THE MOTHER of a Welsh international rugby player was announced as a Street Prize winner with People’s Postcode Lottery on Sunday (Jan 20).
Jane Turnbull-O’Connor, 53, of Rhos, near Llandysul, landed a bumper cash bonus of £30,000. Complementary therapist Jane, who has four children and whose eldest son is the Cardiff Blues rugby player Josh Turnbull, was ecstatic when she received the knock on her door from the People’s Postcode Lottery team.
She said: “This is just mind boggling and will make such a huge difference to my life. I’ve only been playing since December, so never in my wildest dreams did I think this would happen!
“My husband Felix and I have not had a holiday since 2015 so I think that’s definitely on the cards. One of my sons is currently living in New Zealand and this win means I can go and visit him, something which would never have been possible before. I’ve also got a sister who lives in America and I haven’t been to see her in 15 years because I’ve never had the money to go, but I do now!
“I think I might also treat myself to a new car, get some alterations done to the house and put some away for a rainy day too. It just opens up the door to all sorts of possibilities and opportunities.”
The win has come at the end of a great week for Jane and her family, as they have also been celebrating the fact that Josh was named in the Welsh Six Nations squad. Born in Haverfordwest, Josh spent seven years at the Scarlets before moving to the Blues.
Jane commented: “This week will go down in history for me – I’m on cloud nine at the moment and just can’t stop grinning. I last seen Josh play in 2012, so now I might be able to travel and catch him in some of the Six Nations games.”
As a supporter of charities, Jane loves that she’s helping good causes by playing People’s Postcode Lottery. She said: “When I saw the list of all the charities that receive funding I thought I’ve got to give it a go because what have I got to lose? I’m chuffed to bits I joined and will be recommending it to everyone!”
People’s Postcode Lottery ambassador Matt Johnson was in Rhos to present Jane with her prize.
He said: “It’s great to be back home in Wales delivering some lovely news to our wonderful winner Jane and her family. As a rugby fan, I’m hoping that some of Jane’s luck rubs off on Josh and the rest of the Welsh team in this year’s Six Nations!”
With a minimum of 32% from every ticket going to charity, players of People’s Postcode Lottery have now raised £382 million for over 5,500 good causes across Great Britain and internationally.
Cymdeithas Ty Tawe is just one of many charities close to the winner that has received support from players. In 2018, the charity was awarded £19,983 to run an inter-generational Welsh language project that aims to reduce isolation in older people by running activities where they can share their Welsh language skills with young children.
For more information, please visit www.postcodelottery.co.uk.
Ambulance delays as heart attack victims left waiting one hour 57 minutes
FREEDOM of Information requests reveal the worst ambulance delays out of 22 local authorities in Wales.
Postcode lottery revealed with patients in some areas waiting over double the amount of time for life-threatening calls
The average wait time for amber calls, which includes heart attack and stroke victims was 1 hour 57 minutes. In Swansea, it was 2 hours 33 minutes.
Shocking figures have unveiled the local areas in Wales with the longest ambulance delays, revealing a stark “postcode lottery” for response times to life-threatening calls.
Figures were provided by local authority giving a more local breakdown of the usual Health Board data.
Potential heart attack and stroke victims in the worst-hit areas are now waiting an average of one hour and 57 minutes for paramedics to arrive.
The figures, uncovered by the Liberal Democrats through Freedom of Information requests, reveal how patients whose lives are in immediate danger are waiting twice as long in some rural areas than urban ones. In Anglesey, patients waited an average of 12 minutes and 22 seconds for category 1 calls compared to 6 minutes 31 seconds in Newport.
However, the figures for amber calls painted a much starker picture with an average arrival time of 1 hour 57 minutes in Wales, with the worst in Swansea, where the average wait was 2 hours 33 minutes.
Overall, 13 out of the 22 local authorities in Wales had an average wait of over 2 hours for amber calls.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling for action on the social care crisis in order to free up hospital beds and stop ambulances waiting outside hospitals.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:
“These figures are heart-breaking, but not necessarily shocking to anyone who has had to call on an ambulance in recent months.
