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Miraculous transformation of a rescued horse

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THE ‘miraculous transformation’ horses can achieve after being rescued by the RSPCA. It is perfectly highlighted by Jack. Jack is a veteran 15-hand chestnut gelding who is proving a perfect companion to animals and humans alike at his new premises in North Shropshire.


However, he looked a very different horse when he first came to the attention of the RSPCA in May 2018.


Jack had been abandoned with serious welfare concerns at stables in Furnace near Llanelli without the consent of the land-owner.


RSPCA inspectors Rohan Barker and Nigel Duguid arrived and found the horse to be emaciated, and in urgent need of help.


Inspector Barker said: “This poor horse had been mysteriously dumped at stables in Furnace in Llanelli, in a really bad way. His ribs and spine were visible, and he was badly emaciated. The veterinary examination confirmed he was suffering, and it was just miserable to witness.”


The horse was seized by Dyfed-Powys Police and taken into the care of the RSPCA – before heading to a boarding establishment in the Swansea area.
Poor Jack underwent many months of rehabilitation and care; including time under the stewardship of equine expert Juls de Smet, who looked after Jack for around 10 weeks as part of his recovery.


Ms De Smet said: “He’s such a friendly, easy horse who was no trouble at all. He appreciated us tending to him and helping him get better.


We found Jack to be such a sweet, genuine horse who was easy to treat and medicate. Such a gorgeous boy. It’s just such a great shame he had been left in such a horrendous state. It looks to me that as poor Jack was getting older, someone thought he wasn’t good enough anymore and just dumped him. It’s just so cruel.”


Jack was eventually adopted by Tina, at her yard in North Shropshire. Her family had recently been struck by great sadness – but Jack helped turned their fortunes around, as well as his own.


Sadly, the family saw two of their horses die within ten weeks in 2018, leaving the third horse on her own and without companionship.


However, Jack has proven the perfect addition to their family, and Tina was full of praise for both the work of the RSPCA and the role that rescue horses can play as companions.


She said: “Tragically, we lost two of our horses within just 10 weeks. It was an awful situation, and we were left with one horse, suddenly all on her own and lonely – having lost both her mother and friend within weeks. We were all so upset.


We were desperate to get some new company for our mare – initially moving three sheep in next door to stave off our lonely horse’s unhappiness. That’s when we called the RSPCA – and they were so helpful.
They soon found Jack, who’d they rescued some months earlier in South Wales. Jack initially moved in with us on a trial basis, and immediately was an amazing companion. He was a fantastic addition at such a stressful time when we were under real pressure to find another suitable horse.


His rehabilitation has continued with us – and the weight he’s put on, his beautiful shiny coat and his fantastic personality are a far cry from how the RSPCA found him in Llanelli.


“I’m so grateful to the RSPCA, who were just brilliant. I’d say to anyone – if you’ve got the right facilities, wherewithal, experience and space, rescue horses can make the most fantastic companions. After what they’ve so often been through, they deserve happiness, security and comfort.


“We completed the formal, final adoption of Jack a couple of weeks ago – and it was one of the best decisions we have made.”

Dozens of rescue horses are available for rehoming in or around Wales at any one time, and the RSPCA hopes to continue to transform the lives of horses rescued from incredibly difficult situations and finds them loving new families.


RSPCA equine welfare manager for Wales and the Midlands Gareth Johnson said: “Jack’s story shows the miraculous transformation rescue horses can go through.


“From being dumped heartlessly in Llanelli and a woeful condition to making the perfect companion to humans and animals alike many, many miles away in Shropshire – this has been some journey for Jack.


“There are dozens of other rescue horses in our care in and around Wales, and we’d love to introduce the equines in our care to prospective adopters across Wales. From adult ridden and companion horses to youngsters who will need bringing on in their new homes, people can start their search for a rescued horse on the RSPCA website.”


The RSPCA’s Homes for Horse campaign is aiming to find forever homes for horses and ponies by showcasing the versatility and capability of the horses it rescues.

