THREE charities that help care for local people have been awarded a share of more than £3,000 by the outgoing Mayor of Milford Haven.

For her last donation of her year in office, Cllr Yvonne Southwell presented cheques to the Alzheimer’s Society south west Wales branch, carer support network Crossroads, and children’s cancer charity LATCH.

The Mayor said LATCH, which relies on a network of volunteers to raise money for research and provides transport to and from hospital for parents of children with cancer, was a cause close to her heart, and presented volunteers Lynwen and Julie Harries with £1,400.

Formed in 1982 by a group of families and friends who recognised that children diagnosed with cancer or leukaemia and their families not only needed medical care, but also support to ease the financial and emotional burden placed on families with a sick child.

The charity costs around £600,000 a year to run, and relies heavily on donations and its volunteers to fundraise.

Crossroads and the Alzheimer’s Society also received £1,000 each.

Accepting the cheque on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Society, services manager Menna Boyns said the Mayor’s donation was “just incredible”.

Based in Milford Haven, the Pembrokeshire branch of the charity runs groups and ‘feel good cafes’ across the county, which provide information and support to those with dementia and their families.

It also offers ‘singing for the brain’ classes, which can help people who otherwise struggle with verbal communication make themselves hears.

“It’s a strange phenomenon but it’s also extremely enjoyable and amazing to see the engagement and their faces light up,” said Menna.

Presenting a cheque for £1,000 to Crossroads representatives Jacquie Wilkinson and Sharon Houghton, the Mayor said she had chosen the organisation because her late father had been carer to her mother for 20 years, and she had seen how difficult looking after a loved one could be.

Crossroads supports unpaid carers, enabling them to have respite breaks, as well as providing group care, dementia services in Havenhurst and Wintern, and helping support the families of children with complex care needs.