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Farm shop helps disabled

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A retail outlet selling a range of products handcrafted by local disabled people has been officially opened.

The farm shop at Scolton Manor near Haverfordwest also provides employment for those with a disability.

It is the result of collaborative working between a number of organisations.

A leading role is played by Pembrokeshire County Council’s Norman Industries – a supported factory in Snowdrop Lane, Haverfordwest, which employs people with a disability.

The opening of the Scolton Manor farm shop has enabled Norman Industries to employ a further six people in the unit, giving them experience in a retail environment and customer service.

A further three disabled people have been taken on in its craft workshop bringing the total number of people on its supported
employment programme to over 50.    

The shop supports a wide range of Pembrokeshire producers – not just Norman Industries – and has opened up a range of work-based alternative day opportunities for people in craft industries.  

Funding has been accessed through a variety of sources including from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) through its Access to Work programme, through Workways+ from European Funds and through the Welsh Government’s Integrated Care Fund.

The official opening was performed by the Vice Chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council, Michael James.

He told guests: “This enterprise is an important step in improving the wellbeing of Pembrokeshire citizens. Along with the other initiatives run by Norman Industries, it shows how the County Council has improved its support and employment of people with disability over the last two years.”

Councillor James said the work had resulted in Pembrokeshire County Council being recognised as a DWP Disability Confident
Leader – the first local authority in Wales to achieve the distinction.

Community

New Mural at Theatr Gwaun tells multiple stories

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Wide angle shot of the finished mural

THE SCAFFOLDING came down to reveal the new mural on the exterior wall at Theatr Gwaun on Friday 24th September and it has had a very positive reception from the people of Fishguard and Goodwick. 

The mural was commissioned by Ancient Connections, a cross-border arts, heritage and tourism project, linking North Pembrokeshire and North Wexford, funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales co-operation programme.

The mural was created by Grant Radford of Accent London, originally from Port Talbot. He engaged with local schools and community groups linked to Theatr Gwaun before coming up with a draft design. 

This was then further honed and developed through dialogue with the team at Ancient Connections, Theatr Gwaun staff and a public engagement session held at the Theatr.

A simple colour palette of a rich dark purple/blue background, with black and gold images over the top gives the mural an elegant and contemporary feel. 

A silhouette of black birds flocking across the building is layered over with sparkling gold creatures of the sea and figures from folklore, such as a mermaid. 

Another layer of yellow stars presents these figures as constellations, paying homage to the navigation of seas using star maps in times gone by.

An anchor in the bottom right hand corner references Fishguard and Goodwicks’ rich maritime history and trade.

A local resident said:

“It’s fabulous. Relevant, bold yet delicate. I love how the different colours create depth and fluidity and the references to nature.”

A story key at eye level on the wall presents a series of smaller images that touch on significant stories and heritage of the local area, as well as links to Wexford across the water. 

Motifs include the ‘Sgadan Abergwaun’ or Fishguard Herring – as local people were referred to due to their dependence on herring fishing. 

A coiled rope references the traditional ropemaking trade in Fishguard that gave Ropewalk street its name. 

The enormous whale in the main mural and in the motif points to the presence of whales such as minke in the Irish Sea, as well as the famous film of Moby Dick, which was shot in the Fishguard area in 1954 starring Gregory Peck and Orson Wells. 

A light aeroplane recalls the first flight over the Irish Sea from Goodwick to Enniscorthy in 1912. A galleon conjures up the infamous pirate Barti Ddi who hailed from Puncheston and sailed the seas in the early eighteenth century.

Ruth Jones, Project Officer for Ancient Connections says:

“We are delighted with the mural, it is stylish and striking, and at the same time speaks of movement and migration across the Irish Sea, which are key themes for Ancient Connections. We hope that it will become a focus point for the twin towns to evoke local heritage and folklore, as well as give visitors an insight to the rich history of this area”.

A forthcoming leaflet will provide more information on Fishguard and Goodwicks’ local stories, folklore and heritage for local people and curious visitors alike. Ancient Connections is led by Pembrokeshire County Council, together with partners Wexford County Council, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Visit Wexford funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales co- operation programme.

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Community

Deadline approaching for Enhancing Pembrokeshire Panel

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THE LOCAL AUTHORITY is urging organisations and community groups to apply for the final round of Enhancing Pembrokeshire grants of the current political administration.

The deadline is 22 November so the council is encouraging those who have thought about applying to do so prior to the closing date.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet will meet in January next year to make its final decision.

The Enhancing Pembrokeshire Grant, uses funds raised via the Second Homes Tax, to provide funding for new projects that help address the negative impact of second homes – and in doing so adds value to our communities.

Cllr Bob Kilmister, the Cabinet Member for Finance, said: ‘I would urge organisations and groups to get in touch and take this opportunity to improve and enhance the services they provide.

