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Carmarthenshire stroke survivor Dave in TV appeal for Stroke Association

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A stroke survivor from Carmarthenshire has appeared on TV with EastEnders star Rudolph Walker to raise money for the charity which helped him rebuild his life.

In the BBC1 Lifeline fundraising appeal Dave Jones, from Tycroes, near Ammanford, said the support he had received from the Stroke Association had been “invaluable”.

The programme, which can be viewed on the BBC website, is presented by the actor, whose character Patrick Trueman has had two strokes.

Dave was just 36, fit, healthy and working as a regional sales manager for Selwood Pumps when he had his stroke in 2017.

“I felt a small pop in the back of my neck and I put it down to a migraine,” said Dave.

“I woke up on the morning blind. I went down to A&E at Glangwili Hospital and they sent me for a CT scan. The nurse came over and said ‘You’ve had a brain haemorrhage, you could go into a coma. It was the scariest time of my life.”

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Dave regained his sight but he struggled physically and his mental health also suffered over the coming months.

“I had double vision, my right arm didn’t work, my right leg didn’t work. I couldn’t speak properly. I got to the point of I didn’t want to be here. I actually got to the steps of ending it all.”

Dave pictured soon after his stroke

His life started to improve when the Stroke Association helped to arrange physiotherapy and communication therapy. He also joined a new support group for men going through similar experiences in his area, which was set up by Angela Hayes, the charity’s stroke recovery service co-coordinator for Carmarthenshire. 

They wanted to have a bit of banter and to be able to chat to each other away from their family. The group started meeting monthly in a local pub, with around 15 members from Ammanford, Llanelli, Carmarthen and other communities across the county.

When Covid-19 hit, the group moved online with fortnightly zoom meetings. In the TV appeal, Dave is seen chatting online with his fellow survivors.

Dave said: “We would help each other through it and talk about our experience, it is a massive help to me.

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“Speaking to other survivors, you feel there’s someone there. That you’re not alone. They’ve done it, so I can do it. I can get better. I don’t call it recovery I call it rebuilding. I still get symptoms today of aphasia and fatigue.

“My Stroke Association co-ordinator has been a huge help to me. She has been invaluable in my recovery. I would never have got to where I have without her.”

Dave is continuing to rebuild his life with his wife Susan, 38, daughter Steph, 17, and Arthur four.

“When I had my stroke I was told I would never work again but I’m planning to look for something suitable in another 18 months and prove them wrong,” said Dave.

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Katie Chappelle, the Stroke Association’s associate director for Wales, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to Dave for sharing his stroke story in the BBC Lifeline appeal and shining a spotlight on how we’re supporting stroke survivors.

“Stroke is one of the biggest killers and a leading cause of disability and around 7,400 people have a stroke each year in Wales.

“Like all charities, our income has been badly hit during the pandemic but stroke survivors need us now more than ever and every donation will help us make a difference.”

The charity’s partner ISS UK has pledged to give £1 for every £1 donated, meaning the value of gifts can be doubled for the first £15,000 donated.

The BBC1 Lifeline appeal for the Stroke Association can be watched on iPlayer here.

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For more information about stroke and the support services for survivors and carers in Wales visit www.stroke.org.uk or call the Stroke Helpline on 0303 3033 100.

Lead image: Dave enjoying the outdoors with his son Arthur


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Ammanford

Leading insurance broker announces new sponsorship deal with Ammanford Cricket Club

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One of the UK’s leading independent insurance brokers, Towergate Insurance Brokers, has teamed up with Ammanford Cricket Club for their current season.

The partnership sees Towergate Insurance Brokers sponsor the upcoming Premier League match at home against Neath on 30 July, receiving exclusive access to one of the club balconies for 12 invited guests, featuring in the coin toss and appearing on the website and in match day programmes.

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In return, Towergate Insurance Brokers is providing essential funds to help cover the costs of running the club, maintaining the playing surface and ground at Ammanford Park, as well as donating two prizes of fourball golf at St. Pierre and Machynys for the club’s charity day which takes place later in the season.

