Connect with us


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



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:


Bereavement charity 2wish named Valero Charity of the Year



A CHARITY that provides a professional service for those affected by the sudden and traumatic death of a child or young adult has been chosen as the Valero Pembroke Refinery Charity of the year.
Following a site wide vote, bereavement charity 2wish will join forces with the refinery’s workforce to raise funds for the group.

Set up in 2012 by Rhian Burke following the death of her infant son George and husband Paul, the charity has grown to provide support for families across Wales following the death of a loved one.
Since its inception they have supported over 5,000 individuals, worked with South Wales Police to better equip officers when supporting families, NHS Wales and to reassure donor families that they are not alone when dealing with their grief.

Ambassadors for the charity include Coldplay drummer Will Champion, TV Presenter Nick Knowles and renowned actor Michael Sheen.

Speaking at the launch of the partnership recently, Vice President and General Manager of the refinery Mark Phair praised the charity for their work.

“After listening to Rhian’s story and the origins of the charity it makes you take stock and think about how you would react if a death of an infant or young adult occurred in your family.

“The work 2Wish are doing is inspirational and I’m delighted to be able to name them as our charity of the year for 2023 and we are all looking forward to working with them for the year ahead.”

The charity’s founder and Chief Executive Rhian Manning said: “If it wasn’t for people like those working at Valero, supporting 2wish by both raising much needed funds and awareness for the charity, we couldn’t help the families here in Wales.

“We are over the moon to be working with everyone at Valero and are excited about the next 12 months.

“Being from Pembrokeshire, it’s great to be working with such a wonderful organisation where many people will now learn about our charity.

“Thank you to everyone who voted us!”

Continue Reading


Family charity appeal for people to volunteer and help families living across Pembrokeshire



A WELSH-based family support charity is looking for home-visiting volunteers to join their team in order to help more families with young children living in Pembrokeshire.

Home-Start Cymru works within 18 local authorities like Pembrokeshire to train and match volunteers with families to support them through challenging times.

The trained volunteer visits the family every week for two to three hours providing compassionate, confidential and non-judgemental support in the family’s home.

The families supported may be dealing with issues such as financial worries, bereavement, postnatal depression, isolation, coping with twins, domestic abuse or helping out with a parent or child with disabilities.

Bethan Webber, Chief Executive at Home-Start Cymru, said: “We need more volunteers so we can support more families living in Pembrokeshire.”

“Being a parent has never been easy. It can be lonely, frustrating and overwhelming. Life-changing events can happen to anyone. That is why Home-Start Cymru is ready to stand alongside families when they need us most.”

If you are interested in helping the charity look out for families in the area, you can register your interest online at or email the following address

Continue Reading


Free meals for those struggling in the community



HASTY BITE will be providing free meals at the St Govan’s Centre in Pembroke Dock between 9:45 and 2pm Monday to Fridays

Manager Carl Williams said: “We have worked with Pembrokeshire Care Society to make this project a reality. We will be, from this week, providing help to 25-30 people a day/ We are providing hot meals including full breakfasts and shepherd’s pie. Its basically warm food to fill people’s bellies.

“Soup, casserole, quiche and scampi will also be on the menu.”

Mr Williams added: “It’s about helping people to socialise and getting them out of their homes when they are struggling. A problem shared is a problem halved.

“People can call in to order food, and the service works on a trust basis – there is no need for a referral.

“People can use our service rather than deciding whether to eat or heat their homes – we are here to help.”

The project has been supported by the Pembrokeshire County Council’s Food Poverty Grant.

Continue Reading

News24 hours ago

Households and businesses off the gas grid to receive energy bill support

£200 energy bill support to begin arriving with households off the gas grid across Great Britain.Businesses using alternative fuels will...

Health1 day ago

Health unions cancel strikes after Welsh Government’s pay offer

HEALTH unions in Wales postponed strike action due for this week following an improved pay offer from the Welsh Government.This...

News1 day ago

Huge 13% rise in fire service costs for council taxpayers in mid and west Wales

TAX payers in Mid and West Wales will pay 13% more towards the region’s fire service in 2023-24 compared to...

News2 days ago

Freshwater West cordoned off over night due to ‘item of ordnance’ being found

EMERGENCY SERVICES were called to Freshwater West on Sunday, after a potentially dangerous item was found. The area remained sealed...

News4 days ago

Community backs fundraiser to help injured Pembrokeshire paramedic

OVER six thousand pounds have been raised to support a local paramedic who was badly injured in a road traffic...

News5 days ago

Wales v Ireland travel advice from Transport for Wales

TRANSPORT FOR WALES is offering rugby supporters rail and bus services for Wales’ opening game of the Six Nations against...

Business5 days ago

Planning approved for change of use in Tenby’s ‘drinking quarter’

THE RESTROSPECTIVE planning applications made by Mike Evans were granted approval by national park planners. A former national park member...

News5 days ago

MP’s call for better County rail links to boost tourism

PRESELI MP Stephen Crabb has called on the Welsh Economy Minister Vaughan Gething to improve rail services into Pembrokeshire as...

News6 days ago

Dyfed-Powys police precept to rise by 7.75 per cent

POLICE and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn has announced a 7.75 per cent rise in the Dyfed-Powys Police precept for 2023-24,...

Business1 week ago

Ferry staff concerned over rumours Pembroke Dock to Rosslare route coming to an end

CONCERNS are growing amongst Irish Ferries staff operating out of Pembroke Dock as rumours continue to circulate that the company...

Popular This Week