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Businesses encouraged to enter deaf friendly awards

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ORGANISATIONS in Ceredigion that go above and beyond to create workspaces and services that support the one in six people in Wales who are deaf or hard of hearing are being encouraged to enter Wales’ only deaf friendly awards.

The Action on Hearing Loss Cymru Excellence Wales awards, which have been running since 2015, recognise businesses that take steps to make their services accessible to the 575,500 people in Wales who are deaf or have hearing loss.

Action on Hearing Loss, formerly RNID, has been supporting deaf people and people with hearing loss and tinnitus since 1911. The charity launched the Excellence Wales awards to celebrate organisations who excel in making their services and workspaces truly accessible to those affected by hearing loss.

The 2019 Excellence Wales awards are open to all public services, social enterprises, private companies and voluntary organisations providing services in Wales. There are eight award categories including Excellence in Health services, Excellence in the Art and Entertainment Industry and overall Excellent Employer.

Entries will be judged by a panel of people who are deaf or have hearing loss and the awards will be presented to the country’s eight most outstanding organisations at a ceremony at St David’s Hotel, Cardiff Bay, on Friday 17th May. ITV Wales correspondent, Carole Green, will be hosting the awards, while AOHL volunteer, donors and previous award winners will also be attendance. Western Power Distribution, winners of last year’s overall Excellence in Service award, will be supporting this year’s event.

A special award will also be presented to an organisation in Wales which is taking positive steps to improve and develop their services for people who are deaf or have hearing loss. The People’s Choice award will be voted for by the public and awarded to an organisation which provides outstanding assistance to people who are deaf or have hearing loss.

Daisy Cole, Director for Wales at Action on Hearing Loss, said: “The awards are a key event in the charity’s calendar and we always enjoy reading through the nominations we receive detailing the work of some of Wales’ most outstanding organisations. The changes they make to their workplaces and customer facing environments to make sure their services are accessible to the 20 percent of the Welsh public that are deaf or hard of hearing are amazing to see. Since launching the honours five years ago, we have presented Excellence Awards to over 20 Welsh companies from across Wales and we can’t wait to see what this year’s competition holds.

“Deafness and hearing loss is on the rise and our research shows that by 2035, one-fifth of all people in Wales will be affected, often with a devastating impact to their daily lives. By placing a spotlight on excellence in supporting people with hearing loss as customers and employers we can change lives and provide inspiration to other employers to follow suit.”

Nominations for the awards are now open and the headline for entries is Sunday 17th March 2019. Organisations can submit nominations via the Action on Hearing Loss website (https://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/about-us/our-work-across-the-uk/wales/the-excellence-wales-awards/entry-form/) or by emailing excellencewales@hearingloss.org.uk or calling 02920 333034. Tickets to the awards ceremony can by booked by visiting https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/excellence-wales-awards-tickets-55332789864.

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Man arrested for illegal fishing in Teifi valley

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A MAN has been arrested after environmental crime officers from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) spotted an illegal net in a mid-Wales river.

The officers were conducting a routine patrol of the River Teifi on Thursday (May 14) when they came across a net in the water.

Following an investigation carried out in partnership with Dyfed Powys Police, a man was arrested on suspicion of illegal fisheries offences in the Teifi valley.

At the scene, officers retrieved the net which contained seven dead sea trout.

David Lee, NRW’s North and Mid Wales Operations Team Leader, said:

“Thanks to the excellent work of our officers and Dyfed Powys Police we were able to prevent further damage to the Teifi sea trout population.

“We take any activity that threatens sea trout and salmon extremely seriously and this is especially true of illegal fishing.

“Nets can potentially capture large numbers of fish and given the current challenges facing stock numbers currently every sea trout or salmon taken represents another blow to our efforts to protect these iconic fish.”

Despite the current Coronavirus lockdown, NRW officers are continuing to patrol Welsh rivers and people are encouraged to check that fish they buy locally – particularly through social media – are from a legitimate source.

If you see any suspicious or illegal activity on our rivers please report it to the NRW incident hotline on 0300 065 3000.

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Mother-daughter foot patrol brings 30 year career to a poignant end for Chief Inspector

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AS Chief Inspector Nicky Carter ended a 30 year career in policing, there was no better way to do it than going out on patrol with her daughter.

