EIGHTEEN years ago, we ran a story on the first babies born in Gwent in the 21st century. ESTEL FARELL-ROIG and ALICE ROSE caught up with some of them as they prepare to enter adulthood.


Chloe Allford was born at 11.27am on January 1, 2000, at the Royal Gwent Hospital.

Currently studying her A-levels at Croesyceiliog School, she has received an unconditional offer to study photography at the University of South Wales, starting in September.

The teen said she would like to work in commercial photography.

“I have been interested in photography since I was young, she said.

“I am quite into sports as well.

“I used to play water polo for the Welsh youth them, as well as the GB one. I played in national competitions, and I also got to go to Hungary for some friendly games against the Hungarian team.”

The Cwmbran resident, who has a part-time job in a noodle bar in the town, said she chose to stop playing water polo to focus on her studies though.

Her mum, Nicola, said that her daughter also competed swimming and won a few medals.

The 38-year-old said: “She has always been a good girl. She is very positive and studious. She works hard and look forward to the future.

“I am very proud of her, I could not have asked for a better daughter.”

Miss Allford’s mum also said her daughter has a “good sense of humour” and likes listening to music.

Miss Allford, who has a younger sister called Abbie, aged 12, said she would see in the New Year and celebrate her 18th birthday with friends.

The smallest baby born at the Royal Gwent Hospital on January 1, 2000, was Derri Price - who weighed just two pounds and two ounces.

His mum, Marcia, called the staff from the maternity unit “amazing” but said Derri’s joyous birth was tinged by tragedy.

“We lost his twin brother, Morgan, while in labour,” she said. “Morgan weighed 360 grams - no more than a jar of jam.

“The support I was shown by the staff as a mum to a tiny baby moulded me into the women I am today working within the NHS.

“Derri grew and hit all of milestone with the support of special care baby unit, in particular Becky Graves, who we now consider a close family friend.”

Derri’s mum said he became passionate about rugby from an early age.

“From the age of five to sixteen, his father and I coached him as part of the set up at Blackwood RFC, along with Sion Reed, Jason Roach and Jonathan Lloyd,” added Mrs Price.

“Derri picked up his district cap at the age of 10 but decided to concentrate on his studies at Crosskeys College, studying business and finance, around the age of 16.

“Derri is a quiet but level headed young man and the future looks bright for him.

“He will celebrate his birthday with a fantastic group of close school friends and our rugby friends.

“As I reflect on the tiny baby that was born 18years ago, I never could have imagined him thriving as well as he has.

“In mine and my husband eyes, he is our hero.”

Another millennium baby was Ellie Haines, who was born at the Royal Gwent at 3pm.

Currently working in sales, Miss Haines is soon to move to Carmarthen, in west Wales.

She said: “That is where my partner, Dan, lives. He is a farmer and I am really excited to move. It is a new adventure.

“I still have to find a job in the area, but I will also be helping in the farm.”

Miss Haines, from Abercarn, said she used to do a lot of horse riding and she looks forward to having more time to enjoy her hobby.

“I don’t really like partying, I prefer chilling out,” she added. “I find farming relaxing.

“Long term, I would like to start a business in the agricultural industry.”

The 18-year-old also said she will be celebrating her birthday with a family get together later on the week.

Her mum, Kirsty, said that Miss Haines has been “a dream of a daughter all her life”.

“She is extremely kind and very beautiful,” she added. “She is great.

“I am dreading her moving away, but I have to let her grow up.”

Kimberley Parsons was born at the Royal Gwent Hospital at 11pm on January 1, 2000, and weighed 7 pounds.

But she had a tumour behind her right eye, which had led to learning difficulties, her stepmum Diane Insley said.

“She didn’t have an operation, she just needed treatment,” Ms Insley added.

“Doctors are now keeping an eye on her in case it re-appears.”

Miss Parsons, from the Maesglas area of Newport, is currently studying Independent Living Skills (ILS) at Coleg Gwent.

She said: “I like college. We do nice things such as go shopping or to the cinema. I have friends, enjoy learning and we have very nice teachers.”

The 18-year-old also said she would like to become a hairdresser.

Ms Insley said: “Kimberley is such a lovely girl. She is very bubbly and gets on with her life.

“She always helps when she can.”

The family will be celebrating Miss Parsons birthday with a meal and by going to the bingo later today.