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Pembrokeshire Homeshare launches to tackle loneliness and the cost-of-living crisis

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THIS Summer, the second Homeshare service in Wales is starting, bringing cheer by matching older people living alone with those seeking affordable accommodation in and around Pembrokeshire, Wales.

The news comes as the true scale of loneliness in the UK is becoming understood. Older people in Wales want to stay living at home for longer. In Wales, 54% of people aged 60-74 and 49% of people 75+ years, said they felt lonely sometimes (ONS). In Pembrokeshire 26.17% of the population are over the age of 65 (Welsh Government Stats 2020).

The service, called Homeshare, works by matching people together for mutual support; a person who has a spare room and is looking for company and a bit of practical support, shares their home with someone looking for affordable accommodation. Both people benefit from the companionship and having a friendly face at home. The householder typically receives 10 hours per week of practical support provided by the Homesharer such as shopping, cooking, cleaning, gardening or even enjoying social activities together, but no personal care is involved.

Younger people are being priced out of the villages, towns, and cities they want to live in, for work or study. Latest figures again show that the average age at which people can leave home even to rent is rising along with the proportion of income spent on housing. Many people in mid and later life are also finding themselves without affordable housing options after the impact of the pandemic.

In Pembrokeshire, the programme will be called ‘Pembrokeshire Homeshare’. Homeshare UK and Pembrokeshire Homeshare, part of Pembrokeshire Care Society are launching the second Welsh pilot programme to offer more people the opportunity to live sociably and affordably whatever their age, with the right support structures in place to make it safe and enjoyable.

Pembrokeshire Homeshare was set up by the Pembrokeshire Care Society who have been supporting the people of Pembrokeshire with homelessness and tenancy issues since 1979.

Dean Flood from the Pembrokeshire Care Society will act as the Homeshare lead in Pembrokeshire. Dean has lived and worked in Pembrokeshire most of his life. He has led three primary schools as Headteacher and has been supporting adults and their families with tenancy support over the past year. Dean says:

“Throughout my working life I’ve engaged with older people who have so much to give and who provide great service to their communities. They are independent, sociable and non-reliant on social care services. Sadly, many struggle because they’re on their own. Their lives however could improve so much, just by having that bit of support and companionship that everyone needs and deserves.

“I’ve also been fortunate to work with many young people and adults – moving on into the working world with ambition and hopes to play a positive role in society. We know of the huge challenges they encounter in finding suitable, comfortable accommodation that is affordable. Increasing rental costs provide a barrier for them to move on or indeed leave their family home.

“Homeshare is a way of bringing the two groups together to solve each other’s needs by using their respective strengths and providing mutual support. It breaks down the financial barriers but most importantly it is about investing in people, to enhance their lives and promote community cohesion”.

The Homeshare match is facilitated, supported and closely monitored by Pembrokeshire Care Society (Pembrokeshire Homeshare), who have a long history of working with individuals and the community. As a member of Homeshare UK, they will draw on established national good practice guidance from Homeshare UK to ensure safety and quality.

Pembrokeshire Homeshare along with support from Homeshare UK aim to support 20 matches in the first 2 years.

If you’re interested in Homeshare and live within Pembrokeshire, contact Dean Flood, dean.flood@pembrokeshirecaresociety.org.uk 07483 917951 or visit https://homeshare.pembrokeshirecaresociety.co.uk/ to find out more.

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Pembroke and District Male Voice Choir’s fantastic Sunday evening concert in Templeton

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SPECIAL guests were among the audience when Pembroke and District Male Voice Choir returned to Templeton Parish Church for a Sunday evening concert – the Bishop of St Davids, the Rt Rev Dr Joanna Penberthy, and her Chaplain, the Rev Shirley Murphy.

Bishop Penberthy and the Rev Shirley were welcomed along with the choir and audience by the Rector, the Rev Martin Cox, who reminded that Rev Shirley had been Curate at Templeton before taking up her role in the Bishop’s office.

He also spoke of his long connections with the male voice, over more than 30 years, during which the choir had staged at his churches at Monkton, Gorseinon and now Templeton.

Musical Director Juliet Rossiter chose a varied programme in Welsh and English, with Carole Rees as Accompanist and Matthew John as MC.

Regular soloist Alyson Griffiths, on flute, played ‘Pie Jesu’ and ‘Somewhere’ – from the musical West Side Story – and First Tenor Peter Halifax accompanied himself on guitar with two items. Singer/songwriter Peter sang a folk song in the Ukrainian language, ‘Bili Kashtani’, and an original piece entitled ‘’Greater is He that is within you’, all to warm acclaim.

