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Inca trail trekkers raise £8,000



screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-10-16-31THE HERALD has been following the progress of three intrepid Llanelli adventurers, Keire McAlinden, Sophie Lewis and Michelle Williams-January, for the past year. We first covered the exploits of the three girls when they decided to go and sleep rough on the streets of London in order to raise money. That was followed by another stint on the streets – this time in Bristol and Cardiff. We then covered the story of the girls as they planned to trek the Machu Picchu Trail. Back then, the girls were researching the trail at Llanelli Library and starting to get into a training regime to prepare for the tough trek. Whizz forward a few months and we spotted the three well-travelled girls at Spring Gardens in Llanelli, carrying enormous cheques of £4,000 for MIND and £4,000 for Shelter Cymru.

In order to raise the staggering amount of £8,000, Keire McAlinden, Sophie Lewis and Michelle Williams- January completed a half marathon in March, hosted horse racing nights, curry nights, climbed Snowdon and eventually completed the Inca Trail in September. Speaking to The Herald, the girls said: “We thought we were prepared but we weren’t. We thought we were doing the 24 mile trek but when we got there, it turned out we were doing the 56 mile trek. It was minus eight degrees at some points.”

When asked what had inspired them to raise the money, the girls said: “We started in January last year after making a new year’s resolution. There are so many people being made homeless because of mental health issues. We thought we’d do our best to try and help them and we wanted a challenge to test us physically and mentally.

“It was Keire’s birthday when we were out there and we climbed one of the peaks on her birthday. We can’t stop now! We have had so much fun doing it. Hopefully next year we will attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

“We hope we have inspired people. We couldn’t have done it without our family and friends and the generous people who have donated.”

Having received the cheque for £4,000, Jen Caton, Manager of Llanelli MIND, said: “We plan to put the money towards our counselling services which don’t get much funding – it is done on a volunteer basis. We want to do crisis counselling for people who are self-harming, and anger management, for people who need support and can’t wait.

“What the girls have achieved is fantastic. We need more people like them in the county; it would make a huge difference. We get funded through the County Council and Hywel Dda but there is a shortfall of £12,000 every year. We are constantly fundraising so this is brilliant.”

Speaking to The Herald after receiving her cheque, Deborah Docherty, Fundraising Officer for Shelter Cymru, said: “We are amazed by the challenges the girls have taken on all year as well as working full-time.

“We will use the money towards our housing advice services and it will make a huge difference to a lot of people who are threatened with homelessness. It is a problem in Llanelli and it isn’t that visible because we don’t see people on the streets but it is there all the same. People are sofa surfing and living rough; it is an invisible problem.

“Our funding has been cut and fundraising like this brings in a huge amount of money that helps us. It is the same across the country – if you lose your job, become redundant or are off work for any length of time, the income stops and you find yourself in trouble.

“It can happen to any of us. It falls to us to pick up the pieces.”

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Carmarthenshire Archives’ new building officially opened



ON MONDAY, November 28, Cllr Rob Evans, Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council, unveiled a specially designed plaque to commemorate the official opening of the brand new Carmarthenshire Archives building.

The official opening was attended by year 6 pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, along with their Headteacher Mr Dylan Evans, who designed the plaque by compiling various artwork and sketches that are housed at the Archives.

Established in 1959, Carmarthenshire Archives is the local authority archive service for the County of Carmarthenshire and the new building is located at St Peter’s Street, Carmarthen. 

The service is home to our extensive collection of historic documents that date from the 13th century to the present day. The collection includes archives, maps, books, photographs, videos and sound recordings. It is the Archives’ mission to preserve and make its documents available for general study and research.

Admission to Carmarthenshire Archives is free and open to anyone who wishes to use the Council’s records. Most of its services are free, but we do charge for some extra services and help.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, Cllr Gareth John commented:

“Congratulations to the pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, they have designed an excellent and appropriate plaque that is inspired by the treasure troves of our archives. It was wonderful to welcome them to the official opening so that they can see their work take pride of place at a building that holds great significance to us in Carmarthenshire. 

“This is a brand new and modern building that is fit to keep and protect our county’s most precious historical documents. 

“But of course, these documents are meant to be viewed and studied by school children, students, academics and anybody who has an interest in Carmarthenshire’s rich history; and this excellent facility provides the perfect space for people to come and view these treasures.”

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Llandeilo gas works to begin say Wales & West Utilities



WALES & West Utilities will shortly begin work to upgrade gas pipes in Llandeilo.

Wales & West Utilities has liaised with Carmarthenshire County Council to plan the work and it has been agreed that work will commence after the town has celebrated the Festival of Senses.

The £123,000 investment scheme, which is essential to keep the gas flowing safely to heat and power local homes and businesses, will begin in New Road on 21 November. This section of work will be complete before Christmas and Wales & West Utilities will return to the town next year to undertake further work in the Crescent Road area. Barring any engineering difficulties, work in the town will be complete by the end of February next year.

Wales & West Utilities Adam Smith is managing this gas pipe upgrade work. He said: “Working with the Council, we have planned this work to accommodate the needs of the town.

“While most of the gas network is underground and out of sight, it plays a central role in the daily lives of people across Llandeilo. Whether it’s heating your home, making the family dinner or having a hot bath, we understand how important it is for your gas supply to be safe and reliable and there when you need it.

“We know that working in areas like this is not ideal, but it really is essential to make sure we keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future. We’ll have a team of gas engineers on site throughout the project to make sure our work is completed as safely and as quickly as possible while keeping disruption to a minimum.

“This work is essential to keep the gas flowing to local homes and businesses today, and to make sure the gas network is ready to transport hydrogen and biomethane, so we can all play our part in a green future.”

Our Customer Service Team is ready to take your call if you have any questions about our work. You can contact them on freephone 0800 912 2999.

Alternatively, you can contact us on Twitter @WWUtilities or

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we’ll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We’ll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.

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Police appeal following theft of items from Home Bargains Crosshands



OFFICERS from Dyfed Powys Police have confirmed that they are investigating the theft of items, including a Christmas Nutcracker Ornament valued at £129.99, from the Home Bargains store in Crosshands, Carmarthenshire.

The theft occurred at about 12:40pm on Tuesday, 27th September 2022.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the people in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the people are, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

This can also be done either online at:, by emailing or phoning 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Please quote reference DPP/2006/27/09/2022/02/C

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting

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