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Help Choose the Winner of the Dyfed-Powys Police #WeCare Award

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SIX officers have been shortlisted for the public-chosen Dyfed-Powys Police #WeCare Award, in recognition of their commitment to the people they serve.

From helping a mother and child rebuild their lives after fleeing an abusive relationship, being community-minded, making young people’s lives better in a deprived area, being labelled ‘community heroes’ for their work with a challenging school, to providing support for Polish victims of domestic abuse, these officers have been singled out for their outstanding work within their communities.

Nominees were put forward by the public and now Dyfed-Powys Police is asking for the public to place their final votes and find the winner of the 2018 #WeCare Award. The winner will be presented with their award at the force Annual Awards ceremony on Friday, March 23.

Dyfed-Powys Police Chief Constable Mark Collins said: “We have been overwhelmed with the response from members of the public for our #WeCare award.

“This award means such a lot to the winner and the force as a whole as it is chosen by members of the public who our officers serve on a daily basis and have had a positive impact on their lives.

“Some of the stories shared were truly touching, and the fact our officers stand out in the minds of people they have helped for many years speaks volumes for their compassion, enthusiasm and professionalism.

“I would like to thank everyone who took the time to nominate a member of the force for this award, and I look forward to presenting it to the winner on March the 23rd.”

Voting closes at 12pm on Friday, February 9. You can vote online here: bit.ly/wecareaward

Alternatively, post your vote to #WeCare Award, c/o Corporate Communications, Dyfed-Powys Police Headquarters, PO Box 99, Llangunnor, Carmarthen, SA31 2PF

The following officers have been shortlisted:

PC Phil Westbury

PC Phil Westbury 376, part of Ceredigion’s Roads Policing Unit, has been nominated for the commitment and dedication he has shown to making young people’s lives better. He’s described as the glue that keeps Penparcau Youth Forum together. His work was recognised in 2002 with him receiving a Community Police Officer Award. From that he went on to London for the Janes Award ceremony and was a runner up. His dedication has continued to this day.

A nomination said: “Phil works tirelessly with the Penparcau Youth Forum to enable activities that broaden our young people’s horizons and especially, as we live in one of the more deprived areas in Ceredigion.

“The commitment and dedication he shows to making our young people’s lives better and more fulfilled is outstanding to say the least.

“His contribution is really making a difference and is shining a positive light on the police in general.

“This goes a long way with our young people as they feel more comfortable and confident with engaging with the police, which is mainly down to Phil’s presence and positive manner with our young people.

“Although we do have other volunteers and Trustees involved with the Youth Forum, it is Phil who really is the glue that keeps this all together. He gives up so much of his own time to the young people and you can see how much they love having Phil involved.

“He is creating a positive image of Dyfed-Powys Police and that will no doubt stay with our young people forever.”

PC Phil Westbury said: “I feel it’s important to get involved in the community and make a difference to an area. Penparcau has wonderful people and lots of potential and opportunities to get people involved to make a difference. It’s a privilege to be nominated for something I enjoy.”

PCSO Michala Quinn

PCSOs Ian Chattun and Michala Quinn, based at Abersytwyth, have been nominated for their positive work within a challenging school, Llwyn yr Eos, and the excellent relationship they’ve built with the community as a whole.

Their nomination said: “Michaela and Ian have regular contact with what can be a challenging school, Llwyn yr Eos. They always support school events and fundraisers and always come in when we need help. They both go out of their way to make everybody sure in the community is looked after. They are a happy and approachable team and have made such a difference to the village and local area.

“The kids all love them and feel totally at ease when talking to them. They have stepped in to help us with a number of challenging incidents.

PCSO Ian Chattun

“The two of them are true community heroes.”

PCSO Michala Quinn started her career with Dyfed-Powys Police as a front desk clerk dealing with public enquiries, at Lampeter Police Station, then moving to Aberystwyth Police Station. She then became a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) and has been fulfilling the role for almost four years. In that time she has built strong links with the community she serves at Pemparcau, Llanbadarn Fawr and Waunfawr. She was joined by PCSO Ian Chattun a year and seven months ago when he became a PCSO. Before joining Dyfed-Powys Police he was a youth worker in schools.

