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Tributes paid to Pembrokeshire RNLI stalwart, Jeffrey Thompson

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ON TUESDAY (Jun 18), the funeral of former St Davids Lifeboat crew member Jeffrey Thompson was held at Seion Baptist Chapel, New Street, St Davids. Jeffrey passed away on 2nd June at Withybush Hospital, leaving behind his wife, Nina. He was a cherished father, grandfather, brother, family member, and friend.

Jeffrey began his service at St Davids RNLI lifeboat station in 1975, initially as a member of the shore crew for 11 years. In 1986, he joined the all-weather lifeboat crew. By 1995, he had risen to the position of deputy second coxswain, a role he held until his retirement in 2002.

The crew at St Davids RNLI expressed their sorrow at Jeffrey’s passing, stating, “St Davids RNLI is saddened to learn of the recent death of former crew member Jeffrey Thompson. He gave an incredible 27 years of service. We send Jeff’s family our condolences at this sad time.”

Former St Davids Lifeboat coxswain, Dai Chant, paid tribute, saying, “Jeff was one of my top crew members and a man you could rely on in bad weather shouts. May he rest in peace.”

Will Chant, the current coxswain and son of Dai Chant, shared his memories: “When I started in 1996, Jeff was a fantastic crew member to have as a mentor. He was humble, always gave you his time, and was steadfast in the most demanding of situations. A calm but assured figure on the crew, brilliant on the deck, and a great rope worker. If the lifeboat needed to tow a vessel, he was the man to operate the deck. He made rope mats for the lifeboat station and even repaired a flagpole using his rope whipping skills. A keen countryman, he would fish the local waters on his boat and also shoot for game birds. Jeff worked in the merchant navy and for Stena Europe for many years.”

Jeffrey’s former neighbour, Paul Sage, who grew up alongside him in Heol Dewi, St Davids, fondly remembered a time in the 60s when Jeffrey brought a monkey home from his time at sea. “He spent most of his life at sea in the Merchant Navy. He loved being outdoors, shooting, and fishing,” Paul said. “He was a hell of a character, always leg-pulling and joking. A lovely character.”

Jeffrey’s funeral took place at 11.30 am today. Donations, if desired, can be made to the Paul Sartori Foundation via WG Bernard Matthias & Daughter, 62 New Street, St Davids, SA62 6SU.

Charity

NSPCC launches Voice of Online Youth to give young people in Wales 

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A TEENAGER from Wales is among a group of 15 young people from across the UK who will make up a new forum of young people to advise the NSPCC, politicians, regulators, parents and professionals about the best way to protect children online.

The ‘Voice of Online Youth’ is a group aged 13-16 from across the UK who are passionate about helping children to have safe and happy experiences online.

They aim to get young people’s voices heard and ensure decisions about online safety are informed by their unique experiences. They will do this by meeting with decision makers across all nations of the UK, attending events, and engaging in workshops.

The Voice of Online Youth is formed of ten people from England, two from Scotland, two from Northern Ireland, and one from Wales, Maelon, 13 from South Wales, leading to a diversity of perspectives and life experiences within the group.

The group, which officially launched today (June 28th), forms as Ofcom consults on its initial plans to regulate social media under the Online Safety Act.

Maelon, 13, from Maesteg says, “I joined the Voice of Online Youth because I wanted to help more people who have been negatively affected online and I thought the role would suit me well.”

Shalom, 14, from Bolton, says, “I wanted to join the group because I think the online world is such a wonderful place and I want to contribute to making it so young people can navigate the online world and discover new opportunities while also being a safe space for us to be in.”

Rayhaan, 17, from Leicester, says,’ “I want to spread awareness about the many issues facing young people on the internet today. Together, I hope we can work towards a future where everyone is safe online.”

Young people’s voices were central in the NSPCC’s Wild West Web campaign which called for the Online Safety Act. The charity made sure key decision makers heard about young people’s experiences and what they thought needed to change. The Voice of Online Youth will build on this through giving children a vital voice in the implementation of the act.

Sir Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive: “The Voice of Online Youth will offer valuable insight and a unique perspective to the NSPCC, bolstering our efforts to ensure children’s online safety is prioritised.

“This group can also help shape the thinking of policymakers and regulators, who desperately need to be considering the views of those impacted by online challenges to truly understand the issues they face.

“It’s crucial Ofcom engage with young people when implementing the new online safety regulation to ensure it is effective and results in a truly safer online world which children can enjoy.”

The NSPCC also want the next Government to ensure children and young people’s voices and experiences are meaningfully considered in the development and implementation of online safety regulation through introducing statutory mechanisms to ensure their voices are consistently heard.

