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Fundraising schoolboy gets surprise from rugby star

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28.11.16 Principality Achievment Award Winner Sam Milligan with Ospreys player James King (left) and Principality Finance Director Steve Hughes (right) at the Peony Breast Cancer Unit, Prince Phillip Hospital, Llanelli Picture by Nick Treharne

Sam Milligan: With Ospreys player James King (left) and Principality Finance Director Steve Hughes (right)

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.”

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Health

No action at Cardiff Airport over virus

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THERE were no checks or screening at Cardiff airport this morning (Jan 23) as international concern continues to grow about the coronavirus which has killed 17 people and infected hundreds in a central Chinese city.

A Herald journalist landing at 5:30am on a flight from Doha, said that passengers arriving from China or other Southeast Asian were not questioned or screened, despite other airports including Heathrow taking action.

The twice daily Doha flight, which was launched with the help of the Welsh Government two years ago, connects travellers from many destinations from South East Asia, including from China. A connection between Beijing and Cardiff is offered with a 10 hour stop over at Hamad International Airport in Qatar.

The outbreak of the virus is centred on the city of Wuhan. Travellers from Wuhan change at Beijing. At this time of year there is an increased number of travellers between China and the UK due to the Chinese New Year celebrations’

The Guardian reported today (Jan 23) that a sense of panic has spread in the central Chinese city of Wuhan as the city of 11 million was put on lockdown in an attempt to quarantine a deadly virus believed to have originated there.

Today, Chinese authorities banned all transport links from the sprawling city, suspending buses, the subway system, ferries and shutting the airport and train stations to outgoing passengers.

Nearby Huanggang also suspended its public bus and railway system by the end of the day.

In Wuhan, it has been reported that supermarket shelves were empty and local markets sold out of produce as residents hoarded supplies and isolated themselves at home. Petrol stations were overwhelmed as drivers stocked up on fuel, exacerbated by rumours that reserves had run out. Local residents said pharmacies had sold out of face masks.

The incubation period for the virus is said to be five days according to experts.

The Welsh Government has been asked for a comment.

Spencer Birns, Chief Commercial Officer at Cardiff Airport, told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Cardiff Airport is closely following guidance provided by the relevant authorities in relation to screening procedures for Coronavirus. Port Health advice as of 1200 on 23rd January 2020 is to operate business as usual, with no additional screening. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will update our customers as required.

“The safety and security of our team and customers is our number one priority.”

A spokesperson told The Herald that Chinese nationals arriving in Cardiff on international flights are not being asked if they originated in Wuhan despite the crisis.

“We have not been told to do different to normal,” the spokesperson said.

Pictured above: Regular flights: Qatar Airways plane at Cardiff Airport this morning • Peter Sinclair from Milford Haven lives in China and taking precautions

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Community

Llanelli MP & AM call for school transport solutions

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Llanelli’s MP and AM joined Tumble residents on Friday (15.01.20) to walk along the unlit path that children have been forced to take since a bus service to Maes y Gwendraeth school was scrapped.

A number of school bus routes in Carmarthenshire have been cancelled in response to UK Government legislation which has restricted the types of vehicles that bus companies can use. This has left many children who relied on these services with no safe way to get to school.

Nia Griffith MP and Lee Waters AM are working with local residents and councillors, like Dot Jones in Tumble, to find solutions that can be implemented by the County Council or UK Government.

Lee Waters AM said, “After carrying the bags and instruments of a Tumble pupil three miles to school on Friday morning it’s clear we need to get these services running again. I’ve been working with the Council and Welsh Government to try and find a common sense resolution to the problem of cancelled school buses right across Llanelli.

“It’s a complicated situation, and unfortunately the Welsh Government’s powers are limited, but we may have found a way forward if the UK Government are willing to be flexible. The Welsh Government has written to ask them to exempt school transport in Carmarthenshire from the new regulations which would allow the local services to resume.”

In addition to commercial school bus routes, there is also a scheme for pupils to access spare places on the coaches that pick up children who live further away from school for a small fare. However, local parents have raised concerns about the availability of this scheme and the process by which places are allocated.

Nia Griffith MP said, “We must work together to find ways to restore bus transport as soon as possible, even if the situation is complex.

“I understand the County Council will now review the scheme which lets pupils use spare places on existing school buses, but this needs to be done as quickly and effectively as possible to ensure the maximum number of pupils benefit.

“It is crazy to have buses with spare capacity passing the bus stop and leaving pupils to walk. But we need transport back for all pupils who have lost it.”

Cllr Rob James, who joined the walk to Ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth on Friday, said: “The bus services that have been withdrawn are vital services to many of our communities and must be retained.

“The local ward Councillors and I are thrilled with the support we are getting from the local MP and AM to solve these issues and we hope that there can be a resolution shortly.”

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Community

‘Seaside Kicks’ off to great start in Glanymor Ward!‬

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A new project has been launched which is completely free for young people from across the Llanelli area.‬


‭‘Premier League Kicks’ run by Swansea City Community Trust started last Tuesday (14th January) and is already proving to be a success with both children and their parents. ‬


‭Boys and Girls of all abilities are welcome to take part with sessions taking place on the brand new 3G pitch at Ysgol PenRhos. ‬


‭Ages 8-12 take place on every Tuesday evening between 5.00pm and 6.00pm with ages 13-16 on every Wednesday between 8.00 and 9.00pm. ‬
‭As well as the football sessions, activities will also include informative, educational workshops covering a wide range of issues including knife crime, county lines and online safety. ‬


Craig Richards from the Swans Community Trust said:‬
‭“Nationally, ‘Premier League Kicks’ is one of the Premier League’s flagship community programmes. It has a long history of using the power of football and the value of sports participation to help youngsters in some of the most-high need areas. ‬


‭“By engaging young people in constructive activities including football, coaching, educational and personal development sessions, communities up and down the country have been transformed with impressive football and sports participation rates, and authorities reporting significant reductions in anti-social behaviour in the areas in which it is delivered.”‬


Sean Rees, Llanelli Town Councillor for the Glanymor Ward added:‬
‭“It is a pleasure to link up with the Swans Community Trust, Police and Crime Commissioner, our PCSO’s, Llanelli Town Council and the Community Safety Partnership in bringing forward such an exciting project. ‬


‭“Engagement has taken place with both local schools at Ysgol PenRhos and Ysgol Maes Y Morfa as well as strong partnership work with our existing sports clubs in the area at Seaside AFC and Bwlch Rangers too all of whom have been very supportive.‬


‭“It is fantastic to see so many youngsters turning out in great numbers with more expected next week. It gives them somewhere to go in the area and have fun with others within a safe environment.‬


‭“I now look forward to seeing this project go from strength to strength.”‬

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