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Community asset bids sought for former John Nash designed Foley House

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COMMUNITY groups who want to take over a Grade II-listed Georgian town house in Haverfordwest have just a few days to submit bids to Pembrokeshire County Council.

The council is proposing to dispose of the John Nash-designed Foley House via a Community Asset Transfer (CAT), and is inviting applications from the community, charitable or not-for-profit organisations who will use the asset to benefit the community, or for social aims.

The closing date for applicants submitting a business plan to [email protected] is just a few days away, March 24.

Following that, it is expected any recommendations for a CAT transfer will be considered at the April meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet.

One of those in the running is Adam’s Bucketful of Hope Cancer Support Centre.

The family of Adam Evans-Thomas has been fundraising for almost 30 years for various areas of the NHS.

Adam, who died of leukaemia started the fundraising by raising £45,000 in 1993 to test 3,000 potential Bone Marrow Donors from Pembrokeshire for the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Register.

Since his death, in 2007 a High Dependency Room called the “Pembrokeshire Room” in Cardiff’s Heath Hospital was funded by his charity, and in 2009 Adam’s Bucketful of Hope Cancer Support Centre was opened.

In November 2021, the charity started looking for new premises, eventually deciding that Foley House had the space inside and out to allow the charity to expand from supporting cancer patients to supporting patients with all life-limiting conditions.

The charity approached Pembrokeshire County Council and has entered into a CAT bid for Foley House.

For any prospective bidders, Pembrokeshire County Council states there should be support within the community for the proposal and optimum use of the asset for the community should be made.

There should be both a need and demand for the proposed activities and consideration will be given as to whether or not these are being satisfactorily addressed by another organisation.

The proposal will need to demonstrate how it benefits as wide and diverse a range of local people as possible, with an inclusive approach to all members of the community.

The business plan submitted must answer a string of criteria, including the applicants being able to restore, repair and maintain the building, in keeping with the legal requirements of its Grade II listing.

All costs will be the applicant’s liability and all current illegal alterations must be rectified, the council has said.

Prospective parties are advised to contact Pembrokeshire County Council Planning Department on Haverfordwest 01437 764551.

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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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