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‘We are here to help you rebuild your lives and settle into Wales’ – Social Justice Minister

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UKRAINE nationals who fled their country after the Russian invasion have been welcomed to Wales by the First Minister and Social Justice Minister Jane Hutt.

The Ministers met the Ukrainian nationals seeking sanctuary in Wales on World Refugee Day (20 June).

They visited a Welcome Centre where more than 200 people have been sponsored under the Welsh Government Super Sponsor scheme.

Thousands more people from Ukraine have already claimed sanctuary in Wales, thanks to many people who have kindly volunteered to be a sponsor, after fleeing the country following the Russian invasion.

More than 6,500 people have been welcomed to Wales after having their visa applications confirmed, with 3,600 of these with the Welsh Government as a super sponsor.

A further 5,500 visas have been issued to those with a sponsor in Wales, of which 2,965 have Welsh Government as a super sponsor.

The true figures are likelier to be higher as the total number of confirmed applications is an undercount of around 1,300, with the super-sponsor scheme making up the majority of the undercount.

During their time at the Welcome Centre, guests have been given support in terms of schoolwork for children and young people, finding work for adults and keeping in touch with other Ukrainian families in Wales.

As well as English and Maths lessons for the children, adults have also been taught English to help them settle into Wales and boost their chances of finding work.

Every effort is also being made to enrol children in local schools once their families have found suitable communities to settle into.

Welcome Centres across Wales are working closely with local government, health boards, charities and others in an effort to find suitable places for Ukraine nationals to settle.

They are being given advice to help find their way in a new country, including help with money, welfare benefits and advice about finding work.

Social Justice Minister Jane Hutt: “We are proud to have been able to welcome thousands of people to Wales from Ukraine and it has been truly humbling to meet them today and hear their stories.

“We are determined to be a Nation of Sanctuary and will do everything in our powers to help them rebuild their lives and settle into Wales.

“It has been heartening to see the efforts being made at the Welcome Centre to make them feel at home and I would like to thank them for all they have done.”

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “We are working very hard with local authorities across Wales to find placements for people after their time in the Welcome Centre.

“Thousands of Welsh households said they wanted to take part in the Homes for Ukraine scheme and many of those are already hosting Ukrainians.

“We would like to thank them for their efforts as, combined with our incredible Welcome Centres across Wales, it has helped provide those in need with sanctuary at their darkest hour.”

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News

New mobile visitor centre ready to help visitors gear up for the Pembrokeshire Coast

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Park Authority Ranger Richard Vaughan and Summer Ranger Megan Holt with the new information van at Poppit Sands.

PEOPLE visiting some of Pembrokeshire’s top beaches and events may soon encounter a new mobile information centre, with a specially converted van ready to hit the road and help people enjoy their visit.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s new information van will be set up at seaside locations and popular local events, with Rangers on hand to give advice to those who need help and suggest free activities for those looking to discover the area’s wildlife.

National Park Authority Ranger Service Manager, Libby Taylor said: “This new vehicle will help our staff provide a range of information at locations where we know many people head to enjoy the National Park.

“As well as helping people learn more about the area and the different ways they can make the most of their visit, people can also find out how they can make the least impact on the Park during their stay.

“As well as having an awning to provide shelter, the van also includes space for magnetic panels that can be changed so the information that’s most relevant to the location or event can be provided.”

The vehicle, which has been converted by local company Poppit Campers, also includes a solar panel, which will help to power two iPads, which will give members of the public a chance to find further information on subjects such as nearby walks and wildlife identification.

The purchase and conversion of the vehicle was made possible through the support of the Welsh Government.

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Community

Deadline approaching for £500 payment to unpaid carers

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THE DEADLINE to apply for a one-off £500 payment to eligible unpaid carers in Wales is rapidly approaching.

The Welsh Government scheme, administered by Pembrokeshire County Council, is open to all unpaid carers in Wales who were in receipt of Carers Allowance on 31 March 2022.

The deadline to apply is 5pm on 15th July 2022 and those who believe they are eligible are urged not to miss out.

The Council is also sending out 400 letters this week to those they believe may be eligible and who have not yet applied.

The payment is in recognition of the increased financial pressures many unpaid carers experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic and to help with some of the additional costs they have incurred. 

The payment is targeted towards those individuals who care for someone for at least 35 hours a week and have low incomes.

You will not be eligible for the payment if:

  • You have an underlying entitlement to Carers Allowance but do not receive a payment because you are in receipt of another benefit at the same or higher rate; or
  • You only receive the carer premium  

If you have already applied please be assured the Council is working its way through the applications as quickly as possible.

How to apply

Applicants (this should be the person in receipt of carer’s allowance)

are required to complete the online form at: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/grants/unpaid-carers-500-pound-payment

Required information is:

  • Your name, address, telephone number and email address
  • Date of Birth
  • National Insurance Number
  • Post code
  • A bank statement showing your name, address, account number and sort code

If you are having problems completing the on-line application form please email: UnpaidCarers@pembrokeshire.gov.uk alternatively call 01437 764551 for assistance.

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Crime

Lola James: Two people have denied charges in connection of the death of 2-year-old

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TWO people who have been charged in connection with the death of a Haverfordwest toddler have denied charges.

30-year-old Kyle Bevan of Aberystwyth, denied a charge of murder at Swansea Crown Court.

Lola’s mum Sinead James, 29, denied a charge of causing or allowing the death of a child.

Lola died in Hospital on July 21, 2020, four days after sustaining a severe head injury at her home address in Princess Royal Way, Haverfordwest.

Bevan was remanded into custody.

James was released on conditional bail.

The trial will take place in 2023 and Judge Thomas said it is expected to last four weeks.

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