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The Great Pembrokeshire Charity Gunging is back!

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AFTER the success of last years fundraising and gunging where almost £1,500 was raised, the same motley crew are back in Pembrokeshire, to raise money for this years BBC Children in Need. Several organisations active within communities across Pembrokeshire, are putting their key personnel forward to participate in another charity gunging!

All those who participated and endured the barrels of gunge last year, are back for 2023, and led by Haverfordwest-based Celtic Timber, and the broadband firm, Ogi. Despite the surreal nature of the actual event, all involved are bonded by the serious facts around raising funds and awareness of what the money donated, could do for our younger residents across Pembrokeshire during this cost of living crisis.

Jon Howcroft from Celtic Timber notes “Having already supported funds being raised for charities including the DPJ Foundation at last years County Show, we were keen to continue to look at opportunities to continue to promote those groups and organisations who can benefit from funds generated by Children in Need. We are lucky to have positive links with partners and individuals engaged in our communities, and when we approached the individuals involved last year, they were all still keen to participate surprisingly!”

Haverfordwest County Football Club are hosting this years Gungeathon at the Ogi Bridge Meadow Stadium on Friday 17th November, with Tony Pennock from the club, again, getting stuck in, as following his gunging last year, he has been teased that the run of winning form for the club, dramatically increased.

Martin Jones from Ogi is one of the participants who is keen to engage and support this fundraiser. “With a strong community focus that Ogi and the team already do here in Pembrokeshire, I was more than happy to get involved once again. Although last year was very cold and wet, it was still great fun and exhilarating, as we all knew that by doing something like this, whilst fun and stupid, it is all to raise awareness and funds for a great cause.”

Iwan Thomas who, as the others involved mocks, that he wears a number of community organisation leadership hats, from PLANED to Pembrokeshire College amongst others here within the county, is still happy to support. “Doing the work I’m able to do with the amazing organisations I’m involved in, is a genuine privilege. By getting involved again in this fundraiser means we can, by stepping outside of our daily comfort zones, do something which raises funds for those who have the real need for this support, and provide additional benefits in some small ways, to their daily challenges. Working alongside this great crew of people is also a bonus, as we know the aim is to improve lives in West Wales. Our own discomfort and embarrassment potentially is meaningless, when you know what the main aim is, for those who need those projects and services to be funded.”

With other participants soon to be announced as well within the mass gunging, the event will be live streamed through the continued support of Pure West Radio, whose own Breakfast DJ, Tom Dyer also got gunged last year – although it was not planned as he was there originally to simply interview the fundraisers primarily. So this year, we understand Tom is coming prepared!

For those who wish to donate, please go to the Just Giving website, and search for Celtic Timber and “The Great Gungefest V2 for Children in Need” and kindly donate whatever you can. https://www.justgiving.com/page/gunge-fest?fbclid=IwAR3T47YcDkXpd3Okos2DdIG1R80xURcIflb73EZjendPpZq_yPr_mMIg-HM

Community

Police launch urgent search for missing 16-year-old in west Wales

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POLICE are actively searching for a missing 16-year-old boy, known only as Kobi, who has not been seen since last week. The teenager has connections across various towns in west Wales, including Llandeilo, Carmarthen, and Cardigan.

Kobi, described as tall with shaved black hair featuring a purple tint, was last spotted in Llanelli. Authorities have urged the public to remain vigilant and report any sightings of the boy immediately.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police issued a public appeal, stating: “Can you help find Kobi, who has been reported missing? Kobi is 16 years old, and described as tall with shaved black hair which has a purple tint.”

Anyone with information on Kobi’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact Dyfed-Powys Police without delay, as concerns for his welfare continue to grow.

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Community

Feedback wanted on regional transport vision

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VIEWS are wanted on the future of transport in South West Wales.

Covering Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire and Swansea, a case for change that’s been developed for a regional transport plan is now open for public feedback until Monday August 26.

The case for change shows how the plan is essential to support the ongoing economic development of the region, while recognising its diverse communities and varying transport needs.

Aims of the plan include improving walking and cycling routes to local services, as well as achieving a shift away from private car usage to more sustainable forms of transport. Affordability will be at the centre of the plan to ensure access to transport is available to all.

