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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

Police launch urgent search for missing 16-year-old in west Wales

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POLICE are actively searching for a missing 16-year-old boy, known only as Kobi, who has not been seen since last week. The teenager has connections across various towns in west Wales, including Llandeilo, Carmarthen, and Cardigan.

Kobi, described as tall with shaved black hair featuring a purple tint, was last spotted in Llanelli. Authorities have urged the public to remain vigilant and report any sightings of the boy immediately.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police issued a public appeal, stating: “Can you help find Kobi, who has been reported missing? Kobi is 16 years old, and described as tall with shaved black hair which has a purple tint.”

Anyone with information on Kobi’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact Dyfed-Powys Police without delay, as concerns for his welfare continue to grow.

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Community

Feedback wanted on regional transport vision

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VIEWS are wanted on the future of transport in South West Wales.

Covering Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire and Swansea, a case for change that’s been developed for a regional transport plan is now open for public feedback until Monday August 26.

The case for change shows how the plan is essential to support the ongoing economic development of the region, while recognising its diverse communities and varying transport needs.

Aims of the plan include improving walking and cycling routes to local services, as well as achieving a shift away from private car usage to more sustainable forms of transport. Affordability will be at the centre of the plan to ensure access to transport is available to all.

Comments on the case for change will help inform a draft regional transport plan that will also be consulted on when it’s ready for feedback.  

Swansea Bay and West Wales Metro plans for an integrated bus and rail network will continue to be developed alongside the regional transport plan’s delivery in future. 

The rail metro elements are projected to add over a million journeys to the rail network, helping move more people out of cars and onto public transport than any other scheme in Wales.
Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader and Chairman of the Corporate Joint Committee (CJC) for South West Wales, said: “Adding to an outstanding tourism offer, South West Wales is undergoing a time of unprecedented investment, thanks to developments like the Celtic Freeport and £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal.
“These schemes – in combination with many others – will help create thousands of jobs for local people and attract even more investment to South West Wales in future, but we’ve also identified that our current transport network needs significant improvement to keep pace with these developments, while also better meeting the needs of local people in all the region’s communities – both urban and rural.
“The case for change – which also highlights the importance of affordability, climate change considerations and low-carbon transport – is intended as a guide to help inform the emerging regional transport plan.”
Cllr Darren Price, Carmarthenshire Council’s Leader and Chairman of the CJC’s transport sub-group, said: “The transport network is at the heart or our region. It takes us to work, education, healthcare and leisure and social activities both throughout South West Wales and further afield.
“It affects everyone, which is why we’re opening up our case for change for the regional transport plan for public feedback.
“With the population of the region also expected to increase in the coming decades, we need a transport system that accommodates existing and future developments in a way that supports sustainable travel choices, economic activity and social inclusion across the region.”
Head to www.cjcsouthwest.wales/consultation for more information and the opportunity to give feedback.
Email [email protected] if you have any queries.
Paper copies of the feedback form and consultation materials are available at:
Carmarthenshire: Ammanford Customer Services Hwb on Quay Street, Carmarthen Customer Services Hwb on St Catherine’s Walk or Llanelli Customer Services Hwb on Stepney Street.
Neath Port Talbot: Neath Civic Centre, Port Talbot Civic Centre or The Quays on Brunel Way in Baglan Energy Park.
Pembrokeshire: County Hall in Haverfordwest.
Swansea: The Civic Centre on Oystermouth Road.

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Community

Freshwater West named The Times newspaper Beach of the Year

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FRESHWATER WEST has been named Wales’s Beach of the Year, according to the annual best beaches guide by The Times and Sunday Times. The comprehensive guide, now in its 16th edition, lists the top 50 beaches in the UK and will be available in print on 21st July.

Chris Haslam, the award-winning chief travel writer for The Times and Sunday Times, described Freshwater West as “a wilderness of dunes, sand and rocks that draws surfers from across the world to ride its winter waves.” Haslam has personally inspected all 50 beaches on the list over the past eight weeks.

The guide evaluates the stunning beauty of the UK coastline using a meticulous 11-point checklist. This includes water quality, cleanliness, accessibility, parking facilities, lifeguard presence, hygiene standards at restrooms and showers, and dog-friendliness. For 2024, only beaches rated as “excellent” for water quality by national environment agencies have been included, and the guide exclusively covers mainland beaches.

Here are the best beaches in Wales according to the guide:

  • Wales’s Beach of the Year: Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire
  • Llanddwyn, Anglesey
  • Porth Iago, Gwynedd
  • Penbryn, Ceredigion
  • Mwnt, Ceredigion
  • Manorbier, Pembrokeshire
  • Pendine Sands, Pembrokeshire
  • Mewslade, Vale of Glamorgan
  • Oxwich, Vale of Glamorgan
  • Monknash, Vale of Glamorgan

Chris Haslam reflected on his travels, saying, “My Jack Russell, Dave T Dog, and I have journeyed 5,583 miles and explored 543 beaches. The 50 beaches that made our list are graced with outstanding natural beauty, superb infrastructure, and a clear sense of pride from those who live, work, and play there. I’m still in awe of the beauty of the UK coast. From Kynance to Caithness, and Brancaster to Benone, the beaches of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are the most magnificent on earth.”

For more details, visit The Times and Sunday Times Best UK Beaches.

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