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Whitland Male Choir’s first Post Lockdown Concert



Whitland Choir perform one of their ‘Socially Distanced’ rehearsals at the Garage of Bysiau Cwm Taf

Whitland Male Choir are returning to the stage for the first time since St David’s Day 2020 to star in Narberth & Whitland Rotary, Grand Charity Concert when they perform with Britain’s Got Talent Stars Richard and Adam at the Follies Theatre, Folly Farm on Saturday 9th October this year.

One of the oldest choirs in the country, Whitland Male Choir should have been celebrating its 125th Anniversary in 2020. The pandemic meant this was not possible and as a result 19 Choir events have been cancelled in the last 18 months and they are delighted to have been invited to take part in this gala event.

It has been a difficult time for all of us and choirs have been no exception. From March of last year until the end of May 2021, they were unable to get together to practice and Choir spokesman David Thomas said that “However, for 12 months the Choir kept together with weekly online practices. It was not without its technical challenges for all of us, but it meant we maintained contact with each other and kept the camaraderie”.

“Our first get-togethers were socially distanced in the open air, firstly in the lovely garden of Choir Librarian Phil Garrod, then in the stand at Whitland Rugby Club and also in the grounds of Ysgol Dyffryn Tȃf before we were able to meet in the garage of Bysiau Cwm Tȃf, thanks to Clive Edwards. And we soon discovered the acoustics in the garage are superb”!

The Choir has raised many thousands of pounds in recent years. Their members are drawn from a wide area, embracing Whitland, Clunderwen, Llanboidy, Maenclochog, Haverfordwest, Narberth, St Clears and the surrounding areas. The Choir has competed in many competitions and has been successful at the National Eisteddfod and Gwyl Fawr Aberteifi (Cardigan eisteddfod).

The Choir are delighted that their first concert back is on home territory and they look to once again travelling further afield. In the past the choir has travelled abroad giving concerts at Tramore and Killarney in Ireland; Pipriac, St Gregoire and Rennes in Brittany.  They have also performed at the Royal Albert Hall, London; St David’s Hall, Cardiff and the M.E.N. Manchester not forgetting trips abroad to Vienna, Holland and the Cork Festival in Ireland.  The Choir has also enjoyed singing with other choirs over the years.

Mrs Hefina Jones was appointed Musical Director in 2018 after being accompanist for almost 20 years. Hefina is originally from Capel Iwan near Newcastle Emlyn and currently lives in Llangynin, St Clears.  Hefina works at Ysgol Dyffryn Taf, Whitland and is also a part time piano teacher.  She enjoys working with children to give them the opportunity to enjoy and develop their musical skills.  She obtained the A.L.C.M in 1993 and has accompanied various artists and choirs over the years.  She has conducted numerous singing festivals in the area, and enjoys singing in her spare time.

The Accompanist is Owain Williams, he is originally from Wiston, near Haverfordwest.  He attended Ysgol Glan Cleddau and Ysgol y Preseli, then went on to study professional music at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David in Carmarthen, graduating in 2013. Having worked at Nant y Ffin Hotel for many years, Owain is a familiar face to many and currently works as the County Organiser for Pembrokeshire YFC.  As well as accompanying Whitland Male Choir, Owain accompanies Bechgyn Jemeima, the Landsker Singers and Criw Harmoni.

Deputy Accompanist is Heather Jenkin Heather lives in Whitland and is a Foundation Phase teacher and music co-ordinator at Ysgol Caer Elen, Haverfordwest. Heather is also accompanist for Corlan, a mixed choir based in Llanboidy, a member of Parti’r Gromlech and is one of the organists at Tabernacle Chapel, Whitland.

Tickets for the concert, which are sure to be in great demand are now on sale and can be bought online at and also for cash at local outlets, Dales Music Shop, Tenby; Rock ‘n Rolla Boutique, Narberth and The Creative Cafe, High Street, Haverfordwest. They are also available from Chorister Huw Jones of Whitland Male Choir.

