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Welsh pet food company donates food to animal charity battling to survive coronavirus lockdown

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A Welsh pet food company has donated thousands of pounds worth of dog food to a local rescue centre to help it keep going during the Covid-19 crisis as it struggles to stay afloat during such uncertain times.

Kidwelly-based Burns Pet Nutrition, a natural pet food company that already helps over 40 rescue centres across the UK, is supplying much-needed food donations to South Wales animal charity, Hope Rescue. The family firm, which specialises in producing high quality dog food made up of all-natural ingredients, is providing the centre with three-months’ worth of nutrition to see it through the lockdown period.

Hope Rescue, which operates from a rescue centre in Llanharan and has a charity shop in Pontypridd, provides care to over 800 dogs a year. The charity rescues stray and abandoned dogs in in the region who would otherwise be euthanised, and also supports other local pounds and rescues who are struggling with capacity.

However, the financial fall-out from the current Covid-19 crisis is now putting the future of the charity at risk.

Since the start of the UK-wide lockdown, Hope Rescue has seen its main sources of income come to a halt, having been forced to close its charity shop, boarding kennels, paddock hire and grooming services, as well as cancel upcoming fundraising events and stop all fostering and adoption activity.

The charity is unable to apply for many of the grants made available to other organisations as they are understandably focussing on charities providing immediate Covid-19 relief services and aren’t aimed at the animal welfare sector. It is the latest financial blow for the organisation, coming just weeks after its only charity shop was hit by devastating flooding during Storm Dennis.

As a result, a quarter of its staff have been furloughed and the charity has been left with no revenue, while still having kennels full of dogs that need to be fed and looked after.

To reduce the strain on the charity, Burns will provide Hope Rescue with at least £6,000 worth of its natural dog food over the next three months. The food will help to keep the charity’s costs down and enable it to continue to feed its residents as it operates on a limited scale throughout the outbreak.

Founder and Manager of Hope Rescue, Vanessa Waddon, said: “As a not for profit

organisation, we are entirely dependent on donations and money generated from our charity’s activities. Following the Government lockdown, we lost the majority of our income overnight.

“As an animal welfare charity, we also don’t necessarily quality for all the Government programmes and grant funding that are available. Finances are a huge concern. Every day we are losing £1,000 worth of income, yet we still have a centre to run. There are 75 dogs in our care and the number of strays coming through our doors hasn’t slowed.

“This is a really difficult time for Hope Rescue but we are determined to stay open and continue to do what we can for the most vulnerable dogs in the local community, albeit at a very much reduced capacity. We are immensely thankful to Burns for their support. The provision of food for the dogs in our care has taken a huge weight off our shoulders and will make help make significant financial savings that we desperately need at such a critical time.”

John Burns, Founder of Burns Pet Nutrition added: “As the only dog rescue in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Hope Rescue provides a vital lifeline for the most vulnerable dogs in communities across South Wales. The work that the charity does is inspiring and is really making a difference to the lives of animals and people across the region.

“The impact of coronavirus on animal charities has been unprecedented and we want to do whatever we can to help those struggling during this terrible time.”

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Further childcare hub opening in Llanelli

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AN additional childcare hub has opened in Llanelli this week (w/c Monday, May 25) due to increasing demand to provide care for children of critical workers and vulnerable children.

It will be located at Ysgol Ffwrnes in Llanelli and follows the opening of an extra three hubs at Bryn Primary School in Llanelli, Model Primary School in Carmarthen and Ysgol Tycroes.

It is important that numbers are kept low at the hubs to ensure the health and safety of both the children and staff.

Parents are being reminded to keep their children at home where possible to help contain the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19). However, if you are a critical worker, and your child cannot stay at home, then your childcare will be prioritised.

Parents should only apply for childcare to cover their working hours; and are also being reminded to please cancel as soon as possible if they no longer need the provision.

Please note the timetable for applications to the childcare hubs has also changed, and that applications now close at 5pm on the Wednesday of the week before.

Unfortunately, we will no longer be able to consider any applications made after deadline. Due to the significant increase in demand for places at our hubs we must make sure they are staffed sufficiently. The health and safety of both staff and pupils is vital and has to be our main priority.

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How Wales created 19 new field hospitals in less than 8 weeks…

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Across Wales the Welsh Government is supporting the NHS to create new field hospitals and rapidly increase bed capacity.
Health boards have repurposed existing buildings, including the Principality Stadium, a holiday park and even a television studio to provide an additional 6,000 beds.Field hospitals are designed to support the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic by providing extra bed capacity but they will also help normal hospital services be restarted and support social care services.Last month, the first patients were admitted to Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig at the Principality Stadium, in Cardiff.

Four to six weeks

Here is how Wales almost doubled its bed capacity in less than eight weeks…The time it has taken to nearly double hospital bed capacity in Wales, creating field hospitals across the nation.

19 field hospitals in Wales
This includes the repurposing of Bluestone Holiday Park and Parc y Scarlets in west Wales and Venue Cymru in north Wales.

1,500 beds at the Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig
Making it one of the largest field hospitals in the UK.

Five days
The length of time it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig, which overlapped with the build phase.

3,000
The number of planning hours, involving more than 20 different disciplines, it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig.

£166m
Welsh Government funding for the set up, construction and equipment for field hospitals in Wales.

138,000
The number of pieces of equipment have been provided to help support field hospitals, including beds, imaging equipment, syringe drivers and medicines.

Three North Wales field hospitals have the name Enfys
Meaning rainbow – the symbol of hope and thank you to the NHS during the pandemic.
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7-year-old Mattie from Pembrey takes on home Pen y Fan-tastic challenge for Action for Children

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Plucky Mattie Denman will climb the equivalent of Pen y Fan in the drive at her family home in Pembrey on Friday 22nd May to raise funds for Action for Children.

Mattie (7), has always wanted to climb the highest mountain in South Wales and is unable to currently because of the coronavirus pandemic.  As the family exercise at home every day, she decided she wanted to do the 6-mile equivalent journey there while she waits for the chance to do it for real.  Mattie chose Action for Children as her mother, Sian, works for the charity in Carmarthenshire.

Mattie said: ‘My Mammy works for Action for Children and I want to help as well because lots of families need help.  My older brother and sister help Action for Children, so I asked Mammy if I could do something. We exercise everyday walking up and down the drive and I have always wanted to climb Pen y Fan, but we have never done it.

‘Mammy said I could pretend I am walking it and people will give money to the charity. I said brilliant, that is what I am going to do and I am super excited to do it. I will use mammy’s step counter and I hope I can help children that need support especially because it is so hard for some families because of coronavirus.’

Proud mum and family support practitioner for Action for Children, Sian, added: ‘Mattie has a lovely heart and really wanted to do something and I’m very proud she chose Pen y Fan as her home challenge.  Action for Children has been going the extra mile during the coronavirus pandemic continuing to support vulnerable families through phone and video sessions as well as food and help with the basics from our Emergency Appeal Fund. 

‘It is a tremendously challenging time for our families and every bit of money will directly help those in our communities who need it most.  I hope as many people as possible will donate to Mattie’s brilliant fundraising effort, it’ll make it even more special when we finally get to climb Pen y Fan for real.’

If you want to support Mattie’s Pen y Fan challenge please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mattiesclimb

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