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Family lose everything in house fire



housefireA HOUSE fire in Haverfordwest this week has left a family homeless and devastated, and with nothing.
Popular residents Damian and Hannah Wilkinson, were not in their living room in the South Court property when the fire started.
Damian explained: “I was in the kitchen when the fire happened and it caught within seconds. I tried to put some water on it but it was quickly out of control and the fire brigade arrived about five minutes later, by which time the whole front room had been gutted.”
When asked what had started the fire he said he was not completely sure.
He described the aftermath: “We are currently staying at a friend’s house and waiting for the Council to provide us with temporary accommodation. The house will need an inspection and a structural check before we are able to begin to fix it. Everything in the house is black from the smoke, the walls inside and outside. You can see the the smoke has even melted some of the light fittings, such was the heat coming from the fire”.
Though the family all got out of the property safely, Damian described what had been lost: “We have lost everything. What we have tried to salvage is charred and black. Our first consideration is to make sure the children have everything they need, particularly clothes.”
His wife Hannah said: “One of my children had asked last night if they could go home to their own bed. What do you say to that?”
Fenton School has offered assistance to the family through their family liaison officer.
Damian continued: “We have friends rallying round and have been offered lots of help, but we are still in shock. Right now I don’t really know exactly what we need. We lost a brand new 50-inch Panasonic television as well as a Play Station 3 and a computer. The computer had everything on it, including all our photos of our children as babies, and our wedding photos. Sadly, we had no home insurance, we couldn’t afford it.”
Whilst the community, including the local school, rallies around the family it seems the staff at the Job Centre in Haverfordwest have taken a different approach.
Damian explained his experience the day after the fire when he went to the benefits office to resume his claim for Job Seekers Allowance.
“I explained about the fire. Obviously, I was still in shock and not capable of thinking about work when I am trying to get our lives back together. However, the person that saw me insisted on me bringing in my login details to carry on looking for work.
‘’I explained the situation and that my login details were burnt in the fire. I also said that I had lost my PC that I use to look for work, which actually melted in the fire, and was told I could use the computers in the Job Centre.”
The Herald contacted Job Centre to find out how their staff thought Damien might be able to look for work when his priority and only concern was to re-establish housing for his family and they deferred the case to the Press Office.
A DWP spokesperson said: “It’s clearly a difficult time for Mr Wilkinson, and we appreciate his ability to look for work will be limited in the coming weeks as a result of the fire at his home.
“We hope the situation improves soon. In the meantime we’ll be giving him all the support we can.”

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Two arrests in Haverfordwest after reports of man in possession of a knife



THERE was a large police response following 999 calls made in Haverfordwest last night to reports of an affray involving an offensive weapon.

Multiple police units descended on Fleming Crescent just before nine o’clock on Thursday (May 19).

Two people were taken into police custody, where they remain, police confirmed.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “We were called to a disturbance and reports of a man in possession of a knife in Fleming Crescent, Haverfordwest, at around 8.50pm on Thursday, 19 May.

“A 41-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of an offensive weapon, while a 33-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of affray.

“Both remain in police custody.”

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Grape expectations for Welsh Wine Week 2022



THIS JUNE, Welsh vineyards will welcome guests from Wales and beyond to taste what Wales’ burgeoning wine sector has to offer during its annual Welsh Wine Week.

From Saturday 4th to Sunday 12th June, free events, competitions, expert guided tours and tastings will make up the Welsh Wine Week schedule and give wine lovers the chance to personally discover the country’s picturesque vineyards and sample their wide range of award-winning vintages.

Special product releases will take place during Welsh Wine Week to commemorate the event, including Pembrokeshire’s Velfrey Vineyard’s Cuvée Reserve Sparkling Brut, a 2019 vintage traditional method sparkling brut wine, made especially from the vineyard’s Seyval Blanc and Pinot Noir grapes.

Confirmed events for Welsh Wine Week 2022 include: a cheese and Welsh wine sampling event from Gwinllan Conwy (in collaboration with Bodnant Welsh Food), White Castle Vineyard will be holding a tasting of their wines with Fine Wines Direct and there will be free vineyard tours and wine tastings across the week from Parva Farm vineyard.

Andy Mounsey, owner of Velfrey Vineyard and Chairman of the Welsh Vineyard Association, said: “Whether you relish in a red, white, rosé or sparkling wine, Welsh Wine Week is the perfect opportunity to show consumers what the Welsh wine industry has to offer.

“Wales is making strides in its wine production and has proudly adopted an innovative approach in which its experimental and diverse with the wine it produces. Wine producers are working collaboratively to drive the industry forward and championing each other, creating a supportive and closely connected network of vineyards.

“We have all been waiting fondly for the return of Welsh Wine Week and will mark the first event with no restrictions with a stellar line up of producers. We hope to welcome many more wine enthusiasts into our businesses this year, so please sign up to our events and treat yourself to some quality Welsh wine as you do.”

Full event listings and access to exclusive competitions and interviews with Welsh vineyards can be found on the dedicated Welsh Wine Week website.

Welsh Wine Week is organised by the Welsh Drinks Cluster, funded by Welsh Government, which works in partnership with Welsh drinks producers to promote the industry and its production of world class products.

For more information go to:

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Warm Pembrokeshire welcome for Ukrainians fleeing from war



THE PEMBROKESHIRE community has been preparing a warm welcome to Ukrainian people fleeing the devastating war in their homeland.

Across Pembrokeshire, people have been signing up to become sponsors under the Homes for Ukraine scheme – one of the formal routes by which Ukrainian people can make their way to the UK, having been matched with a local family.

To date, Pembrokeshire has seen over 75 households signing up to the scheme.

As part of the formal process for becoming a sponsor, Pembrokeshire County Council is undertaking checks to ensure that people arriving from Ukraine are being offered safe and comfortable environments in which to live.

When people arrive with their sponsor household, contact is made by the Council to welcome them, support them with any immediate needs and ensure that they know where they can get information and advice.

The Pembrokeshire Community Hub, a partnership between Pembrokeshire County Council, PAVS and Volunteering Matters, is also working with Council teams and community groups to ensure that people are offered a warm welcome to the county.

People who are hosting and sponsoring families arriving from Ukraine are being equipped with information packs to help them prepare for their guests’ arrival and are also being invited to become part of an online support network, where they can connect and support one another.

The support has led to positive feedback from local people hosting Ukrainians with compliments for the level of assistance and support provided.

Community groups are also establishing themselves across the County, offering a range of support to those arriving.

This includes spaces to meet, organised community gatherings and fundraising activities.

Through the Community Hub and with support of PAVS, these groups are also being encouraged to join Pembrokeshire Community Support Network – Ukraine, where they can get up to date information, share with one another and get support when needed.

If you are looking to support people arriving from Ukraine, or are already doing so, and would like more information, please contact the Pembrokeshire Community Hub on 01437 776301 or

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