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Paul Sartori receives donation to continue support to Dementia patients

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PAUL SARTORI Hospice at Home, a local charity, supporting end of life and palliative patients, their families and carers have recently been awarded a grant from Elise Pilkington Charitable Trust. The grant of £10,000 has been given to extend its previous support given to patients living at home with dementia in Pembrokeshire.

“This funding has come at a crucial time for us. We had funding for a few trails where we recognised a need for support. We know the difference this care makes to local families supporting a relative with dementia at home. It can be exhausting. Quite often they cannot leave their loved one unattended and they get very little time to themselves, which can have a great impact on the family carer. This project will increase the resilience of the family carer and support the patient in a familiar environment where they feel comfortable and secure,” said Laura Hugman, Clinical Team Manager at Paul Sartori Hospice at Home.

The award will fund up to 232 hours of hands-on home nursing care, allowing day and night-time respite for those families who are struggling. Families can access support during the day – so they can address their own care needs, attend appointments, catch up with friends, enjoy their hobbies or just rest. Families who need respite can also access support during the night. They will have peace of mind knowing that their loved one is looked after by Paul Sartori staff who are experienced and trained in many complex medical conditions.

“We were delighted to hear that the Elise Pilkington Charitable Trust have agreed to support this much-needed provision in Pembrokeshire,” said Judith Williams, Grant Development Officer at Paul Sartori Hospice at Home.

“The Elise Pilkington Trust were delighted to be able to support this important work at Paul Sartori in supporting end of life patients with advanced dementia. This fits very well with our aims of supporting projects dedicated to addressing the needs of older people with advanced dementia (and their carers) in domestic, community and formal care settings,” said Ruth Tarry, Chairman from the Elise Pilkington Charitable Trust.

This follows on from support provided by NFU Mutual’s Agency Giving Fund and the Hywel Dda University Health Board, where both trials proved invaluable for local families. Although Dementia was not recognised until recently as something you can die of. According to the Office for National Statistics, Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was recorded as one of the leading causes of death in Wales in April 2023. The Paul Sartori Hospice at Home Clinical Staff Team are aware of the difference supporting those living with Dementia and the impact on families and will work with the Admiral and Marie Curie Dementia Nurses to enhance the support locally.

The Paul Sartori Team play an important part in supporting end of life patients and their families, which also enhances the provision of other local services. With the team’s flexible and rapid approach, they support the patient’s wish to be cared for in their own home. They offer a patient-centred approach to care – assessing patients, referring to other internal services, work closely with other healthcare providers and are available as advisors. They provide a wide range of other services, including home nursing care, 24-hour support, standby service, complementary therapy, bereavement and counselling support, physiotherapy, future care planning and training. These services enable people in the later stages of any life limiting illness to be cared for and to die at home with dignity, independence, pain free and surrounded by those they hold most dear if that is their wish. Further information on the charity and its services can be obtained by visiting their website www.paulsartori.org, or by phoning 01437 763223.

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Fishguard RNLI volunteers on exercise tasked to real casualty

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A VOLUNTEER crew out on training exercise were diverted to a real casualty within minutes of launching.

Three volunteer crew members from Fishguard RNLI had just launched the charity’s D class inshore lifeboat Edward Arthur Richardson for a planned routine training exercise, and were attempting to notify HM Coastguard of their intentions when they were tasked to a genuine shout.

The request was to attend to a 5m rigid inflatable boat (RIB) with 2 persons onboard which was located approximately 1.5 miles east of Pen Anglas and had lost all means of propulsion.

With rain moving into the area the two casualties onboard were also open to the elements. On rounding Pen Anglas the casualty vessel was spotted in the distance and the lifeboat made best speed into the conditions.

Once on scene an assessment was carried out and due to the worsening weather conditions and with the boat at risk of drifting towards cliffs due to having no means of propulsion, it was determined the safest course of action would be to establish an astern tow and return the casualty vessel to the nearest safe harbour at Goodwick.

Following a slow tow at 3-4 knots the casualty was brought inside the breakwater at Goodwick where a lifeboat crew member was transferred across to assist in taking the vessel from an astern tow to an alongside tow, giving the volunteer helm more control to bring the casualty vessel alongside the slip at Goodwick.

Once alongside the slip the casualty vessel was made fast and casualties transferred safely ashore to recover their vessel. The lifeboat then returned to station where it was washed down, refuelled and made ready again for service.

Fishguard RNLI volunteer inshore lifeboat Helm, Ian Davies, said: ‘We had launched to carry out routine training for crew working towards their upcoming assessments, this included setting up and establishing astern and alongside tows when we were called upon to assist the casualty, as a result we ended up putting that training into practice to safely return the casualty vessel to shore.

‘The owner did the correct thing and contacted the Coastguard using their radio on channel 16 to report their situation. We would like to remind any water users to ensure they always carry a means of calling for help, most commonly a personal VHF radio or mobile phone kept in a waterproof pouch and should be within reach at all times.’

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