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Ammanford

Picture-perfect tribute to long-serving hospital volunteer Morfa

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A long-serving volunteer is in the frame for well-deserved recognition of her many years of selfless service supporting patients in Swansea.

Morfa Owen has made the regular journey from her home in Ammanford to Morriston Hospital for the last 20 years.

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Originally volunteering for the WRVS, Morfa can now be found three days a week on the hospital front desk, where she helps patients and visitors needing directions or help with a wide range of inquiries.

The 79-year-old retired optical receptionist was selected to represent the health board’s volunteers in a unique NHS portrait series created by Swansea freelance illustrator Amy Jackson.

Amy put out a call on social media for NHS workers to send photographs, which she turned into portraits through a painstaking process called dotwork – which, as the name implies, uses dots to create an image.

Many of the resulting portraits were of frontline staff from around the UK, including some from Swansea Bay.

It was the health board’s Arts in Health team that suggested a volunteer representative – and Morfa said she was really pleased to take part.

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“I’m thrilled with the image and I requested a copy for myself, which I have at home,” said Morfa, who started volunteering with the WRVS in Morriston in 2002.

Morfa volunteers three days a week at Morriston Hospital’s front desk (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

She joined the health board’s volunteering service in 2014 and, she says, has no intention of retiring anytime soon.

“I really enjoy my volunteering role, listening to people who share their problems, and directing them to where they need to be.

“They all have a different story. I get a lot of pleasure out of it, helping people who come from far and near to this hospital.

“I was an optical receptionist in a private practice before retired, so I’ve always dealt with the public.

“Being asked to take part in the portrait project was a bit of a shock but I was very pleased to be able to do it. If it helps others to volunteer, well, all the better for that.”

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Amy Jackson’s dotwork portrait of Morfa (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

Swansea Bay’s Volunteer Services Manager, Katie Taylor, said: “Morfa is an example of the dedication and commitment shown to the health board day in day out by its team of volunteers.

“She has given countless hours of her time to support the community in and around Morriston.

Artist, Amy Jackson (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

“It’s lovely to see this portrait and have her contribution recognised as well as shine a light on the role of volunteers throughout the pandemic.”

Amy said her NHS portrait series was heavily inspired by the pandemic.

“The past year has shone a light and proven how important the NHS is, and always has been.

“This was my attempt at illuminating just a small number of staff, to celebrate all of the hard work they have done and will continue to do,” she added.

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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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Ammanford

Police appeal after cyclist dies in Garnant accident

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Dyfed Powys Police have issued an appeal after a cyclist died in a single vehicle road traffic collision on Friday (6 May).

The accident took place around 8.45pm outside the Discovery Book Shop on Cwmamman Road in Garnant, Ammanford.

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A spokesperson for Dyfed Powys Police said: “Sadly the 58 year-old male rider of the pedal cycle sustained serious injuries and passed away in hospital.

“We are appealing for any witnesses who may have seen the pedal cycle at the relevant time, or who may have dashcam footage if they travelled along this stretch of road at the time, to get in touch.

“Also local residents and business owners are asked to contact Police if they have any CCTV footage covering the location.”

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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Ammanford

Plans to close GP surgery in Tycroes revealed

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Margaret Street Practice has applied to Hywel Dda Health board to close its branch surgery in Tycroes.

The surgery in Tycroes has been closed since February 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the building served as a ‘red site’ for the Amman Gwendraeth GP cluster.

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Prior to the pandemic, the branch was used mainly for blood tests at the phlebotomy clinic.

Since its temporary closure, patients of Tycroes have used Margaret Street Practice, around two miles away in Ammanford.

There is a regular bus route between the two Surgeries.

In a statement, the health board said: “Margaret Street Practice, Hywel Dda University Health Board and the Community Health Council are working together to engage with patients of both surgeries to gain an understanding of how a proposed closure would affect patients.

“A period of engagement commences on Monday 9 May and runs until Friday 24 June.

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“Should Tycroes close, the potential benefits for patients include more available appointments for all patients at the Margaret Street Practice, as staff would not be covering two sites, and earlier and later appointments could be offered from Margaret Street.

“Patients would still be able to use the Tycroes Pharmacy and the Practice would continue to send all requested prescriptions to the pharmacy.”

Jill Paterson, Director of Primary Care, Community and Long Term Care for Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “We are committed to listening to and engaging with local populations around the proposal to relocate Primary Care services from Tycroes Surgery to Margaret Street and we would therefore like to invite patients to get involved in the engagement process.

“We are committed to working closely with the Practice and the Community Health Council throughout this process and will keep patients informed of the results of this engagement exercise.”

Vice Chair of Hywel Dda Community Health Council, Dr Barbara Wilson said: “GP services are so important to the communities they serve. When the health board comes to make its decision about the future of Tycroes branch surgery, it’s crucial that the public have their say.

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“Whether people support this proposal or oppose it, the CHC will be ensuring that those views are heard and understood by the health board.”

The consultation is available online, on paper forms at Margaret Street Surgery, by calling 0300 303 8322, option 4, by emailing Hyweldda.Engagement@wales.nhs.uk or by writing to Tracey Huggins, Head of GMS Services, Primary Care Team, Felinfoel Community Resource Centre, Felinfoel, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, SA14 8BE

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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