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Video spreads hope

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Hope for people with MS: Belynda and James raise awareness for the condition

Hope for people with MS: Belynda and James raise awareness for the condition

HUNDLETON student Belynda Galliard and Chester-based James Martin are on a mission. They are determined to show people that MS (Multiple Sclerosis) need not prove the end of the world. Life, they argue, can be full of potential for those given the chance.

And so , to further their cause Belynda , who will soon commence an MA in Film and Drama, and family friend James, a musician and a recent graduate in Media Studies, are currently producing a video to help everyone adopt a more positive approach to life with MS.

MS is the most common condition of the central nervous system affecting young adults. Over 100,000 people in the UK have MS which is about one in every 600. It is nearly three times more common in women than in men. Most people are diagnosed in their 20s and 30s, but it can be diagnosed in younger and older people.

But Belynda and James are not motivated by bald statistics .

“I have just started my own media company called Blue Dynasty Media , ” James explained . “I knew that I would have to begin by doing projects for free to show people what I can do . I initially thought I would do something like a music video. But then I thought, if I am going to be doing it for free , I might as well try and do something that makes a difference instead of simply helping a corporate client who really should be paying for what I do .

“And then I spoke to Liz, a family friend who suffers from MS. I didn’t realise she had MS at first because it was not very noticeable. I didn’t appreciate at the time that this disease affects people differently. This led to do some research which in turn prompted me to produce this film for the MS Society . ”

Belynda’s contact is much closer to home. She has a mother who suffers from MS. She explained: “The MS society recently did an employment survey and I found it interesting because I discovered that lots of people have had good careers. Liz’s husband was a journalist for example, and it made me think that with a little bit more understanding and support from his employer , he would have been able to continue working much longer than he did.

“When my mum discovered she had MS her employer basically said ‘Well that’s that. I’m giving your job to someone else’. He was convinced that she would soon be in a wheelchair but she simply needed some help with her fatigue levels. We want to educate and inspire people like that .”

Belynda and James have received no funding to date and are meeting all the expenses incurred from their own resources, which is why they are very keen to meet and interview anyone who willing to talk about their experiences and offer hope to those who are scared as to what a diagnosis might mean.

As Belynda explained: “We need people with inspirational stories to get involved as soon as possible and once the video is complete , we want to share it as widely as possibly. It won’t matter how good it is if no one sees it.”

James added: “We have discovered that MS society, like other organisations ,

needs to look at the way it shares its information. We have discovered ,

for example, that the society has hubs all around the country but they are often not aware of what other groups are doing. We are keen to create an environment in which they communicate with each other.

“There is a Facebook page , for example, but we need to encourage the different hubs to use it more . The content can be improved too. We are hoping this initiative will inspire them to use their resources in a more effective way .”

As for success, Belynda believes 100,000 views o n line is not an impossible target and she says they would be thrilled if it were shared further afield, such as in the US , for example.

“Given the way we can share information today, the sky’s the limit , ” she added. “And the tone is the key to our approach. Lots of campaign videos and appeals follow the same format. They are a little dated. We are determined to highlight the positives. It’s not a case of feel sorry for me but give me a chance!”

For more information contact Belynda: billi_rose@hotmail.co.uk or James : jjamesmartin@outlook.com.

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Business

Maintenance plant shutdown planned for Dragon LNG

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DRAGON LNG is scheduled to commence a 26-day planned maintenance shutdown at its Waterston
site from Monday May 17

The 24/7 shutdown will enable Dragon to carry out periodic maintenance and inspection, whilst
taking advantage of the opportunity to carry out some small improvement projects in a safe and controlled manner.

In addition to the normal preparations for a shutdown, which started in February 2020, Dragon
have been working extensively with Welsh Government, Public Health Wales, Pembrokeshire County Council TTP team and UK Government, including the Department for Business, Energy
and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to align already in place COVID controls in preparation for our
additional workforce from 15 key vendors to support a successful event.

During the shutdown, there will be over 140 valve overhauls, approx. 960 COVID-19 LFD | PCR
tests carried out by a specialist company and over 200 virtual site safety inductions (enhanced with
COVID site controls).

With the works taking place within the site process area, any impact to our community, including
noise and dust disturbances is not anticipated. Please do note that flaring will be undertaken
during the shutdown.

A Dragon spokesperson told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Whilst this is a major event at Dragon, the 1st shutdown since 2011, our top priority always is the safety of our team and community”.

Dragon continues to update its’ community and stakeholders on the progress of the work.

For any enquiries, please contact karen.wood@dragonlng.com / 01646 691730.

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Community

Encouraging responsible dog ownership so everyone enjoys their day at the beach

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is encouraging and promoting responsible dog ownership to ensure that we can all enjoy the County’s glorious beaches this summer.

With Covid-19 restrictions easing and lots of people expected to head to the coast, respecting one another and the natural environment will be more important than ever.

