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Mental Health support project in running for Lottery’s ‘Project of the Year’

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A HAVERFORDWEST project which aims to improve the mental health of the people of West Wales by providing free support, is appealing for votes to be crowned National Lottery Project of the Year.

Get The Boys a Lift beat off stiff competition from 3,780 organisations to reach the public voting stage in this year’s National Lottery Awards, which celebrates the inspirational projects and people who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding.

There are 17 shortlisted finalists from across the UK, all of which will compete in a four-week public vote from 11th September to 9th October to be named the National Lottery Project of the Year. Winners will receive a £5,000 cash prize for their project and an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy.

Get The Boys A Lift (GTBAL) is a not-for-profit organisation launched by a group of friends which provides free mental health support to the people of Pembrokeshire while promoting open discussions about mental wellbeing. The project has gone from strength to strength since 2016, now offering a mix of in-person and online counselling services to anyone over 17.

The team run a clothing and coffee shop in Haverfordwest called ‘Our Place’, offering a unique café experience where visitors can chat to counsellors and make new friends. The project’s drop-in service has provided around 500 people with free and easy support, without the challenge of extensive waiting lists. The project’s online counselling service, which launched during the pandemic, also gives clients the option to have sessions remotely.

With support from The National Lottery, the project was able to buy a coffee van in 2022, allowing representatives to travel further afield, not only raising funds to maintain the organisation’s services, but promoting its core message about the importance of openness around mental health.

GTBAL runs regular events across the region, including outreach in schools and workplaces as well as community events. Its ‘Break the Stigma’ coffee van has been stationed at Freshwater West in Pembrokeshire across the summer, giving the team a chance to spread the GTBAL message to a wider audience, not only to local people, but the region’s many visitors. Profits from the project’s bespoke clothing range, which includes everything from hoodies to beach towels, go back into the team’s crucial work.

Greg Walters, Director at GTBAL, said: “It is a real honour to be nominated and to be part of this process. It feels really special to be recognised for the work we do at Get the Boys a Lift. Thanks the to support of our community we’ve been able to save a lot of lives. We hope that people will vote for us and we can continue to spread the word about the help we provide!”

Jonathan Tuchner, from The National Lottery, added: “We’re so pleased to have received so many nominations highlighting the excellent work that National Lottery-funded projects are doing up and down the UK. It’s no secret that times are tough, so it’s great to see so many people and projects dedicating so much time and energy into giving something back to their communities.

“It’s thanks to National Lottery players, who raise more than £30 million each week for good causes, that the work of these amazing projects is made possible.

“Get The Boys A Lift are making an incredible impact in their local community and they thoroughly deserve to be in the finals of the National Lottery Awards Project of the Year 2023. With your support, they could be a winner.”

To vote for Get The Boys A Lift, please go to lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards. Or simply use their specific hashtag on X (formerly known as Twitter) #NLAGTBAL . Voting runs from 9am on 11th September until 12pm on 9th October.

For further information please contact The National Lottery Awards: Oswyn Hughes on 07976 324 179 or email [email protected]

Charity

Two more shouts for the busy Angle RNLI crew

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AT 5:47am on Sunday 16 (Jun 16), Angle All-Weather Lifeboat was requested to launch to assist a police incident at Hakin Point, Milford Haven.

The lifeboat launched and proceeded to a discreet location amongst the Cunjic moorings. After a short period, the incident was successfully resolved and the crew were stood down to return to station.

The lifeboat was back on her mooring and readied for further service by 6:45am.

A couple of days later on Tuesday (Jun 18) the crew were paged again at 11:52am following the activation of a SART (Search and Rescue Transponder) in the vicinity of Popton Fort/Valero western approach road.

The lifeboat launched and made best speed to the area with the intention of commencing a search. En route, the lifeboats Y boat was prepared to be deployed to search closer inshore.

