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Meals on Wheels St Davids celebrates success at Ystadau Cymru Awards

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A COLLABORATIVE project involving St Davids Befriending Group and Pembrokeshire County Council has scooped the ‘Delivering Social Value’ award at the prestigious Ystadau Cymru awards for its Community Meals on Wheels (MoW) project.

Ystadau Cymru encourages excellence in active management of the Welsh public sector estate through strategic collaboration and good practice guidance.

The MoW project, which has been running since April, has provided people with a hot meal and helped the vulnerable in the community through the pandemic.

In total, the St Davids Befriending Group is made up of local individuals who work together on a voluntary basis in collaboration with Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi.

The Award was presented to the winners by Minister for Finance and Local Government, Rebecca Evans MS. The judging panel hailed the project for being an inspiration to bringing a collaborative effort to life and realising what can be done when the public sector and resilient communities come together.

A Meals on Wheels service was last operated in St. Davids in the late 1980’s when it was run by the Royal Voluntary Service.

And although Pembrokeshire County Council tried twice to re-establish this in the early 2000’s – it was without success.

But, come the autumn of 2020 the St. Davids Befrienders got together to try once more to restart the service. After an initial meeting held last January between the volunteering group and local authority staff, the service launched in April 2021 – and it has gone from strength-to-strength.

All the meals are cooked by the staff at the Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi canteen as it’s a suitable venue to mass-produce the food in a safe environment with trained staff.

The Head teacher was supportive of the concept as the school is at the heart of the community.

Cllr David Lloyd said: ‘I am honoured to be part of such an incredible team that time after time delivers a wonderful service to people in St Davids.

‘This is a true team effort from the St. Davids Befrienders to our friends at Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi school.

‘The delight on the people’s faces when the food arrives, or when someone knocks on the door just for a chat, is something to behold. As one of those who deliver the food I can’t express the excitement and pleasure on the faces when I knock on their door, it is absolutely moving.

‘It makes everything worthwhile and brings the community together in ways that sometimes can be slightly missed. I want to take this opportunity to thank Sarah Oliver at Pembrokeshire County Council, Ystadau Cymru for this marvellous award and Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi’s school for enabling the St. Davids Befrienders to provide the amazing Meals on Wheels service.’

Applications were encouraged to demonstrate how the projects achieved social value through collaboration with multiple partners – and this is exactly what the Meals on Wheels realised.

Cllr David Simpson, Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council added: ‘This is a hugely successful and significant project for the people of St David’s – and I’m delighted it has been celebrated in this way.

“The St David’s Meals on Wheels is a great example of collaboration between volunteers, stakeholders and the local school.

“It has breathed new life into a voluntary service that was lost decades ago. This is an incredible achievement.’

Since April, the MoW team have delivered meals, ensuring some of the most vulnerable in the community receive a hot, healthy and delicious meal. 

Chief Executive Will Bramble said: ‘This collaborative project, involving the public estate, has made a significant impact on the community they serve.

‘I am immensely proud that this partnership approach has enabled this Authority to help provide a Transformative way of working which benefits those who need it most.

‘This recognition is a symbol of what can be achieved when communities pull together, utilise local resources to solve problems – and more importantly, show they care.’

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Community

Local MS visits Vision Arts

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PRESELI PEMBROKESHIRE Senedd Member Paul Davies has recently visited Vision Arts, a new creative hub based in Haverfordwest.

Mr Davies met with Drew Baker and Fiona Phillips to discuss ways to raise the arts’ profile in Pembrokeshire.

Mr Davies enjoyed a tour of the facilities and learnt more about their theatre company, concert company and their academy.

Mr Davies said, “The arts are so important to our wellbeing and so it was great to spend some time with the team at Vision Arts to hear about their work to make the arts as accessible as possible to the people of Pembrokeshire. I was really impressed with their facilities and also with their desire and commitment to raise the profile of the arts in the County.

“If you or someone you know is interested in getting involved with the arts locally, then Vision Arts is the place to go – they offer everything from courses on TV and film production, to opportunities to be part of a choir or orchestra – and even a youth theatre.

“For those of you that aren’t comfortable performing, you can support Vision Arts by seeing one of their concerts or plays – there’s something for everyone. To find out more, visit: www.visionartswales.com”

Vision Arts Creative Director Drew Baker added: “We are very grateful to Paul Davies MS for taking the time to visit us and see for himself just some of the ways that we are flying the flag for the expressive arts in Pembrokeshire.

“We had some very productive discussions with him about how the expressive arts can help support health and wellbeing and we look forward to extending our activities in this area. You can find out more about Vision Arts at www.visionartswales.com”

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New Organist at St Davids Cathedral

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FOLLOWING a rigorous selection process, the Dean and Chapter of St Davids Cathedral have appointed Mr Simon Pearce as the new Organist and Master of the Choristers, or Director of Music as the post is also known.

Simon has been Assistant Director of Music at St Davids since 1998, playing for many TV and radio broadcasts, as well as Royal visits and other high profile events.

On being appointed Simon said, “This appointment is a huge honour and privilege. The Cathedral Choir and Choral Foundation has a well-deserved reputation for excellence and I look forward to building on the hard work and success of my predecessors.

“I’m delighted to continue working with such a vibrant team of musicians and colleagues in the next chapter of our musical life.” 

He added, “St Davids Cathedral is a spiritually inspiring and beautiful place in which to make music, and has such special connections with the city, local community and school as well as across Pembrokeshire and beyond. I’m extremely proud to live and work here.”

Announcing the appointment at Mattins on Sunday morning, the Dean of St. Davids, The Very Reverend Dr Sarah Rowland Jones, said “It has been a pleasure to enjoy the excellence of Simon’s playing and conducting over the years. We are delighted he will now become our Organist and Master of Choristers.”

Simon is married to Katherine, who works for the County’s Education Department and they have three children, Christian, Harriet (both choristers) and Alexandra. Simon takes up the role immediately, but will be admitted as Master of the Choristers at a special Evensong on Sunday March 13 at 6pm.

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Residents wanted to aid Newgale coastal adaptation project

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is looking for people to get involved in the Newgale Coastal Adaptation scheme through a number of ‘Task and Finish Groups’.

Task and Finish Groups (TFGs) will provide an opportunity for people to be actively involved in the ideas and discussions about particular issues. 

Members of TFGs will need to be able to attend meetings, discuss ideas, work with other people on the group and with other TFGs to make sure all the different aspects of the project can fit together and work.

Members of TFGs will need to think about the wishes and needs of others, including those who are not part of the TFG.

Six TFGs have been set up for:

·         Active Travel and Coast Path

·         Infrastructure

·         Business Resilience

·         Beach Safety and User Access

·         Natural Environment

·         Replacement Road

TFGs will be quite small, focussed groups so that discussions and ideas can take place easily. Anyone can apply to be involved in a TFG.

We would expect people who are most likely to be affected by the topic of the TFG to want to be involved.  

The Newgale Coastal Adaptation Project aims to deal with the challenges of a changing coastline at Newgale. 

It will allow people to influence the decisions about what adaptation could look like, understanding how it may affect them. Choosing to adapt to coastal change allows options to be explored. 

The Newgale Coastal Adaptation Project is being led by Pembrokeshire County Council (PCC). 

Atkins has been appointed by PCC to help with the development of the project. 

Other companies will also be part of the project, bringing skills and knowledge to help deliver the project.

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