Juliet and Carole joined forces for a second concert duet at the keyboard to play two pieces by Johan Strauss – ‘Blue Danube’ and ‘Radetzky March’.

Before the encore – the traditional South African melody ‘Siyahamba’ – Bishop Joanna gave the Blessing and added how much she had enjoyed a live concert again.

Excellent refreshments were provided by the church ladies and they were thanked by Choir Chairman John Hillier.

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Pembrokeshire prose and poems at Llangwm’s 5th Literary Festival

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‘LLANGWM’S fifth literary festival is a wonderful showcase for Pembrokeshire talent.’ says
Michael Pugh, Director of the Llangwm Literary Festival.

‘We some very powerful images from the renowned photographer David Wilson who lives in
the village.’ continues Pugh. ‘In his book ‘The Village’, David’s images capture the soul of
Llangwm’s tight knit former fishing community. These images are all the more important
because many of them were taken during lock-down. It is amazing to look back and see how
far we’re advanced from there and how the human spirit can triumph over adversity.
Local artist and photographer, Ian Jacob, who was born in Llangwm and lives there now is
excited to be unveiling his first book at the festival. ‘Body Rock Sand’ is the fruition of an
idea that developed in Jacob’s mind when, as a young art student, he was captivated by the
images of Lucien Clergue’s, ‘Née de la Vague’ (Born of the Waves). Clergue’s images are
the inspiration for Ian’s very own images on the interplay of skin, sea and sand in
Pembrokeshire’s beaches.

St David’s based master-forager Julia Horton-Mansfield returns to the festival for the fifth
time to invite guests to ‘Come Forage with Me’ and explore the richness of the Cleddau
shoreline and to find out more about the health-giving properties of the delicious foods
literally growing all around us. On a darker note, and for those who enjoy a spine-tingler,

Llangwm-based writer, Pippa ‘the Pen’ Davies, joins Pembrokeshire’s Diana Powell, and
Maggie Himsworth for the unveiling of an intriguing Crime Cymru anthology of short stories
by Welsh Women and to explore what it is that attracts us to read about crime!

For those who have their own story to tell, Narberth’s Emma Baines will be running ‘Write
by the River’; a creative workshop on the Cleddau for those who wish to write about the
mighty river and what it means to them.

Poets, and writers, and anyone who just wants to share a poem or song are warmly invited to
Llangwm rugby club’s ‘Poems and Pints’. This year’s session, inspired by the themes of
Joyce’s Ulysses, and Poems of War in connection with Ukraine, promises to be very high-
octane indeed. No festival in Wales would be complete without a song, and Llangwm is no
exception with its bold Village Voices to entertain with their latest repertoire.
Llangwm’s Ellie Brick, in support of the idea that you need a fit body to get the best out of
your mind, will be blowing the cobweb’s away with a Sunday morning stretch and dance.

And for those who just want to sit back, leave it to Deb Winter, local storyteller
extraordinaire. Her tales will take you to new horizons and undiscovered worlds.

For more information on the festival, please contact llangwmlitfest@gmail.com, or visit our
website: www.llangwmlitfest.co.uk

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Rhian scoops prestigious care award

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A PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL employee has been awarded at this year’s prestigious Employers for Carers Awards held by Carers Wales, which recognise and celebrate those who have supported unpaid working carers in Wales during the last year.

Rhian Bennett, Commissioning Manager, Social Care and Housing, scooped the Line Manager award at the event which was held last month.

The awards, which were part of Carers Week, are designed to recognise those in an organisation who have gone the extra mile in the last 12 months in supporting working carers – such as raising awareness, supporting peers and being a workplace champion, network facilitator or chair.

Rhian’s accolade recognises her efforts as a line manager who supported working carer’s and had a positive impact on helping them to balance care and work within the organisation.

She was nominated by a member of the team she manages, who is an unpaid carer – and this was in relation to her gratitude for the support that she receives and the wider team.

Rhian said: “It was a lovely surprise to win but it was an honour to be nominated and receive the award.

“It’s crucial to support and enable staff to provide care outside of their day job. This award is for everyone who is an unpaid carer and goes the extra mile to ensure their loved ones are supported.”

Carers Week was established by Carers UK more than 25 years ago and is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring and highlight the challenges unpaid carers face. This year’s theme was – ‘make caring visible, valued and supported’.

Jonathan Griffiths, Director of Social Services and Leisure, Social Care & Housing, added: “My congratulations to Rhian for this award, the recognition of her impact on supporting carers shows her commitment and drive to make a difference for people.

“To ensure employers protect carers time and support them, is essential and it’s pleasing to see Rhian’s approach has been recognised in this positive way.”

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