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NFU Mutual announces national winner of 2019 Tidy Farmyard Awards at Royal Welsh show

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THE WINNER of NFU Mutual’s 2019 Tidy Farmyard was announced at the Royal Welsh agricultural show.

Held to demonstrate the importance of a safe working environment, the competition attracted a range of quality entries from farmers keen to show they have done everything possible to make their farmyards safe for workers, family and the public.

The competition was judged by a panel of experts who visited five shortlisted farms to see for themselves how safety had been made their first priority.

The overall winner was Alun Davies of Glanwern farm in Ceredigion, who was awarded the £1,000 first place prize. Collecting the prize on behalf of Alun was his father Gareth and one-year-old son Aron.

Second place was awarded to William James of Trevithel Court, Powys. In third place was Glyn Davies of Penlan, Ceredigion.

Designed to raise awareness of the perils of modern farmyards to reduce the toll of accidents to workers, family members and the public, the idea for the awards came from NFU Mutual’s staff and network of agents in Wales.

Entries were initially judged on four photographs which showed how each farm addressed the challenges of maintaining an efficient tidy farmyard, with the judges visiting finalists to get a detailed picture of how they address safety on their farms.

The award judges were: Stephanie Berkeley, Farm Safety Foundation; Brian Rees, Chair of Wales Farm Safety Partnership; Andrew Turner, Health and Safety Executive; Gywn Barlow, NFU Mutual Risk Management Services and Mark Jackson, NFU Mutual Sales Manager.

“We’re delighted that the awards have attracted these excellent entries”, said Mark Jackson, NFU Mutual Sales Manager for Wales.

“As a mutual insurer which is closely connected with most of Wales’ farms, we are all too aware of the heartbreak farm accidents cause. We set up the awards to show what can be done to make farmyards safer and reward farmers who had really gone the extra mile to make their farms safe.

“Visiting the finalists showed much can be done to reduce the risk of farm accidents when farmers take action to protect themselves wherever possible.”

Judges were impressed that the winning farm had excellent cattle and sheep handling facilities, which materially reduce the potential for workers’ injures, as well as adequate training being provided. This was along with well-maintained machinery and good silage storage.

Mark continued: “I am hugely impressed by the positive mind-set of the finalists and their determination to make safety to their first priority on their farms. It was a tough task to decide the overall winner, however, Alun’s careful planning of a safe farmyard and attention to detail were the deciding factor.

“Seeing how the finalists had approached managing the potential hazards of a busy farmyard also shows it’s not necessarily expensive or time-consuming to put safety first but more about your mind-set and making sure that everyone on the farm understand the need for safety.”

The awards were run with support from the NFU Mutual Risk Management Services, HSE and the Farm Safety Foundation, the charity set up by NFU Mutual to help farmers work safely.

Recognising the hazards of modern farmyards to family members, workers and children, NFU Mutual has joined forces with the Farm Safety Foundation to urge farmers to assess the risk involved of everyday farming tasks which continue to cause high levels of injuries and deaths.

Stephanie Berkeley, who heads the Farm Safety Foundation, said: “Farming remains a vital part of our economy, employing nearly 346,000 people, but it still has the highest fatal injury rate of all the main industry sectors, around 18 times higher than the ‘All Industry’ rate.

“Six farm workers lost their lives in Wales in 2018. These are not statistics, these are six families, friends and communities who are grieving for a loved one. We fully support the efforts of our funder NFU Mutual and their partners HSE and the Wales Farm Safety Partnership to raise awareness of what a good farm looks like and helping drive a real improvement in the health and safety of the local farming community.”

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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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How Wales created 19 new field hospitals in less than 8 weeks…

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Across Wales the Welsh Government is supporting the NHS to create new field hospitals and rapidly increase bed capacity.

Health boards have repurposed existing buildings, including the Principality Stadium, a holiday park and even a television studio to provide an additional 6,000 beds.

Field hospitals are designed to support the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic by providing extra bed capacity but they will also help normal hospital services be restarted and support social care services.

Last month, the first patients were admitted to Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig at the Principality Stadium, in Cardiff.

Four to six weeks
Here is how Wales almost doubled its bed capacity in less than eight weeks…

The time it has taken to nearly double hospital bed capacity in Wales, creating field hospitals across the nation.

19 field hospitals in Wales
This includes the repurposing of Bluestone Holiday Park and Parc y Scarlets in west Wales and Venue Cymru in north Wales.

1,500 beds at the Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig
Making it one of the largest field hospitals in the UK.

Five days
The length of time it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig, which overlapped with the build phase.

3,000
The number of planning hours, involving more than 20 different disciplines, it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig.

£166m
Welsh Government funding for the set up, construction and equipment for field hospitals in Wales.

138,000
The number of pieces of equipment have been provided to help support field hospitals, including beds, imaging equipment, syringe drivers and medicines.

Three North Wales field hospitals have the name Enfys
Meaning rainbow – the symbol of hope and thank you to the NHS during the pandemic.

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