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Community

Historic church set to close after more than 1400 years

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A CHURCH that was founded by a pupil of St David, is closing after 1,439 years due to dwindling congregations.

St Madoc of Ferns in Haroldston West, Haverfordwest, is believed to have opened in 583.

The church was founded by Madoc, a follower of St David, the patron saint of Wales.

With an average of two people attending the service every few weeks, which is on a rotation with a number of other churches who share the same vicar, the dwindling congregation means the church will close its doors after a final service in July.

The church has been earmarked for use as a community centre.

Speaking on the closure, Church Warden Diana Thomas said: “ “I’m devastated, I’ve been using the church for 40 years.”

“As a place of worship it was started by St Madoc in 583, he was a follower of St David.

“He set up a little cell with the idea of going into the countryside and bringing people into the church.

“Obviously it would have been nothing like the building there now but just a little wooden building.

“Madoc finished up as Bishop of Ferns in Ireland.

“I have had a lot of family connections with it. Marriages and funerals, that sort of thing.

“It’s a real shame but things change and that is the position we are in.

“It was a flourishing little church but people have moved away and people die and new people are not coming in.”

Ms Thomas feels that holiday lets have played a part in the dwindling congregation numbers, adding that she doesn’t feel there are enough people to sustain the services, which can hold up to 50 people.

Reverend David Mortimore, also feels that holiday lets have played their part. 

He said: “It’s in a farming area where there are only 100 houses in the parish and some of them are holiday homes.

“So we only have two ladies who are getting elderly and are unable to keep going.”

A meeting was held on May 11, by the Havens History Group, and a plan was set for the building to be taken over by a community group.

A further meeting is due to be held on June 8.

A member of the history group, Shirley Norman, who also runs Littlehaven’s Boathouse Gallery said: “”We have 12 people who are definitely willing to help and who left their contact details.

“One lady from Broad Haven has offered to apply for funding because that is her full-time job.

“Our immediate problem is that the electricity will be cut off at the end of June if we do not take action soon.

“We still hope the new group will have ideas about recruiting someone with building knowledge.”

Charity

More than £100,000 available to local projects via Sustainable Development Fund

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Community groups are encouraged to apply for funding before the September 7 deadline.

A NEW round of grant support has opened for projects based in and around the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park that reduce local carbon emissions and respond to the climate emergency.

With a funding pot of more than £100,000, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority is calling on local non-profit groups to submit their applications for the Sustainable Development Fund before the September deadline.

Do you run a community building that would benefit from having solar panels or an air source heat pump? Do you want to encourage your members or visitors to use bikes and need to install a bike rack or electric bike charging point? Are you a sports club that would like to install a water fountain to reduce the need for single use plastic? Or perhaps you have an idea to minimise waste such as a community fridge or recycling initiative.

Jessica Morgan, Funding and Grants Officer for the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority said: “If you are seeking funding for a project in Pembrokeshire that contributes towards a reduction in carbon and helps respond to the climate emergency, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund may be for you.

“Organisations are welcome to reapply if they have completed a previous Sustainable Development Fund project and can demonstrate that the work has been completed and post project evaluation submitted.

“Unfortunately, we cannot accept applications from individuals, sole traders or businesses. Any organisation that applies must be based within Pembrokeshire.”

Information about the Fund and an application form can be found at https://www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/about-the-national-park-authority/sustainable-development-fund/ – or call 01646 624800.

The deadline for applications is 12:00pm on Wednesday, September 7, 2022.

The Sustainable Development Fund consists of money allocated from the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Landscapes Sustainable Places Fund.

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Community

Potential sites for new hospital reviewed

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PEOPLE from communities across the three counties have helped assess five sites in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, as part of a wider process to identify a location for a new Planned and Urgent Care Hospital.

Attendees at the workshop, on Tuesday 28 June, were drawn from across the region, including participants with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010, as well as health board staff and partners. Attendees reviewed each of the sites, before scoring them based on an agreed set of technical criteria.