Comments on the case for change will help inform a draft regional transport plan that will also be consulted on when it’s ready for feedback.  

Swansea Bay and West Wales Metro plans for an integrated bus and rail network will continue to be developed alongside the regional transport plan’s delivery in future. 

The rail metro elements are projected to add over a million journeys to the rail network, helping move more people out of cars and onto public transport than any other scheme in Wales.
Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader and Chairman of the Corporate Joint Committee (CJC) for South West Wales, said: “Adding to an outstanding tourism offer, South West Wales is undergoing a time of unprecedented investment, thanks to developments like the Celtic Freeport and £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal.
“These schemes – in combination with many others – will help create thousands of jobs for local people and attract even more investment to South West Wales in future, but we’ve also identified that our current transport network needs significant improvement to keep pace with these developments, while also better meeting the needs of local people in all the region’s communities – both urban and rural.
“The case for change – which also highlights the importance of affordability, climate change considerations and low-carbon transport – is intended as a guide to help inform the emerging regional transport plan.”
Cllr Darren Price, Carmarthenshire Council’s Leader and Chairman of the CJC’s transport sub-group, said: “The transport network is at the heart or our region. It takes us to work, education, healthcare and leisure and social activities both throughout South West Wales and further afield.
“It affects everyone, which is why we’re opening up our case for change for the regional transport plan for public feedback.
“With the population of the region also expected to increase in the coming decades, we need a transport system that accommodates existing and future developments in a way that supports sustainable travel choices, economic activity and social inclusion across the region.”
Head to www.cjcsouthwest.wales/consultation for more information and the opportunity to give feedback.
Email [email protected] if you have any queries.
Paper copies of the feedback form and consultation materials are available at:
Carmarthenshire: Ammanford Customer Services Hwb on Quay Street, Carmarthen Customer Services Hwb on St Catherine’s Walk or Llanelli Customer Services Hwb on Stepney Street.
Neath Port Talbot: Neath Civic Centre, Port Talbot Civic Centre or The Quays on Brunel Way in Baglan Energy Park.
Pembrokeshire: County Hall in Haverfordwest.
Swansea: The Civic Centre on Oystermouth Road.

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Freshwater West named The Times newspaper Beach of the Year

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FRESHWATER WEST has been named Wales’s Beach of the Year, according to the annual best beaches guide by The Times and Sunday Times. The comprehensive guide, now in its 16th edition, lists the top 50 beaches in the UK and will be available in print on 21st July.

Chris Haslam, the award-winning chief travel writer for The Times and Sunday Times, described Freshwater West as “a wilderness of dunes, sand and rocks that draws surfers from across the world to ride its winter waves.” Haslam has personally inspected all 50 beaches on the list over the past eight weeks.

The guide evaluates the stunning beauty of the UK coastline using a meticulous 11-point checklist. This includes water quality, cleanliness, accessibility, parking facilities, lifeguard presence, hygiene standards at restrooms and showers, and dog-friendliness. For 2024, only beaches rated as “excellent” for water quality by national environment agencies have been included, and the guide exclusively covers mainland beaches.

Here are the best beaches in Wales according to the guide:

  • Wales’s Beach of the Year: Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire
  • Llanddwyn, Anglesey
  • Porth Iago, Gwynedd
  • Penbryn, Ceredigion
  • Mwnt, Ceredigion
  • Manorbier, Pembrokeshire
  • Pendine Sands, Pembrokeshire
  • Mewslade, Vale of Glamorgan
  • Oxwich, Vale of Glamorgan
  • Monknash, Vale of Glamorgan

Chris Haslam reflected on his travels, saying, “My Jack Russell, Dave T Dog, and I have journeyed 5,583 miles and explored 543 beaches. The 50 beaches that made our list are graced with outstanding natural beauty, superb infrastructure, and a clear sense of pride from those who live, work, and play there. I’m still in awe of the beauty of the UK coast. From Kynance to Caithness, and Brancaster to Benone, the beaches of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are the most magnificent on earth.”

For more details, visit The Times and Sunday Times Best UK Beaches.

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