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AM visits gym to hear success story




LLANELLI AM Lee Waters met with gym owner Keri Mckibbin last week to hear how his Burry Port fitness centre is transforming the lives of local residents.

The gym, a community fixture for more than 60 years, has built a strong reputation for supporting people at all levels of fitness with often remarkable results.

Visiting the gym following their recent participation in Sports Wales’ ‘More Than Sport’ campaign, Mr Waters met with Sherry Croft to discuss her personal experience of becoming fit.

Until a year ago, Sherry, 54, was an agoraphobic – plagued with knee problems and diabetes. But since joining the gym her life has completely turned around. Following a double knee replacement, in April 2016, Sherry, joined Mckibbin’s Gym, determined to tackle her weight gain. It was a real struggle at first because of Sherry’s agoraphobia (a fear of being outside). But in just a year, she has lost nearly nine stone in weight, has reversed her type 2 diabetes and says she has never felt more confident.

Sherry said: “Before my husband died, I was 10 years shut in. I had high blood pressure, cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and severe depression. Coming to Keri’s gym has literally changed my life, it’s such a comfortable, safe place, I never feel intimidated here.”

“I’ve lived in Burry Port for 17 years, but because of my depression and agoraphobia I didn’t know a single soul. Since coming to the gym, I’ve made a lot of friends – we’re so close, we really support each other. And we have a lot of fun!”

“All I’d say to anyone that’s struggling with some of the issues I’ve had is to come give it a go. The first step is the biggest leap – but once you’re here, you’ll never want to turn back.”

Keri Mckibbin, owner and personal trainer at the gym, said: “Sherry is an inspiration to us all – about what you can achieve if you push yourself. It’s been wonderful to see the changes in her as she’s grown more and more confident each day. But it’s not just Sherry who’s turned her life around – I’ve had cancer sufferers, severe back problems, and heart issues.

“I pay close attention to each person’s individual needs, designing a highly personalised training programme that supports them to achieve their goals.”

Lee Waters said: “It’s the personal touch that Keri offers that clearly makes all the difference. He’s a friendly, supportive man who’s passionate about fitness. He knows every person who comes into his gym and he’s 100% committed to helping them achieve their fitness goals.”

“We need to find more ways of supporting people to access their local gym. GPs have begun to refer people to local leisure centres, but we need a mix of approaches as the huge, strip-lit impersonal environment of a leisure centre isn’t for everyone.

“I’ll be writing to the Health Secretary to push the importance of giving local gyms a chance.”

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Conservatives in disarray over alleged Christmas party lockdown breach




THE CONSERVATIVE Party is investigating the attendance of senior Senedd members and staff at a Christmas party held during December’s lockdown.

Lockdown restrictions prohibit mixing with people outside your own household.

The Welsh restrictions barring such gatherings follow the basic outline of those imposed by the Conservative UK Government in December.

Those attending the drinks party included Paul Smith, the Conservative Chief of Staff at the Senedd, Darren Millar, the Party’s Chief Whip and campaign coordinator, and Preseli Pembrokeshire MS and Conservative Senedd Group Leader Paul Davies.

The Herald understands that a Labour Senedd Member who attended the Party has been suspended by the Labour Senedd Group pending its own investigation.

The Conservatives’ embarrassment at talking the talk but not walking the walk is intensified by Darren Millar’s presence at the shindig.

In May, Mr Millar led calls for Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething to be sacked for eating a bag of chips in a park with one of his own children.

If the Conservative Party follows the logic of their previously stated positions, Mr Millar’s and Mr Davies’ futures look bleak indeed.

With a Senedd election only months away, the revelations have thrown the Conservatives into disarray.

If they do nothing, the Conservatives will – at the very least – face claims they are hypocrites.

If the Conservative Party acts decisively, it faces massive internal problems.

The Conservatives responded to our request for a response to our story.

Those involved stressed they did not host a Christmas Party.

The incident happened on December 8, when the above met in the members’ tea room to discuss legislation for possible inclusion in the Welsh Conservative manifesto with a Labour backbencher.

During the evening they did drink a glass or two of wine.

They stress that at no point were there more than four people in the room at any one time and that they maintained social distancing.

A joint statement from Paul Davies, Darren Millar, and Paul Smith said: “We are profoundly sorry for our actions.

“While we did not break the rules, we recognise that what was part of a day’s work would not be seen to be following the spirit of them, especially given the tough time the country has been going through.”

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Family tribute to Carole Patricia Fowler




Carole was a teacher for 30 years at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Llanelli. She loved children and they loved her. 

As one of her past colleagues said: “I know she made such a difference to every child she taught.” She was very popular with staff and well respected and loved by parents. She was dedicated and conscientious, always 100% for the children. She led the music there and was always popular with her guitar accompaniments for services and concerts. 

Likewise, she was a valued member of the choir at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, Gendros, Swansea, where she would often accompany hymns with her guitar and gave guitar lessons to the children in the church’s Saturday Music Club. She was also a keen member of Côr Persain, Ammanford. 

She was talented, loved and in demand. A convicted and devout Catholic all her life, through good and bad.

Carole was an avid and very gifted crocheter and was always crocheting or knitting something for someone. She had been spending her time recently, during the Covid crisis, crocheting NHS teddies in scrubs and rainbows, with many given to practising nurses. Carole had recently started learning to make bobbin lace. She was also capable of some very decent sewing, too. 

She was also learning Welsh, doing ‘pilates’ and was considering taking up yoga lessons as well.

She was a busy lady! As one of her work colleagues said of her: “She was wise, strong, beautiful, generous, devout and feisty. And I loved her for all those qualities.”

Above all, she was an immeasurably loved Mam, daughter, sister and a doting Mamgu and so much loved by her fiancé. Having been together for 14 years, they would have been married last July 20th had covid allowed! 

Her premature passing at 61 is tragic and she is already sorely, painfully missed. She leaves behind a huge chasm in so many hearts that cannot be filled.

“Eternal rest grant unto her, o Lord, may perpetual light shine about her, may she rest in peace.”

If anyone witnessed the collision or may have been travelling on the M4 at the relevant time, please contact the Serious Collision Unit quoting police reference DPP-20210113-317

Police can be contacted either online at:, by emailing, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Tip off leads to pensioner’s drug stash




A BRIEFCASE full of drugs has been recovered during a raid in Swansea suburb.
Police acting on information provided by a member of the public executed a warrant in Gorseinon and recovered a large quantity of cannabis.
A man was arrested on suspicion of possession of the class B drug, with intent to supply.
A South Wales Police spokesman said: “At around 5.40pm on Wednesday, January 6, following an intelligence led operation, a 68 year-old man from Gorseinon was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cannabis.
“He was taken to Swansea central police station for questioning. He has been released under investigation”.

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