THE FIRST group of Dyfed-Powys Police cadets have gone out with a bang, completing their bronze and silver Duke of Edinburgh expeditions.
The force began a two-year pilot cadet scheme in 2015, when the first cohort of 14 and 15-year-olds signed up to become volunteers to help their communities and gain an understanding of policing.
As they prepare for the end of the two years, they have shown determination, dedication and physical and mental strength as they took part in Duke of Edinburgh bronze and silver expeditions.
The group of teenagers was made up of representatives from the force’s four divisions – Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys – who came together for the two night trip.
Inspector Kathryn Griffiths, of the Community Support Team, said: “This is a fantastic achievement by all the cadets who passed their bronze and silver expeditions, supported by their cadet leaders and assistants.
“It is a really positive end to their two years on the cadet programme with Dyfed-Powys Police, and the Duke of Edinburgh is definitely something we would like to continue. They achieved so much, both personally and as a team.”
The cadets were required to carry their full kit on a 10-mile hike through the Brecon Beacons, before setting up camp for the night and completing a further trek the following day to meet the DofE criteria.
Inspector Griffiths was one of the officers who accompanied the group on their final expedition, as well as a practice trek the week before. She said: “It was nice to see how they enjoyed over the two weekends. They were working as a team, and really came together.
“Three of our officers – PC Tom Draycott, Sergeant Suzanne Lloyd and Sergeant Jane Mortley also came away from the expedition as qualified DofE assessors, which is a great asset for future cadet cohorts.”
The National Volunteer Police Cadets is supported by the Association of Chief Officers and is undertaken by the majority of police services across the UK.
The scheme was launched in Dyfed-Powys in 2015. The cadets meet every week and take part in local community initiatives and police campaigns. The scheme aims to develop an understanding of the police amongst young people, to encourage good citizenship and inspire young people to participate positively in their communities and support local policing priorities.
Inspector Griffiths said: “The scheme has proven to be very successful, and has been a huge benefit to the young people involved.
“There has been a lot of positivity and engagement from them – they’ve been volunteering, working with us at the major shows over the summers, and have really taken a lot away from the programme.
“This group started with us when they were 14, and will finish now that they’re 16, but we are looking at extending it to 18 years of age so the older ones can stay on and help. It will be like a peer mentoring aspect.”
Christmas gift fair returns
NEXT Friday (Oct 20), the annual craft and gifts extravaganza will return to Aberystwyth Arts Centre to get the locals in the mood for Christmas.
The Winter Craft & Gift Fair is sure to get visitors feeling festive in the run up to Christmas with over 80 stalls selling a wonderful array of crafts and gifts, many produced by local makers from Ceredigion and mid Wales.
This year will feature many regular stalls, as well as some who will be selling at the fair for the first time, so prepare to discover the unusual and unexpected at this year’s fair with it’s new layout and products for 2017.
The fair will be open from 10am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday and 12 to 5.30pm on Sundays all the way up until December 23.
On Saturday, November 25, the Arts Centre’s Christmas Food Fair will take over the Great Hall for the day. There will be the very best of Welsh produce with cheese, meats, fish, wine, cider, pastries, puddings, jams and much, much more from many local producers. The Food Fair is the perfect place to stock up on a few gastronomic goodies in the run up to Christmas. There will also be live musical entertainment to get you in the Christmassy mood! The fair will be on 10am-4pm and entry is free!
‘It’s ok to say’
ON WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY, farmers across Wales are being reminded that ‘it’s ok to say’ and the Farmers’ Union of Wales is urging them not to hide problems from themselves, their families and friends and to talk about their personal feelings.
The FUW made a commitment at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show in July to continue raising awareness of mental health problems in rural communities and is therefore renewing the call for those who might be suffering from mental health problems to seek help.
“The focus of this year’s World Mental Health day is on mental health in the workplace and farms are just that. In our places of work we’ve faced some pretty low-points in the last few years. Bovine TB, price volatility and uncertainty about our future post-Brexit, this all puts a strain on our resolve and will have many feeling stressed and under immense pressure,” said Union President Glyn Roberts.
“But we must break the stigma attached to mental health, so if you’re feeling vulnerable, please open-up and speak to someone. That doesn’t just mean today, but always. Farmers and farming families need to continue talking openly about what they are experiencing and the FUW strongly encourages anyone who is worried about their own mental health or a loved-one, to seek help from the Farming Community Network, Tir Dewi, The DPJ Foundation, Mind Cymru or Call Helpline Wales,” added Glyn Roberts.
Scholarship scheme funds student’s Masters
A TALYBONT native is one of just 28 people in the UK to be awarded a scholarship granted by energy company ScottishPower.
Stella Foster, 32, gratefully received the grant from the Scottish Power Foundation for the 2017/18 academic year.
Having just completed an undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of York, Stella will begin her Masters in Environmental Sciences this week at the University of East Anglia. Environmental science degrees integrate biology, physical science and information sciences to examine environmental systems (air, water, etc.) and how they interact.
The sought-after scholarship covers full enrolment costs as well as a living allowance. On top of this, the scholars will receive unique opportunities including meeting leading industry professionals.
“Travelling around the world and living in China before I started my undergraduate studies made me aware of the astounding change of pace in urbanisation; the two-hour bus ride from where I lived to Shanghai, there wasn’t a moment where you couldn’t see a construction site,” Stella said.
“This fast and dramatic development creates issues with the environment, and I’m really excited to learn about the creative and fascinating solutions out there, and hopefully come up with some of my own,” she added.
Since it was launched in 2010, the ScottishPower Foundation scholarships programme has provided £1.5m in grants towards training the next generation in their chosen field.
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