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Press releases

FA Wales announce unique partnership with Welsh Hearts

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Today, at Wales’ National team open training session in Wrexham, The Football Association of Wales announced their partnership with Welsh Hearts, The Heart Charity for Wales.

The long-term aim of the partnership is to deliver lifesaving defibrillators, equipment and training to all football clubs in Wales.

To kick off the partnership, the National team have donated their match fees to fund the first six defibrillators, one for every area association in Wales.

Wrexham based Llangollen Football Club were present at the training session to be the first recipients of the FAW and Welsh Hearts defibrillator fitted at their ground.

Harry Wilson, who grew up in Corwen just outside Llangollen, presented the club with their defibrillator alongside captain Ashley Williams and manager Ryan Giggs.

Football clubs and training facilities across Wales are often the hub of communities, used by many different teams and community groups. However, many of these integral community spaces currently do not have defibrillators installed.

This unique partnership between The FAW and Welsh Hearts aims to change that and ensure that in the future every player and spectator in every football club in Wales, no matter how big or small, will have access to a lifesaving defibrillator.

Football Association of Wales Medical Services Manager & Lead Physiotherapist, Sean Connelly added:

“At The Football Association of Wales, we recognize the importance of investing in the health and wellbeing of our footballers and the wider community groups using football facilities across the country.”

“With this partnership we will work together to fundraise to aid Welsh Hearts with the amazing work they do for heart health in Wales and together we hope that this equipment will minimise the terrible instances from sudden cardiac arrests that have occurred in football grounds across Wales”.

Sharon Owen, the Director of Welsh Hearts says:

“This initiative is a perfect match to the ambitious work of Welsh Hearts in communities throughout Wales. We believe the impact on lives will be far-reaching, as no one should die in Wales due to a lack of a public access defibrillator in the event of an emergency. They should be available everywhere. I am excited to work with the FAW as they are at the heart of communities in Wales.”

To join the Football Association of Wales and Wales’ leading Heart Charity help safeguard our footballers and spectators across the country you can donate via the JustGiving site: https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/welshhearts/faw

To apply for a defibrillator: http://welshhearts.org/online-defibrillator-application-form/

Photocall from today’s event:


  • Welsh Hearts, established by Sharon Owen, are the leading heart charity in Wales for placing defibrillators in communities and delivering CPR and defibrillator training in Wales.
  • Cardiovascular disease accounts for a third of all deaths in Wales, where the death rate is higher than in the majority of countries in Western Europe.
  • Research shows that over 90% of sudden cardiac arrests in young athletes happen either during or immediately after exercise and those with an inherited heart condition can be up to three times as likely to suffer a sudden cardiac arrest if they participate in intensive or strenuous exercise.
  • A defibrillator is an automatic device that can be used by the public to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm during cardiac arrest.
  • For every minute without CPR and defibrillation, a person’s chance of survival decreases by around 10 per cent.
  • By performing CPR and using a defibrillator until an ambulance arrives, you can help double the victim’s chance of survival.
  • Welsh Hearts aim to provide public-access defibrillators and free defibrillator and CPR training for the Welsh public in close partnership with strategic partners.
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Press releases

Llandovery residents invited to a public drop-in event for health changes

Posted By Robert Lloyd


Residents in Llandovery and the surrounding area are being invited to a public drop-in event to discuss our proposals to fundamentally change the way we provide healthcare services for current and future generations.

The event will be held between 2pm-7pm at Rhys Pritchard Memorial Hall, Llandovery SA20 0DS on Monday 4 June 2018. This is your opportunity to tell us what you think about our proposals or to give us new ideas.

Hywel Dda University Health Board has formally launched its “Big NHS Change,” a 12-week consultation aimed at making provision of local health and care better for our communities.

We’re asking residents across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, as well as the wider cross-border regions, to get involved and have your say on three proposals to improve the way we provide care for our population. Each proposal has been designed and tested by our clinicians to ensure that our services are safe, sustainable, accessible and kind for our generation and those to come.

Hywel Dda Chief Executive Steve Moore said: “Our proposals for change could affect everyone in our area, from bumps and babies to older people and everyone in between, so we are asking you all to tell us what you think. Whether you are a patient, a carer, a family member, or one of the thousands of people who work for the Health Board – we want to hear from you.

“Last year we started a conversation with our population, our staff and with people we work with to provide care to explore what is important to us and to jointly think about how to best run services. We did this because we think it is the right thing to do to design our services together. We explored the opportunities we think are offered to us through modern medicine and advancements in technology and the expectations you have for us to improve.

“We also set out the significant challenges faced by the NHS which we must deal with to ensure it thrives and delivers for you and your family now and in the future. This means that we will have to make decisions about where we can provide services and know that there are going to be compromises to make, so that we make best use of our resources.”

