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First Pembrokeshire beach-side Changing Place facility opened

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AN IMPORTANT facility supporting disabled access to Pembrokeshire’s Blue Flag beaches has been opened in time for the summer season.

As part of Pembrokeshire County Council’s commitment to improving facilities and access to opportunities across the County, a Changing Place and Family Room has been developed at Whitesands beach, St Davids.

This will improve inclusivity at this popular destination and allow those who may otherwise not be able to visit due to lack of facilities to accommodate their needs to enjoy the area.

A Changing Place facility has more space and essential equipment including a height adjustable, adult-sized changing bench, a peninsular toilet, privacy screen and ceiling hoist.

Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services Cllr Rhys Sinnett said: “Many people, and especially adults, with disabilities cannot use standard accessible toilets because they require specialised equipment and extra space for themselves and their carers. This means inadequate toilet provision can often be a barrier for days out and limits opportunities to enjoy places in the same way as non-disabled individuals.

“The installation of a Changing Place facility at this location will ensure a fully inclusive opportunity is available for all. It will enhance and expand on the current offering for those persons with a disability at this designated easy access beach, which currently includes a standard accessible toilet and a beach wheelchair hire scheme in the summer.

“This is Pembrokeshire’s first beach-side Changing Place facility, we hope that if this is successful we can identify other areas which would benefit from such a development.”

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority Beach Wheelchair and Outdoor Mobility Co-ordinator, Angela Robinson added: “The Changing Place facility is going to make a huge difference to the local community and tourism as we move forward in making the Pembrokeshire Coast more accessible for all.

“The new facilities are a welcome step in the right direction and complement the beach wheelchair and rollator, which are available to hire for free at Whitesands.”

The Family Room is a first for Council owned or managed public convenience sites and recognises the difficulties families can experience using toilet facilities. The room provides a standard size toilet as well as a smaller one aimed at younger children, a baby changing unit and a large space to accommodation pushchairs.

The redesign and redevelopment of the existing building also includes enhancements to the interior and exterior and installation of a water refill station.

Access to the Changing Places toilets is available for those who require the use of this specialised equipment. A key card can be collected from Whitesands Beach House Café, the Car Parking Attendant on site or Oriel Y Parc Visitor Centre in St Davids, during operational hours.

The project has been part funded by the Welsh Government’s Brilliant Basics Fund 2022-2023 to improve the visitor experience across Wales and match funded by Pembrokeshire County Council.

Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden, said: “The projects supported through the Brilliant Basics fund make a real difference. Local tourism amenities have a big part to play in making a trip a memorable one. These facilities often go unnoticed, but they are an important part of a visitor’s experience and also benefit those who live in the area.”
More about beach wheelchairs and the other mobility equipment that is available to hire for free can be found online at Pembrokeshire Coast.

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Entertainment

Save the dates: Classic car shows in Pembrokeshire

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THE FIRST of the Summer season of the Classic Car Shows in aid of the Paul Sartori Foundation took place at the Commons Car Park, Pembroke recently.

Organised by Malcom Powell and friends, the show was opened by the Mayor of Pembroke, Ann Mortenson, accompanied by the Ward Ten Withybush fundraiser Ellie Neville.

The rest of the shows are follows

Wednesday 5th June at the Cresselly Arms

Wednesday 19th June at the Plough Inn, Sageston

Wednesday 3rd July at the Cresselly Arms

Wednesday 17th July at the Plough Inn, Sageston

Wednesday 14th August at the Cresselly Arms

Wednesday 18th August at the Plough Inn

All events are at 4pm, except for the final show of the year on Saturday 14th September at the Plough Inn Sageston which starts at 2 30pm.

Pictured is the first show of the year at the Commons,Pembroke.

Pic-Martin Cavaney

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Charity

Royal celebration at Buckingham Palace marks RNLI’s 200th anniversary

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HIS MAJESTY The King has graciously hosted a garden party at Buckingham Palace today to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). This prestigious event brought together approximately 2,500 of the RNLI’s dedicated volunteers, staff, and their families.

The garden party, held in the palace’s magnificent grounds, was marked by the presence of an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat, showcasing the RNLI’s modern lifesaving capabilities. The event celebrated the remarkable history and ongoing contributions of the RNLI, which has been saving lives at sea since its founding in 1824.

Among those honoured at the event were representatives from Tenby Lifeboat Station and St Davids Lifeboat Station. From Tenby, the delegation included recently retired Coxswain Philip John, along with Michael Lewis, Daniel Young, Graham Waring, and Peter O’Hagan, all accompanied by their partners. Representing St Davids Lifeboat Station were Will Chant, Jestyn Martin, Ffion Rees, Judd Kohler, Ellen Evans, and their respective partners. These individuals were recognised for their exceptional service and dedication to the institution, trading their RNLI yellows for smart attire on this special occasion.

The RNLI, established in 1824 by Sir William Hillary, has grown into a vital organisation dedicated to saving lives at sea. Over its two centuries of operation, the RNLI has saved more than 142,700 lives, thanks to the bravery and commitment of its volunteers and staff. Today, the RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations and provides a 24-hour search and rescue service around the coasts of the UK and Ireland.

His Majesty’s patronage and the garden party at Buckingham Palace underscore the nation’s deep appreciation for the RNLI’s invaluable service. The celebration not only honoured past achievements but also highlighted the continued importance of the RNLI’s mission as it looks forward to the future.

For more information on the RNLI’s history and its bicentenary celebrations, please visit the official RNLI website.

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Community

The Big Beer Festival returns to Milford Waterfront

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MILFORD HAVEN is set to host the highly anticipated Big Beer Festival tomorrow at Milford Waterfront. Beginning at 12:00 PM on May 25, the event promises a vibrant celebration featuring an impressive array of real ales, lagers, and ciders, along with a prosecco and Pimm’s bar for those with different tastes.

Local bands will provide live music throughout the day, ensuring a lively atmosphere. Headline act 4th Street will be among the performers, with additional acts including After the Fire, Steve Bartram, Two Suns, Tin Man Revolution, and DJ Robzy. Food lovers can enjoy diverse culinary offerings from The Junkyard Dog and Marcela Mexican Cuisine at the Thornton Motors Streetfood Zone. Entry is £20, which includes four drink tokens and a limited edition glass. Each token can be exchanged for a half pint, a glass of prosecco, or a glass of Pimm’s. The festival will run until 11:00 PM.

This event is part of the continued partnership between Milford Waterfront and the Milford Haven Round Table. This collaboration supports a calendar of events throughout the year, raising funds for local causes and creating enjoyable experiences for the community and visitors. Upcoming events include the Milford Haven Carnival on July 6 and the Fireworks Extravaganza on November 5.

As well as local petrol station company The Ascona Group, Howden, a global insurance intermediary group, is a key supporter of the festival. As a deluxe sponsor, Howden is donating £500 towards the event. Gary Stevens, Regional Managing Director, expressed his delight in supporting the Milford Haven Round Table, emphasizing the event’s significance as a fantastic day out for the bank holiday weekend and a means to support the local community.

Milford Haven Round Table, the UK’s largest Round Table with 30 active members, organizes this festival to give back to the local community. All funds raised support local charities, groups, and individuals, including popular free entry events like the town’s annual carnival and fireworks display.

For more details, visit the official event page.

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