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Friends drive 2,000 miles in just 36 hours for charity

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THREE Pembrokeshire men have raised over £3,000 for the Wales Air Ambulance by completing a 2,000 mile charity drive in just 36 hours!

Owen Hughes, 30, Chris Williams, 34, and Dean Murphy, 28, set off in their Skoda Fabia estate car from Fishguard to John O’Groats, then to Lands’ End and back. They hoped to complete the challenge, which was named the O.C.D Charity Drive after the initials of their names, within 48 hours.

Lorry driver, Owen, said: “It all went really well, it was better than expected. We had a good run and only got held up for 45 minutes. We took it in turns driving and basically kept the car moving all the time and finished it much quicker than expected.”

The men from Fishguard smashed their original target of £1,000 by raising £3,050 for the lifesaving charity.

Wales Air Ambulance offers advanced critical care and is often described as a ‘Flying ED’.

The on-board consultants and critical care practitioners are highly skilled and carry some of the most pioneering medical equipment in the world. They can deliver blood transfusions, administer anaesthesia and undertake emergency operations at the scene of the incident, before flying the patient directly to specialist care.

Wales Air Ambulance has four aircraft based across Wales, in Dafen, Caernarfon, Welshpool and Cardiff.

Now operational 24/7, the Charity needs to raise £8 million every year to keep the helicopters flying.

The trio were delighted with the support they received from local companies and public.

Before the charity drive, they had a few problems with their car and their sponsors helped source parts to make sure the car was ready for the challenge.

Owen, said: “It is amazing, we set out to raise £1,000 and we smashed that amount. All three of us are delighted about how much we’ve raised. We’ve had really good support from local companies, especially in Cardigan, and we received a lot of donations through our Just Giving page.”

During the charity drive the men also received a donation online from people they didn’t know that had passed them a few times throughout the challenge.

Since completing their challenge the men have sold the car and donated the £600 also to the fundraiser.

Reflecting on why they wanted to raise funds for the Wales Air Ambulance, Owen added: “We’re all bikers and with covid-19 affecting fundraising events we wanted to give something back to the Wales Air Ambulance. Hopefully it is something we will never need to use, but it is there if we need it. As a charity they are not government funded. We’ve raised the money to keep the vital, life-saving charity going, as anyone can need it at any time!”

Katie Macro, the Charity’s South West Wales Community Fundraiser coordinator, said: “A huge thank you to Owen, Carl and Dean for raising over £3,000 for our lifesaving charity.

They set off to complete the mammoth drive in just 48 hours but smashed that target by returning home within 36 hours. The amount of money they’ve raised has reflected their dedication to raise funds for a charity that they wanted to support.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported them throughout the O.C.D Charity Drive and donated to the Wales Air Ambulance. Every donation is so important to us. By keeping our helicopters in the air we can continue to take the emergency department to the patient, saving time and saving lives.”

There are several ways that the public can continue to support the Wales Air Ambulance.

These include online donations, signing up to the Charity’s Lifesaving Lottery or by coming up with their own innovative ways to fundraise at home. Further information can be found via www.walesairambulance.com. 

Alternatively, a £5 text-message donation can be made by texting the word HELI to 70711.

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‘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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Nigel Parlor runs Newport Marathon for Pembrokeshire NHS

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Nigel Parlor

WELL done to Nigel Parlor from Merlin’s Bridge, in Pembrokeshire, who is running the Newport Marathon to raise money for NHS mental health services in the county.

Nigel, who works for Network Rail, has been in training since June for the event, which takes place on October 24th.

As he pounds the course, Nigel is raising money for St Caradog Ward at the Bro Cerwyn Centre in Haverfordwest.

He said: “I have been suffering myself with anxiety and depression for the last year, so feel it is an appropriate area to support.

“I’m taking on the challenge of running the Newport marathon to raise money for my local mental health unit and to make people aware of the importance of talking about their mental health.”

Nigel, who has previously taken part in Long Course Weekend and other running events, added: “I am looking forward to the challenge and being part of a team to raise money for a worthwhile cause.”

To support Nigel, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nigel-parlor Nicola Llewelyn, Head of Hywel Dda Health Charities, the official charity of Hywel Dda University Health Board, said they wanted to thank Nigel for his fundraising efforts.

““The support of our local communities enables us to provide services over and above what the NHS can provide in the three counties of Hywel Dda and we are extremely grateful for every donation we receive,” said Nicola.

For more details about the charity and how you can help support local NHS patients and staff, go to www.hywelddahealthcharities.org.uk

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Pembrokeshire men run Newport Marathon to raise money for Glangwili

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Gerald and Bryan

COUSINS Bryan Hughes and Gerald Brace are running in the Newport Marathon to raise money for Prostate Cancer Services at Glangwili Hospital.

The pair are taking part in the ABP Newport Wales Marathon on 24 th October to say thank you for the treatment Bryan’s dad, Delroy Hughes, received at Glangwili Hospital after he was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in July 2019.

Gerald said: “When Delroy was diagnosed it was a huge shock and worry for him and his family. But thanks to the quick action and treatment at Glangwili Hospital, along with radiotherapy at Singleton Hospital, Delroy has now been given the all-clear.”

“Bryan and myself will be running in the Newport Marathon to raise as much money as possible to give something back to the Prostate Cancer Unit for the fantastic work they do,” added Gerald, who is a 51-year-old personal trainer and sports massage therapist from Sageston, Tenby.

Bryan, 42, a Track Section Supervisor for Network Rail, from Haverfordwest, has completed the Newport Marathon before, in 2018. Gerald has also already completed two marathons, back in 2014.

Gerald said: “Training is going well. We are both up to 16 miles and reaching the business end of the training with an 18 and 20-miler to do in the next few weeks!”

The pair, pictured with Delroy Hughes, hope to raise £1,000 and are holding a raffle in October to help boost funds.

If you would like to donate to Bryn and Gerald’s fundraiser, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gerald-brace

Nicola Llewelyn, Head of Hywel Dda Health Charities, the official charity of Hywel Dda University Health Board, said they wanted to thank Bryan and Gerald for their fundraising.

““The support of our local communities enables us to provide services over and above what the NHS can provide in the three counties of Hywel Dda and we are extremely grateful for every donation we receive,” said Nicola.

For more details about the charity and how you can help support local NHS patients and staff, go to www.hywelddahealthcharities.org.uk

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