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Sports club bowled over by National Lottery surprise

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Club Secretary Stephen Whitemore with Lottery player Tommy_ Gregory

Club Secretary Stephen Whitemore: With Lottery player Tommy Gregory

THERE WAS a huge surprise for Pembrokeshire Disabled Bowlers Club this week when a National Lottery player revealed their application for funding had been successful.

Club Secretary Stephen Whitmore was presented with a cheque for £7,414 of lottery funding through Sport Wales to help them adapt wheelchairs to allow members to access the green and play more fully.

This was part of The National Lottery’s ‘Thank You Wales’ campaign, allowing players to find out more about the projects that benefit when they buy a lottery ticket.

Tommy Gregory, 23, from Newport, posed as a volunteer at the Milford Haven club and went undercover for the day to find out more about how it supports local people with a range of disabilities.

Stephen Whitmore, club secretary and head coach, explained that the club has doubled its membership since he took over the helm four years ago. More than 30 Pembrokeshire people with disabilities now attend regular sessions, including members who have competed at Paralympic Games and for Wales in the Commonwealth Games.


Stephen, who was registered blind four years ago after living with visual impairment since birth, said: “Despite our efforts to accommodate all our members, since the club was founded in 1984 our wheelchair bound members have had to sit on boards in the corner of the green because the wheels on their chairs are unsuitable to go on our specially made green.

“The grant will make a huge difference to our wheelchair bound members, as it will help us to purchase specially adapted wheelchairs and clip on/clip off wheels. These will allow wheelchair players access to the green, and the freedom to get fully immersed into the game like other members.

“When Tommy revealed that he wasn’t with us to volunteer and presented me with the cheque I was completely shocked.  It’s absolutely amazing, and we are so grateful for the money and the difference it will make to our members.”

Tommy Gregory, who works as an IT support worker in Newport said: “It’s not every day you get to hand over a cheque to an organisation, knowing that the money is going to help make a difference to the lives of so many people. It was really humbling to be involved in the campaign and see the look on Stephen and his wife Olwyn’s face when I handed over the envelope. He was so shocked but extremely grateful. It was a fantastic experience.

“When you buy a National Lottery ticket you usually think about the money up for grabs, but I’d never really thought too much about the fact that some of my ticket money goes to such deserving local community groups like Pembrokeshire Disabled Bowlers Club.”

Jackie O’Sullivan, Director of National Lottery Good Causes, said: “National Lottery players have raised a massive £1.6 billion to fund projects right across Wales. The ‘Thank you Wales’ campaign is thanking lottery players, without whom none of this would be possible. We want to make National Lottery players aware of the thousands of fantastic projects across Wales which are successful, thanks to their funding.”

Stephen is ambitious to continue to grow the size of the club and welcome more people with disabilities from across the county through their doors. He is keen to reach out to other community groups that might benefit from playing bowls, such as people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

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Judith Rhead murder investigation – Detectives given more time to question suspect

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POLICE have been given more time to question a 43-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder.

The man has been in police custody since Saturday night, after being arrested over the death 68-year-old Judith Rhead.

She was found in a residential property in Market Street.

The police now have until Thursday afternoon (Feb 25) to question the suspect.

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All people eligible for vaccination will get theirs by end of July

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PEOPLE eligible for the coronavirus vaccine will get theirs by the end of July, the Health Minister has said.

Wales achieved its target of getting everyone in the first four priority groups vaccinated by the middle of February and is now working on offering the vaccine to those in groups 5 to 9.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has set out that people with severe or profound learning disabilities or with a mental illness will be among priority group 6.

Mr Gething said that they were would make sure that no one is left behind.

The latest figures from Public Health Wales show that 878,506 people had received their first dose of the vaccine.

59,279 people have received both doses of the vaccine.

Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services, said: “We have achieved our first milestone of offering everyone in the first four priority groups vaccination by mid-February.

“We are now making progress in achieving our next milestone, which is to offer the vaccine to all individuals in priority groups 5 to 9.

“The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has set out that people with a severe/profound learning disability and individuals with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, or any mental illness that causes severe functional impairment, should be invited for vaccination as part of priority group 6.

“There are challenges with identifying individuals within these groups, particularly given the JCVI language is not generally in use in Wales, and we are working hard to make sure that no one is left behind. Today we have published guidance on identifying eligible individuals in these groups and on how to support them to take up their vaccine offers.

“The JCVI has also said that some of our invaluable unpaid carers should be included in priority group 6.

“Today we have also published guidance on identifying those unpaid carers eligible for vaccine prioritisation and the process around this. I am grateful to the national carers’ organisations for their support with this work.”

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Council want your help to keep Pembrokeshire active

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is asking residents to give their views on local walking and cycling routes.

The Council aims to make journeys on foot and by bicycle easier, safer and more enjoyable for everyone.

In order to design a network that works for all, the Council would like to get the views of as many people as possible, particularly those who don’t currently walk or cycle. This will help ensure the routes built for walking and cycling work for the whole community.

The consultation focuses on the main towns and villages in Pembrokeshire which have been selected by Welsh Government as the designated localities in the County. These are:

  • Fishguard & Goodwick
  • Haverfordwest
  • Johnston
  • Milford Haven
  • Neyland
  • Pembroke Dock
  • Pembroke
  • Tenby
  • Saundersfoot
  • Narberth

Pembrokeshire Council is currently undertaking an Active Travel Network Map consultation (ATNM) which will run in 3 stages

Consultation 1: Residents can take part in the consultation exercise online, hosted by Commonplace at https://Pembrokeshire.commonplace.is/

The interactive map allows participants to flag issues, problems and successes on a plan of the active travel settlement and add comments. Such points could be for example, a pavement that is too narrow or a newly built cycle route that is regarded as a success.

The first stage of the consultation will close on 31 st March 2021.

Consultation 2: Following this, the second step of the consultation will see the Council share the initial findings and ask people what they think of the plans
proposed as a result of the feedback received.

Consultation 3: The third stage of the consultation will give members of the public a final say on the Active Travel Network Maps before they are sent to Welsh Government for approval. These maps will have been produced taking into account public feedback and ideas from consultations 1 and 2.

By upgrading facilities and creating new walking and cycling routes, the Council plans to make Active Travel the popular choice for local journeys, to increase the attractiveness of local communities as places to live and work, improve health and well-being, and help tackle air pollution.

Cllr Phil Baker, Pembrokeshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, said: “This consultation exercise will produce an Active Travel Network Map which will be a plan of routes the Council will use to inform where improvements to walking and cycling should be made in Pembrokeshire.

“It will help to make journeys on foot or by bicycle easier and safer for everyone, particularly those who don’t currently walk or cycle often and people who use mobility aids and will build on the increased level of walking and cycling that we have seen over the last 12 months during the pandemic.”

See more information on Active Travel at: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/fitness-and-well-being/active-travel

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