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Royal recognition for nurse

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A NURSE who has helped care for west Wales’ most unwell children is looking forward to visiting to Buckingham Palace in June after being included in this year’s New Year’s Honours list.

Rowena Jones has been awarded the MBE for her service to sick and disabled children and particularly for her contribution to the setting up of a service to allow children at the end of their life to be cared for at home.

Rowena works as a paediatric oncology outreach specialist nurse for Hywel Dda University Health Board, caring for hundreds of children and supporting their families from all corners of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

She has been a nurse for more than 40 years, having worked in the community and on wards in Bronglais, and Glangwili Hospitals, as well as having worked closely with the Children’s Cancer Unit in Cardiff.

Most recently, and with a close colleague paediatric palliative care nurse Jayne Thomas, she set up the Palliative Nurse Bank for children’s services, which has allowed more nurses to be trained in caring for children at the end of their life. This means nurses can care for children over a 24 hour day, meaning they can return home to their own environments and in the bosom of their families.

Rowena, from Aberaeron, said: “It was a real surprise to be contacted by the Palace and I have been totally overwhelmed with the response from friends, family, colleagues and the families of children I have worked with.
“I love being a nurse and working with families but it is all a team approach. If having this helps the service, then I’m delighted.”

The health board had an overwhelming response from the public when it announced Rowena’s recognition. The response reached 33,773 people, with almost 2,500 engagements including lots of comments from appreciative families in the area.

Rowena, who has close affiliations also with children’s cancer charities LATCH and Clic Sargent, is now looking forward to a trip to the Palace and meeting the Queen later in the year.

Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Experience Mandy Rayani said: “Rowena is an exemplary member of our nursing staff who has a wealth of skills, knowledge, and experience in her specialist field. She also has the ability to really connect with children and their families providing excellent patient experience as well as excellent nursing care.”

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Aberystwyth: Driver on drugs hits lorry and causes ‘road chaos’

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A DRIVER high on drugs caused 15 miles of chaos as he approached Aberystwyth on the A44.

Brian Pitts hit an oncoming lorry and road signs as he drove on the wrong side of the road.

A car passenger filmed him because she was sure a serious accident was about to happen.

Pitts, aged 57, of Delmont Close, Tipton, west Midlands, admitted dangerous driving and driving while unfit through drugs he had taken.

Dean Pulling, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that on June 16 last year Pitts had been driving his Rover MGZR, towing a trailer full of wooden fencing posts, towards Aberystwyth from his home.

Richard Brooks followed the car through Llangurig and became so concerned he telephoned the police while his wife Victoria filmed Pitts on her mobile.

The Rover collided with a 13 tonne lorry driven by Andrew Paxton but failed to stop.

Pitts failed to take a roundabout and hit road signs and an embankment but still carried on.

During the 15 miles, said Mr Pulling, oncoming traffic had to swerve off the carriageway to avoid a collision.

Several motorists telephoned the police to report what they were witnessing, he added.

Pitts came to a stop in the middle of the road and another motorist snatched the keys out of the ignition–and noticed that Pitts had been driving with a dog on his lap.

Mr Pulling said police officers could tell there was something wrong with Pitts, but an alcohol text showed he was below the limit.

“He was clearly unfit,” said Mr Pulling, although it was still unclear what drugs he had taken.

Pitts was taken to Aberystwyth police station and then to Bronglais hospital, where he appeared to recover after treatment. But he soon deteriorated and had to be taken back to the hospital.

Pitts developed pneumonia and had to be kept in for nine days.

His barrister, Tom Scapens, said when Pitts had been shown the mobile telephone footage he felt physically sick.

Judge T Mervyn Hughes jailed Pitts for 10 months and banned him from driving for four years.

He told him, “If you had not been stopped I am quite sure you would have caused serious injury if not death.”

Pitts was told to pass an extended driving test before getting his licence back.

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Motion to support the reduction of plastic use in Ceredigion approved

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In a Full Council meeting on 22 February 2018, the Council unanimously supported a motion to reduce the use of plastic and to support plastic reduction initiatives in Ceredigion.

The motion was proposed by Councillor Mark Strong and was seconded by Councillor Gethin Davies. The motion calls on Ceredigion County Council to support the various ‘Plastic Free’ campaigns throughout the county by reducing single-use plastics within Council facilities and offices and to promote the use of sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics at all Council supported events.

Councillor Mark Strong said, “I’m delighted that the Council unanimously supported the motion. This is an important step for the Council but we must carry on to reduce plastic use. Everyone has a responsibility to reduce the environmental damage caused by plastic. Carrying out small acts such as buying milk from your local milkman supports the local economy but in turn also supports our environment by using reusable glass bottles.”

The motion also calls on the Council to encourage local businesses, organisations, schools and communities to move away from single-use plastics and use sustainable alternatives as well as to support beach cleans and other events which aim to raise awareness of the issues of single-use plastics under the “Plastic Free”, Caru Ceredigion, Tidy Towns or any similar initiative.

The motion was amended in the meeting to include the establishment of a Members’ Task and Finish group to support measures to reduce the Council’s use of plastic and to support initiatives in the county that reduce plastic use.

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Richards-Keegan cleared of sending underage girl nude pictures

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A BOW STREET man has been cleared of charges that he sent an underage girl photographs of his penis.

Paul Robert Morgan Richards-Keegan, aged 21, had denied two allegations of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Richards-Keegan, of Tregerddan, said the only messages he sent her via the internet were in response to approaches from her and did not include photographs of his private parts.

Catherine Richards, prosecuting, had told a jury at Swansea Crown Court that the 14-year-old girl had shared messages with Richards-Keegan via Snapchat.

At one stage police issued to him a child abduction notice, which he signed, instructing him not to contact the girl

In 2016 she told her mother that he was again sending her unwanted photographs of his penis attached to messages.

Richards-Keegan was arrested, and told police he had obeyed the order apart from messages he had sent after being contacted by the complainant.

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