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Six year sentence for Llanelli assault

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A MAN who left a father-of-six with multiple bleeds on the brain after an unprovoked assault in Llanelli has been jailed for six years.

Connor Scott Jones, aged 21, of Y Fan, caused such serious injuries to Paul Williams on April 29, 2019, that the victim’s wife feared he had been stabbed when he returned from a night out.

Unable to recall what had happened, Mr Williams could only tell police he had woken up in a bush near a chapel and stumbled home. He was unaware that he had been assaulted, leaving police with no description of a suspect to look for, or precise area for forensic enquiries.

Using the tiny pieces of information Mr Williams could provide, the investigation team focussed enquiries on the East Gate area of Llanelli, believing he was describing the former Zion Chapel as near where he regained consciousness.

Officers trawled CCTV footage from several cameras in this area in an attempt to identify potential suspects or witnesses to the incident.

T/Detective Inspector Vicky Oliver, of Dyfed-Powys Police said: “Officers carried out the painstaking task of viewing videos covering a timeframe of five hours, and were successful.

“The incident was captured by a camera in Stepney Place and showed a horrific assault on the victim, who was punched once and fell to the ground while his attacker walked away.

“Determined to cause further injury, the defendant – later identified as Connor Jones – returned to the victim to punch him and stamp on his head.

“He then returned to assault the victim for a third time – kicking him to the head as he laid on the ground.

“The trauma caused to the victim was both physical and mental, and he could not bring himself to view this footage for fear of setting back his recovery.”

Jones was identified from the footage and was arrested. He was later charged with assault causing grievous bodily harm, and admitted the offence at Swansea Crown Court on Friday, March 20 where he was jailed for six years.

Mr Williams, who spoke out as part of Dyfed-Powys Police’s Just Walk Away campaign, focussing on the rise of alcohol-fuelled violence, faces the prospect of a long road to full recovery.

Ten months on, he is still living with the effects of the violent assault. He is unable to work or socialise as he used to, and has lost precious bonding experiences with his baby boy.

Speaking after sentencing, he said: “I’m not recovering very well. I have to have further MRI scans, I’ve been referred to a memory loss specialist as I’m forgetting a lot of things, and also a speech specialist because of the injuries I suffered.

“I’ve had a constant headache that has stayed with me since the assault, and I still can’t smell or taste – this has had a horrible effect on me, as I haven’t been able to smell my son who was born in November. I absolutely hate this.”

In the months before the assault, Mr Williams was working hard on setting up a business as a landscape gardener, which he hoped would support his wife and children. Now, however, he is unable to work.

“It’s had a massive impact on my job as I’m not able to do anything that I’ve done in the past like heavy lifting or heavy work,” he said.

“It’s affected my social life as I still haven’t been out to town as I get flashbacks, and I’ve had to give up the gym, which I used to love for body building.

“I’m no longer allowed to do the things I loved doing before all this happened.”

ENDS

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All schools in Wales to close this Friday due to coronavirus outbreak

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ALL SCHOOLS in Wales will close by Friday this week.Schools in Pembrokeshire have been preparing for the closure by placing as many teaching resources as possible online.UWTSD has already moved to online delivery of lectures and seminars for its students.In a written statement, Education Minister Kirsty Williams said:

“We are in an unprecedented period, one that is changing hour-by-hour, and governments around the world are having to make quick decisions.

Firstly, I would like to extend my gratitude to all those working in our education and childcare settings for the critical work you have been undertaking, under incredible pressure to support our children and young people. You have been at the front-line in supporting wider efforts to prepare for the challenges we are all now facing and I am incredibly grateful and proud.

Today, I can announce we are bringing forward the Easter break for schools in Wales. Schools across Wales will close for statutory provision of education at the latest on 20 March 2020.

I have been clear up to now that the continuity of education and the wellbeing of our learners has been at the heart of my decision making. This will always be the case.

From next week, schools will have a new purpose. They will help support those most in need, including people involved in the immediate response to the coronavirus outbreak. I am working with my colleagues in the Cabinet, with government officials and our partners in local government to develop and finalise these plans.