And, as a dog-friendly County, Pembrokeshire will be welcoming many four-legged friends too.

While visiting and enjoying Pembrokeshire beaches, dog lovers are asked to be mindful of some restrictions regarding their pets.

Between 1st May and 30th September dogs are not permitted on the North Beach in Tenby, or Whitesands Beach near St Davids. However, some other beaches have specific dog-free areas Designated.

Other areas indicate where dogs must be kept on leads.

The byelaws are in place so that everyone, dog owners and non-dog owners alike, can enjoy their time at the seaside.

Updated signage detailing the byelaws will be displayed on all beaches, main beach access and exit points, plus signs and flags being displayed and flown by lifeguards.

This will help pet owners to take their pets to the areas of beach designated for their enjoyment.

The signage used will be part of a wider campaign to encourage responsible behaviour while visiting and enjoying Pembrokeshire.

While engaging with members of the public, explaining the byelaws and encouraging responsible behaviour will always be the preference, there has also been a change to how the restrictions will be monitored.

Enforcement Teams will be working alongside the patrols currently undertaken to address littering and dog fouling in our communities.

Where appropriate, Fixed Penalty Notices of £75 can be issued. This can rise up to £500 if the matter were to be successfully prosecuted in court.

It is hoped that by engaging, advising and promoting the byelaws, supported by new signage, the Council can encourage people to be even more responsible dog owners.

This will result in a fun, positive experience for all beach users this Summer.

Pembrokeshire County Council Leader Cllr David Simpson, said: “Pembrokeshire can’t wait to welcome all those who have been dreaming about a walk on the beach throughout much of the past year.

“We know and understand that dogs are part of the family and taking your pets out to the beach for the day or a simple walk at the seaside is so important.

“We hope that by engaging and explaining we can promote responsible dog ownership this summer to ensure everyone can enjoy their time on our incredible coast.

“Please plan your visits and take the time to have a look at the maps of the dog free areas and other information available and we look forward to welcoming everyone, whether two legs or four, once again.”

For more information, see: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/dog-control

Maps of the dog free areas and further information can be downloaded at: https://www.visitpembrokeshire.com/downloads

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Community

Speedy Sanna’s second shot at Pembrokeshire Coast Path record

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A DETERMINED Pembrokeshire woman will reattempt to set a new record next week by running the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in the fastest time.

Sanna Duthie, 32, from Milford Haven, is aiming to become only the second person to run the whole of the 186-mile Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

Sanna attempted to break the record in August last year, but after clocking off more than 63 miles she had to abandon the record attempt for her own safety, due to the horrendous weather conditions.

She hopes to complete her run in under 64 hours and 32 minutes and is using the opportunity to raise money for the Wales Air Ambulance Charity. Sanna has already smashed her fundraising target of £2,000 by raising an amazing £2,162.

The current record is held by Haverfordwest’s Richard Simpson, who completed the challenge in 2018.

As an ultra-runner, she has previously completed a 100-mile run in under 28 hours, but she is now hoping to exceed that and raise money for a charity close to her heart at the same time.

Reflecting on how she feels about re-attempting the challenge, Sanna, who likes to run ‘silly races’ said: “I am very nervous but feeling determined and strong. I’ve trained over 300 miles a month since March 2020, so I’ve done all the training I can. I would have liked to have gone to the gym, but I’ve done what I can at home. I’ve been out on difference sections of the coast path since restrictions have eased and it’s in good condition.”

Weather permitting Sanna, who is ‘overwhelmed’ with how much money she has raised, will start the challenge at 8am on Friday, 7 May at St Dogmaels and finishing in Amroth on Sunday, 9 May.

In preparation of the challenge Sanna has received a lot of support from her partner, family and friends, she said: “My dad and partner have been amazing. Making sure I’m fed after long runs and just being there. My friends have been amazing and although we haven’t been able to run together just knowing they support me helps. I’m hoping some can join me on the challenge it will be great to catch up. The chatter will be a great distraction.”

Katie Macro, Wales Air Ambulance South West Wales Community Co-ordinator, said: “We’re so grateful to Sanna for taking on this huge challenge once again. Her determination is outstanding, and she has so far raised an amazing amount for our lifesaving charity.

“Despite the horrendous weather during her last attempt she managed to run over 63 miles and only stopped the record attempt when it became unsafe to continue. Her determination is inspiring.

“On its own, it is a significant personal challenge, and we will be supporting her all the way to the finish line – and hopefully to a new record. For Sanna to choose to raise money for our lifesaving service at the same time is incredible. We are so grateful for her support and we’d like to wish her all the best. Thank you to everyone who has supported Sanna and continue to support her with her fundraiser.”

You can show your support to Sanna by donating to her Just Giving page – Sanna’s 186 miles – Pembrokeshire Coastpathhttps://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sanna-duthie2.

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