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Hotels educated on warning signs of child sexual exploitation

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HOTELS, guest houses and B&B staff in Ceredigion have been made aware of the signs of child sexual exploitation as Dyfed-Powys Police clamp down on those who prey on vulnerable youngsters.

PCSOs Caryl Griffiths and Jeff Kedward visited eight establishments in Cardigan and Newcastle Emlyn during the force day of action on Tuesday (Oct 10) urging staff to be vigilant and encouraging them to report any concerns.

They were asked to look out for signs such as young people booking into hotel rooms with older adults who do not appear to be family members, a lot of adults coming and going to one room, or being bought alcohol by older people.

Chid sexual exploitation – or CSE – is a form of sexual, emotional and physical abuse of children, and involves a person under 18 being coerced into sexual activities by one or more adults who have deliberately targeted their youth and inexperience to exercise power over them.

Guest houses and B&Bs are sometimes used as locations to meet, groom and abuse children and young people as perpetrators think they can go unnoticed. Perpetrators might pay by cash to avoid leaving a credit card trail, book under one name but check in under another, or have visitors who ask for a room number but don’t know the name of the guest.

Ceredigion BCU commander Robyn Mason said: “It is vitally important that we gain greater knowledge and understanding of child sexual exploitation in order to effectively target activity at local, regional and national level.

“Police officers are being actively trained to recognise the early signs that can identify children at risk, and we are actively encouraging hotel, B&B and guest house staff to be aware of these signs. We all have a role to play in ensuring that children have a safe environment to grow up in.

“Evidence shows that B&Bs and hotels are sometimes used as locations to meet, groom and abuse children and young people, so it’s not just a good idea for people working in this industry to spot the signs of CSE, it’s their responsibility.

“Exploited children are almost always too frightened or ashamed to ask for help themselves, and receptionists, managers and housekeepers are in a unique position to notice when someone or something seems suspicious or might not be quite right with young guests.

“By passing their concerns on to the police they could potentially save a child from the nightmare of CSE.

“We have been visiting these locations, providing advice and guidance to staff members by making them aware of how to spot the signs of CSE.”

Hotel staff who have concerns for the welfare of a young guest are advised to raise concerns immediately with their manager or senior staff, and inform Dyfed-Powys Police by calling 101.

Management or staff who would like more information about the signs of CSE and what they should look out for can contact their local Neighbourhood Policing Team for more information.

 

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Busy week for Young Ambassadors

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IT’S been a busy few weeks for Ceredigion Sporting Young Ambassadors.

The Silver Young Ambassadors received training during the October half term holidays in readiness to go back to their schools and clubs to deliver sporting activities. The Active Young People Training involved planning, delivering and evaluating sessions and health and safety.

A very important aspect of the course was Disability Inclusion as all activities offered through Ceredigion Actif are inclusive. There are disabled Young Ambassadors involved with various programmes across the county.

Four Gold Young Ambassadors attended the Wales Gold Young Ambassador Conference at Cardiff City Football Stadium. This was an opportunity for Gold Young Ambassadors from around Wales to come together and plan for the year ahead.

Eddie Roper (Ysgol Bro Pedr), Sioned Rimmer, Dwynwen Davies and Elinor Thomas (all Penweddig Comprehensive School) were able to share their ideas and good practices in Ceredigion as well as receive a motivational speech from World Champion Inline Skater, Jenna Dowing. Osian Davies was involved with the planning and running of the day as part of his role on the National Young Ambassador Steering Group. Osian is a Platinum Young Ambassador for Ceredigion.

Alwyn Davies, Active Young People Manager said, “These were two fantastic opportunities for our Young Sporting Leaders in Ceredigion. They have shown great enthusiasm and motivation to become Young Ambassadors and are developing into confident role models in our schools and our community clubs.”

Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Learning Services, Lifelong Learning and Leisure said, “The aim of the training and conference was to enhance confidence in leadership skills of Young Ambassadors around Ceredigion schools. 15 Young Ambassadors attended the Active Young People Training and four Gold Young Ambassadors attended the Gold Young Ambassador National Conference. This is a great opportunity for our young people and I’m very proud of them all.”

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Aspiring hairdresser hoping to shine

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BAYLEY HARRIES will be competing in a prestigious competition which allows young trainees and apprentices the opportunity to show off their skills in a huge variety of vocational careers.

Bayley is a Level 2 Hairdressing apprentice at Hyfforddiant Ceredigion Training (HCT). She will be competing in the UK National Regional Heat for Wales which will take place in Wrexham on Monday, 26 November.

The competition is run by World Skills. This is an organisation which aims to inspire young people interested in vocational careers to achieve their full potential in their chosen career route. If successful, Bayley will have an opportunity to compete in the Wales National Final in Cardiff on 16 December.

Carys Randell, hairdressing training advisor at HCT is thrilled to see Bayley taking part in the prestigious skills competition, saying, “We wish Bayley the best of luck at the competition and we would like to say a huge thanks to her employer, Sioned Rees, for all of the fantastic help and support she has given to Bayley in preparation for the competition. She couldn’t have come this far without it.”

Bayley is no stranger to showing off her skills at a competitive level. In 2017, she won the Level 1 hairdressing competition at the Urdd National Eisteddfod. She won again this year, competing in the Level 2 category.

Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet Member for Learning Service and Lifelong Learning said, “It’s wonderful to see Bayley come so far with the support of her employer and the staff at HCT. We wish her the very best in the UK National Regional Heat at the end of the month.”

HCT offers a range of vocational courses for people of all ages, including Hairdressing, Childcare, Business Administration, Information Technology, Carpentry, Plumbing, Electrics, Blacksmithing, Agriculture, Motor Mechanics, and Welding.

For more information, find ‘Hyfforddiant Ceredigion Training’ on Facebook, or visit the website: http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/public-it/hct/index.html

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Apprentices start their career within the county

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FOLLOWING a successful recruitment campaign held over the summer, four young people from Ceredigion recently took their first steps in careers.

The four successful applicants started with Ceredigion County Council in early November as apprentices in Human Resource Business Administration, Social Care and Youth Work.

Alanah Lloyd, Apprentice Human Resource Business Administrator, talked about why she applied and how she is settling in, “I applied because I wanted to gain a qualification and earn a wage at the same time. I wanted to work for the Council where there are opportunities to progress. Everyone has been very supportive and I’m settling in well.”

The newly established apprenticeship programme proved popular, with the Council receiving significant interest and a high level of applications. As one of the largest employers in the area, the Council plans to expand the apprenticeship programme to develop more opportunities for the residents of Ceredigion. The programme aims to provide quality opportunities to young people helping them to earn, learn and develop careers in their home county as an alternative to college and university.

Councillor Ray Quant MBE, Cabinet Member with responsibility for People and Organisation said, “The number of applications and enquiries the Council has received shows the high level of interest in apprenticeship opportunities for the people of Ceredigion. I am delighted to see our four apprentices start and look forward to seeing how they develop over the coming months. The Council is committed into investing in people’s futures.”

The Council will be attending the ‘Ceredigion Careers Festival’ on Tuesday, 19 February at Aberystwyth Arts Centre from 9am to 4pm to talk about apprenticeships and careers. The event is organised by Careers Wales and is open to pupils in Ceredigion from years 9 to 13, and parents are also welcome to attend.

For more information about apprenticeships at Ceredigion County Council, contact on apprentice@ceredigion.gov.uk

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