The Dale Peninsula
In the early part of 2019, four get-togethers were held on the Dale Peninsula to establish whether Rural Wisdom could be of use to the communities of Dale village, Marloes and St Ishmaels. From Dale, it is over 10 miles both to Haverfordwest and to Milford Haven. Many people on the peninsula travel to Milford to see their GP or shop, whilst a trip to Haverfordwest is necessary for other services.
All the villages have pubs and there are two village halls, café and social facilities and both fixed and mobile Post Office services, as well as local businesses.
The beautiful church at St. Ishmaels
This is a beautiful part of the county. There is a number of brilliant local activities which are well-supported, with motivated and inspiring community members running interest and social groups, as well as thinking ahead to what could be developed.
As ideas emerged during our discussions, however, the feeling was that the project could help the area in certain aspects of rural life and that this would be worth exploring with local people.
So, in May, Carol, from our research partner the NDTI (National Development Team for Inclusion) came to launch Rural Wisdom’s work on the peninsula but primarily to hear for herself what local people were thinking.
Helping more people to get to existing groups and enjoy what is already on offer , worries about young people having activities at the weekend was another, opportunities for lifelong learning, scope for trips, involving the school in initiatives, Facebook, websites – these are some of the thoughts that have come up so far.
Initial research work has also shown that some people are willing to offer lifts and this offers a great opportunity for drivers in the three villages to get involved with a new community transport initiative being developed by PACTO (Pembrokeshire Association of Community Transport Organisations).
A degree of isolation amongst older members of the community was mentioned and it could also be worth exploring how care provision works in the area and whether Rural Wisdom can help.
In January, an Innovative Care conference in Haverfordwest was organised by Rachel, our county’s Older People’s Strategy Co-ordinator. She had been inspired by her discussions with Outside The Box, our Scottish lead partners in Rural Wisdom, and Rachel invited them here so that Pembrokeshire people could hear about the innovative models which have been developed in Scotland in order to deliver care to the most rural areas.
I am wondering whether I can take some learning from Scotland’s experiences to address any needs arising on the Dale peninsula.
All to be explored!
Rachel Evans, Senior Project Development Coordinator
Featured image: Marloe Sands by Martin McDowell [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]