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Rhod Gilbert supports Welsh NHS Charity Christmas Campaign

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CARMARTHEN born comedian Rhod Gilbert has pledged his support to a West Wales NHS charity’s Give a Gift Appeal, with a video message inspiring the public to think of others this Christmas.

Hywel Dda Health Charities is the official charity of Hywel Dda University Health Board. It aims to make a positive difference to the health, wellbeing and experience of NHS patients, service users and staff across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

The charity’s Christmas Give a Gift Appeal for 2020 focuses on supporting adult mental health patients by providing a range of creative and wellbeing resources above and beyond those which the NHS delivers. The Give a Gift Appeal allows local communities to purchase a gift from a selection of items which have been carefully chosen by NHS occupational therapists to benefit adults who are helped at home, in hospital and in the community.

Members of Hywel Dda UHB mental health team supporting Give a Gift appeal

Rhod, 52, said: “This has been such a tough year for so many people, so I’m proud to be supporting Hywel Dda Health Charities’ fundraising campaign trying to raise money to improve Christmas for NHS mental health patients across Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, and Pembrokeshire.

“I would encourage everyone who can, to please donate and support this very worthwhile cause.”

Fundraising Manager Tara Nickerson said, “Christmas can be hard for patients even in an ordinary year; but with everything that we’ve all had to cope with, 2020 has brought new pressures for NHS staff and patients alike.

“NHS Occupational Therapists have worked with our charity to create a wishlist of items including paints, pamper products and cookery books, which the public can purchase to bring some festive cheer to the patients they are caring for this holiday season.”  

Rhod added, “The wishlist the charity has come up with will spread some much needed happiness for a group of people who could really do with it this Christmas. So, for those who can consider buying an extra present this year, it would be a wonderful gesture of kindness to take part in the Give a Gift scheme.”

For the Give a Gift wishlist and information on how to support Hywel Dda Health Charities go to: www.hywelddahealthcharities.org.uk

Rhod’s message of support for Hywel Dda Health Charities’ Christmas fundraising campaign is at: https://www.facebook.com/388540777976772/videos/132028388563653

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Conservatives in disarray over alleged Christmas party lockdown breach

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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

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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: bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, 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

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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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