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Ceredigion youngsters answer the mayday call from the RNLI to raise funds

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WELSH RNLI crews have issued their own mayday call after figures reveal a dramatic increase in lives saved last summer. The RNLI in Wales has today released its annual rescue figures that shows during the summer of 2020 the number of lives saved by lifeboat crews rocketed by 71%.  

Last year as lockdown restrictions eased and people flocked to the coast, RNLI lifesavers saved the lives of 24 people between June and August, compared with 14 lives the previous year.  

The latest annual statistics for 2020 show the RNLI’s volunteer crews at the 30 lifeboat stations between Flint and Penarth launched 918 times, aided 991 people and saved 36 lives. RNLI lifeguards on beaches in south Wales, west Wales and Denbighshire in north Wales attended 1,046 incidents and aided 2,673 people. 

With more people expected to be holidaying close to home this year, the RNLI predicts a summer like no other. The lifesaving charity is calling for the people of Wales to support its mayday campaign to raise funds to ensure volunteer crews can continue to save lives at sea.   

The RNLI’s Mayday Mile campaign launches on Saturday 1 May and runs throughout the month. Lifesavers in Wales are calling on supporters to join the Mayday Mile and cover at least one mile in any way they chose and raise vital funds to keep people safe on our coastline. 

One of the youngest Mayday Mile participants is five-year-old Mikey Richards from Aberystwyth. Mikey is cycling five miles in his wellies to raise funds to keep his Dad safe at sea. Dad Ian Richards, is a volunteer helm at Aberystwyth RNLI and incredibly proud of his son’s efforts. To support Mikey visit:  https://themaydaymile.rnli.org/fundraising/mikeys-yellow-wellie-bike-ride  

South of the county in New Quay, Steffan Williams, aged 12 will be answering the call for help by paddle-boarding his Mayday Mile, he said, “I hope to do a lot more than a mile on my paddleboard, I’m aiming for 10 miles. I want to raise as much money for the RNLI as they are the charity that saves lives at sea. My Dad is also on the crew at New Quay RNLI and I hope to join soon. They are all volunteers and need our help to pay for equipment and lifeboats.” To support Steffan visit: 

https://themaydaymile.rnli.org/fundraising/steffans-paddleboarding-mayday-challenge

The latest figures show in the RNLI’s west region, (which includes 30 stations in Wales, 11 in the north west of England and five stations on the Isle of Man) that the majority of call outs were to people out walking and running and not expecting to end up in the water.  

RNLI lifeboats launched 112 times to people requiring help after slipping or falling – significantly higher than anywhere else in the UK and Ireland.  

Figures also show that people becoming cut off by the tide is a huge cause of concern across Wales and the West, with 115 lifeboat calls out to people finding themselves stranded by the tide. The figure is almost double the national average.  

The summer of 2020 saw a rise in popularity of people paddle-boarding and requiring rescue, with 88 incidents last year.  

Stuart Wallace, RNLI Lifesaving Lead for the West said, “We all saw the images of packed beaches around the coast as restrictions lifted last summer, which meant a hugely busy season for the RNLI in Wales and the West as a whole. As another summer approaches, we know that our lifesavers face more huge challenges in keeping everyone safe, which is why we’re now the ones sending out our own mayday call and asking for help. 

“Our annual mayday fundraising campaign is our call for your support to help keep you and your family safe at the coast this summer.” 

Stuart added, “Our lifesavers drop everything to run to the lifeboat station when the call comes, so we’re asking our supporters to put themselves in the crew’s boots and join the Mayday Mile. Every penny raised during Mayday will go towards ensuring we are ready to save even more lives this year.” 

To sign up for the Mayday Mile or to make a donation in support of the RNLI’s lifesavers visit RNLI.org/supportMayday

*Summer refers to the period of 1st June – 31st August 2020 

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Amendments introduced to the Cardigan Safe Zone

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AS MORE people are expected to visit Ceredigion’s towns over the coming weeks and summer months, changes are required to ensure our streets are safe for everyone, by allowing people to maintain a 2 metre social distance at all times.

Introducing changes over the Easter period has meant that some amendments will be made over the coming weeks.