The key areas we are looking at are supporting and safeguarding the vulnerable and ensuring continuity of learning. We are looking in detail at how we can support and safeguard all those who benefit from free school meals and children with additional learning needs. I will make sure you are kept up-to-date.

While this will apply to schools, childcare settings are expected to remain open until we have definitive advice from the Chief Medical Officer and from Public Health Wales that any closures are required. Parents can, and should, speak with their usual childcare providers if they need care over the Easter holidays

I have discussed my intentions with the Leader of the Welsh Local Government Association, Andrew Morgan, who reflects the views of local authorities. Some school staff will likely have an important role to play in this. We are working closely with our key stakeholders to look at what this will look like for both education and childcare settings, including Flying Start. This position will of course evolve over the coming days and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

One of the critical decisions that we will seek to clarify with urgency is that of the forthcoming examinations. I am also working with Qualifications Wales and the WJEC about this year’s exam series. In line with all education ministers across the UK, I will be making a further announcement shortly.

From the outset, the decisions being taken have been focused on public health advice, and it is right that these science-based recommendations are front and centre of the decisions being made.

The announcement I am making today will help ensure an orderly closure for schools so that they have the time to prepare. However, I am conscious that the SAGE Committee and COBR meet this afternoon, and I will of course be listening closely to see if advice changes and any further urgent decisions about school closures are needed.

Today’s decision will help ensure an orderly closure, so schools have time to prepare ahead of the early break.

My main message for everyone is to stay safe and stay well. We will work together and we will face this outbreak together.

I will of course continue to keep you updated.”

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Welsh Government announces £200m support for small businesses in wake of coronavirus outbreak

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THE WELSH GOVERNMENT has today announced a package of support worth more than £200m for small businesses to help them during the coronavirus outbreak.

Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in Llanelli with a rateable value of £51,000 or less will receive 100% business rate relief and pubs with a rateable value of between £51,000 and £100,000 will receive a £5,000 reduction on their bill.

A further £100m will be available for a new grant scheme for small businesses Further details on this new grant scheme will be confirmed as soon as possible.

Welcoming this announcement, Lee Waters MS, said: “I’m pleased that the Welsh Labour Government is offering this package of support to businesses as part of their response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

“They are doing everything they can to support businesses to deal with the impact of coronavirus. My advice to all businesses is to use the help and advice that is available.

“Any business affected should contact the Business Wales telephone helpline on 03000 603000. They can help with practical advice – from staffing to financial planning as well as supply chain support.

“The Development Bank of Wales is also available to help – it has equity and loan funding it can make available immediately to small businesses to help them through the cash flow and other challenges they may face in next, difficult, few weeks and months. The Development Bank of Wales can be contacted on 0800 5874140.”

Finance Minister, Rebecca Evans AM, said: “We are allocating every penny of the funding we will be receiving as a consequence of the schemes the UK Government announced in England last week to support businesses in Wales.

“But I know that helping businesses with their rates bills will not be enough to protect them from the severe drop in custom many are experiencing as coronavirus cases increase.

“We will be calling on the UK Government to act quickly and decisively to provide a very significant support package for vulnerable businesses and their employees.”

Please find below links to current information issued that you may find useful for your business and continuity.

A number of announcements were made in the March 2020 Budget including financial support that businesses can expect to access:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-employees-employers-and-businesses

In terms of Department for Work and Pensions support for employers, here is a useful link (via GOV.UK): https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businesses?utm_source=37472ed5-c0b4-4625-8801-549259dc908d&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate
Further and complementary advice can also be found on the Business Wales Website: https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice

Visit Wales also provide some specific advice for tourism businesses regarding the situation. This can be found by following:
https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKWALES/bulletins/280805d

We should all help protect ourselves and our communities by following Public Health Wales advice at: https://phw.nhs.wales/coronavirus

There is also updated information regarding the virus on the Welsh Government website. Please view: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan

We are also starting to see banks such as Lloyds offering support via low interest loans sources. We will update this information as further opportunities come forward.

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