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Welsh pair named as UK’s unbreakable lockdown heroes following BT’s Nationwide search

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BT HAS today revealed that Laura Llewellyn Jones, alongside Iestyn Griffiths, from Pembrokeshire, have been named as one of the UK’s everyday ‘Unbreakable’ heroes.

The entries follow a call to action to the public to nominate those individuals who used the power of the internet to make a difference during a unique and challenging year, as BT marks the roll out of the UK’s first unbreakable home wi-fi service backed up by EE, the UK’s most reliable mobile network.

Laura, who co-founded The West End of Wales Orchestra with Iestyn Griffiths, harnessed the power of the internet to support out of work Welsh musicians throughout the pandemic, with virtual performances and educating and mentoring young musicians – in the most challenging of times. An online celebration of Wales for St David’s day gwlad! streamed to over 1200 households, with the pair collaborating from a distance of over 100 miles, bringing together musicians based all over the UK in the finest of virtual music making, raising over to £25,000 in the process. 

“Iestyn and I, along with the West End of Wales are thrilled to be named as BT Unbreakable winners. For us, it celebrates our first year of work as a collective, at a time when the Arts industry was so devasted by the pandemic. To be titled “Unbreakable” really does sum up how we as musicians faced the challenge of the last year, and thankfully we were all able to stay connected.” 

Sophie Ellis-Bextor, who teamed up with BT to help find these unsung heroes of lockdown, delivered the news via video call to the hero ‘Unbreakables’, including Laura and Iestyn from Wales, who were both highlighted for their unique use of the power of the internet to keep people going during lockdown. 

Sophie, whose own iconic live-streamed Kitchen Discos were a constant source of fun and escapism for millions, used the calls to learn more about the inspirational stories of connection behind each Unbreakable hero and thank the trio for their commitment to helping others.

To commemorate the achievements of these unsung heroes, Sophie will perform in BT’s Unbreakable Disco on Thursday 3rd June 2021 at 6:30pm, in a one-off live-streamed performance, powered by BT’s Hybrid Broadband, the UK’s first unbreakable home wi-fi that’s backed up by EE award-winning mobile network. During the show, the Murder on the Dancefloor songstress will perform her favourite tunes, dedicated to the newly crowned Unbreakables, as well as share special shout-outs to some of the nation’s nominated heroes. 

Kerry, Laura and Chris were amongst a host of unsung members of the public nominated for harnessing the power of the internet to help people stay connected and motivated in their own unique way during lockdown.

BT’s Unbreakable virtual gallery a dedicated online gallery space featuring the nation’s nominations – showcased hundreds of individuals over the past month, who used the power of the internet to make a difference during a unique and challenging year.

Sharon Meadows, Director of Propositions, BT’s Consumer Division said: “We set out on our search to find the nation’s Unbreakables, to celebrate the everyday heroes across communities who used the power of the internet to help others during this difficult time. The inspirational stories of Kerry, Laura and Chris are three great examples of this, their own unique efforts kept thousands of people entertained, connected and upbeat during lockdown.” 

She adds: “As well as the dedication and selflessness shown by each Unbreakable, access to a reliable internet connection was at the heart of making these stories possible. So we’re proud to be celebrating their achievements and the wider list of everyday heroes during BT’s Unbreakable Disco with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, a special one-off live stream, powered by BT’s Hybrid Broadband, the UK’s first unbreakable home wi-fi, backed up by EE’s award-winning mobile network.”

Fans can tune into BT’s Unbreakable Disco with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, powered by BT’s Hybrid Broadband on Thursday, 3 June 2021 at 6:30pm live on BT’s YouTube page

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Port boss: Pembroke Dock development full permission an ‘important step’

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THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE of the Port of Milford Haven has welcomed a decision of “non-intervention” by the Welsh Government over plans to re-vamp Pembroke Dock’s historic port facilities.

The redevelopment scheme, approved by Pembrokeshire County Council’s Planning Committee in May, will see some areas such as a dock covered with sand and “infilled”.

Plans also include the demolishing of some buildings, erection of buildings and ancillary works.
Despite planning being granted at council level, full authorisation to go ahead with the development was not to be issued until the Welsh Government made its decision regards the matter.

