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​​​​Welsh RNLI volunteers aid Carlisle

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JS78198271RNLI Flood Rescue Team volunteers from Penarth, Porthcawl, Barry Dock, Angle and Port Talbot have joined emergency services from across the country to help people caught up in floods in Cumbria.

RNLI volunteers operating in Carlisle and Cockermouth have evacuated over 300 people over the weekend and are continuing to help in affected areas today.

Two RNLI teams have been wading through flood waters to help people in Workington.

The RNLI’s team of specifically trained flood rescue volunteers arrived in Kendal on Saturday and have been helping the communities affected by flooding ever since.

RNLI volunteers from south Wales helping with rescue operations include Jason Dunlop from Penarth, Chris Missen from Porthcawl, John Perring from Port Talbot, Hugh Davies from Barry Dock and Sarah Lunn from Angle.

Among the tasks undertaken by the Welsh RNLI Flood Rescue Team volunteers was a joint operation to evacuate elderly and vulnerable residents of a care home in Carlisle last night.

About 15 of the home’s residents, and five carers, needed to be taken from the home, which had flood water throughout its ground floor and has lost power and was getting cold.

Working in partnership with fellow emergency services, three RNLI Flood Rescue Team boats were involved in the evacuation, with volunteers carrying the elderly residents down from the first floor to the waiting boats, which transferred them to dry land for further care. All were taken to safety.

Also in Carlisle yesterday, an 80-year-old woman had to be helped out of a first floor window onto a ledge after five foot of water flooded into her home on Sunday. She was transferred safely into an RNLI Flood Rescue Team boat. While in another flooded Carlisle property yesterday RNLI volunteers waded through feet of water to carry another two pensioners out on their shoulders on stretchers and into a rescue boat.

Among the hundreds of people evacuated by RNLI Flood Rescue Team volunteers were children, pensioners, pregnant women and pets – including a Great Dane.

RNLI volunteer Chris Missen, who travelled to Cumbria from Porthcawl, Wales, to help the rescue effort, said the conditions were ‘unprecedented.’

He said:

​”​

We have been working closely with the other emergency services to do what we can to help people, and fortunately the majority of the people we’ve evacuated have been uninjured but are understandably quite distressed. It’s heart-breaking to see what this has done to people’s homes, especially just before Christmas.

​”​

The scale of this incident isn’t like anything I’ve seen before, it’s relentless. I’ve been involved in six other flood rescue operations with the RNLI and this is by far the worst. It’s unprecedented. It has been emotionally and physically challenging for the RNLI volunteers but the teamwork has been excellent and the operations have gone well.

​”​

Flood Rescue Team volunteer, Glen Mallen said:

​”​

We currently have five Flood Rescue Teams on the ground, with four specifically adapted boats for flood rescue. We are working closely with other emergency services on the scene to help those in need. Thankfully most of those helped are uninjured, but understandably distressed. It is so sad to see this kind of devastation, especially so close to Christmas.

​”​

The RNLI Flood Rescue Team is supported by Toolstation.

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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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Housebuilder launches Coronavirus move in package

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A South Wales housebuilder has launched new incentives which mean homes are ‘ready to move into’ during the Covid-19 crisis – without the need for tradespeople or delivery people.

People in Wales are allowed to move into new build houses during the lockdown – and many people have successfully done so.

However, the limitations of social distancing can add extra stress when it comes to having things like dishwashers, washing machines and turf installed in the new property.

That’s why Persimmon Homes West Wales has launched a new incentive package which gives purchasers the chance to buy a house with white goods and flooring already in place.

Sharon Bouhali, sales director at Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “Our sales advisors have done a terrific job in talking with customers and guiding them through the buying process remotely, without the need of face-to-face meetings.

“It’s been a huge challenge, but we’ve risen to it – and Persimmon has sold more than 120 properties in South Wales during the lockdown period. We have customers moving into their new homes every week.

“But, understandably, some people are cautious about having too many tradespeople and contractors enter their home, even if they are doing their utmost to abide by social distancing rules.

“That’s why we have launched these new packages which mean people can turn the key, unpack and get on with enjoying their new home.”

The package includes carpets and vinyl throughout, turf in the back garden, sliding wardrobes, integrated fridge freezer, integrated washer/dryer, integrated dishwasher and £500 discount towards removal fees.

The deal is on offer at Glas Y Felin in Bridgend, Parc Yr Onnen in Carmarthen, The Bridles in Llanelli, Peterson Park in Pontyclun, Parc Brynderi in Llanelli and Allt Y Celyn in Rhos.

Persimmon’s marketing suites in Wales remain closed for the time being. Visit www.persimmonhomes.com or call 01792 229800 for details of homes available.

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