story of running the 186 mile Pembrokeshire Coastal Path in a record breaking 51.5 hours without any sleep, to help raise money for the Welsh Air Ambulance.

Former College learner Sanna Duthie, an office manager by day and active runner by night, shared her experience of running the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path in record breaking time. Sanna had participated in a few marathons over the years such as Tenby Long Course Weekend, the Gower 50 and the London Marathon.

However, the real adrenaline rush to complete the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path was when Sanna competed in a 100 mile race of the coastal path in 2017.

“I realised I wasn’t too bad at that distance and then that’s when I got it in my head about doing the whole thing.”

Running a coastal path isn’t the easiest challenge and Sanna had to be prepared with an extensive training programme running over 300 miles a month equivalent to 10 miles a day. Sanna also had strength and conditioning training at a local gym to ensure her successful recovery.

“Coast running is hard on your muscles and joints and you need to strengthen those in order to not get injured,” said Sanna.

Originally Sanna started to run the entire coastal path in August 2020 but after 63 miles had to abandon the race due to dangerous weather conditions. This only made Sanna more determined and she completed her ultra-run on 8 th May 2021.

Sanna explained the highs and lows of the run, “There were times when I just wanted to quit, and I even started to hallucinate but I used a tactic where rather than focus on the whole run I broke it down into sections – this made things less overwhelming. Close friends and family would join alongside me on different stages of my run, and this motivated me to get to the finish line.”

Protective services learner Rhys O’Mara was thoroughly inspired by Sanna’s story, “I feel like, from the talk, I’m more inspired to go out and push myself to take on bigger and better physical challenges, the talk really showed that you can achieve anything when you dedicate yourself to a task. After College I’m looking to join the RAF as a drone pilot and have a full career in the forces.”

Sanna was the first female to run the entire coastal path and breaking the previous record of 64 hours and 32 minutes and raised an impressive £5,768.14 for charity.

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Public urged to take part in Council budget consultation

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MEMBERS of the public are being urged to participate in Pembrokeshire County Council’s budget consultation 2022-23.

Launched this week, the consultation asks the public where they think the Council needs to spend money, and where it can save it.

As part of the process, the Council has created an online budget simulator, which includes videos from Cabinet members talking about the financial pressure in their portfolio areas.
Cllr Bob Kilmister, Cabinet Member for Finance, encouraged all those interested in how the Council spends its funds to take part in the consultation.

“It’s very important that we hear from as many people in Pembrokeshire as possible,” he said.

“Like other Councils, we are once again facing significant budget pressures and understanding community and household priorities is vital in helping us to make the difficult choices necessary in setting the 2023-23 budget.

“We look forward to hearing from you.”

How to take part in the consultation:

Teams Live Stream event
Join a Teams Live Stream event on Wednesday 1st December from 7pm – 8pm. Put your budget questions directly to Cllr Kilmister or the Council’s Director of Resources, Jon Haswell, or listen to the discussion. Questions are welcomed in English and Welsh.

Budget Simulator
Give your views on the budget priorities for 2022–23 by using our Budget Simulator which is available at https://haveyoursay.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/

Download the survey and return to County Hall
Alternatively you can download and complete our hard copy Information and Response Form. Once complete please return to surveys@pembrokeshire.gov.uk or Pembrokeshire County Council, Policy & Partnerships, County Hall, Haverfordwest, SA61 1TP.

The consultation will end on Wednesday 5th January 2022.

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Milford Haven Council cancels annual Christmas lights switch-on event

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Council cancels Christmas lights

MILFORD Haven Town Council have announced that they will be cancelling the official switching on the Christmas lights event this year.  

The Christmas lights in Milford Haven will be turned on Wednesday, December 1 at 7pm. However, unlike previous years, this will not be an official event. 

In the past, the event would see Father Christmas switching the lights on while on a balcony at the Town Hall. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, the official turning on of the lights is unable to go ahead.

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