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New Year…

sunrise over India

New beginnings.

It’s that time of year again…a time of reflection and forward planning. Many of us will be considering new resolutions that do not include a gym membership. Want to meet new friends, learn new skills, put something back into the community?

We at Pembrokeshire Online have had contact with so many amazing people  over the last few years that we thought a few suggestions for a brighter 2019 might not go amiss.

Firstly, research has shown that being happier can be a state over which we have much more control than we realise. The project Action for Happiness is endorsed by the Dalai Llama himself and advocates gratitude and willingness to help others as key factors in lasting happiness. Early in 2018 I attended a course based in Narberth , met some lovely people and found it useful, particularly as a reminder to practice Mindfulness , a meditative practice for living more fully in the present moment.

Action for Happiness

Maybe you can track down a course being run locally in 2019. Even if you can’t ,the following websites have a wealth of information that might help you find that extra sparkle :

http://www.actionforhappiness.org/

https://www.mindful.org/meditation/mindfulness-getting-started/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mindfulness/

If you are inspired by the message that being of service to others is a way to feel happier and healthier then why not investigate the Campaign to End Loneliness.

According to the Campaign to end Loneliness website there are nine million lonely people in the UK, four million of them being older people. Since 2011 the organisation have shared research, evidence and knowledge with thousands of other organisations in an attempt to bring people and organisations together across the country. They have a variety of projects and ideas funded by Big Lottery and others. You might do worse than joining them in their boast that ‘Together, we can End Loneliness.’

https://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org/.

Similarly, what about becoming a Dementia Friend?
According to Dementia Friends.org , you can learn a little bit more about what it’s like to live with dementia and then turn that understanding into action. Open to anyone, of any age and you can complete the training by video or a Dementia Friends Information Session Learn more about dementia and how you can help in your own community.
If you want to take things a stage further you could join over 10,000 volunteers in becoming a Dementia Friends Champion. Training will give you the skills to run information sessions in your community and help inspire others take some of the sting out of living with Dementia.

https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/

Fancy something that could impact favourably on the environment, you could do worse than offer your skills and time to the Pembrokeshire Remakery. Based at the Big Green Shed in Merlin’s Bridge. Nicky and Steve and their band of happy volunteers repurpose and repair many items to prevent them going to landfill. They run workshops in Bike maintenance, simple electrical repairs, upcycling furniture and fabrics, to name but a few. Contact them on their face book page or pop along to see for yourself.

The Green Shed, Old Hakin Road, Merlin’s Bridge 
SA61 1XF Haverfordwest

07979 470517

Fancy getting involved in preventing perfectly good edible food from going to waste? There are Community fridges around the county where volunteers would be most welcome. You could help to help collect and record food, and open and close the fridge .The fridge we know most about is the Fishguard one ( we recently wrote an article about their good work), but you can seek out others about the county on Facebook.

Fishguard and Goodwick Community Fridge

Transition Bro Gwaun, c/o Abergwaun Gateway Club, off Clive Road,

If your interests are less altruistic, you might prefer something like amateur dramatics…a chance to meet new people , and test your nerve. You don’t need to perform, although most companies welcome new talent. Back stage, lighting, scenery , props , costume, makeup , and prompting, not to ignore Directing for the truly ambitious are all usually welcomed with open arms. We have written in Pembrokeshire.online about Clarbeston Road  Players but we know of many others including Theatr Gwaun who can all be contacted via face book and will almost certainly be planning their next productions very soon. Look for an Am Dram company near you for guaranteed laughs and good company. Look for details on Facebook.

Not bitten by the acting bug? What about singing? You might have read in the mag about Singing for Fun led by Anne Hughes. You don’t have to be a great singer. Not all the people, who turn up weekly for singing actually perform in public for the charities that the choir raises funds for, but all go along for the kindness of others and the sheer joy of belting out a good tune under the delightful expertise of Anne herself. I promise you, my voice is definitely not one that could be confused with tunefuleness but no one has glared at me yet and ruined my intention to set myself up for the week with a few rousing choruses of whatever we are learning.

