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Charity

Pembroke Dock: Fundraiser launched for Leo, 10, hit by a car on Friday

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THE COMMUNITY of Pembroke Dock is rallying to support a ten year old boy, and his family following a car accident which left him with serious injuries.

At around 6.50pm on Friday (Oct 7) Leo was crossing the road on his scooter when all of a sudden he was hit by a car, trapping him under the vehicle.

He was freed with the help of a car jack before the emergency services arrived, but unfortunately sustained serious injuruies.

He was airlifted to hospital in Cardiff by the Wales Air Ambulance.

A just giving page has been set up which states: “He has suffered an awful lot for a young boy – Leo has five dislodged broken ribs, three fractured ribs, a punctured lung caused by the dislodged broken ribs, he‘s also broken all of his right side (Two broken bones in his right leg) which he has had to have it plastered from hip to ankle.

“Leo has also suffered bruising to his intestines and insides. He is so very lucky to be alive.”

Family friend Gem Louise Phillips wrote on the fundraising page: “I’m setting up this page on behalf of him, his mum Kirsty and the rest of his family at this difficult time in the hope that it will relieve some of the stress and worry financially as we are unsure on how long he will be in hospital for.

“Please, if you can donate anything no matter how big or small it would be greatly appreciated and it would mean the world to him & his family at this hard time – Thank you.”

The fundraising page can be accessed here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/gemlouise-phillips

Charity

First Christmas on call for new St Davids RNLI Coxswain following in proud family tradition

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THE RNLI in Wales will see hundreds of its volunteer lifeboat crews sacrifice time with their loved ones to save others this Christmas, as 2021 figures show an increase in the number lifeboat launches during the festive season. It will be a proud occasion for Will Chant, who will be on call over Christmas as the station’s newest full-time Coxswain, following in the footsteps of his dad.

Saving a space for the pager on the Christmas dinner table is nothing new for the Chant family from Pembrokeshire, who have spent decades bracing themselves to swap Turkey for turbulent seas.

This Christmas Eve, Will celebrates 26 years of being a volunteer crew member at St Davids. He is following in the footsteps of proud dad Dai, a former station Coxswain who joined the St Davids crew in the early 60s. He’ll also be in good company should the call come over Christmas as brother Mike is also the station’s full-time mechanic.

Like crew members across Wales they will prepared to leave their loved ones to save others at Christmas. Over the past five years, RNLI lifeboats in Wales and the North West have launched nearly 100 times, with 49 people aided over the Christmas period. In Wales alone, there were 56 lifeboat launches in that five year period with 30 people aided.

Last year, RNLI lifeboats in Wales launched 12 times over the Christmas period, saving two lives and rescuing three people. This was compared with seven launches, and three people aided in 2020.

Will has vivid memories of holiday celebrations being cut short over the years, including a shout on 27 December 1997. A French fishing trawler Toul an Trez which had sunk suddenly some 35 miles out to sea in violent storms on Christmas Eve, with all five of the French fishermen lost during the tragedy. The St Davids crew launched their inshore and all-weather lifeboats a few days later to search for the casualties and the wreckage. It had began to wash up around the south west coastline of Wales.

A fire on board the Eves Marie trawler on 21 December 2004 also saw the St Davids RNLI crew abandon their pre-Christmas celebration. The RNLI crew had assisted in the rescuer of the crew from the burning trawler in rough seas and volunteers, including Will were called upon for a second time to stand by the vessel for much of the following day until she eventually sank.

This year, Will is hopeful for a quiet Christmas with wife Lottie and their son Harri, 12. They are looking forward to paying a visit to his dad and much-needed relaxation time.

He says: ‘Being brought up as a lifeboat family, we didn’t really flinch if the pager sounded and dad headed out of the door – it’s just what happened. There was no doubt I’d follow in his footsteps and answering the call over Christmas is not really any different to any time of the year. If someone needs your help, your training springs into action and you don’t really give it a second thought.

‘It’s an absolute privilege to be spending my very first Christmas on call as Coxswain of the St Davids lifeboat. Whilst I keep my fingers crossed the pager remains silent, but if it doesn’t, whatever the situation, myself, Mike and the crew will be there and I know dad will be so proud waiting at home for news.’

If the pager does remain silent, Will plans to open presents with his family, check on his horses and chickens before walking the dog. He will be following a tradition in visiting dad Dai and catching up with Mike, before settling down to Christmas dinner later in the early evening.

Winter can be one of the most challenging times to be a lifeboat volunteer with shorter days and the worst weather conditions of the year. But the dedication and courage shown by RNLI lifesavers means that, when the call to rescue comes in, they are ready and willing to head out. No matter if it’s the middle of a dark winter’s night, or in freezing sub-zero temperatures.

Mike adds: ‘We wouldn’t do what we are able to do without the support of the public, who work tirelessly throughout the year to raise the donation we so vitally need to enable us to continue saving lives. This is our opportunity to say thank you to all those who have supported us throughout the year. As Christmas approaches and the RNLI launches it’s Christmas appeal, your support is more important than ever and so appreciated.’

The RNLI provides a lifesaving service using volunteers wherever possible, with voluntary donations supplying the funds needed to do so. To make a donation to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal, visit: RNLI.org/Xmas

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Charity

Rough Sleeper Support Scheme to extend help for rough sleepers throughout county

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PEMBROKESHIRE CARE SOCIETY in partnership with Pembrokeshire County Council, has recently launched the Rough Sleeper Support Scheme to extend the support provided to rough sleepers throughout the county.