“Far too many people are being left to wait too long in an emergency across every region of Wales. The length of amber calls, which includes stroke and heart attack victims in particularly concerning.
“None of this is the fault of our hardworking ambulance staff who are doing their utmost in extremely difficult conditions.
“We must see an end to the postcode lottery in emergency care, it shouldn’t matter where you live, you should be able to get timely medical attention when you need it most.
“Every day we hear more and more devastating stories of pensioners left stranded for hours, or families watching a loved one die before a paramedic could reach them.
“This cannot continue, the Welsh Labour Government must bring forward extra support to get ambulance services through winter as well as a long-term strategy to ensure people can get emergency care when they need it. That means addressing workforce shortages, fixing the social care crisis and ending the shortage of hospital beds, all of which are leaving patients in ambulances stuck outside A&E for hours.”
Ceredigion MS’ back striking Uni staff
LOCAL Plaid Cymru politicians stood in solidarity with striking university staff at the Senedd this week, as over 70,000 staff from over 150 universities across the UK undertook three days of striking action over attacks on pay, working conditions and pensions.
The strike, organised by the University and Colleges Union (UCU), was the biggest in the history of higher education, and saw protestors gather en masse in London and Cardiff, as well as picket lines on university campuses, including in Aberystwyth and Lampeter.
The strikes come after UCU members overwhelmingly voted ‘yes’ to industrial action in September in two historic national ballots over attacks on pay and working conditions as well as pension cuts.
In September, Aberystwyth University, along with other employers, offered a standard three per cent pay increase. UCU’s demands, however, include a pay uplift of 12 per cent or Retail Price Index (RPI) plus two per cent, an agreed framework to eliminate insecure work practices such as zero hours contracts, and action to address dangerously high workloads.
The protest at the Senedd on Wednesday 30th November brought together a range of university staff, students and supporters, as well as many politicians.
Elin Jones, Member of the Senedd for Ceredigion said:
“I welcomed the opportunity to stand in solidarity with striking university staff. As the cost-of-living crisis intensifies, it’s clear that the current pay offer to university staff does not go far enough, and many will struggle financially over coming months.
Whilst staff in Aberystwyth and Lampeter are working hard to deliver an exceptional experience for their students, more and more are struggling as a result of falling pay, pension uncertainty and insecure work.”
Cefin Campbell, Member of the Senedd for Mid & West Wales concluded:
“Universities’ roles as vital employers across Mid & West Wales cannot be understated. No-one – including the university staff – wants industrial action, however the fact that the strike took place indicates the strength of feeling and frustration within the sector. At this time of growing financial hardship, I stand with the UCU staff and hope their demands will be met by universities.”
Children’s Commissioner for Wales helps deliver powerful messages from children
ENCOURAGING safeguarding professionals and practitioners to engage with and listen to children and young people was at the heart of an event hosted by the Mid and West Wales Regional Safeguarding Board for children, as part of its National Safeguarding Week activities and program for 2022.
The event which took place on 18 November 18 at Parc-y–Scarlets stadium in Llanelli, was attended by professionals who play a key role in safeguarding children, including police officers, nurses, social care staff and education professionals, and by children and young people from across the region, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Powys.
A safeguarding training resource and animation developed and created by the Regional Safeguarding Board’s Junior Group CADW, was officially launched as part of the event, by the Children’s Commissioner for Wales Rocio Cifuentes.
The training resource designed to be used in all mandatory multi-agency safeguarding training across the region, gives powerful messages to professionals about what is important to children and young people when practitioners and professionals may need to intervene in their lives to support or protect them.
Jan Coles, Head of Children’s Services at Carmarthenshire Council, which led and facilitated the event of behalf of the Mid and West Wales Safeguarding Board, said: “It is empowering and extremely inspiring for the children and young people from across our region to see so many safeguarding professionals and practitioners to support the fantastic work they have done.
“The messages in the animation are very powerful and we will take this forward as a regional safeguarding board and ensure they are embedded into core safeguarding practice.”
The resource as well as supplementary information and materials can be viewed here: www.cysur.wales/training/animation-training-resource/
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