Further information about the technical criteria, and how they were ‘weighted’ to determine the allocation of scores, can be found here. Transport and accessibility to services at the hospital was identified as the highest weighted criteria.

All the sites below are in a zone between and including St Clears and Narberth. This zone, which was agreed following our consultation in 2018, is the most central location for the majority of the population in the south of the Hywel Dda area.

The health board is committed to the principle that the public voice in this scoring exercise would be no less than 52% of the total. Therefore, the Consultation Institute has increased the relative proportion of the public score accordingly. The scoring of the sites following the technical land appraisal workshop are as follows:

Site

Score

Agricultural land and buildings forming part of Kiln Park Farm which is located to the north of Narberth train station and adjacent to the A478, approximately 1km to the north-east of Narberth town centre

365

Agricultural land located to the north-east of Whitland town centre and situated between the A40 to the north, Whitland Rugby Club to the east and Spring Gardens to the south

373

Agricultural land and buildings forming part of Ty Newydd Farm which is located to the east of the Old Whitland Creamery site and Whitland town centre.

365

Agricultural land and buildings forming part of Penllyne Court located between Whitland and St Clears just outside Pwll-Trap.The site lies between the Swansea-Haverfordwest railway line to the north and the A40 to the south

334

Agricultural land at old Bryncaerau fields, located adjacent to the junction of the A40 and A477 in St Clears, between the A4066 (Tenby Road) to the south, the village of Pwll Trap to the north and the A40 to the west

372

The establishment of a new hospital is a fundamental part of the health board’s wider plans, which also include providing more community integrated care centres and services closer to people’s homes.

The benefits of the new hospital, which would bring together the Accident and Emergency Departments and acute medical care from Withybush and Glangwili hospitals, would include:

the ability to physically separate urgent and planned care so one has less of an impact on the other, which should give better waiting times for people already waiting too long for planned care
a more resilient response from clinical teams at the front door, as teams will be brought together, releasing ambulances back onto the roads and meaning people get quicker access to the decision making needed to allow them to go home, or be admitted to hospital if needed
more attractive medical staffing rotas, bringing larger teams of clinicians together and providing more opportunity and strength to our discussions around bringing more specialities into west Wales
more attractive rotas to support staff well-being and retention and act as an attractor for new staff

Lee Davies, Executive Director of Strategic Development & Operational Planning at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “I would like to thank all participants for their involvement and contribution in helping us to consider the sites for our new urgent and planned care hospital. The comments and questions received during the workshop were direct, honest, and challenging and highlighted the passion that exists in our communities for high quality health care. We believe this type of engagement is vital to ensuring we reach the best decision for the future location of the new hospital.
“The output from this workshop does not necessarily mean the new hospital will be located at the site with the highest score. This appraisal group is one of four, with the others reviewing matters covering clinical, workforce, and economic / financial issues.

“The reports for each of these appraisal groups will be considered by Hywel Dda’s Board in August. By following this thorough process and engaging with the public, the Board will be able to fully understand the evidence to decide on the best way forward, to meet the clinical, health and care demands for our future generations, and deliver the ambitions of the Healthier Mid and West Wales strategy and secure a scale of investment never before seen in west Wales.”

The land technical appraisal workshop and engagement process were managed with support and advice from The Consultation Institute, a not-for-profit, independent body, which provide guidance on best practice for engaging with communities.

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Community

Haverfordwest Youth Club hosts successful open evening

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Credit - Haverfordwest Youth Club

HAVERFORDWEST Youth Club posted to their Facebook page to thank those who attended their open evening last night (June 30). 

They celebrated Youth Work Week by sharing their amazing new facility in Haverfordwest with the local community. 

Haverfordwest Youth Club

The open evening was located at the new venue at The Picton Centre. They had a range of activities including VR goggles, face painting and jewellery making.

Haverfordwest Youth Club wrote: “A special thank you to Haverfordwest Town Council, Sian – Haverfordwest Morrison’s Community Champion and Martin Jones from Ogi for supporting the evening. Also, to our members Sara, Amelia, Sureya, Pippa and Lily for volunteering their time to help on the evening”.

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