PCSO Michala Quinn said: “It is such a lovely feeling to have been nominated for this award. We have built strong relationships with the community and we are always made to feel welcome at any event or meeting. I really enjoy getting out talking to and helping people. Sometimes it’s the smallest thing that can give someone the reassurance that they need.”

PCSO Ian Chattun said: “Being nominated for this award is welcome surprise to me. I am truly humbled to have made a positive impact on my community.”

PCSO Matthew Kieboom

PCSO Matthew Kieboom 8153, based at Cardigan, has been nominated for providing the highest level of care to members of the community he works in. From joining in local events to providing support and reassurance to individuals through difficult times in their lives.

One nomination reads: “In 2011 I escaped a violent relationship and moved away. Matthew has worked hard to make sure I feel safe and protected, he isn’t just a police officer he is now a friend of my family. He would check on me every evening, just a knock on the door was extremely reassuring for me.

“We always see him in the community joining in with all of our local events, taking little ones fingerprints, giving out stickers or simply just giving up his time to chat with the elderly or reassure small children.

“During all my struggle, my son suffered quite a lot as he had been told he was in trouble with the police (he was only 8 at the time) Matthew came around and approached him with a friendly smile, let him try on his hat and his vest and showed him all around his car.

“I will forever be so appreciative of Matthew he has worked so hard not only for me but for so many in our community.

“He has completely changed opinions of the police and is just doing an awesome job. Matthew is always the guy we all go to if we need anything, and he never fails to deliver. He is a shining star.”

Before joining Dyfed-Powys Police, PCSO Kieboom was an officer in the Royal Army Medical Corps, where he had a successful career in helping people in distress. He joined Dyfed-Powys Police in 2013 as a Police Community Support Officer and has continued to support and protect the vulnerable and those in distress.

PCSO Matthew Kieboom said: “To be honest I was shocked and humbled at finding out I had been nominated, never mind reaching the finals. I have always adopted the approach of keeping my head down and quietly trying to do my best in the role. Showing that not only do #WeCare at Dyfed-Powys Police, but also that I personally care and take pride in the work I do on behalf of the force within our communities. At the end of the day, I can only do my job with the public’s trust and support.”

PCSO Billy Dunne

PCSO Billy Dunne 8058, based at Crickhowell, has received nominations from various parts of the Crickhowell community. All highlight his community spirit, level of service and outstanding community engagement skills.

One of his nominations said: “PCSO Billy Dunne is the most community-minded police officer I have ever encountered and lives up to the name of Community Support Officer in every way. He somehow manages to engage with people at every level and it never ceases to amaze and delight to see him with people in my village and beyond in Crickhowell.

“It is testament to Billy that everyone actually knows him as Billy. Beyond that, I can confidently say he is very professional, always does what he says he will do and if he can’t then he will carefully explain the reason why. I don’t know anyone who is more deserving of this award than Billy.”

Another added: “Billy is more than just the face of policing in Crickhowell. He knows the community and we know him. He’s helpful, approachable, knows when and where to be seen, and not seen, is cheerful, supportive and I suspect a lot wiser than he lets on! This brilliant bobby polices with a light (but firm) touch and a warm heart.”

PCSO Billy Dunne was a Special Constable for 11 years, serving the community of Crickhowell. He also served as a custody detection officer for one year based in Brecon custody. For the last three years he has been a PCSO based in Crickhowell. He has been a driver for force initiatives in Crickhowell, such as Community Speedwatch and Farm Watch.

PCSO Billy Dunne said: “I feel humbled that members of the community have taken the time to nominate me for the We Care award. I love my job and relish the opportunity to work these communities, and cannot believe that I was nominated, however to make the short list is a credit not to me, but the community that I work, and live in.”

PCSO Piotr Glowczyk

PCSO Piotr Glowczyk 8038, of Llanelli, has been nominated for his support given to Polish domestic abuse victims in Carmarthenshire.

His nomination said: “I am currently employed as an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor in Carmarthenshire working with high risk victims of domestic abuse. Many are Polish who speak very little, if any, English.

