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PATCH to open new centre

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Tracy, Julie and team: Outside new centre .

Tracy, Julie and team: Outside new centre .

PATCH’s new Pembroke Dock centre is scheduled to open in a new location on Tueday March 3.

PATCH (Pembrokeshire Action to Combat Hardship) was forced to leave its Monkton base before Christmas following a series of thefts and since then has been operating out of the CAB building in Pembroke Dock.

In an upbeat interview for the Herald, PATCH Coordinator Tracy Olin said: “Sadly we had to leave Monkton because we had a few issues not least because some things went missing. It was disappointing at the time but I feel it was the right time to move anyway, and if we hadn’t moved out we would not have ended up this amazing new place anyway. As from March 3 we will be in our lovely new Tuesday home in The Old Fleet Surgeons House No 1 The Terrace in the Royal Dock Yard ” she explained.

“It is just beautiful. We have the use of two large rooms for food clothing and household items and it is a lot bigger than our former premises. And in addition to this we have the most spectacular walled garden at the back which will allow us to expand our ‘growing patch’ for the foodbank. We already have a patch in Milford which we have had running for about 5 months” she continued.

“The weather has been against us but we have started growing leeks and potatoes and have carrot and beetroot seedlings to be planted and because of this we are looking for gardening volunteers with all levels of ability. It would be fantastic if we could help people develop their gardening skills.”

Expressing her thanks to all who have continued to support PATCH throughout its challenging period Tracy Olin added: “We have had so much encouragement from local businesses and companies. Keep Wales Tidy for example has given us a grant to buy equipment in association with Tesco, and the Marpet Fund has been incredibly supportive too by providing us with gardening equipment. And I have to say a massive thank you to the Port Authority. Quayside Estates have been amazing. They have supported us in so many ways. And I should not forget to say that we are very indebted to the CAB who hosted us for so long though they really didn’t have the space. We have and will continue to work closely with them because they can help people with the causes of their poverty too.”

Tracy Olin has no doubts that PATCH has an essential role to play in the local community. As she explained: “Sadly there is a huge need in the Pembroke and Pembroke Dock area and interestingly here the biggest increase is in the need is for household items. We are helping some 60 people a month with these. People tend to think the greatest need is food. It probably is as an immediate need, but we are always looking for anything practical, even small electrical items.”

Reflecting on the personal challenges that accompany poverty she continued: “One of the biggest problems with being poor is lack of choice and we try to deal with that by giving people as much choice as we can when we help them with clothing or household goods. We do this because we are trying to give people a sense of dignity.”

Anyone wanting more information should contact Tracy Olin on tel:07775 571431 or email tracy@patchcharity. org.uk

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Community

Christmas gift fair returns

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Last year at the Food Fair: The annual Christmas celebrations return this year

NEXT Friday (Oct 20), the annual craft and gifts extravaganza will return to Aberystwyth Arts Centre to get the locals in the mood for Christmas.

The Winter Craft & Gift Fair is sure to get visitors feeling festive in the run up to Christmas with over 80 stalls selling a wonderful array of crafts and gifts, many produced by local makers from Ceredigion and mid Wales.

This year will feature many regular stalls, as well as some who will be selling at the fair for the first time, so prepare to discover the unusual and unexpected at this year’s fair with it’s new layout and products for 2017.

The fair will be open from 10am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday and 12 to 5.30pm on Sundays all the way up until December 23.

On Saturday​,​ ​November ​​25, ​the Arts Centre’s Christmas Food Fair will take over the Great Hall for the day. There will be the very best of Welsh produce with cheese, meats, fish, wine, cider, pastries, puddings, jams and much, much more from many local producers. The Food Fair is the perfect place to stock up on a few gastronomic goodies in the run up to Christmas. There will also be live musical entertainment to get you in the Christmassy mood! The fair will be on 10am-4pm and entry is free!

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Community

‘​I​t’s ok to say’

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FUW raise awareness: Urging people to 'say' on World Mental Health Day​

​ON WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY, farmers across Wales are being reminded that ‘it’s ok to say’ and the Farmers’ Union of Wales is urging them not to hide problems from themselves, their families and friends and to talk about their personal feelings.

The FUW made a commitment at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show in July to continue raising awareness of mental health problems in rural communities and is therefore renewing the call for those who might be suffering from mental health problems to seek help.

“The focus of this year’s World Mental Health day is on mental health in the workplace and farms are just that. In our places of work we’ve faced some pretty low-points in the last few years. Bovine TB, price volatility and uncertainty about our future post-Brexit, this all puts a strain on our resolve and will have many feeling stressed and under immense pressure,” said Union President Glyn Roberts​.​

“But we must break the stigma attached to mental health, so if you’re feeling vulnerable, please open-up and speak to someone. That doesn’t just mean today, but always. Farmers and farming families need to continue talking openly about what they are experiencing and the FUW strongly encourages anyone who is worried about their own mental health or a loved-one, to seek help from the Farming Community Network, Tir Dewi, The DPJ Foundation, Mind Cymru or Call Helpline Wales,” added Glyn Roberts.

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Community

Scholarship scheme funds student’s Masters

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One of the chosen few: Stella Foster (Pic. Mark Woodward)

A TALYBONT native is one of just 28 people in the UK to be awarded a scholarship granted by energy company ScottishPower.

Stella Foster, 32, gratefully received the grant from the Scottish Power Foundation for the 2017/18 academic year.

Having just completed an undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of York, Stella will begin her Masters in Environmental Sciences this week at the University of East Anglia. Environmental science degrees integrate biology, physical science and information sciences to examine environmental systems (air, water, etc.) and how they interact.

The sought-after scholarship covers full enrolment costs as well as a living allowance. On top of this, the scholars will receive unique opportunities including meeting leading industry professionals.

“Travelling around the world and living in China before I started my undergraduate studies made me aware of the astounding change of pace in urbanisation; the two-hour bus ride from where I lived to Shanghai, there wasn’t a moment where you couldn’t see a construction site,” Stella said.

“This fast and dramatic development creates issues with the environment, and I’m really excited to learn about the creative and fascinating solutions out there, and hopefully come up with some of my own,” she added.

Since it was launched in 2010, the ScottishPower Foundation scholarships programme has provided £1.5m in grants towards training the next generation in their chosen field.

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