Following a review, the initial phase of the Safe Zone (Phase 2) for Cardigan will be amended to Phase 2a, with Morgan Street and The Strand remaining as a one way system (unchanged current arrangement).

Road closures affecting the High Street in Cardigan will commence ahead of the May Bank holiday weekend at the end of May. The road closures will be between 12pm and 4pm daily.

As part of Phase 2a, the following work is being undertaken:

  • Placing road markings for all disabled bays along High St & Pendre
  • Placing loading bay road markings opposite Dewi James Butchers
  • Introducing new reflective bollards to replace the red/white baulks. This will allow traders to operate in the road as per their licence. The widened footpaths within the trading areas in the road will be raised to the same level as the adjacent footpaths to create a flat accessible area for pedestrians.
  • Placing a chicane outside the Black Lion Hotel to slow traffic flow
  • Implement a one way system along College Row to improve pedestrian safety
  • Reversal of one way along St Mary St to allow access to Chancery
  • Close the top of Pwllhai for licenced trading and pedestrian safety

A map of Cardigan and all the latest information on the Safe Zones is available on Ceredigion County Council’s website: www.ceredigion.gov.uk/safezones   

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New Quay youngster answers RNLI’s mayday call and raises nearly £2,000

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OVER the May Day Bank Holiday weekend a New Quay schoolboy took to the water on his paddle board and raised nearly £2,000 for the RNLI Mayday Mile appeal. He is now urging more people to take part this May in any way they can to raise funds for equipment before the busy summer season on the coast. 

Steffan outside Newquay RNLI lifeboat station after completing his challenge

Steffan Williams, 12, a pupil from Ysgol Bro Teifi answered the RNLI’s mayday call for fundraising and decided to not just do one mile on his paddleboard but attempt 10 miles in one day. He is now encouraging more people to get involved with the appeal to raise funds.  

Steffan said, “The RNLI Mayday Mile is a great way to raise money for the charity that saves lives at sea as you can do one mile or 100 miles in any way you want. You could run it, walk it, dance it and make it fun in fancy dress. 

Steffan Williams before his challenge on Sunday May 3

“I decided to take to the sea on my paddleboard, and I am really pleased I completed my challenge of 10 miles in one day. It was really hard going as the wind picked up in the afternoon but I did not want to give up. 

“I have been really shocked at the support and want to thank everyone who has donated, I am so happy!” 

Steffan’s total so far is £1,812 and he is the RNLI’s top individual fundraiser in the UK and Ireland. To support Steffan visit https://themaydaymile.rnli.org/fundraising/steffans-paddleboarding-mayday-challenge

The RNLI’s Mayday Mile campaign will be running throughout the month of May and anyone can take part by joining up on the RNLI’s Mayday Mile website https://themaydaymile.rnli.org/.  

With more people expected to be holidaying close to home this year, the RNLI predicts a summer like no other.  

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager said, “Steffan has done a fantastic job on raising so much money for the charity and we are very grateful indeed. He is a true hero. This summer we expect to be very busy and urge people visiting our coast to take the necessary precautions.  

“Always check the weather, the tides and if you are on the water remember to wear a buoyancy aid and take means of calling for help, a mobile phone or radio. Remember we are on call 24/7 so if you see anyone in trouble on the coast please call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.” 

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Contact Hywel Dda for second vaccine appointment

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HYWEL Dda University Health Board (UHB) is asking anyone who received a first Pfizer vaccine at one of its mass vaccination centres in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion or Pembrokeshire more than 21 days ago to get in touch if they have not received a second vaccine appointment.       

Ros Jervis, Director of Public Health for Hywel Dda UHB, said: “Second doses are essential for longer term protection, so it’s important that everyone comes forward for their full course when called.

“Our records show that a small number of people across our three counties have not responded to our invitation to receive their second dose. We won’t leave anyone behind and there is still time for them to receive it within the required timeframe.”

Additional clinics will be put on in the next couple weeks to administer these second doses. If it has been more than 21 days since your first Pfizer vaccine please email COVIDenquiries.hdd@wales.nhs.uk with the subject title “Second Pfizer dose request” with your full name, date of first vaccine and a contact phone number to book your appointment. If you are unable to email you can also contact the health board by calling 0300 303 8322.

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