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Proposed locations for new hospital site to be reviewed



HYWEL DDA UNIVERSITY HEALTH BOARD (UHB) will this week undertake a review of potential sites as part of the ongoing process to identify a suitable location for a new hospital.

Eleven sites will be assessed on Friday 22 October, including those identified by members of the public during the six-week engagement exercise, which took place earlier this year.

This stage of the process is intended to lead to the creation of a shortlist of sites. This will be subject to further detailed appraisal with significant public and wider stakeholder involvement. The final decision about the chosen site will be made by the health board, in agreement with Welsh Government.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “The building of a new hospital is a major long-term project, which is why we place great emphasis on being open and transparent about the process involved.

“The process we are following includes developing a programme business case to support our strategy for community and hospital-based health and care. As part of the process to apply for funding from the Welsh Government, we will submit the programme business case, and then individual outline business cases, then the final business cases for the new infrastructure we will need. The health board will therefore engage with the public on a regular basis between now and the submission of the final business cases to ensure your views are fully considered.

“I understand and recognise there are passionate feelings about a new hospital, but we strongly believe a new facility is essential for urgent and planned care in the south of the Hywel Dda area. It will provide trauma care and be the main emergency department for the south of our area.

“I can also reassure the public that we have no plans or intention to close either Glangwili or Withybush hospitals. We will engage further on how these hospitals could work alongside the proposed new hospital.”

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Unprecedented demand on health and social care services in local area



Joint statement by Hywel Dda University Health Board, the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Pembrokeshire County Council, Carmarthenshire County Council and Ceredigion County Council

The urgent statement we have asked to publish is as follows:

THERE is currently an unprecedented demand on health and social care services across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, which is leading to significant delays in care provision. Put simply, the difficulty in discharging medically-fit patients from hospital – many of whom have complex personal circumstances and needs – is leading to significant bed shortages, and consequently, lengthy ambulance waits at the ‘front door’ of A&E departments, which mean that paramedics are unable to respond to other 999 calls in the community.Social care and Health teams are doing everything possible to support people who are well enough to leave hospital but need ongoing care. Priority is being given to the most vulnerable, and alternative health and care packages are being offered as a short-term measure. More carers and health staff are also being recruited to support people in need.

If you have a relative or loved one in hospital who is well enough to go home, but is waiting to be discharged with homecare and community health support, you may be able to help them to get home more quickly if you and your family are in a position to support them at home. If your relative is waiting for a formal package of care, you may be able to offer support and care on a short term, temporary arrangement or you might want to consider whether your loved one could be supported in a temporary residential or nursing care setting. If you feel that this is an option that you could consider, please speak to the ward manager or your social worker to explore further.

Spending as little time in hospital is better for patients and means that NHS beds can be freed up for others with urgent care needs. Supporting older patients to get home from hospital efficiently is an important part of their recovery and it also protects them from negative consequences of hospital admission, such as hospital acquired infection, falls and a loss of independence.  You can find out more about the hospital discharge process and guidance here: Inpatient information – Hywel Dda University Health Board (

Your support not only helps your loved one, but it is a huge support to the NHS and social care services as well.

Thank you.

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Child taken to hospital following collision with car outside school



AN EARLY morning collision outside Ysgol Harri Tudor school, Pembroke, has seen a child taken to hospital.

The collision happened between a child and a car on Pembroke Road, Pembroke, at approximately 9am this morning.

A secondary school pupil has been taken to hospital via ambulance for what is said to be minor injuries.

Police and ambulance service were on the scene and were helped by school staff to manage the incident.

A police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police attended a road traffic collision involving a car and a secondary school pupil this morning, 21st October 2021. The collision occurred on Pembroke Road, Pembroke at approximately 9:00am.

“The Ambulance Service also attended and escorted the teenage boy to hospital with what are believed to be minor injuries.”

A Pembrokeshire County Council spokesperson said: “We can confirm that there has been an incident outside Ysgol Harri Tudur in Pembroke this morning where a pupil came into contact with a car. 

“The police and ambulance have been on the scene and were assisted by school staff. We are not able to release any further details at present.”

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