Once on scene, the lifeboat was met by a Svitzer safety boat working on the site who informed them that they believed the activation to be from some scaffolders working on the jetty.

The lifeboat was manoeuvred as close to the jetty as possible, where the scaffolders were requested to work with the jetty operator to confirm if the activation had come from themselves.

Following around 30 minutes of investigation on scene it was confirmed that one of the worker’s lifejackets had been the cause of the activation. With the MMSI numbers from the activation matched, the crew were stood down by the Coastguard when it was confirmed that nobody was believed to be in difficulty.

The lifeboat was back on her mooring and ready for service once again around 1:30pm.

No photo description available.
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Charity

Thousands enjoy RNLI Lifeboat Festival at Pembroke Castle

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ON Father’s Day (Jun 16), more than 1,650 people descended on Pembroke Castle for a day of family fun at to mark 200 years of saving lives at sea for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

The medieval venue played host to the RNLI’s Lifeboat Festival and opened its gates for the public to meet local lifesavers and have fun while learning how to stay safe in the water with the RNLI Water Safety team.

Revellers enjoyed live music from Goodwick Brass Band, Henry Tudor School (Ysgol Harri Tudur) who showcased highlights from their upcoming performance of Peter Pan, Pembroke and District Male Voice Choir, shanty band Cockles and Mussels, Tenby Male Voice Choir, folk rockers Razor Bill, and Calico Jack.

The RNLI has been saving lives at sea for more than 200 years, in which time its volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved 146,452 lives – this equates to an average of two lives saved every day for 200 years.

The charity was founded in a London tavern on 4 March 1824 following an appeal from Sir William Hillary, who lived on the Isle of Man and witnessed many shipwrecks, the RNLI has continued saving lives at sea throughout the tests of its history, including tragic disasters, funding challenges and two World Wars.

Two centuries have seen vast developments in the lifeboats and kit used by the charity’s lifesavers – from the early oar-powered vessels to today’s technology-packed boats, which are now built in-house by the charity; and from the rudimentary cork lifejackets of the 1850s to the full protective kit each crew member is now issued with.

The RNLI’s lifesaving reach and remit has also developed over the course of 200 years. Today, it operates 238 lifeboat stations, including four on the River Thames, and has seasonal lifeguards on over 240 lifeguarded beaches around the UK and Ireland. It designs and builds its own lifeboats and runs domestic and international water safety programmes.

While much has changed in 200 years, two things have remained the same – the charity’s dependence on volunteers, who give their time and commitment to save others, and the voluntary contributions from the public which have funded the service for the past two centuries.

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Cosheston Open Gardens raises £4300 for brain tumour charity

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A REMARKABLE £4300 was raised for The Brain Tumour Charity during the Cosheston Open Gardens event near Pembroke last weekend. On Saturday, 15th June, the usually quiet village saw its streets filled with visitors exploring the gardens both within the village and near the estuary. The event was well-signposted with special signage and adorned with floral displays, including a pot display at The Cross, Cosheston, sponsored by Grandiflora Nursery, with additional support from Milford Haven Port Authority for banners and programmes.

The village hall buzzed with activity throughout the day as visitors purchased from a well-stocked plant stall and enjoyed a variety of cakes and teas provided by Cosheston WI and community members. Local resident Ela Robinson showcased a delightful display of her porcelain flower craft work. Additionally, a raffle with prizes donated by community businesses raised £600 for the charity. In the afternoon, visitors enjoyed demonstrations on creating sedum baskets and simple floral displays.

Organisers Jane and Alan Mason expressed their gratitude, stating, “Many thanks to the friendly people of Pembrokeshire who came from all over the county and as far afield as Derbyshire to visit our gardens. We must have had several hundred people coming to the village. We are also grateful to over 66 members of the local community who came together to provide marshals, programme sales, signs, plants, and cakes. Our biggest disappointment was that we were all so busy the volunteers did not have time to visit the gardens ourselves.”

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