A SCHOOLBOY from Llanelli got an extra special surprise from a Welsh rugby star who presented him with an award honouring his fundraising efforts for a local breast cancer ward.
Sam Milligan, a year eight pupil at Ysgol y Strade, was presented with Principality Building Society’s Achievement Award by Welsh international rugby player James King, after he raised £2000 for the Peony Suite breast cancer ward at Llanelli’s Prince Philip Hospital. After his mother Heidi Milligan was treated for breast cancer at the hospital, Sam started fundraising through charity cycle rides, receiving the support of his school mates, family and teachers with donations along the way.
Visiting Prince Phillip Hospital to hand over his fundraising cheque to the ward, Sam had no idea he would also be presented with the inaugural Principality Building Society Achievement Award, with an Ospreys player on hand to do the honours.
Wales’ largest building society Principality currently work with Ysgol y Strade through its Business Class scheme, a business engagement programme for schools across Wales aiming to help develop life skills and financial education in young people. After hearing of Sam’s outstanding fundraising total, Principality launched the Achievement Award, which will now be given to a different pupil every term who has done something remarkable to help their community.
Sure to be the most popular student in school, Sam has won a tour of the home of Welsh rugby, Principality Stadium, as well as lunch in a VIP hospitality box for him and his 23 classmates.
After receiving the special honour from Principality Building Society, 13 year old Sam said: “I was totally shocked and surprised. I was really excited to see James King as he is a great rugby player. My parents were really shocked and extremely proud of me. When my classmates found out about the VIP tour of the Principality stadium they were ecstatic.”
Head of Business at Ysgol y Strade, Daniel Hughes, said: “Sam is an exceptional young man who sets an example to his peers. Everyone at the school is extremely proud of him and his efforts. His determination and passion to support such a great cause has been excellent and we’re proud to say that he’s a pupil of Ysgol Y Strade.
“Being able to surprise him this evening with the Principality Achievement Award gives him the recognition he deserves. Sam is the award’s first winner and has set the highest of benchmarks for the future.”
Principality Building Society will be working with Ysgol y Strade for three years through its Business Class scheme, helping to build confidence and aspirations in the young people at the school.
Group finance director of Principality, Steve Hughes, said: “Sam’s achievements are incredible and very deserving of the first Principality Achievement Award. He is a great example of a courageous, hard-working and driven young person, it was fantastic to meet him and his family, teachers and friends must be so proud.
“It was great to be involved and we at Principality are proud to be at the heart of communities across Wales. We hope the Business Class scheme will further raise the aspirations of young people at Ysgol y Strade and across the country before they enter the workplace. Sam is a great role model. I’m sure he and his classmates will enjoy a special and well-deserved day out at Principality Stadium.”
Lifeline for cockle-gathers could be on the way after Llangennech rail crash
Plaid Cymru MS Helen Mary Jones has raised the impact on cockle-gathers of the Llangennech derailment last year.
She received an assurance from the First Minister that the Welsh Government was looking at way to help the cockle industry.
Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Economy, Transport and Tackling Poverty Minister, Helen Mary Jones MS said:
“In the Senedd I congratulated the public services for the way they co-operated around the clean-up after the Llangennech derailment, which, so far, has been very successful. I demanded a life-line scheme to help the cockle gathers.
“I raised with the First Minister issues for two groups of businesses particularly badly affected in the short-term by the derailment.
“One of those was the very important cockle-gathering industry, the other, of course, were farmers who graze animals on those low-lying banks by the river.
“There has been a request for the Welsh Government to consider whether some interim financial support might be made available to the cockle gatherers and the grazers while responsibility for the derailment and long-term compensation becomes a possibility. Many of these are small businesses; they operate on quite low margins and currently in difficult circumstances.
“The First Minister emphasised he was aware of the impact on cockle gatherers and particularly that they were unable to carry out their normal activities while the level of environmental contaminants in the estuary were being surveyed.
