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Health Board urges eligible groups to get flu vaccinaton

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THE ANNUAL Hywel Dda programme to encourage people in eligible groups across mid and west Wales to have a vaccination to protect themselves from influenza (flu), a virus that can cause serious illness, has been launched.

This year Hywel Dda has developed a localised campaign aimed at bringing together every resident in mid and west Wales to tackle this problem as one collective community.

The superhero based theme is a call to action urging residents to become a ‘superprotector’ by getting vaccinated which will ultimately help protect themselves, patients, their families, colleagues and neighbours from catching flu.

The theme will be introduced across Hywel Dda sites using visuals and messaging that have been developed to be eye-catching, memorable and mean something to those that that view the messages with a hope that they are encouraged to make the effort to receive their flu vaccination.

A spokesperson said: “We have particular challenges around flu vaccination uptake in the Hywel Dda region so whilst the campaign calls on everyone to get vaccinated it also focuses specifically groups that are eligible for a free vaccination which include NHS staff, pregnant women, people with certain chronic long-term health conditions, and everyone aged 65 and over. We are also encouraging everyone, whether eligible for a free NHS vaccine or not, to have the vaccination to help prevent the spread of flu.”

Children aged two to ten-years-old are also eligible as the vaccine programme for children is again being extended this year. The vaccine for adults is a small injection, but for children it is a simple nasal spray. Children aged between two and three years can receive the nasal vaccine at their GP surgery while those in reception class and every primary school can get it at school.

Ros Jervis, Director of Public Health for Hywel Dda University Health Board, who launched the today, reiterated it is vital that those most at risk take advantage of the free vaccine: “Influenza can be a life-threatening illness for people who are at risk due to their age, an underlying health problem, or because they are pregnant. Sadly, influenza kills people in Wales every year.

“Influenza spreads very easily. Extending the programme to more children this year will help protect them from catching flu, and will also prevent them spreading it to others in the community who may be very vulnerable. I particularly call on the parents of 2-3 year old children to get their children vaccinated with the simple nasal spray this year as the statistics show as few as six 2-3 year old children vaccinated prevents one case of flu – this age group has the best opportunity over all others to help stop the spread of flu – they are our ultimate “superprotectors”.

“People can be seriously ill with influenza, and a flu vaccination is the best way to protect against it, so I call on each and every person in the Hywel Dda region including all our own staff to join us in helping prevent the spread of this virus by getting vaccinated and help make our local community a safer place to live this winter.”

While most NHS flu vaccines are given in GP surgeries, free vaccination is also available for some eligible adults in many community pharmacies across Wales.

Carers, volunteers providing planned emergency first aid, Community First Responders, and, for the first time this year, people working in care homes that have regular client contact are also entitled to the vaccine.

It’s also recommended that frontline health and social care workers have the free vaccine to protect themselves and those they care for. They can talk to their occupational health department or employer about where and when they can get their vaccine.

Important information about influenza and the vaccine

Influenza is a respiratory illness caused by a virus that affects the lungs and airways. Symptoms generally come on suddenly, and can include fever, chills, headache, cough, body aches and fatigue.

The influenza virus is spread via droplets which are sprayed into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Direct contact with contaminated hands or surfaces can also spread infection. It can spread rapidly, especially in closed communities such as hospitals, residential homes and schools.

The influenza viruses that circulate and cause illness each winter change and therefore each year the flu vaccine is changed to try and match the circulating strains, in order to give best protection.

Find out more by visiting www.beatflu.org or www.curwchffliw.org or finding Beat Flu or Curwch Ffliw on Twitter and Facebook.

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Llanelli to holds it first food and drink festival

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THIS SATURDAY (Oct 20), Llanelli town centre is holding it’s first ever Food and Drink Festival.

The festival which is being funded by Ymlaen Llanelli Business Improvement District, Llanelli Town Council and Welsh Government will see the town filled with a selection of artisan and street food and drink stalls from 9am to 4pm on Saturday, 20th October. Visitors will be able to buy everything from cheese and chutneys and to craft beer and wine.

In the St Elli shopping centre there will be a show demonstration kitchen where local chefs will be showing off their cooking skills from 10am on a variety of themes including the Big Welsh Breakfast, Fish is the Dish and Keep It Local.

You can also learn how to make bread, mill flower and churn butter at free workshops in the St Elli Centre and well as listen to live music in the entertainment marquee in Vaughan Street.

There are free activities for children throughout the day too including a toddler trail, disco potatoes and a pottery bus.

Llanelli market who are pioneers of little or no packaging will be taking part in a Go Green Trail and offering free canvas bags to customers on the day.

There is free parking all day in town too!

On Friday night the festival is kicked off by a food trail around some of the town’s best bars and restaurants. The Thomas Arms, Ruby’s, Llanelly House and Marzano’s will be offering tasters of their favourite dishes to some lucky customers. Anyone that completes the trail and get a stamp at every location gets entered into a prize draw to win a £50 voucher to spend at any of the four restaurants. You can pick up a stamp card at any of the four up until Friday evening.