Among the biggest challenges the health board currently faces are an ageing population, difficulty for many people in accessing services close to home, significant recruitment challenges – particularly specialist medical staff – and ageing hospital buildings which require a lot of maintenance to keep running.

To overcome these we want to radically change the way we provide local health care services so that people are accessing most of the care and treatment they need in their local community, and are able to stay at home while they are getting treatment rather than having to go into hospital.

Reducing the number of main hospitals will mean having fewer medical rotas to fill, making it easier to attract clinicians to come and work for us; it will also mean shorter waiting times and fewer cancellations, and more money for local and community health services.

In all three of the proposals, Bronglais District General Hospital will continue to provide services for mid Wales; a new major hospital will be built somewhere between Narberth and St Clears, and there will be 10 community hubs across the Health Board area.

The proposals are:

Proposal A
A new urgent care and planned care hospital between Narberth and St Clears
Community hospitals in Glangwili, Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli and Withybush
A general hospital in Aberystwyth on the Bronglais Hospital site

Proposal B
A new urgent care and planned care hospital between Narberth and St Clears
Community hospitals in Glangwili and Withybush
General hospitals at Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli and Aberystwyth on the Bronglais Hospital site

Proposal C
A new urgent care hospital between Narberth and St Clears
A planned care hospital on Glangwili site
A community hospital in Withybush
General hospitals at Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli and Aberystwyth on the Bronglais Hospital site

Hywel Dda’s Executive Medical Director & Director of Clinical Strategy, Dr Phil Kloer, added: “The challenges we face are really significant. People are living longer, some with long lasting health conditions, and we expect there to be many more older people who will need regular health care and social care.

“In our area some people live in towns and some in country areas, making it difficult for us to ensure that services are in the right place for people to access. Many people live a long way from services, so helping people to live at home while they have treatment can involve a lot of travel for health workers.

“We know that people want to be supported to manage their health in their own homes – about 4 out of every 10 hospital beds are filled by people who could be treated at home. Added to this is the fact that we’re finding it hard to get enough permanent staff, especially specialist medical staff, to come and work for us, and we also need to make fuller use of new technology such as computers, phones, telehealth and telecare.

“This is why we have come up with three proposals that we think are safe, viable and offer an improvement on what we currently have, and have launched a formal 12-week consultation to present these to you, to listen and talk to you further and take on board your views and ideas.

“We all have a shared passion for the NHS, our services, our history and our staff and we want to harness this to design, together with you, the best health service for our population. We are so grateful to those of you who have already been involved in this as patients, staff and members of our communities.”

Your feedback will be independently analysed and considered before any formal proposal is put before our Health Board for decision on how to proceed later in 2018 and we will continue to keep you updated on how we have used your feedback.

Please tell us your views by:

Completing the online questionnaire at: www.hywelddahb.wales.nhs.uk/hddchange

Emailing us at: hyweldda.engagement@wales.nhs.uk

Telephone: 01554 899 056

Coming to one of our drop-in events:

Monday 4th June 2pm-7pm / Rhys Pritchard Memorial Hall, Llandovery SA20 0DS

Monday 11th June 2pm-7pm / Penybanc Welfare Hall, Ammanford SA18 3QS

Thursday 14th June 2pm-7pm / City Hall, St.David’s SA62 6SD

Monday 18th June 2pm-7pm / Tysul Hall, Llandysul SA44 4HS

Tuesday 26th June 2pm-7pm / Pembrokeshire Archives Building, Haverfordwest SA61 2PE

Monday 2nd July 2pm-7pm / Victoria Hall, Lampeter SA48 7EE

Thursday 5th July 2pm-7pm / Pill Social Centre, Milford Haven SA73 2QT

Monday 9th July 2pm-7pm / Tumble Hall, Tumble SA14 6HR

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The Big Cwtsh

Blog posts

Latest podcast from Phil Evans and Robert Lloyd

Posted By Robert Lloyd

The latest podcast from Phil Evans and Robert Lloyd has just been released.

The Big Cwtsh: Episode 16 is now on Soundcloud.


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Rotary concert rehearsals


Review: Llanelli Rotary Club Centenary Concert

Posted By Robert Lloyd

REVIEW: ‘An Evening Of Song’ – Llanelli Rotary Club Centenary Concert at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli, featuring Shân Cothi, Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir, Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers, The Lewis Meredith Sisters, Ffion Bates, Lauren Fisher, Harmoni and Côr Ysgol Heol Goffa School Choir.

Shan Cothi in rehearsals
Shan Cothi in rehearsals
Rotary concert rehearsals
Rotary concert rehearsals

It had to be special – after all, it’s not every day you get to celebrate a centenary.

Llanelli Rotary Club marked 100 years with some style.

‘An Evening Of Song’ was a concert with something for everyone – first class singing and musicianship, dramatic highlights and plenty of humour.