14 January – 22 February 2019
4 March – 12 April 2019

29 May – 14 June 2019
(end-of-term)

Letterston
Mondays 10.00am – midday
Memorial Hall, Station Road, Letterston, SA62 5RY
£5 per session, pay-as-you-go
(Free refreshments)

Newport
Mondays 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Tabernacle Vestry, Long Street, Newport, SA42 0TL
(1 November 2018 until 28 February 2019)
CHANGE OF VENUE 1 March to 31 October 2018
Yr hen ysgol, Dinas, SA42 0XW (free parking)
£5 per session, pay-as-you-go
(Free refreshments)

Solva
Mondays 7.00pm – 8.30pm
Memorial Hall, 39 High Street, Solva, SA62 6TE
£4 per session, pay-as-you-go

Fishguard
Tuesdays 10.30am – 12.00pm
Bethel Church Vestry, West Street, SA65 9AD
£4 per session, pay-as-you-go
(Free refreshments)

Moylegrove
Thursdays 4.00pm – 5.30pm
Yr Hen Ysgol, Moylegrove, SA43 3BW
£4 per session, pay-as-you-go

Dinas
Fridays 10.30am – 12.30pm
Yr Hen Ysgol, Dinas, SA42 0XW
£5 per session, pay-as-you-go

https://www.singingforfun.co.uk/

Men Sheds are another option if you are looking for good company and new things to learn. The website for men sheds speaks mainly about the benefits of men coming together, and while this was the original reason, Preseli Men shed in Letterston is wholly inclusive and has a good mix of men and women, all enjoying the benefits of each others company, not to ignore the well equipped carpentry workshop, a craft room and a thriving C.B radio project. They Preseli shed has Knit and Natter, and a photography project. Other things are planned in 2019, so have a look at the face book page. The club meets on a Wednesday evening and often share food. There is usually delicious home-made cake too.

https://menssheds.org.uk/

Want to do something a bit more outdoorsy. How about taking part in the Big Beach Clean Challenge in Pembrokeshire.

Marine pollution is a growing problem across the UK. You could get involved in the Big Beach Clean Challenge between January and September, it will be a monthly event at various coastal sites to help keep these places clean for man and beast.
If those monthly events really float your boat you , might be interested in becoming a community COASTodian. Find out more from the following website:

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/beach-cleans-in-pembrokeshire

Similarly, if you love to walk joining Friends of Pembrokeshire National Park might suit you very well. Their website states that becoming a member, means you can…
• Enjoy a programme of events, walks and guided visits throughout the year to places of interest not always available to the general public.
• Join our work party, contributing to the practical conservation and enhancement of the National Park.
• Get special discounts from local businesses and National Park Visitor Centres at Carew, Castle Henrys and Oriel y Parc.
• Receive Newsletters every two months with details of current issues, activities and events, and our News & Views colour magazine each Spring and Autumn.
• Vote at the AGM and/or at any Extraordinary General Meetings thereby helping to influence the future direction of the charity.

ANNUAL Membership is currently £15 for a single person. Check out their website for other information

https://www.fpcnp.org.uk/

If you would like to learn a new skill, like pottery, Pembrokeshire is full of lovely skilled people who facilitate workshops . We know of Anthony Parfitt at Freshwater East who runs pottery workshops from his studio. 1.5hr,2 hr & 2.5hr classes are run on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, afternoon and evening, some classes are subsidised and promoted through Pembrokeshire County Councils Community Education/Learning Programme, others are privately run. Small groups, and one to one tuition undertaken.

Find him on facebook: Pembrokeshire pottery class.

Artists like Anna Waters, who create wonderful sea scapes , runs workshops from her studio in Milford Haven.

Contact her : https://www.artistannawaters.com If nothing else, have a look at her beautiful work . We are sure you wont be disappointed.

Anna Waters

And then there is the magical story telling of Deb Winter. If you haven’t yet caught her in the act of spinning magical tales, we urge you to do so. She also runs workshops and they are a wonderful return to the creativity many of us thought we had locked away when we left childhood.

Deb Winter, storyteller

Find her on: http://www.deborahwinter.co.uk/

Well, I will stop there. There are so many wonderful options for wiling away a few hours in 2019, for meeting new people and learning new skills. Check out our magazine for information on many more projects and events, walks and places to go.

If you are still at a loose end, why not contact us about getting involved with Pembrokeshire.online. We are always delighted to consider new writers and new stories. We will be delighted to hear from you.
Happy 2019 to you all.

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Kitty Parsons

Kitty Parsons

In love with the sea, gifted with an almost superhuman ability to bring chaos into order. Mostly tired and often to be found hibernating through the winter on the sofa, and bobbing about in the ocean in summer.

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