Paolo Piana will be hosting a Come Dine With Me evening at Y Lle on Old Castle Road where participants will take part in an interactive dining experience and learn how to cook some Italian dishes from scratch. There is also a Welsh Cheese and Wine Evening taking place at the mayor’s parlour to raise money for the mayors chosen charity (both of these events have limited space to booking is essential).

Chair of Ymlaen Llanelli, Lesley Richards said: “It’s great to see months of work finally coming to fruition with our First Food and Drink Festival this weekend and we are all very much looking forward to it. We hope to see a large number of visitors in the town centre on Saturday to visit the food and drink stalls. Once they see what fantastic businesses we have in Llanelli, we hope they will return to support our lovely town which is a great place to do your Christmas shopping. Don’t forget there’s free parking all day too!”

Llanelli Town Mayor, Cllr. David Darkin said: “I’m really excited about the upcoming food festival. I’m sure this will be a fantastic showcase of what Llanelli town has to offer and a great family friendly event. Llanelli Town Council is very pleased to see this event taking place in our community.”

 

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A Llanelli pub wants to pay you to drink beer

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A LLANELLI pub has launched a search for the UK’s first ever ‘Pub-licist’ and is encouraging locals to apply for the coveted role – which will include drinking beer and catching up with friends.

The New Stepney Hungry Horse pub on Eastgate, is advertising the dream job for pub goers and calling for a local spokesperson to represent the pub company in return for a £500 salary.

As well as drinking on the job, the Pub-licist will also be faced with responsibilities that will include tucking into pies, lasagne, and fish & chips, and attending entertainment events at their local pub, on top of playing the odd game of darts, karaoke or taking part in the pub quiz.

The Pub-licist will also be required to make a number of visits to their local, in order to provide feedback and recommendations to help make their pub the best in the country.

Each task must be reviewed thoroughly and key feedback provided to management, to help the pub stay ahead of competitors and retain its role as the hub of the community.

The winning candidate should know their cask from their craft, be a pro at pub quizzes and have a taste for the finest pub-grub. Interested applicants should visit hungryhorse.co.uk/publicist before Tuesday 13 November explaining why they’ve got what it takes to be Hungry Horse’s first Pub-licist.

Andrea Daniels, general manager at the New Stepney, said: “Nothing beats the atmosphere and comradery of a local pub – and it really is the guests who make it such a great place to be.

“We’re searching for a pub fanatic who just loves a trip to their local, to become our first ever Pub-licist and help us to become the best pub the community.

“So, if you fancy taking part in a pub quiz, sipping on a cold beer or tucking into traditional pub classics – all while getting paid to do so, then we want to hear from you. We’d love it if the UK’s first ever Pub-licist was from Llanelli!”

Applications are open from Tuesday 16 October – Tuesday 13 November to apply or find out more, visit: hungryhorse.co.uk/publicist.

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Police say ‘stop protecting’ murder suspect Steve Baxter

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JUST over two weeks ago Simon Clark, aged 54, was found dead at Grove Caravan Park in Pendine, Carmarthenshire.

Dyfed-Powys Police is continuing its manhunt for Steve Baxter, who is wanted on suspicion of Simon’s murder.

Baxter also known as Steve Tidy, Steve Rowley, Wayne Tidy or William Tidy, is aged 52, 5’5” (1.65cm) tall and has tattoos on his forearms – the name Chez and entwined circles on his left arm and a serpent on his right arm.

He has connections in the West Wales, South Wales, South West and North England areas of the UK.

Officers and staff are working round the clock to follow all possible lines of enquiry.

The independent charity Crimestoppers is also offering a reward of up to £5,000 for information leading to the arrest of Steve Baxter and he has been added to the Most Wanted section of their website. Information would be taken by the charity anonymously.

Detective Superintendent Huw Davies said: “It’s over two weeks since Simon Clark was murdered at Grove Caravan Park, Pendine.

“The manhunt for Steve Baxter is ongoing and I must stress to the public that officers and staff are working round the clock to investigate all possible lines of enquiry that could lead us to him.

“I urge anyone with information of Baxter’s whereabouts to come forward. If you do not want to speak to police directly, you can speak to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, which is also offering a reward of up to £5,000 for information leading to his arrest.

“Someone knows where he is or has been in the last two weeks. Please stop protecting him. Simon Clark’s family deserve to see all those involved in his death brought to justice.”

Four people have been charged in connection with the murder: Jeffrey Stephen Ward, aged 40, from Pendine, has been charged with murder; Linda Mary Rowley, aged 52, from Pendine, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder); Kirston Macklin, aged 52, from Newport, Gwent, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder) and Julie Louise Harris, aged 46, from Tonypandy, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder).

If you see Steve Baxter call Dyfed-Powys Police on 999. Do not approach him.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Steve Baxter call Dyfed-Powys Police on 101 immediately.

To pass on information anonymously, contact Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through the non-traceable anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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