And for PCSO Charlotte, taking to the streets of Lampeter with her mum was a fitting way to mark her first six months at Dyfed-Powys Police.

Patrolling together in uniform was something the mother-daughter pair had long imagined, with PCSO Carter wanting to join the police from a young age.

The 19-year-old said: “I joined in September 2019, and have wanted to be a part of Dyfed-Powys Police since I can remember. I was inspired by my mum working in the force, and thought it would be a great career.

“I’m really glad I joined before she retired, as it gave us the opportunity to go out on foot patrol in the town where mum had been the local Inspector. It was really lovely.”

Embarking on a career she’d planned since childhood, PCSO Carter took the chance to gain valuable advice from her mum – whose experiences on the frontline inspired her to join.

“Mum has told me to always treat people as I would wish to be treated,” she said. “That’s something I’ll take forward with me.”

“I’m six months in now, and I enjoy dealing with the public and offering reassurance to people in the communities of Lampeter town and surrounding areas.”

For former CI Carter, the foot patrol drew a 30-year career – starting at North Wales Police – to a poignant close.

She ended her time at Dyfed-Powys Police in her home division of Ceredigion, transferring to Aberystwyth in 2006 to take up an inspector post.

Despite admitting there will be concerns for her only child as policing inevitably comes with risks, it was a career she encouraged.

She said: “I was very proud of Charlotte wishing to join Dyfed-Powys. As I retire I still consider that policing offers tremendous job satisfaction and I know that the organisation looks after and cares for its staff.

“I encouraged her to find out about the PCSO role before she applied, and also encouraged her to attend an open evening in Ceredigion to speak to staff. I wanted her to make an informed decision to join the organisation.

“As a parent and a former officer, it is natural to be concerned about what may occur when Charlotte is at work. However, the training, mentoring and support from staff and supervisors is second to none, so that offers me reassurance.”

Looking back at 30 years in policing, CI Carter has achieved plenty to inspire her daughter – and other women thinking of joining. From being a founding member of female networks in two forces, and a committee member of the British Association of Women in Policing, she has also proudly contributed to local and national work to ensure all staff reach their full potential.

She was humbled to receive a leadership award from Chwarae Teg in 2017, and represented chief officers at the International Association of Women Police awards in Alaska in 2019, where two Ceredigion officers were rewarded for their bravery.

When it comes to passing on her wealth of experience to her daughter, the former CI urged her to always consider her own wellbeing as well as that of the community.

“The most important advice I have given Charlotte is to look after herself and her wellbeing as whilst policing is a very rewarding role, it is one that can be both challenging and stressful at times,” she said.

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Ben Lake MP “disappointed” after Agriculture Bill amendment on the standard of food and agricultural imports is rejected by House of Commons

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The UK’s new Agriculture Bill was put before MPs on Wednesday (13 May) for the final time as it reached the Report Stage and Third Reading.

Alongside farming unions and campaign groups, Ben Lake MP has lobbied for the Bill to include a number of important amendments. One of the amendments sought to introduce a legal requirement that agricultural or food products imported into the UK under future trade agreements would need to be produced or processed according to equivalent animal health, welfare and environmental standards as those required of UK prodcuers.

This amendment, in the form of New Clause 2, and which was tabled by the Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Neil Parish MP, was rejected by the Commons. All Plaid Cymru MPs supported the amendment and Ben Lake MP said he was “disappointed” that the house did not vote in favour of an amendment to prevent the importation of products produced to lower animal health and environmental standards, and which in turn would have supported the high standards of Welsh produce.

Ben Lake MP said:

“Without this amendment there remains no legal requirement for future UK trade agreements to ensure that any agricultural or food imports are produced to the same standards as those required of domestic producers.

“Farmers in Wales strive to produce quality food in a sustainable manner, but the failure to include this amendment to the Agriculture Bill risks undermining these efforts by keeping the door open to imports produced to lower environmental and animal welfare standards.

“I have always argued that in order to protect our own high standards it is crucial that a level playing-field is maintained in relation to imports, and that farmers in Wales are not put at a disadvantage by having to compete with imports that are produced to lower standards. I sincerely hope that this amendment will be adopted by the House of Lords, so that the House of Commons has another opportunity to support it.”

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