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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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Carmarthenshire’s sensory garden: why locals should embrace this wellness trend

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WITH ‘#sensorygarden’ 499.1k views on TikTok – locals have the advantage of experiencing a sensory garden on their doorstep at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. Wildlife experts explain why you should visit.

Wildlife expert Sean McMenemy shares how sensory gardens can do wonders for our wellness whilst providing a safe haven for wildlife and encourages Carmarthenshire locals to visit their local sensory garden this autumn.

A sensory garden is an outdoor space that stimulates the five senses of sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste, and can be created in your own garden. Sensory gardens at home remain relatively rare, but the trend is growing with the TikTok hashtag ‘#sensorygarden’ amassing 499.1k views*. 

Carmarthenshire, dubbed the Garden of Wales, has a huge array of beautiful green spaces to explore. It’s home to the National Botanic Garden of Wales which spans a huge 568 acres, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The stunning Great Glasshouse features a sensory trail that explores the largest single-span greenhouse in the world! From fluffy flowers from South Africa to a strongly scented Australian plant, it’ll engage all your senses. 

Having recently gifted King Charles with a beautiful oak sapling, the National Botanic Garden of Wales care deeply about the nation’s natural heritage. For those visiting the garden, the paths are wheelchair accessible with manual wheelchairs available on site. Open 10am – 6pm every day of the week.

Wildlife expert and founder of bird food provider Ark Wildlife, Sean McMenemy, explains the benefits of sensory gardening: “Sensory gardens provide a great deal of physical and mental benefits for different people and purposes. From getting vitamin D from sunlight to improving physical fitness by maintaining a garden, there are several physical benefits. Mentally, you can benefit from a mood boost and relaxation by spending time surrounded by calming stimulation.

“Sensory gardens can also have huge benefits for children, older people, those with learning disabilities and those who struggle with their physical and mental health. You can also create a sensory garden for your pets and garden wildlife!”

Top tips for creating your own sensory garden

If you do have the outdoor space, creating your own sensory garden is therapeutic in itself and doesn’t need to be a complicated process. The most important thing is to ensure that the garden engages all five senses. 

Melody Estes, landscape design gardening supervisor, says: “Whether you’re new to gardening or a seasoned pro, you can always improve your garden by adding some sensory elements.” 

Here are some tips from Melody for creating a sensory garden:

Sight – Plant colourful flowers that change with the seasons.

Sound – If you have a fountain or water feature on your property, consider adding some relaxing music to play alongside it. You could also place chimes near your front door to welcome people in.

Smell – Use scent. Consider planting scented flowers or herbs like lavender, rosemary and thyme that will give off a lovely aroma when they bloom.

Touch – Mix textures. The texture of plants can be as important as their colour and shape. Try using plants with soft leaves like ferns or grasses that are texturally different.

Taste – Planting herbs, fruits and vegetables not only provide tasty treats, but is a sustainable source of food.

Sean McMenemy adds: “Sensory gardens are an easy way to engage with wildlife and the outdoor environment. Growing your own plants and vegetables provides countless ways to learn about the natural world.

“You can bring your sensory garden to life by using bird feeders to attract beautiful feathered friends into your garden. They’ll bring the sound element to your sensory garden naturally. Fragrant flowers will attract colourful butterflies and other pollinators to your garden, giving you something to observe whilst helping nature to thrive.”

Some people may not have the time, money or space to create their own sensory garden. However, those with balconies and window ledges can still plant colourful, sweet-smelling flowers and edible plants. This mini sensory garden can still provide the benefits and satisfaction of an outdoor garden.

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Prince and Princess of Wales to visit Wales

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THE PRINCE and Princess of Wales have planned a trip to Wales to visit a variety of communities across the nation and learn about the work of key charitable organisations. 

The Prince and Princess have a deep affection for Wales, having made their first family home in Anglesey, and have thoroughly enjoyed their previous visits and the warmth and kindness shown by the Welsh people. 

Their Royal Highnesses are looking forward to spending more time in Wales over the next few years, they hope to strengthen their relationship with communities in all parts of Wales. 

During their first engagement, Their Royal Highnesses will visit the RNLI Holyhead Lifeboat Station, where they will meet crew, volunteers and some people who have been supported by their local unit.

Holyhead is one of the three oldest lifeboat stations on the Welsh coast and has a remarkable history of bravery, having received 70 awards for gallantry. 

Their Royal Highnesses will then take a short walk to the Holyhead Marine and Cafe Bar, where they will meet local people, including representatives of small businesses and organisations, including the Coastguard and Sea Cadets. 

In their second engagement, the Prince and Princess of Wales are expected to visit Swansea. 

Their Royal Highnesses will visit St Thomas Church, a re-developed church in Swansea which supports people in the local area and across the City and County of Swansea. 

Over the last two years the church has been transformed into a thriving community hub and is home to a vast array of services, including:

  • A foodbank which supports over 200 people per week
  • Swansea Baby Basics which distributes essential items for vulnerable mothers across the city, such as toiletries and clothes
  • Facilities for the homeless including food, showers and toilets
  • A not-for-profit cafe and community training kitchen
  • A surplus food distribution network which collects food from supermarkets at the end of each day and distributes it from the church to prevent food waste and to help end food poverty

As part of their visit, Their Royal Highnesses will meet those volunteering at the church across different initiatives including Baby Basics and the foodbank. Their Royal Highnesses will also spend some time meeting members of the public gathered outside the church. 

The Princess of Wales has previously worked with Baby Banks and the in summer of 2020 brought together 19 British brands and retailers to donate over 10,000 new items to more than 40 baby banks nationwide, operated by Baby Basics, Little Village and AberNecessities. 

Her Royal Highness has visited a number of baby banks across the UK, including in London, Sheffield and West Norfolk where she has spent time speaking with families about their experiences of using their local baby bank services, as well as helping unload donations. 

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Carmarthenshire farmer dies following attack by bull near Llandeilo

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A FARMER has died following an incident with a bull on a farm in Llandeilo.

The 58-year-old, named locally as Maldwyn Harrier, was attacked by the animal during a TB test on Friday morning.

Police have confirmed that they were called to a farm in the Penybanc area of Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, and are investigating alongside the Health and Safety Executive. 

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