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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

The Little Mill Players present Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood by Ben Crocker

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Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood is this year’s Little Mill Players Pantomime. Performances will be at Theatr Felinfach from Thursday 30 January to Saturday 01 February at 7:30pm. There will also be a matinée performance on Saturday 01 February at 2:30pm.

Robin Hood may be the best archer in the land, but can he escape the clutches of the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham and save the Babes? Come along and join Winnie Widebottom, Marion, Little Joan, Friar Tuck and the Outlaws (and also, surprisingly, the Smugglers Cove WI who have come to Sherwood Forest on a camping holiday and get caught up in the adventure). Boo, hiss and cheer to help make sure the Sheriff gets his just deserts. Expect much fun, laughter and song in this family friendly production.

The Little Mill Players have existed as long as Theatr Felinfach has been in existence, since 1972. Members of the company come from various parts of Ceredigion and even Carmarthenshire. The age range of the cast varies from 7 to 60+ and their jobs vary from manual to managerial as well as school pupils and students. This year they are again thrilled to have several new faces and hope this trend will continue.

The show’s director, Stephen Entwistle, has been a member of the group for over 16 years. He began life with the group as the Musical Director, then progressed onto the stage and is now the ‘boss’!

One of the longest serving members of the current cast is Dilys Megicks, the show’s production assistant, who has been a member for some 24 years. During that time she has portrayed a wide array of characters including a baddy, a chicken and is currently Chair of the Smuggler’s Cove WI! She enjoys all aspects of the traditional pantomime.

Another, now established, member of the cast is Andrew Tyrrell who, over the years, has truly made the role of panto ‘Dame’ his own. He most certainly is the comedian of the cast. Andrew also takes charge of prop building and supplies.

Remember to follow Theatr Felinfach’s Facebook page for opportunities to win tickets to the production. Tickets are available from Theatr Felinfach’s Box Office on 01570 470697 or online at theatrfelinfach.cymru. Ticket prices are £9 for adults, £8 for Senior Citizens and £6 for children.

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NHS volunteers needed

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Volunteering for the NHS can be incredibly rewarding and Hywel Dda UHB are looking for new people to join their Volunteering for Health service in Ceredigion.

There are many reasons why you may consider volunteering with Hywel Dda UHB. It is a great way to experience what it is like in a hospital environment if you are thinking about a career in health. It can also help you to give something back if you’ve been a patient yourself or had a relative in hospital.

There are many different volunteer roles available such as patient befrienders on our wards and welcome volunteers at hospital receptions, and we are particularly looking for people who would be able to help with the shop trolley and help as patient befrienders on our wards at Bronglais Hospital.

Volunteer information sessions will be held in February and anyone who may be interested in becoming a volunteer can find out more by contacting the Volunteering for Health team on 01267 244401 or HDd.VolunteerForHealth@wales.nhs.uk.

David Fretwell, Volunteer Manager at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “One of the greatest benefits volunteers can bring to the NHS is the support and comfort you bring to our patients. We particularly want to establish a shop trolley at Bronglais Hospital but we encourage anyone local to Ceredigion who wants to volunteer for their NHS to get in touch.”

To find out more about Hywel Dda UHB’s Volunteering for Health Service please visit www.hywelddahb.wales.nhs.uk/volunteering

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Elin Jones backs calls for Epilepsy Nurse working in Ceredigion

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ELIN JONES has joined people living with epilepsy and those who support them to discuss issues relating to the healthcare and wellbeing of epilepsy sufferers in the Aberystwyth area, and has reiterated their call for a specific Epilepsy Nurse in the local Health Board.

Epilepsy Aberystwyth District Support Group meets on the second Saturday of each month, in Tesco’s Community Space in Aberystwyth from 11.00am until 1.00pm.

Following the meeting, Elin Jones said:

“It is important that epilepsy sufferers have appropriate local healthcare support.

“Many epilepsy sufferers are prohibited from driving, and therefore face additional barriers to accessing health and social support.

“There is currently no specialist epilepsy nurse in the Hywel Dda Health Board and I will be raising with the need to appoint such a necessary role with the Chief Executive.

“Meetings such as this with local action groups provide me with valuable insight into the variety of challenges faced by people with specific conditions in Ceredigion and it allows me to represent them more effectively with relevant authorities.”

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