Top of the bill was the ‘force of nature’ we all know as Shân Cothi.

Always a class act, she took the audience on a wonderful musical journey – from the My Fair Lady classic I Could Have Danced All Night and the Welsh classic Mai, to Chemins de l’amour and Think of Me from Phantom of the Opera.

Her set also included Mae Hiraeth yn y Morand the Laughing Song from Die Fledermaus, during which she enlisted the help of John Morris (aka John Bach) from Côr Meibion Llanelli. You had to be there. It was a hoot!

Shân also teamed up with Côr Meibion Llanelli for a soaring and emotional rendition of Verdi’s classic La Vergine Degli Angeli.

Côr Meibion Llanelli weighed in with Dashenka, Anthem from the musical Chess and Y Tangnefeddwyr, Wade in the Water, American Trilogy, and the spiritual A-men – yet again demonstrating that Llanelli possesses one of the finest male voice choirs in the land.

For much of the evening, the Côr Meibion Llanelli choristers were happy to give over the limelight to the youth of Llanelli.

The Lewis Meredith Sisters – Calley, Sarah and Steffi – dazzled with their Abba medley and Waterfalls by TLC.

And the concert also featured two 15-year-old ‘stars of the future’ with links to Llanelli Rotary Club.

Ffion Bates was the instrumental winner of the Rotary Club’s Young Musician of the Year competition, while Lauren Fisher was the vocalist and overall winner of the competition.

Ffion performed Beethoven’s Rondo – a performance which had the full house at Ffwrnes Theatre spellbound.

Lauren Fisher performed the Caro Emerald song That Man – a performance which demonstrated she has all the dramatic stage presence needed to succeed as a rising star.

Llanelli’s junior ambassadors of song, the Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers, provided a dramatic end to the first half of the show with a selection of “Cherished Classics” – O Fortuna from Carmina Burana, the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah and Nessun Dorma from Puccini’s Turandot.

The Hywel choirs also provided one of the dramatic highlights of the second-half, with ‘Magical Music from Les Misérables. At The End of the Day, I Dreamed a Dream, On My Own and the much loved finale of Do You Hear the People Sing were all featured, much to the delight of the packed house at Ffwrnes.

Also featured during the evening were Harmoni, a group of ladies from Lleisiau’r Cwm Ladies Choir and ex-pupils of Ysgol Y Strade – a choir formed especially for the centenary concert.

They served up two Welsh classics Ty ar y Mynydd and Adre’n ôl.

They coped admirably with having to follow the ‘scene-stealing’ act of the night – Côr Ysgol Heol Goffa School Choir.

Under the direction of Bridget Radford, they peformed Perfect by Ed Sheeran and This is Me, the big hit from the blockbusting musical film The Greatest Showman.

Their standing ovation was richly deserved.

The grand finale was provided by Shân Cothi, the Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers and Côr Meibion Llanelli with a powerful and emotional rendition of the famous Easter Hymn from Cavalleria Rusticana.

Musical directors John Hywel Williams (the Hywel choirs) and D Eifion Thomas (Côr Meibion Llanelli) held the evening together in true professional style, proudly wearing the Paul Harris Fellowship medals they were awarded by Llanelli Rotary Club for their community and charity work.

The accompanists for the evening were Rhiannon Pritchard, Jane Jewell, Catrin Hughes and Aled Maddock.

Mr John (JC) Williams used the interval to give the audience an address on the history of the Rotary service organisation in Llanelli and some of the club’s greatest achievements in a proud 100-year history.

The production was managed by Mr Cerith Owens, a member of Llanelli Rotary Club and the director of Loud Applause Productions.

The compere for the evening was Robert Lloyd, a past president and member of Llanelli Rotary Club.

The evening raised funds for the Green Light Postrate Cancer Machine at Prince Philip Hospital.

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Press releases

Beirne cleans up at Scarlets end of season awards ceremony

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Tadhg Beirne – photo from Scarlets

Parc y Scarlets hosted the region’s End of Season Awards ceremony on Saturday 19th May, after securing their place in the Guinness PRO14 final at Glasgow’s Scotstoun Stadium on Friday evening.

The evening was an opportunity for players, coaches, staff, sponsors and partners alike to celebrate what has been a successful season for the region, with the Guinness Pro14 final still to come on Saturday evening.

The evening’s compare Rhys ap William welcomed everyone to the Parc for a glitzy awards ceremony.

Ahead of the awards ceremony captain Ken Owens gave an emotional send-off to the individuals leaving at the region.

Players moving on at the end of the season are Tom Varndell, Tom Williams, Billy McBryde, Tom Grabham, Rhys Jones, Jack Condy, Jack Maynard, Emyr Phillips, Aled Davies, Tadhg Beirne, John Barclay and Scott Williams.