‘This fund has been critical to so many projects and has helped to develop incredible and worthwhile initiatives.’

To date, the Enhancing Pembrokeshire Grant has supported a significant amount of people in the county through a variety of projects that focus on connecting people. These initiatives address a range of issues from raising standards of health and wellbeing by providing affordable housing and improving social care – to promoting self-sustained and vibrant communities, regeneration and safeguarding our environment.

Here are some examples of current projects to see how people’s lives have been improved and supported:

Neyland Community Hub Community Interest Company   £46,150.00

This project was to establish a Community Interest Care Company in Neyland Community Hub focussed initially on domiciliary care.

Skrinkle Park Play Area £9,741.00

Providing essential play equipment created a more vibrant village facility supporting the wellbeing of families and children in Manorbier.

Clydau Communty Council  £12,611.00 split between the three wards of Crymych, Boncath and Clydau

The Helping Halls project provided a Project Support Officer who supported volunteers managing community halls in four villages. Working with the volunteers they identified ways to make the halls more resilient to changes in their communities, and more economically sustainable.

Fishguard Sports AFC £13,600

The Project prepared and developed a good quality cricket pitch. This enabled the sports facility to attract more sports participants, families and Fishguard School to enjoy all year round. It will ultimately make the Club more sustainable and help restore vibrancy to a large section of the Fishguard and Goodwick community.

Cantabile Singers of Pembrokeshire £2,377.60

The project was to encourage community participation in isolated areas through singing. Beneficial to those suffering from dementia, mental health issues or loneliness, enhancing the wellbeing of all. The project was for the provision of PA equipment necessary to reach bigger audiences, performance overheads and the purchase of Welsh and English music to support maximum audience.

The Tenby Talking Newspaper (TTN) £5,240.00

The project upgraded their recording equipment. It enabled them to maintain and improve their service to around 75 local people with impaired sight, offering participants news and information via audio extracts from the weekly Tenby Observer newspaper, allowing them to remain part of, and stay in touch with their community.

Cllr Kilmister adds: ‘This round is the final of the current administration so it is even more important to get involved and engage with the process. If you have any questions about how the scheme works please contact the email below and one of the team will call you back and talk you through the process.’

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Community

‘KINDNESS WILL ALWAYS OVERCOME’

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Pupils at Pembrokeshire Learning Centre re-planting their garden with the members of the youth engagement programme at MAWW Fire and Rescue Service.

GESTURES of kindness towards a group of young people have been praised.

The Pembrokeshire Learning Centre in Neyland suffered vandalism in September, where vegetable patches planted by pupils were destroyed.

The discovery of the damage upset and affected many pupils who had worked hard to grow the crops.

On hearing about the vandalism, the youth service at Mid and West Wales (MAWW) Fire and Rescue Service contacted the PLC offering to help re-plant and restore the garden.

Graham Jenkins, Service Youth Team Coordinator for MAWW Fire and Rescue Service said they had worked with the PLC on various schemes in previous years and were ‘particularly saddened to learn that the school’s garden had been vandalised in such a way’.

“Our youth engagement work has been restricted during the pandemic, but we are delighted to help these young people to re-plant their garden and, in so doing, re-energise our youth engagement programme in Pembrokeshire,” he said.

Sian Williams is Headteacher at the PLC, a school for 11-16 year olds with complex needs. She said: “We were all shocked and dismayed at the needless damage to an area where the pupils and staff had worked so hard to make into an enjoyable place to spend time. However we were touched by the outpouring of support and offers to help rectify the damage.

“One of our previous learners kindly reached out to help by donating his Education Maintenance Allowance in order to repair the damage. In addition B&Q Carmarthen donated plants to replace those destroyed, aided by MAWW Fire Service who worked alongside pupils to restore the garden to its previous state.

“We are hugely grateful, these offers restore your faith that kindness will always overcome.”

Jo Thomas, Teacher In Charge of the LRC, added: “We were so lucky to have the MAWW Fire and Rescue Service help us re-pot our garden, so it now looks good as new. We cannot thank everyone who offered help to us enough.

“It has made the young people in the PLC feel much happier because they were devastated at the damage children the same age caused, especially when they had worked so hard on the garden. All the children want to say a huge ‘thank you’.”

Local county councillor Simon Hancock said: “The ýoung people of the Pembrokeshire Learning Centre work so hard to cultivate their plants and improve their environment and it is shocking there has been this mindless vandalism. I am so grateful to the MAWW Fire and Rescue Service for their kind and timely support in putting things right.”

Cabinet Member for Education & Lifelong Learning, Cllr Guy Woodham also thanked the Fire and Rescue Service and the others who had helped stating: “When something as unkind as vandalising a school garden takes place, it is heart-warming when the community responds to address the wrong cause. I am very grateful for the continued support offered to the PLC by MAWW Fire and Rescue Service and all those who also helped restore the garden to its former glory.”

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