“Plaid Cymru believes it must be the polluter in the end that must pay for the damage that has been caused, but the rail accident investigation branch work is not coming to a conclusion quickly.
“The Welsh Government is expecting to receive advice in the next few days whether or not it is possible to devise a scheme through the Welsh Government in which some interim assistance to those industries could be supplied.
“The Welsh Government is keen to obtain that advice from officials in case it is possible, before the rail accident investigation is completed, so they can offer some assistance to those who have been most directly affected.”
The environmental impact of the Llangennech derailment last year was amongst the most significant in Wales since the Sea Empress disaster of 25 years ago.
Monitoring of the site and surrounding area, which includes four sites of special scientific interest and a special area of conservation will continue for many years to come.
UK Budget must take crucial steps to help recovery
LLANELLI Labour representatives are urging the UK Government to take the necessary steps to begin recovery and secure prosperity across all parts of the UK.
Llanelli’s MP Nia Griffith and MS Lee Waters set out Wales’ priorities ahead of the UK Budget on Wednesday March 3 2021.
They are urging the UK Government to make a series of commitments to Wales, including:
• sustaining UK-wide business support
• delivering welfare and taxation measures to support the most vulnerable
• redressing the historical under investment in Wales on research and development and rail infrastructure
• providing an injection of funding to support the transition to Net Zero carbon emissions
• providing guarantees for Wales’ specific funding pressures
Speaking ahead of the UK Budget announcement, Nia Griffith MP reiterated her calls for continued business support for those on the lowest of incomes. She said:
“It is vital that the Job Retention Scheme and Self Employed Income Support Scheme are retained – not threatened with being removed at the eleventh hour and putting livelihoods at risk. A delay to repayments should also be introduced for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme with recognition given to the self-employed who are facing deferred bills.”
“It is also vital that the £20 per week increase to Universal Credit is maintained and put on a permanent basis, making it available to people in receipt of legacy means-tested benefits. More than 300,000 families in Wales have benefitted from an extra £1,000 a year as a result of the uplift and removing this now would have a detrimental and long-lasting effect on thousands of households across Wales.”
Lee Waters MS said:
“The UK Government should continue to take advantage of historically low interest rates to invest in Wales’ infrastructure and public services. Particularly on rail, where we have been underfunded to the tune of billions since the start of devolution, this is the moment where Rishi Sunak can demonstrate his commitment to ‘levelling up’ all four nations of the UK.”
“This budget is a chance to hardwire a greener, fairer way of doing things into our recovery from Coronavirus. We are ambitious about our target of being Net Zero carbon by 2050, and averting the climate crisis which is increasingly affecting Wales through flooding. But to make that transition, we need a step change from the UK Government’s budget that allows us to invest in renewable energy and green jobs.”
Search for Susan Smith continues
THE search for missing Susan Smith is now in it’s third day. She was last seen on Saturday (Feb 27), walking in the Kidwelly area.
Speaking to The Herald, a police spokesperson said: “We are continuing to search for Susan Smith who has been reported missing.”
“The search is continuing today with specialist police officers making house to house enquiries in the Kidwelly, St Ishamels, Ferryside and surrounding areas.
Sergeant Fiona Phillips said: “It is important that we build a picture of Susan’s movements after she was last seen on Saturday and I would appeal to anyone who believes they may have seen her to contact police.”
Susan was last seen 1.30pm Saturday, February 27 2021, walking in the Carmarthen Bay Holiday Village, Kidwelly area. She is known to walk along the beach to St Ishmaels and Ferryside.
She is described as approximately 5ft2 inches tall, petite with shoulder length blonde hair and believed to be wearing black jeans, a black fleece type jacket and navy and grey walking boots.
Any who has seen Susan or anyone who may have information that could help the search is asked to contact Dyfed-Powys Police, quoting reference 285 of Saturday 27th February.
Police can be contacted either online at bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing email@example.com, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908
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