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Charity

How community-run pubs and shops revitalise west Wales

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WEST WALES celebrates as community-run pubs and shops promise a new wave of employment and trading opportunities. The recent trend of communities banding together to buy beloved establishments, turning them from privately-owned entities into cooperatively-run ventures, has become a lifeline for some local favourites.

At the heart of Newport, Pembrokeshire, Havards Ironmunger’s store stands as a beacon of hope. The community has rallied behind its purchase, ensuring its doors remain open and its products accessible to the locals. However, Havards isn’t the only establishment to benefit from this community spirit.

Each establishment purchased through this community cooperative model aims not only for profit but also seeks active participation from the community to steer its future. These “social businesses” have been sprouting all over West Wales. From the Tafarn Sinc pub in Rosebush, purchased in 2017, to the White Hart Pub in St Dogmaels and the recent community buyout of Tafarn y Vale in South Ceredigion, the wave of community-driven commercial ventures is unmistakable.

Two additional Pembrokeshire projects deserve special mention: the community-driven purchases of Cross Inn, Hayscastle and Tafarn Crymych Arms pub. Each cooperative business relies on the tireless work of volunteers, all united by a common goal: to ensure local trade thrives, offering employment to local residents.

The Tafarn Crymych Arms, which remained closed for two long years, is buzzing with activity once more. The team is actively seeking local suppliers for its restaurant and recruiting fresh talent for the roles they offer. With positions such as a 3-day-a-week Grants Manager and a full-time Pub Manager available, locals have a chance to be a part of this community resurgence.

Cris Tomos, a staunch supporter of these community cooperatives and a member of community development charity PLANED, expressed his enthusiasm, “The ability for communities to own and retain local establishments is pivotal. This model paves the way for local produce and offers competitive employment opportunities.” He adds that there’s a wealth of support for such ventures, urging interested parties to visit the PLANED website for comprehensive guidance on community ownership projects.

Job seekers, take note: the deadline for positions at Crymych Arms is approaching fast, set for the 16th of September. Full details can be found at www.cpdcrymych.cymru.

In Tomos’s words, “It’s truly heartening to witness the rise of community cooperatives. These hubs – be it shops or pubs – are essential for community life, and the support they’ve garnered is nothing short of commendable.”

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Hub Cymru Africa announces Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel as its new host

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TEN years after the founding of Hub Cymru Africa partnership, the Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel will take over as the new host-partner, replacing the Welsh Centre for International Affairs.

Following 10 years as hosts of the Hub Cymru Africa Partnership, the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA) will be replaced as host partners by the Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel (SSAP). WCIA will continue to remain a member of the partnership.

The Hub Cymru Africa Partnership does important work in supporting the global solidarity sector, and the Wales and Africa Community. We will continue to do this.

SSAP has brought invaluable expertise to the Hub Cymru Africa partnership from inclusion, diversity and our ongoing Reframing the Narrative project. This next phase of the Partnership will build on this work into the future, with an African diaspora-led organisation at the helm.

Announcing the move, Head of Hub Cymru Africa, Claire O’Shea said: “We’re grateful for the leadership and role that WCIA has given to the partnership and the global solidarity sector over the last ten years.”

“As we continue our work to better represent and serve our partners here in Wales and in Africa, and implement our values of justice and anti-racism, it is right that SSAP steps in as the new host of Hub Cymru Africa.”

Fadhili Maghiya, CEO of SSAP said: “The Wales and Africa Programme has grown from strength to strength over the years. Built on mutuality, lifelong connections and learning from each other, the programme has grown into a vibrant sector working in global solidarity. Through the inclusion agenda and important projects such as the Race Equality Action Plan, the sector is always pushing boundaries and involving communities across Wales. 

“I’m looking forward to continuing this work and building on our successes as the new hosts of the Hub Cymru Africa Partnership.”

Dr Gill Richardson, Co-Chair of WCIA said: “I’d like to thank the amazing Hub Cymru Africa team for all they’ve done over the past 10 years that WCIA has had the privilege to host. We celebrate all that has been achieved in supporting the Wales and Africa community, led by its head, Claire O’Shea.

“This new phase of Hub Cymru Africa will see our close partner, SSAP, host the partnership. This is an important evolution in Hub Cymru Africa’s story. We are still supporting the Partnership, but now is the right time to hand on the baton of leadership. We look forward to supporting Hub Cymru Africa going from strength to strength in the future.”

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Charity

Bags of Books returns to Milford Haven and surrounding areas this Easter

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THE INFAMOUS Bags of Books is set to return to Milford Haven and surrounding areas over the Easter holidays.

Milford Haven School who launched the project with Milford Youth Matters over 3 years ago are continuing in their bid to improve literacy skills and encourage a love of reading for pleasure by giving away over 700 books.

Thanks to funding from the South Hook LNG Community grant they have purchased books for young people of all ages and reading abilities and will be hanging them on the fences of the schools in their catchment area.

The community are invited to come and choose a book from the following locations over the Easter holidays:

  • Neyland Community Primary School – Monday 25th March
  • Johnston Community Primary School – Tuesday 26th March
  • Coastlands Primary School – Wednesday 27th March
  • Gelliswick Primary School – Tuesday 2nd April
  • Milford Haven Community Primary – Wednesday 3rd April
  • St Francis Community Primary – Wednesday 3rd April

Milford Haven Secondary School will also hang over 150 books on their fence after the Easter Holidays on Wednesday 10th April for those in our community who cannot attend the other locations.

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Charity

St Davids RNLI tasked to assist yacht with gearbox issues

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ST DAVID’S RNLI were requested to assess a 41 foot yacht with gearbox issues by HM Coastguard at 5:53pm on Thursday (Mar 21).

All-weather lifeboat Norah Wortley launched and headed in lumpy seas three nautical miles north of St Davids head where the yacht with two people on board was drifting.

Upon assessment, deputy Coxswain Mike Phillips made the decision that undertaking a tow was necessary and the safest way to assist the casualties.

The towed vessel was returned to the nearest safe and suitable port at Fishguard harbour where RNLI Fishguard Lifeboat provided St Davids volunteers with a welcome coffee break.

The charity’s lifeboat returned to station at St Davids at 11:30pm.

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