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 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.”
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.
“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 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 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 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.”
Ben Lake MP stands up for Ceredigion’s hospitality sector in Parliament
A WESTMINSTER Hall debate, brought about by an online petition signed over 200,000 times, saw MPs on both sides come together to shine a light on the challenges currently faced by restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés and supply chain businesses across the UK.
During his contribution to the debate, Ben Lake MP emphasised the importance of the hospitality industry to Ceredigion’s local economy. Ceredigion is home to nearly 400 food and accommodation businesses, including 75 pubs, and together hospitality businesses employ 4,500 people in the county. This equates to over 16% of all employees, without accounting for the many supply chain jobs that are dependent on the sector, such as those found in breweries, food wholesale, and catering equipment hire businesses.
Figures published by UK Hospitality have shown that approximately 41% of hospitality businesses suggested that they would fail by mid-2021 and only one in five sector businesses have enough cash flow to survive beyond February.
Ben Lake MP said: “The vaccination programme of course offers some hope that we will see the level of Covid disruption reduce significantly this year, but hospitality businesses across Ceredigion tell me that they are deeply concerned about their immediate prospects for survival.
“I support calls for the Treasury to provide additional funds so that businesses can be supported to bounce back once restrictions have been eased, and to pause employer national insurance contributions for furloughed employees as a way of alleviating the burden on businesses that are still, in many instances, required by law to close. I also urged the Treasury to consider extending the business rates holiday for the forthcoming financial year, as well as extending the hospitality VAT reduction scheme into 2022.
“Not only would these support measures give businesses the support they require to see out this pandemic, it would also avoid the terrible situation whereby businesses that have previously received Government support are forced to close for good – leaving their employees without a job and previous Government support in vain.”
While there will be no direct action as a consequence of this Westminster Hall debate, it is hoped the result will put increased pressure on the UK Government to consider the proposal more seriously.
Lifeboat Operations Manager in New Year’s Honours list
Richard Llewelyn Griffiths the Lifeboat Operations Manager of Aberystwyth Lifeboat Station has been recognised for services to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in Wales.
He has been awarded a BEM.
Having served as a RNLI volunteer for an impressive 47 years, it is his role in the last 21 years as Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) which has earned him the most respect.
His local knowledge has provided reassurance to casualties and crews alike when launching in difficult conditions.
His operational decision-making and station management skills are outstanding, and he is greatly valued by crew, management, volunteers and coastal personnel both past and present.
He has contributed greatly towards Aberystwyth being recognised as a ‘benchmark’ Inshore Lifeboat Station, serving as an example to the whole institution of how a station could and should be run.
Richard said: ‘I’m very surprised but honoured to be receiving a BEM – the news still doesn’t feel real. My father was awarded a BEM in 1988 and I still have his medal at home, so to be awarded one myself for my work with the lifeboats is a great privilege. I’ve been fortunate to work with a number of characters during my time with the RNLI – both at Borth and Aberystwyth – and continue to volunteer alongside a good crew today.’
Nationally, a total of six Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) volunteers have been recognised for their vital role in helping the charity save lives at sea through the New Year’s Honours.
Mark Dowie, RNLI Chief Executive said: ‘Following a challenging 2020, it is particularly pleasing to see these RNLI volunteers recognised in the New Year’s Honours list. Together, they personify the RNLI’s ‘One Crew’ ethos, representing the variety and diversity of roles from a former full-time mechanic to shore crew and fundraisers to station managers, who collectively deliver a shared vision to save every one. On behalf of everyone at the RNLI, congratulations to you all for being recognised for your longstanding service, hard work and selfless commitment. And thank you for everything you do to help the RNLI save lives at sea.’
Temporary closure of Minor Injuries Unit in Cardigan confirmed
AS PART of its response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Hywel Dda University Health Board says it has temporarily closed the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) in Cardigan in order to redeploy clinical staff to support the COVID 19 response within Ceredigion.
The MIU, which is based in Cardigan Integrated Care Centre and normally operates from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, will temporarily close with immediate effect. The situation will be under constant review and normal service will be resumed when it is safe and appropriate to do so.
In the meantime, minor injuries help and advice is available as follows:
– visit the 111 symptom checker (https://111.wales.nhs.uk/)
– visit your local pharmacy
– call 111
– please do NOT self-present to the GP reception in Cardigan Integrated Care Centre as they do not deal with minor injuries.
– for emergency care the A+E departments are as follows:
· Glangwili Hospital A+E Carmarthen SA32 2AF
· Bronglais Hospital A+E Aberystwyth SY23 1ER
· Withybush Hospital A+E Haverfordwest SA61 2PZ