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 joins push to encourage more accessible rail journeys in Ceredigion
Ben Lake MP has joined forces with the rail industry to encourage more disabled people in Ceredigion to travel by train using the Disabled Persons Railcard, which offers a third off journeys.
Ben Lake attended a parliamentary event on accessibility and inclusion in rail, hosted by the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and Network Rail. The event showcased the work the rail industry is doing to change and improve the network to make it more accessible. This includes enabling disabled people to make more discounted journeys with the Disabled Persons Railcard.
Last year 2969 journeys starting from Ceredigion were made using the Railcard, up from 2401 in 2015. This compares to a 43% increase across the country as a whole, with Disabled Persons Railcard journeys rising from 5 million in 2015 to 7 million in 2019.
The Disabled Persons Railcard offers a third off adult rail fares at any time on the National Rail network for people with a disability, plus a companion. On average, passengers with the Disabled Persons Railcard save £108 a year, even after the £20 cost of the card is factored in.
The rise in accessible journeys reflects the work rail companies are doing to make services more accessible. The industry recently launched a new interactive ‘Access Map’ to make it easier for passengers to find out at a glance how accessible their local station is. The industry is also working together to improve passenger assistance bookings, with new technology currently being rolled out for staff and a customer app launching next summer to make bookings easier.
Since 2006, the rail industry has delivered £500million of improvements at stations including making them more accessible, with £300 million of additional funding from government to make 73 more stations accessible by 2024.
Ben Lake MP said: “Everyone in Ceredigion should have the opportunity to travel by train and today’s event shows the rail industry is working hard to improve accessibility across the country and make the railway easier for everyone to use. I’m pleased to work with the rail companies to raise awareness of the discounts offered by the Disabled Persons Railcard and hope more people will benefit from big savings that can be made.”
Jac Starr, chief operating officer at the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train companies and Network Rail, said:
“We’re working hard to improve the railway, making more stations step-free and adding thousands of new and refurbished carriages which are more accessible. While record numbers of people are saving money with the Disabled Persons Railcard, we want everyone to benefit from the improvements we’re making which is why we’re encouraging eligible disabled people to sign up for a card and save on their journeys.”
Transport Accessibility Minster Nusrat Ghani said: “We are absolutely committed to improving the experience of disabled passengers across our network.
“Working alongside the Rail Delivery Group and Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee, we are currently reviewing the eligibility criteria of the Disabled Persons Railcard, looking at how we can improve provisions for carers or companions.
“We also recently announced the 73 stations receiving a share of £300m of Access for All funding, as we work towards an entirely accessible transport network by 2030 with assistance if physical infrastructure remains a barrier.”
Ceredigion County Council commits to be a net zero carbon council by 2030
CEREDIGION councillors have supported a motion to make Ceredigion County Council a net zero carbon local authority by 2030. The councillors supported the motion in a meeting on 20 June 2019.
The agreed motion was based on Councillor Mark Strong’s initial motion which raised concerns about a Climate Crisis. An amendment was made to commit the council to an ambitious and specific target. Councillors also agreed that a clear plan should be developed within 12 months to achieve the net zero carbon status.
Councillors also called on Welsh and UK Governments to provide the support needed to achieve effective carbon reductions.
The motion was proposed by Councillor Mark Strong. He said, “Faced with a Climate Crisis, I am pleased that my fellow councillors have agreed that we need to take drastic action to reduce our emissions. The council has already reduced carbon emissions a great deal, but we must go much further.”
Earlier in the month, the council’s Cabinet approved its third Carbon Management Plan. The ambitious new plan is targeting a 15% reduction in emissions by 2023. The previous plans have achieved a 45% reduction of CO2 since 2007/8, a reduction of over 7,000 tons of CO2.
The new Carbon Management Plan includes a number of projects to achieve the emissions reduction target. They include investing in a new more energy efficient fleet of council vehicles and improving heating systems in Ceredigion schools.
Cered organises a Thai food cooking evening
Cered: Menter Iaith Ceredigion officers organised several nights of activities with the ‘Ffynnon’ youth club in Llandysul to provide new opportunities through the medium of Welsh for the older members in the club.
The nature of the collaboration was holding a training evening to cook Thai food and then the following week, use their newly found skills by hosting a Thai food evening for the community. The older youth members of ‘Ffynnon’ were given the opportunity to entertain local people through the medium of welsh and encourage those who were learners of the language to socialise in Welsh.
Llinos, Cered Development Officer, said, “This work was a great opportunity for Cered to work with ‘Ffynnon’, the young people in the club and the community. They learned all sorts of new skills such as cooking Thai food, planning every element of the evening from the food preparation, the decorating of the room, serving food and so on. It was lovely to see the young people eagerly engaged in the tasks and raising confidence in practical work and all this through the medium of Welsh.”
The evening was a sheer success, and the money raised will go towards humanitarian projects which will include a possible trip abroad to Zambia to volunteer in a children’s orphanage.
Steffan from ‘Ffynnon’ said, “In Y Ffynnon, we are eager to give opportunities not only to hear the love of God, but also to show that through serving the local community in Llandysul. The Thai night was a great experience and hopefully a start on what we hope will be a great year.”
Both nights were run by Sian Davies and Noi Francis. Siân Davies said, “It was wonderful to have the opportunity to work with Cered and Ffynnon to teach new skills to the young people, whilst also supporting them to raise money for their future plans. It was a pleasure to work with everyone, and they worked really hard to make the evening very successful.”
For more information about Cered: Menter Iaith Ceredigion events and activities, visit their website, cered.cymru or their Facebook page, @ceredmenteriaith. Or, get in touch by calling 01545 572 358.
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