2017-18 nominees and winners –  

Management Player sponsored by Enzo’s Homes
Tadhg Beirne
Ken Owens
Aaron Shingler
Winner: Ken Owens

Fans Player sponsored by CK Supermarkets
Rob Evans
Ken Owens
Tadhg Beirne
Rhys Patchell
Hadleigh Parkes
Steff Evans
Aaron Shingler
Winner: Tadhg Beirne

Clubman sponsored by Dyfed Steels
Mark Taylor

Try of the Season sponsored by Rees Sound
Paul Asquith v Benetton Rugby
Josh Macleod v Ospreys
Tom Prydie v Toulon
Tadhg Beirne v Bath
Steff Evans v Cheetahs
Winner: Tadhg Beirne v Bath

Players Player sponsored by City & Trust and Watches of Wales
Tadhg Beirne
Aaron Shingler
James Davies
Gareth Davies
Rhys Patchell
Winner: Tadhg Beirne

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Blog posts

The latest Clay Shaw Butler Money Matters column

Posted By RobertLloyd58

Clay Shaw Butler
Clay Shaw Butler
Mark Jones
Mark Jones

By Mark Jones, director of Carmarthen-based Clay Shaw Butler chartered accountants and business consultants.

Over the coming years, the government plans to phase in its landmark Making Tax Digital (MTD) initiative, which will see taxpayers move to a fully digital tax system.

However, HMRC has shared a statement about how they are prioritising change in the department and as a result some parts of MTD will be delayed.

HMRC has acknowledged the challenges in:

  • exiting the EU and
  • the ambition to become the world’s most digitally advanced tax authority.

While some of the finer details are still being decided, HMRC have announced that, to achieve the above, some aspects of MTD are to be delayed.

HMRC still plan to go ahead with MTD for VAT from April 2019.

Information on some of the delayed projects is set out below:

Plans to introduce further digital services for individuals

There will be ‘halted progress’ on simple assessment and real-time tax code changes. Additional services in this area will only be added where they reduce phone or post contact or otherwise deliver ‘significant savings’.

Other digitalisation of services affecting fewer individuals

This includes Inheritance Tax payments, Tax Advantaged Venture Capital Schemes applications and PAYE Settlement Agreements

Creation of the single digital account for all businesses

HMRC has confirmed this will now happen at a ‘slower pace’. HMRC has confirmed the single digital account remains an aim of the department and they stress it will not impact the delivery of Making Tax Digital.

Voluntary Making Tax Digital for Business service for income tax

HMRC has confirmed this will continue to be available for any sole trader wishing to make quarterly updates to HMRC.

Mandatory Making Tax Digital for VAT – still ‘on track’

HMRC stated that MTD for VAT is still on track. VAT registered businesses with a turnover in excess of the £85,000 VAT registration threshold, will be required to comply with the requirements of MTD for VAT for all VAT periods commencing on or after 1 April 2019.

In addition, the government has confirmed that, it will not mandate any further MTD for Business changes before 2020, at the earliest.

Internet link: ICAEW (The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) blog – https://ion.icaew.com/taxfaculty/b/weblog/posts/hmrc-s-work-programme-to-implement-brexit-and-making-tax-digital-slowed-but-continuing

Meanwhile, with only a couple of weeks until the introduction of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is warning small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that time is running out for them to prepare.

The business group stated that small businesses face an ‘uphill challenge’ in ensuring that they are compliant by the date when GDPR takes effect of 25 May 2018.

Under the new rules, organisations which collect, store and process individuals’ personal data will be subject to new obligations, with an increased emphasis on accountability and transparency.

The financial penalties for failing to comply are severe, with fines costing up to €20 million or up to 4% of total annual worldwide revenue, whichever is the greater.

Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB said:

“As the GDPR deadline swiftly approaches, there is a real danger that many small businesses are yet to have adequately prepared for the changes. Fortunately for these businesses, there is still time on the clock to start, or finish, their preparations.

“The GDPR is the largest shake-up of data protection laws for years, and whether you are a personal trainer or a consultant, most businesses will have to implement changes to their current practices to make sure they are complying with the new rules.”

Further information on the GDPR can be found on the ICO website.

Internet link: FSB press release – https://www.fsb.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/time-ticking-for-small-businesses-ahead-of-gdpr-deadline


You can find out more about money matters on the Clay Shaw Butler website (under our news for business section) –


We have a strong and experienced team with great local knowledge all geared-up to helping you get the very best from your finances – whether that is as an individual or as a business.

We stay ahead of the game by putting great store by continual professional development for our staff.

With Investors In People status at Clay Shaw Butler, we care passionately about making sure our staff have all the tools they need to serve you, our customers.


Weblink – http://www.clayshawbutler.com

The team at Clay Shaw Butler can be contacted on 01267 228500.

The team at Clay Shaw Butler are on Twitter. Look for @clayshawbutler.

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