The organisation has already been assisting rough sleepers with essential items like sleeping bags and food vouchers, but this new initiative allows them to take the support even further.

Since September, Pembrokeshire Care Society has been able to work out of business hours, including late night visits, as well as on weekends to provide around-the-clock assistance to those in need.

Working in partnership with Pembrokeshire County Council, Dyfed-Powys Police, Hywel Dda Health Board, Youth Services and The Third Place, the project has already seen hugely positive results.

The goal is to provide long-term support to rough sleepers and to help them regain independence.

This is achieved though the Rough Sleeper Support Plan, which has four main pillars:

Health and wellbeing: Rough sleeping can have serious negative health consequences, so first and foremost Pembrokeshire Care Society always wants to look out for their wellbeing.
From registering them with a local GP and supplying them with vitamins, to collecting prescriptions and making sure they have access to Covid vaccinations, their medical needs are always a top priority.

Personal and community safety: This requires Pembrokeshire Care Society to have regular communication with the rough sleeper to ensure they know where they are at any given time. With this information, they can keep any family members informed of their current situation, and it also helps them know where they can provide vital items to them. Because most rough sleepers don’t have access to electricity, part of their service is making sure their phone is always charged so they have the means to contact Pembrokeshire Care Society, family, or both.

Independence and control: It’s important that rough sleepers take control back of their life and contribute to their plan. Pembrokeshire Care Society’s aim is to provide the assistance they need to take positive steps and always be there for guidance.
Whether it’s helping them with appointments at the job centre or other vital meetings, they work alongside them to keep them on the right track for progress.

Economic progress and financial control: Regaining control of personal finances is one of the biggest challenges for a rough sleeper.
From assistance in claiming benefits, getting to job interviews, or even arranging for lost or stolen cards to be replaced, financial independence is always something they try to assist with as soon as possible.

Community engagement is hugely important in Pembrokeshire Care Society’s mission, and anyone can help them get vital assistance to rough sleepers.
If you know or see a rough sleeper, get in touch with Pembrokeshire Care Society with the basic details of where you saw them and a short description. If it’s out of hours, leave them a voicemail or send them an email – all reports are seriously looked in to as a matter of urgency.

You can call Pembrokeshire Care Society on 01437 765335 or email them at pcs@pembrokeshirecaresociety.org.uk

If you know any family members of rough sleepers you can also tell them about Pembrokeshire Care Society’s services so they can contact them directly.

Alternatively, you can use Street Link (www.streetlink.org.uk), a national organisation that will pass on any reports of rough sleepers to Pembrokeshire Care Society and Pembrokeshire County Council. You will receive a follow-up to your report to know what action has been taken to help the person in question.

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Dad celebrates his son’s first Christmas thanks to the Wales Air Ambulance

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THERE will be an extra bit of festive sparkle in the Jones household this year as dad Richard and his partner Michaela celebrate their son Dougie’s first Christmas.

But this wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for the Wales Air Ambulance. Without them Richard, 34, wouldn’t be here today, he wouldn’t have met his partner and his son wouldn’t have been born.

Richard is one of the Wales Air Ambulance’s survivors and, thankfully, he is here this Christmas to celebrate “the most wonderful time of the year” with his loved ones.

It could have been a lot different. The father-of-one had been travelling to work in his truck and had a road accident resulting in catastrophic injuries. The early and critical care he received from the Wales Air Ambulance crew undoubtedly saved his life.

Upon arrival, Dr Bob Tipping and Critical Care Practitioner Marc Allen spotted signs of internal bleeding. At the roadside they gave six units of blood products to help Richard’s significant blood loss, and due to the severity of his injuries, particularly his leg, they gave general anaesthetic and put him on a ventilator to control his breathing.

Richard, of Tenby, was transferred to the nearest specialist centre for limb injuries and was so ill the decision was made to amputate part of his right leg. Whilst recovering in Swansea’s Morriston Hospital he got to know a nurse, who is now mum to their beautiful eight month old baby boy and they are looking forward to spending their first Christmas as a family of three.

Richard is looking forward to spending their first Christmas together as a family of three

Richard said: “For me, my Christmas miracle is my life. My feelings towards Christmas have certainly changed since the accident. As much as you try not to, you do find yourself wondering ‘what if.’ I don’t take anything for granted like I used to. It will be an extra special occasion for me and my family this year and celebrating my son Dougie’s first Christmas.

“I look forward to spending time with my family and friends and enjoying lots of delicious food – especially pigs in blankets!”

Since his accident, Richard has had to learn a whole new way of living, including walking with a prosthetic limb. He admits he has good days and bad days and now puts more time aside for himself instead of rushing about as much as he did before the accident.

He said: “The whole team at Wales Air Ambulance have inspired and given me so much. I am giving back in my own way – I give peer support to others who have limb amputations, and I recently took part in a fishing competition raising funds for the Charity; fishing has been one of my lifelong hobbies.

“I’ve always heard stories about all the amazing things the Wales Air Ambulance do. 

“However, I never really thought about the service before and never thought I’d end up needing their assistance. I was surprised to find out that, despite the amazing work they do, the Charity is solely funded by public donations. They operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, even on Christmas Day.

“Whilst I’m tucking into my Christmas Dinner and enjoying time with loved ones, I will be thinking of those who have given up their Christmas to save lives.”

If like Richard, you would like to support the Charity and help them save more lives this Christmas you can donate by visiting A Christmas Miracle | Welsh Air Ambulance Charitable Trust (walesairambulance.com)

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