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St Johns Ambulance: Tips to stay safe this Bonfire Night

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WHILE St John Ambulance Cymru volunteers will be busy at small and large-scale firework displays across Wales to ensure people enjoy the festivities safely we understand that lots of people would rather hold their own private displays. Data from the Children’s Burns Trust shows that fireworks are amongst the top causes of burns in children which has prompted St John Ambulance Cymru to issue our top tips for staying safe this Bonfire Night.

St John’s said: “If you’re having a private display at home our first tip is to make sure your environment is safe and you’ve brushed up on your firework safety. Mid and West Wales Fire Service fire brigade will be able to provide you some advice.

“You should keep a fully stocked first aid kit nearby, hopefully you won’t need to use it, but it should be easy to access if an accident happens. Ideally your first aid kit should include a minimum of plasters, sterile dressings of different sizes, including eye pad dressings and burns dressings, alcohol free cleansing wipes, a foil blanket, and some gloves.

“In the event of someone suffering a burn or scald move the person away from the source of heat. If the burn is to a child; larger than your hand; on the face, hands, or feet; you you should attend your nearest Accident and Emergency Unit or call 999.

“You should then place the burn or scald under cool running water for a minimum of 20 minutes. If water is not available, any cold, harmless liquid, such as milk or canned drinks, can be used. Don’t use creams or oils, they can make the injury worse.”

You should gently remove any constricting clothing or jewellery before the injured area begins to swell, but don’t remove clothing if it has stuck to the burn. If blisters begin to form avoid popping them.

Once cool, cover the burn loosely with kitchen film or place a clean plastic bag over a foot or hand. Apply lengthways, not around the limb, because the injured area may swell. If you do not have kitchen film, use a sterile dressing or a non-fluffy pad and bandage. You should also keep an eye out for the signs and symptoms of shock.

St John Ambulance Cymru, Chief Volunteer Richard Paskell, said: “It’s estimated that each year around 1,000 people visit A&E for treatment of a firework-related injury in the four weeks around November 5th. We want people to enjoy themselves, but we also want to make sure that they stay safe.

Every year our volunteers provide first aid cover for members of the public who want to celebrate Bonfire Night at major events in their communities.

Whilst the preference would always be for people to enjoy fireworks at organised events, we want to make sure that families having bonfire parties at home have the knowledge and confidence to act quickly should an accident happen. This can make a huge difference to the severity and lasting impact of an injury.”

Community

Milford Haven School warms hearts with over 200 gifts for local children

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MILFORD HAVEN SCHOOL has once again led a successful Christmas charity initiative, bringing festive cheer to over 200 children in need.

For several years, the school has been supporting PATCH, the Defender House Charity, through its annual Toy Appeal. This November, a special tradition continued as a Christmas tree adorned with tags stood tall in the school, each tag representing a local child affected by deprivation.

Staff members at the school wholeheartedly participated by selecting a tag, purchasing a thoughtful gift, and placing it under the tree. These gifts were then collected by PATCH for distribution, ensuring a brighter Christmas for many children.

This year, responding to requests from the wider community, the initiative expanded beyond the school gates. Additional Christmas trees with tags were placed in prominent community locations including Milford Haven Library, Neyland Library, and Hubberston and Hakin Community Centre, allowing more community members to contribute to this noble cause.

The response was overwhelming. Over 200 presents were lovingly donated, highlighting the communal spirit of Milford Haven. Ms. Morris, the headteacher of Milford Haven School, expressed her immense pride in the staff’s involvement and extended heartfelt thanks to the libraries and community centres for their indispensable support.

“It’s more than just gifts; it’s about showing we care and understand the challenges some families face, especially during the festive season,” said Ms. Morris. She emphasized the school’s ongoing commitment to supporting local families and raising awareness of the community’s needs.

The initiative’s success not only brought joy to children but also reinforced the strong bonds within the Milford Haven community. The generosity and compassion shown by the school and its wider community stand as a testament to the power of collective effort in making a significant difference in the lives of those in need.

