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Penguins join the anti-litter brigade

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Lords of the deep: Neptune’s Army.

Lords of the deep: Neptune’s Army.

A DIVING group dedicated to clearing the county’s seabed of rubbish paid a visit to Folly Farm to educate visitors about the dangers of marine litter, as well as the impact it can have on the landscape and wildlife.
Volunteers representing Neptune’s Army of Rubbish Cleaners (NARC) based themselves at Folly Farm’s Penguin Coast for a day, joining forces with a giant penguin mascot and Folly Farm colleagues to draw in the crowds and spend some time raising awareness and welcoming contributions towards NARC’s efforts.
Over £1000 was raised on the day as a result of interest sparked by activities such as face painting and penguin bingo, as well as a £500 donation from Folly Farm.
Dave Kennard, local diver who founded Neptune’s Army of Rubbish Cleaners 10 years ago in conjunction with Keep Wales Tidy, praised Folly Farm for their support, both financially and in helping the group raise awareness of underwater litter: “Along with our hard working volunteers, we step out year after year to tackle underwater litter and it’s brilliant to be getting this kind of support from Folly Farm and its visitors,” he said.
“So much of our time is spent cutting wildlife free after it becomes entangled in debris such as fishing lines. Everyone in Pembrokeshire and beyond needs to wake up and realise that the rubbish they are dropping into the sea off clifftops, beaches or boats is doing major damage to our beautiful coastline and wildlife. Please help us protect our coastline.”
Tim Morphew, Zoo Curator at Folly Farm, added: “We are committed to conservation at Folly Farm and help raise awareness of and funds for many in-situ and ex-situ conservation projects. It’s great that our Penguin Coast exhibit benefits the beautiful coastal county in which we operate and we are able to educate and hopefully change visitors’ behaviour through the iconic species of the penguin.”
Further information about the work carried out by NARC can be found on their website at: http://www. narc-cc.org.uk/

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Community

NSPCC: Wales conference puts spotlight on domestic abuse

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PROTECTING women and children from domestic abuse was the focus of a ground-breaking conference in Wales this week (Mar 28).

Organised by Cardiff University’s Exchange Network – with support from NSPCC Cymru / Wales and Welsh Women’s Aid – the event aimed to share information on the most effective approaches to tackle all forms of violence against women, domestic abuse and support for victims – be they adults or children.

Preventing violence from happening and protecting those who fall victim to domestic abuse formed the focus of the conference, at Cardiff’s Novotel Hotel.

Representatives from Welsh Government, Relate Cymru, Barnardos and Rape and Sexual Abuse (RASA) Centre also attended.

Domestic abuse continues to be a significant reason for young people to contact Childline. In 2016/17 volunteers at the NSPCC-run helpline undertook 120 counselling sessions with children from Wales who had concerns about abuse by a partner in their own relationship.

And 241 children from Wales contacted Childline to discuss parental domestic abuse.

Some young people who witness this also experience physical abuse by their parents. This can sometimes happen when they try and intervene in the abuse taking place, with some children telling Childline they were hit by their mother or father when trying to stop a fight.

“Sometimes my dad gets in a bad mood and gets really aggressive. He says horrible things to me and my mum and it scares me. In the past he was threatening to hit my mum, when I tried to get him to calm down he slapped me instead. I feel like neither of them listen to me and they don’t understand how upset it’s all making me.” (Girl, 16-18, Wales)

Head of NSPCC Cymru / Wales, Des Mannion, told The Llanelli Herald: “Domestic abuse can have a huge impact on a child’s physical and emotional wellbeing and it’s hugely important that we share information and discuss ways to both prevent violence and protect victims.

“We all have a part to play in tackling domestic abuse and it’s important to pick up the phone if you’re concerned so that our advisers can offer guidance and get help where it’s needed.

“Stepping in early helps to change behaviours and avoid abuse escalating, and putting the child at the heart of interventions is paramount in keeping children safe and limiting long-term damage.

“It is also vital that children and young people affected by domestic abuse have access to the right kind of support to overcome the trauma of witnessing and experiencing domestic abuse.”

Any child worried about domestic abuse can call Childline on 0800 11 11. Any adult who is concerned about a child can call the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000.

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Pop-up craft stalls return to St Elli

Tamsin Mathias

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Photo credit: www.stelli.co.uk/about-us/

LLANELLI’S St Elli Shopping Centre is once again playing host to a fantastic group of pop-up craft stalls today and tomorrow (Mar 1-2).

Following on from a highly successful outing just before Christmas, the ‘Pert A Blasus Pop-Up Emporium’ will see a variety of crafters take to the Atrium to sell their handmade crafts.

A group of friends who met whilst running stalls at craft markets around South Wales, Pert A Blasus brings together a host of skill sets and backgrounds – including a former kitchen fitter and scaffolder, a former clerical assistant, and a primary school teacher.

Primary school teacher Jill Davies has been crafting most of her life as a hobby; however, seven years ago decided to launch ‘Dzines by Jill’, which sees her hand-decorate plain pieces of ceramic and household items with her own unique designs.

Jill also organises her own ‘Made it Markets’ in Neath.

Also on board with Pert A Blasus is Steve Kennedy, who is the brainchild of ‘Cut n Scroll’, where he hand cuts items from wood and enlists the help of his wife Tanya for painting and gemming; Wendy Taylor, also a primary school teacher, who completed a precious metal course at Gower College and now makes her own items for her ‘Simplicity by Silver’ stall; and Jill James who runs her ‘Pretty Cute Fairies’ stall.

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Community

Bread and Jam for Christmas

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A young woman with Spina bifida has been left alone in an empty home with nothing but bread and jam to eat and with no cooking facilities. Jackie lives a stone’s throw from Llanelli Town Hall and yet she claims she has been abandoned by the County Council, her AM, her MP and Social Services. She faces a wait until January 10 before service providers meet to discuss her case.

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