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Minister visits food bank charity

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food charityMINISTER for Communities and Tackling Poverty Jeff Cuthbert visited PATCH (Pembrokeshire Action to Combat Hardship) on Thursday, January 23, to see the impact of its support from the Welsh Government’s Communities 2.0 programme.

The scheme works to get more people and organisations to make the most of the internet.

The Minister visited the charity to learn more about the work it does supporting people in need in Pembrokeshire and how it uses social media to gather donations.

PATCH is a charitable organisation aiming to relieve the effects of poverty for individuals and families within Pembrokeshire. It gives food parcels, clothing, and other items to people in financial difficulty. The charity has a team of up to 60 volunteers and runs depots in Milford Haven and Monkton.

Communities 2.0 has supported PATCH in developing a social media strategy which has resulted in a Facebook group with over 1000 friends and followers. The charity uses this to make urgent requests for food donations.

The project has supported the redevelopment of PATCH’s website from understanding the web specification through to managing the delivery of the site. The Communities 2.0 support has ensured that the organisation’s staff can improve the website themselves, without hiring expensive contractors.

Communities 2.0 has also delivered short workshops on improving the organisation’s use of Excel & Word to allow it to better manage its accounts, volunteers and business as a whole.

The Minister said: “I am really pleased to see how Communties 2.0 support is helping PATCH use the latest digital technologies to improve the excellent service it provides people in difficulty. Our support enables PATCH to reach more people, more quickly, and increase community involvement.”

PATCH Co-ordinator Tracy Olin commented: “The support from Communities 2.0 has helped us improve communication to our supporters and volunteers and to manage the process of getting food and clothing to the people who need it efficiently and effectively. We feel much more confident using the technology knowing that support from Communities 2.0 is available and we feel it has made a practical difference to people in need in Pembrokeshire”.

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Community

Pembroke Dock: Extraordinary stories of arctic exploration

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YOU can discover extraordinary stories of arctic exploration at a special event at Pembroke Dock Library this week.

On Wednesday 18th April from 7pm, David Saunders MBE will be discussing the journeys of three ships built in Pembroke Dock and bound for the Arctic, only to be lost in some of the most mysterious stories in the history of exploration.

David is a maritime historian, a subject he has studied extensively and has always been passionate about.

He is also a well-known naturalist, having become the first warden of Skomer Island in 1960. He was awarded a MBE in 2003.

The event is free to attend and no booking is required.

For more information, contact Pembroke Dock Library on 01437 775 825.

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Community

Kilgetty: Walkers raise £3700 for Harriet Davis Trust

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LAST AUGUST, the customers of the White Horse Inn organised a sponsored walk to raise funds for the Harriet Davis Trust.

The team of 30 walkers, led by Dilwyn Davies, has now collected all the sponsor money and the donations have reached a fantastic £3713.

Elizabeth Sleight, fundraiser for the trust said: “This was a truly amazing fundraising effort by Dilwyn and the White Horse Inn team, and we were completely overwhelmed by the result.

“Everyone has been so generous and it will make a huge difference in helping us give disabled children the best possible holidays.”

The Harriet Davis Trust has four holiday houses in Pembrokeshire for disabled children and their families and it is currently raising funds to refurbish its Giltar View property in Southcliffe Street, Tenby.

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Haverfordwest: Fresh artist on the block ready for exhibition

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AN EXHIBITION showcasing the work of an extremely talented local artist will open on Monday, August 1 at The VC Gallery in High Street, Haverfordwest.

Maxine Bunston from Haverfordwest, who has only had one year of experience in the art industry, has managed to create a huge range of fantastic art work, that she will be proudly presenting next week.

The Herald caught up with Maxine, to talk about the art that she will be exhibiting, and what it means to her. She said: “It’s escapism from mental health. It keeps me distracted from low self esteem, especially when people have commented on my appearance. But, mainly, it’s a distraction from mental health and self harm.”

Many of Maxine’s beautiful paintings depict delicate fairies, and The Herald asked Maxine why she decided to feature these in her work. She said: “They’re mystical and magical, and it’s escapism in the way of feeling like a child: Everything is innocent, and it’s the light-heartedness of life, really.”

Maxine has long struggled with mental health, and her art has reflected her emotions and what she was going through at the time.

Everything is innocent: Maxine paints to escape from mental health

Friend of Maxine and regular at The VC Gallery, Mia Gillies, said: “I’ve known Maxine for 10 years, and she started doing art at Bro Cerwen. I’ve seen her evolve from celtic style into really detailed fairy work, with dots and lots of action going on.

“She has really streamlined her work and now, you recognise it as Maxine’s work. It’s also not messy and more, it’s really clean and very intricate.”

All of the paintings at Maxine’s exhibition, which runs from August 1 until August 31, are for sale with prints available on request.

When asked if she classes herself as an artist, Maxine said: “No, I don’t like to call myself an artist. If someone asks me what I do, I don’t say that I’m an artist.”

If you would like to visit The VC Gallery to see Maxine’s wonderful work on display, you can do so from 10am until 5pm, Monday to Friday. To view Maxine’s work online, you can also visit www.facebook.com/escapistfantasyart

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