“PCSO Glowczyk has accompanied me to see victims, explained the role of the IDVA and updated them on court results. With his help and dedication victims can be kept well-informed and offered the support they need from the IDVA services. This would not be possible without his help. It is very difficult to put into words the difference that he has made to the IDVA service and victims of domestic abuse but he should be recognised for all the work he does.”

Piotr joined Dyfed-Powys Police in December 2012 as a Special Constable based in Carmarthen. In May 2016 he joined Llanelli Neighbourhood Policing Team as a Police Community Support Officer, where he currently covers Tyisha Ward.

PCSO Piotr Glowczyk said: “This nomination is a big shock and surprise for me. I feel privileged that my work within the local community has been recognised and the people with whom I have worked with appreciate my help.”

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Elin Jones backs calls for business rates holiday extension for independent businesses

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CEREDIGION’S Member of the Senedd, Elin Jones, has backed calls by the British Independent Retail Association for the extension of the current rates holiday for non-essential businesses in 2021/22.

Many local independent businesses have been closed for the best part of a year, and many will be in a more precarious situation now than when the initial rates holiday was announced last year. Many businesses will be looking forward to the easing of restrictions over the next few months, but Elin Jones warned that many would benefit from the continued business rates holiday.

Elin Jones said:

“Every effort must be made to secure the future of independent businesses in Ceredigion. They are such an important feature of life in Ceredigion, both as employers, and as a draw for people to our towns and villages.

“Normal trading will eventually resume, and these businesses will be able to flourish again, but local businesses owners know that this cannot be rushed. Therefore we must continue to sustain our businesses until they are once again back on an even keel.

“It will take a while for footfall to resume, and extending the business rates holiday is one way to help in this time of need.”

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MP makes Budget case for support for self-employed and small businesses in Ceredigion

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BEN LAKE MP has called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend the government’s financial support package for businesses and self-employed workers in next week’s Budget as many struggle to stay afloat during continued lockdown restrictions. 

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak is to set out the UK Government’s budget on Wednesday 3 March, almost a year since the last Budget on 11 March 2020. 

To help businesses and our local high streets over coming months, the Ceredigion MP has called on the Chancellor to extend the lowered rate of VAT at 5% for hospitality and tourism for a year to March 2022 and to extend the business rates relief package. 

Mr Lake also called on the Chancellor to retain the furlough scheme for the duration of pandemic restrictions, as recent figures show more than 178,000* in Wales are still receiving government help from the CJRS. He also urged the Chancellor to expand the existing eligibility criteria for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme in order to offer some help to the many individuals who have not received a penny in Government support thus far. 

Ben Lake MP said: “For many businesses and self-employed workers, the financial support government has offered over the last 12 months has been a lifeline. Now, as we are finally starting to see light at the end of the lockdown tunnel, we cannot remove this lifeline prematurely. Extending this help for a little longer, and expanding the criteria to help those that have been excluded thus far, would offer small businesses the support they require to ‘bounce back’ from the pandemic.” 

Many businesses who are still not open due to lockdown measures are also now expected to start repaying their Bounce Back Loans. This is despite their situation largely remaining unchanged since they took out the loan, or in some unfortunate instances, worsened as they have not yet been able to trade.  

UKHospitality has estimated that the hospitality sector lost around £72 billion in sales in 2020 and faces, frankly, a debt mountain, including £4.2 billion in state-backed loans.  

Mr Lake said:  “It is important that businesses that took out bounce back loans and CBILS are required to pay only when they are in a position to do so – once they have ‘bounced back’ from the pandemic. Affording such a level of flexibility, and thus preventing avoidable business failures, would protect jobs, the taxpayer’s investment in the recovery, and the integrity of our financial system.

“We remain in the early stages of a vaccine-led recovery, and it is likely that we will have some form of restrictions for many months to come. Having done so much to protect the economy and the workforce, we must not withdraw support prematurely, as to do so would risk throwing away the investment taxpayers have made in the last year, and potentially our economic recovery.” 

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Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50

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EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.

While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.

Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:

  • Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
  • Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
  • Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
  • Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
  • Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April

The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.

Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.

People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While  our programme has had to slow  due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.

“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.

“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.

“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.

“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”

People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.

The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.

Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.

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