Ammanford Cricket Club runs three senior sides on a Saturday, Cup teams on a Sunday and a midweek side, in addition to ten junior mixed teams, two girls’ teams and Friday evening All-Stars programme. They are focused on developing grass roots cricket, having over 150 juniors registered with the club.

Their first team plays in the South Wales Premier League and is captained by Alun Evans, ex-Glamorgan, and NZ Northern Districts player, for the 13th year running. They also have two allocated Glamorgan players available to their squad, Billy Root and Andrew Salter.

Peter Davies, Club Chair, said: “We’re really pleased to have Towergate Insurance Brokers on board as a sponsor this season, supporting our club as we continue to grow stronger after the pandemic.

“Towergate is well known here in south west Wales and have strong links with the sporting world, so having an association with such a large company will hopefully help enhance the wider attraction of the club.”

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Howard Phillips, Account Executive, at Towergate Insurance Brokers, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Ammanford Cricket Club this season, helping them continue to provide cricketing opportunities to so many in the town.

“This partnership was a natural fit for us as we have a lot of expertise in providing insurance to sporting clubs and associations, having worked with the Cardiff Devils and West Wales Rugby Union already this year.

“We look forward to watching the first team in the South Wales Premier League, particularly seeing Andrew Salter and Billy Root in action, and wish them the very best for the rest of the season.”

Towergate Insurance Brokers, which has over 60 offices nationwide, has a strong Welsh presence and a long-standing relationship with sporting teams across the country, having sponsored ice hockey team the Cardiff Devils since 2019.

(Lead image: Ammanford Cricket Club)

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Ammanford

Man who filmed rape of Ammanford woman on victim’s phone jailed for 10 years

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A man who filmed himself raping a woman on his victim’s phone has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Cameron Hassan, aged 31, of no fixed abode, attacked the woman, raping her as she slept in Ammanford on 21 August 2021.

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Hassan, who was midway through his trial at Swansea Crown Court after denying any wrongdoing, changed his plea to guilty after the jury was shown the video of the attack.

He was back before Swansea Crown Court today and was sentenced to 10 years in prison .

Senior Investigating Officer DI Melanie Havard said the victim had shown great strength and determination throughout the investigation and trial.

“I must commend her tremendous courage in coming forward and the tenacity shown throughout the investigation,” she said.

“We appreciate this is not easy for anyone to do but the victim has expressed her gratitude to the officer in the case for her support and empathy throughout this process.

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“We hope this case demonstrates that Dyfed-Powys Police acts on serious allegations such as rape and sexual assault with officers working tirelessly to secure justice for victims.

“If you are suffering because of similar abuse, please contact the police, or if you would rather speak to someone in confidence, New Pathways are an independent charity that will support you through every step of the investigation.”

New Pathways can be contacted at 01685 379 310 or email enquiries@newpathways.org.uk

You can report it to Dyfed-Powys Police online, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or by calling 101.

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Ammanford

Man who filmed rape on Ammanford victim’s phone changes plea mid trial

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A man who filmed himself raping an Ammanford woman on his victim’s phone has changed his plea to guilty midway through his trial.

Cameron Hassan, aged 31, of no fixed abode, attacked the woman, raping her as she slept on 21 August 2021.

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Hassan had been on trial at Swansea Crown Court after denying any wrongdoing. However, after the jury was shown the video of the attack and hearing the victim was going to give evidence yesterday (Tuesday, 10 May), Hassan changed his plea to guilty.

Investigating Officer DC Sophie Lambert from Dyfed Powys Police said the victim had shown great strength and determination throughout the investigation.

“I must commend her tremendous courage in coming forward and the tenacity shown throughout the investigation,” she said.

“We hope this case demonstrates that Dyfed-Powys Police acts on serious allegations such as rape and sexual assault with officers working tirelessly to secure justice for victims.

“If you are suffering because of similar abuse, please contact the police, or if you would rather speak to someone in confidence, New Pathways are an independent charity that will support you through every step of the investigation.”

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New Pathways can be contacted at 01685 379 310 or email enquiries@newpathways.org.uk

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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