As the festive season approaches, the Milford Haven community can take pride in their substantial contribution to the PATCH Charity Toy Appeal, embodying the true spirit of Christmas and bringing the warmth of “Nadolig Llawen” – Merry Christmas – to many.

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Community

Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office wins prestigious national award for its custody visiting

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The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed-Powys has won a prestigious national Gold award for the quality of its Independent Custody Visiting Scheme.

The Independent Custody Visiting Scheme is a volunteer scheme that is run by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Arising after riots in the 80s centred around public distrust in policing, and in particular the policing of black communities, independent custody visitors (or ICVs) are volunteers who give their time to make unannounced visits to police custody across the UK, ensuring the rights, entitlements and wellbeing of detainees throughout the country.

In Dyfed-Powys, there are currently eighteen volunteers who act as Independent Custody Visitors, and make unannounced visits to police custodies in Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and Powys. 

They report their findings to the Police and Crime Commissioner, who in turn holds the Chief Constable to account.

The Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA) Quality Assurance Awards were presented at a ceremony at the Old Library, Birmingham on 29 November.

ICVA is the national organisation which supports, leads and represents locally-run custody visiting schemes. Schemes manage teams of independent volunteers who visit those detained in police custody.

There were four graded levels of award, and the Dyfed-Powys Scheme was delighted to have received the Gold standard; meaning their Scheme provides an excellent standard of custody visiting and volunteer management. The Scheme was established in Dyfed-Powys in 2001, and since its roll out, thousands of visits have been made to custody suites across the force area.

Welcoming the award, Dafydd Llywelyn, Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed-Powys told The Herald: “I am thrilled to announce that our Independent Custody Visiting volunteer scheme in Dyfed-Powys has been honoured with a prestigious national Gold Award.  This recognition reflects the commitment and dedication of our volunteers and the high standards of custody visiting and volunteer management in our region.

“It is a testament to the collaborative efforts of our community, Dyfed-Powys Police and my Office, reinforcing our commitment to excellence in ensuring the welfare and rights of individuals in Custody.  I would like to congratulate and thank all of our volunteers for their hard work – we are proud of this achievement and will continue our efforts to maintain this gold standard in the service we provide to our community”.

On a blog, published following the awards ceremony to congratulate volunteers, ICVA Chief Executive Katie Kempen said; “I am so grateful for all of your incredibly hard work on the Quality Assurance Framework, in what for many have been quite challenging times.

“At the opening of the assessment window, many of your schemes were still in a period of Covid recovery and getting schemes back up to resilience, recruiting and training new volunteers all over the country.

“As we have moved through the process, many of you have come into post and as well as getting accustomed to your new role have taken on the Quality Assurance Framework too. I am so proud of each and every scheme and their award.

“It hasn’t happened without a commitment to the scheme, to the amazing volunteers and ultimately to the fair and effective treatment of those deprived of their liberty by the state. Thank you all so much.

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Community

Pure West Radio is Prestige Wales Awards Radio Station of the Year

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PEMBROKESHIRE’S very own Pure West Radio is celebrating it’s multi-award winning status after being crowned Radio Station of the Year for a second year running.

Prestige Wales Awards is available to around 30,000 readers across Wales who nominate their favourite businesses in variety of categories.

Pure West Radio has now built to a strong team over 90 – a mix of volunteers and paid-staff – that provides a comprehensive and varied programme of shows and outside broadcasts covering Pembrokeshire.

Its commercial community radio station business model has been recognised as sustainable and attractive to advertisers and the wider community in Pembrokeshire and Pure West Radio is one of the most trusted media brands in the region.

“It’s a great honour to receive this award again” said Toby Ellis, Station Manager. “We love what we do with great passion serving Pembrokeshire, it’s our duty to deliver quality hyper local content to the community and to be recognised for that is just wonderful”

Pure West Radio will be launching on DAB in 2024 and will be looking to recruit people in marketing, sales, content creation and broadcasters – so watch this space!

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