More about the planning application can be read here: https://www.herald.wales/west-wales/pembrokeshire/major-marine-project-causes-concern-about-visual-impact-and-heritage-loss/

Now that the Welsh Government has decided not to interfere with Pembrokeshire County Council’s grant of planning permission, the Port’s boss, Andy Jones, expressed his delight, saying: “This marks an important step forward in the development of Wales’ clean energy centre at Pembroke Dock.

“It will provide sustainable opportunities for the many people who rely on the activity along the Milford Haven Waterway for employment.

CEO: Port Authority’s Andy Jones (Pic MHPA)

“Pembroke Dock Marine will unlock new opportunities for young people to enter the maritime, renewable and engineering sectors, build resilience within Pembrokeshire’s business community, and make a positive contribution to our natural environment as we transition to a low carbon energy generation.”

Tim James, head of commercial and energy at the Port of Milford Haven called the project a “once in a generation opportunity to improve Pembrokeshire’s economy for years to come”.

Objectors had complained that the plans were too large and would damage the historic dockyard, as well as having a visual impact on the dock.

The was opposition from local heritage campaigners, with complaints over the size of two huge proposed hangars which the project’s critics said would impact adversely the landscape.

The economic benefits of the £60 million marine energy “far outweigh” any impact on the historic environment, a report earlier this year to council planners said.

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Medical evacuation from LPG tanker off St Ann’s Head

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ANGLE Lifeboat was launched on service at 12:59pm on Thursday afternoon (Jun 10) to assist in a medical evacuation from a LPG tanker 13 miles SSW off St Ann’s Head.

The coastguard helicopter from Newquay in Cornwall was also on route. With the poor visibility due to fog, Angle all-weather lifeboat was to stand by the vessel to provide an alternative route for evacuation if needed.

After a choppy route in the poor visibility the RNLI volunteers arrived on scene at 2:07pm.

At the time of their arrival, the paramedic from the coastguard helicopter was aboard the vessel preparing the casualty to be winched to the helicopter.

In less than ten minutes the casualty was winched up to the helicopter and flown to hospital, at which point the lifeboat and crews were stood down and headed back to the station.

After rehousing shortly after 3:30pm the lifeboat was washed fuelled and made ready for service shortly after.

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Milford Haven child sex offender Colin Sharpe jailed for 10 years

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A MILFORD HAVEN child abuser sat crying in court as details of his four-year long abuse of a schoolgirl were read out.

Colin Sharpe’s teenage victim says she is now “plagued by nightmares” that he will return and abuse her again, Swansea Crown Court heard.

Sharpe, 40, of Howarth Close was told by Judge Paul Thomas QC at Swansea Crown Court that “Your only concern was your own selfish sexual pleasure.”

The court heard that after the matter was reported to police and officers began a search for tSharpe. He was found in his vehicle in a car park at St Ann’s Head.

The court was told that police used their car to block Sharpe’s exist from the car park but he “sped off” across the grass towards the cliff edge before crashing into a fence.

The defendant abandoned his vehicle and made off on foot to the clifftop. A standoff then developed during which police brought in a specialist negotiator to talk him down.

After a lengthy negotiation Sharpe was arrested.

Passing sentence, the judge told Sharpe: “You had no concern for the psychological damage you did.”

He added: “But it is to your credit that you immediately admitted what you had done; this had saved his victim the further ordeal of giving evidence in a trial.

Judge Paul Thomas jailed Sharpe for 10 years and imposed an indefinite order requiring him to sign the sexual offences register on release.

Sharpe will now be subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and an indefinite restraining order when he is released.

As The Herald previously reported, Sharpe, who has been on remand since March, admitted one charge of sexual assault and five of sexual activity with a child, all between July 2017 and March 2021.

Police were informed about the sexual abuse by a third party, who discovered what he had done, and he was arrested and questioned early last year.

Earlier, Ian Wright, counsel for the CPS said that Sharpe used “emotional blackmail to frighten the girl into staying silent”.

He added “Matters seem to have come to a head on March 12 this year after Sharpe had once again sexually abused his victim.”

Dean Pulling, defending, said that when the police interviewed Sharpe he gave ‘guilty pleas and admissions’ at the earliest opportunity.

Excerpts from a personal victim statement highlighting the ongoing ordeal of Sharpe’s teenage victim were also read out in court.

“I am having nightmares,” the statement reads.

“I have nightmares of him coming back from prison and starting to do worse. My life has been greatly affected.”

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