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Llanelli man takes on British Red Cross challenge to support refugees

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A MAN from Llanelli plans to handcycle 22 miles in June, to raise money and awareness for refugees and the life-risking journeys many take.

Llanelli resident Davey Hampton, 31, has set himself the goal of covering 22 miles as part of the British Red Cross’ Miles for Refugees challenge, which is the equivalent of a journey across the English Channel.

As people from Ukraine, and around the world, are forced to flee their homes, Davey and others across Wales will be racking up mileage this June to highlight the harrowing journeys many refugees are forced to make in search of safety.

Davey, who works as the assistant shop manager at the British Red Cross shop in Carmarthen, says that he is taking part in the challenge for very personal reasons. He said:

“I’d read about how the Red Cross in Ukraine had helped with the evacuation of civilians, including disabled people. As a wheelchair user myself I couldn’t help but think, “what if that had been me?”

I’ve chosen the 22mile challenge, but if I get that done too soon I think I’ll extend it to a longer distance. I’ll be using my handcycle mainly, which is a great way for disabled people to exercise.”

The money raised will go towards the charity’s work supporting refugees and people seeking asylum in the UK.

With more than 6 million people forced to leave their homes in Ukraine this year, and ongoing crises in Syria and Afghanistan and around the world, standing with refugees is more important than ever.

Davey said: “I would encourage anyone to join the challenge. There’s a range of distances for you to cover and you’ve got the whole month of June to complete it. It’s going to give me that extra bit of motivation I need to get out and exercise. Of course, you’ll be supporting a great cause at the same time!”

British Red Cross teams are supporting people from Ukraine arriving in Wales and throughout the UK.

Staff and volunteers are providing psychosocial and practical support through things like food, water, hygiene items, nappies, a hot cup or tea or coffee, and essentials to help people keep in touch, like SIM cards, mobile phones and chargers, a welcome pack with essential information available in English, Ukrainian and Russian, about life in the UK, and one-off cash sum, provided via a debit card, to help people buy what they need when they arrive. The charity is also providing people with mobility aids, such as wheelchairs, when they need them.

Alex Fraser, Director of Refugee Support & Restoring Family Links for the British Red Cross, said: “People who have had to leave their countries due to war, persecution, extreme famine or devastating natural disasters have experienced the worst things in life. We have seen just how heart-breaking these journeys have been for families arriving in the UK.

 “The British Red Cross has been calling for a kinder, more compassionate asylum system to support people who have been forced to leave their home behind and take dangerous journeys. We believe every refugee matters. 

“A wave of people in the UK clearly care about people seeking refuge and asylum in the UK. Remarkably, we are seeing so many eager to help personally. By taking part in Miles for Refugees this June, you are showing the very best of humankind.”

To download the Spotify playlist created by some of the nation’s most loved celebrities in support of refugees, visit https://www.redcross.org.uk/celebplaylist or https://spoti.fi/3ahcrWd

To sponsor Davey visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/daveys-miles-for-refugees-22-mile-challenge

To sign up for Miles for Refugees visit https://miles.redcross.org.uk/takepart

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Public Services Board seeks views to improve local well-being

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CARMARTHENSHIRE’S Public Services Board (PSB) is seeking residents’ views to find out what matters to them and their local communities.

The PSB has developed its Well-being Objectives and draft actions to deliver them, based on feedback received on its Well-being Assessment. The results of a survey at that time gathered views and helped shape the PSB’s understanding of the economic, social, environmental, and cultural factors that impact the well-being of individuals and communities within Carmarthenshire.

Once again, residents are being asked to contribute to help public service partners develop Carmarthenshire’s Local Well-being Plan for 2023-28.

To help shape the future of well-being please visit: Current Consultations (gov.wales)

The survey closes on 25 January 2023.

Cllr Darren Price, Chair of the Carmarthenshire PSB and Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, said: “To deliver what is important to our communities, we need to their feedback and input. This survey is an opportunity for our residents to tell us if we, as public services, are on the right track to help create a better future for our children’s generation, and the generations to follow, as we strive to reach this goal.” 

Andrew Cornish, Vice-Chair of the PSB andChief Executive Officer / Principal of Coleg Sir Gar and Coleg Ceredigion said: “Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our work so far. Our Well-being Assessment gives us a strong foundation on which to build our Well-being Plan and I would like to encourage everyone to take part in our involvement work for the preparation of the Plan.”

Carmarthenshire’s Public Services Board is a partnership of public and third sector organisations working together to improve well-being across the county and includes Carmarthenshire County Council, Hywel Dda University Health Board, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Natural Resources Wales and other organisations.

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Llanelli prepares for Sunday’s Remembrance Day parade

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LATER TODAY (Sunday, November 13) the town will honour those who have fallen in service over the decades.

A number of roads will be closed on the day, including Murray Street, Church Street and Vauxhall Road from its junction with the mini roundabout.

These will be shut for the parade between 8.30am and noon, however, pedestrian access for those wishing to reach individual properties in those streets will be maintained where possible throughout the duration of the closure.

Traffic will be diverted to Robinson Street, Arthur Street, Columbia Row, Anne Street, Bigyn Road, Stepney Place, Water Street, Thomas Street and Gelli Onn.

At 10am, police, organisations and others not marching in the parade will take up their respective positions in front of the cenotaph in the town hall grounds, while the civic party will assemble inside Llanelli Town Hall.

At 10.15am the parade leaves Drill Hall for the town hall with the mayor Cllr Philip Warlow proceeding to the Boer War Memorial where he will lay a wreath.

When the parade arrives at the town hall, the civic party will proceed to the cenotaph where the Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed Sara Edwards, will lay a wreath.

This will be followed by the chair of Carmarthenshire Council Cllr Rob Evans, laying a wreath on the Royal Welch War Memorial and then on the town’s cenotaph.

More wreaths will be laid by dignitaries and politicians and ex-servicemen and women A two-minute silence will then be observed at 11am.

Any service groups or individuals who wish to lay a wreath on Remembrance Sunday can contact Paul Wickers via email at llanlva2009@aol.com.

While community organisations are to contact Llanelli Town Council at enquiries@llanellitowncouncil.gov.uk.

Contact should be made by Monday, October 31 at the very latest to confirm arrangements as no additional wreaths will be able to be accommodated on the day.

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Llanelli choir launches fundraising naked calendar

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MEMBERS of a Llanelli female choir have bared all to raise money for the town’s Ty Bryngwyn Hospice.  

Côr Curiad has created a cheeky fundraising calendar for 2023 – the second one they have done.

With around 50 members, photos were taken across Llanelli with strategically placed items to spare their blushes – all in the name of a good cause.

Llanelli photographer Graham Harries was behind the lens for the project.

The choir’s musical director Alex Esney, who is Miss December in the calendar said: “Local businesses sponsored the calendar and so many of the photos were taken at their premises.

“So for example we went to LTC Mobility Ltd and had scooters carefully positioned in front of us, it was a lot of fun.

“I also want to thank Ffwrnes Theatre for opening up especially for me to go and have my photo taken with the piano there.”

Alex said the aim is to raise as much as possible for the hospice, adding: “We did a calendar a few years ago but we now have more members so we thought it was time to do it all again.

“The ladies decided to ‘bare all’ to raise money for the hospice which provides such great care and support for families in their time of need, including two of our own.

“I think we pulled out all the stops this year, getting their clothes off at local businesses in and around Llanelli.”

One of the calendar photos (Images: Graham Harries Photography)
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