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Charity

PAVS ‘delighted’ to appoint new Chief Officer

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THE Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services says it is delighted to announce the appointment of Jessica Bickerton as the new Chief Executive Officer for the organisation. Her appointment comes as the organisation prepares to bid farewell to Sue Leonard, who will be retiring at the end of August after over 20 years of service, 16 of those as Chief Officer.

Jess joins PAVS having worked for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office for 25 years. Her role has seen her work around the globe with involvement in aid programmes, supporting international crises, and organising major events such as the Coronation.

Since moving to Pembrokeshire five years ago, she has been keen to bring her skills and experience to her local community. Jess says “the opportunity to lead PAVS – with its strong reputation and track record of making a difference to the voluntary sector, communities, and individuals – was too compelling. I will be stepping into some big shoes though!”.

Sue Leonard, current Chief Officer notes “PAVS is a great organisation and one that I have been proud to lead over the past 16 years. I can’t quite believe that I have reached retirement age and that the time has come to hand over to someone new.  I am confident that Jess brings an excellent skills set to the PAVS team alongside a genuine commitment to the County.  I know the Association will be in safe hands for the future.”

“With Sue’s retirement we knew we would have big shoes to fill, and tasked ourselves with finding a new inspirational leader to support the great work PAVS carries out,” says Claire Incledon, Chair of the Board of Trustees, “we are delighted to have appointed Jess and are confident that she will continue to develop PAVS and support the vital work of the third sector in our community”.

Jess is due to start her new role at PAVS in mid-August and is looking forward to getting to know our members and partners over the weeks that follow.  In the meantime, you are welcome to come and meet Jess and say goodbye to Sue in the Community Zone at the Pembrokeshire County Show, taking place on 14th and 15th August 2024.

Charity

Puffin Party fundraising initiative returns for another year

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THE Pembrokeshire Coast Charitable Trust is inviting people to host a Puffin Party this July, to celebrate the Trust’s 6th birthday and raise vital funds.

The Trust has raised more than £380,000 from a range of sources since 2018, including projects such as People, Paths & PollinatorsMake More Meadows and Wild About Woodlands.

It has also provided Force for Nature Grants to help community groups and local organisations boost biodiversity, act on climate change or educate others on these important topics.

Puffin Parties were added to the list of fundraising activities last summer, and proved so popular that they are being brought back for another year.

Director of the Pembrokeshire Coast Charitable Trust, Katie Macro, said: “We are delighted to see the return of the Puffin Parties. These events not only help us raise essential funds but also bring the community together in celebration of our beautiful natural environment.

“Once again, there’s plenty of inspiration on hand to get you started, including some party food recipe cards (with healthier options available), invitation templates and some ideas for party activities.

“We encourage everyone to get involved and help us celebrate by arranging a tea party, coffee morning or cake sale with friends, family, colleagues, or the local community during the month of July. As well as having fun, you’ll be making a difference in protecting our stunning coastline and safeguarding it for future generations.”

The celebratory resources, including invitation templates, new recipe cards, and craft activity templates and instructions are available for download at https://pembrokeshirecoasttrust.wales/how-you-can-help/puffinparty.

To find out more, register your interest and access the special celebratory visit www.pembrokeshirecoasttrust.wales.

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Charity

Megan’s Starr foundation launches Bottle Top Collection Appeal

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THE Megan’s Starr Foundation, a charity dedicated to supporting young people’s mental health and combating bullying, has recently launched an innovative recycling initiative and is calling on the community for help. The Milford Haven-based foundation is asking for donations of old bottle tops, both metal and plastic, to be dropped off at the Megan’s Starr Community Coffee House in Milford Haven.

This appeal is part of the foundation’s ongoing efforts to support mental health and community engagement through creative and sustainable projects. Bottle tops collected will be used in various community art projects and workshops, aimed at fostering a sense of togetherness and promoting mental wellbeing.

The Megan’s Starr Foundation was established in memory of Megan Evans, a vibrant 14-year-old who tragically took her own life after enduring severe bullying. Her mother, Nicola Harteveld, founded the charity to prevent other families from experiencing similar heartbreak and to provide much-needed mental health support to young people in Pembrokeshire.

In addition to their recycling efforts, the foundation offers a wide range of services including counselling, educational workshops, and support groups. They also run the Speakeasy Coffee Van, a mobile unit that brings support directly to young people in rural areas, offering barista training and mental health resources.

To contribute to the bottle top collection, community members can drop off their donations at the coffee house or arrange for a volunteer to collect them. The foundation expressed their gratitude for the community’s continued support, emphasising that even small acts of kindness can have a significant impact.

For more information on how to get involved or to learn about the foundation’s other initiatives, visit their website at Megan’s Starr Foundation.

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Charity

RNLI lifeguard patrols extend across Welsh beaches

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THIS weekend, RNLI beach lifeguards will be extending the number of patrolled beaches and are encouraging the public to visit a lifeguarded beach.

This Saturday 15 June, several more beaches along the Welsh coast will begin to be patrolled by RNLI lifeguards for the season. The RNLI are encouraging those planning a trip to the coast to visit a lifeguarded beach.

Vinny Vincent RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor for Swansea said: “There are plenty of lifeguarded beaches around Wales to choose from. Remember to swim and bodyboard between the red and yellow flags, or surf, kayak or stand-up paddleboard between the black and white flags.

“The lifeguards position the flags in the safest area of the beach, if you see a red flag the lifeguards have deemed that area of the beach as unsafe. If you ever have any questions, feel free to approach the lifeguards.”

From Saturday 15 June, RNLI lifeguards will be patrolling from 10am-6pm at the following locations:

In Denbighshire, Rhyl and Prestatyn beaches are being patrolled on Saturdays and Sundays only until 29 June when they will begin full-time patrols.

In Ceredigion, Borth and Llangrannog are being patrolled full time. Aberystwyth North and South, New Quay, Tresaith and Aberporth are all being patrolled on weekends only up until 13 July when they will begin full-time patrols.

In Pembrokeshire, Newport Sands, Poppit Sands, Whitesands, Newgale Central and South, Broad Haven, Freshwater West, Tenby North, Tenby Castle, Tenby South and Saundersfoot will begin full-time patrols.

In Swansea, Aberavon, Caswell Bay, Langland Bay, and Port Eynon are being patrolled full time. Three Cliffs and Pembrey are being patrolled on weekends only up until 29 June when they will begin to be patrolled full time.

In Bridgend and the Vale of Glamorgan, Rest Bay, Coney Bay, Trecco Bay and Whitmore Bay are all being patrolled full time. Southerndown, Ogmore and Llantwit Major will begin full-time patrols from 29 June.

Chris Cousens RNLI Water Safety Lead said: “If you’re visiting the coast, remember to visit a lifeguarded beach. It’s safest not to go into the water alone – the person you’re with can help you stay safe. And ensure that you’re always carrying a mobile phone.

“If you unexpectedly find yourself in difficulty in the water, float to live. If you see anyone else in difficulty anywhere along the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.”

To find your nearest lifeguarded beach visit: Lifeguarded Beaches – Find Your Nearest Lifeguarded Beach (rnli.org)

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