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Fire and Rescue Services’ road safety strategy

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fireengineIN RESPONSE to the Welsh Government’s ‘Road Safety Framework for Wales’, the Welsh Fire and Rescue Service has launched its own ‘Road Safety Strategy ’.

The strategy provides a framework for the three Welsh FRS to communicate and implement their road safety commitments on a national and local level.

Chief Fire Officer for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS), Chris Davies said: “Road safety has improved considerably in recent years. In 2014 there were 8,208 reported casualties as a result of road traffic collisions in Wales, this is a 30% reduction on the number of casualties seen on our roads 10 years ago.”

While the number of incidents has declined, statistics show a 12% increase in the number of people seriously injured on our roads in the last year, with poor driving and observation the leading cause of collisions.

While much has been achieved through collaborative working with our road safety partners, there is still work to be done.

A disproportionate number of vulnerable road users including young people (16 to 24 year olds) and motorcyclists are killed or seriously injured compared to other groups.

Despite making up 11% of driving licence holders, young people represent 23% of casualties in road traffic collisions in Wales.

Motorcyclists accounted for 37% of those killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions, while accounting for just 1% of the road traffic in Wales. Motorcyclists are not necessarily at fault for collisions, their vulnerability means that they are far more likely to be killed or seriously injured. Whilst a diverse range of motorcyclists are involved in collisions, a disproportionate number of casualties are men, riding on rural roads in the drier months.

Wales has, and is projected to continue to have, the most aged population in the UK. Around 1 in 20 drivers involved in road traffic collisions in Wales are aged 70 or older. Older drivers have often held their licence for many years and the vast majority will not have undertaken any further training since passing their test, despite significant changes in driving conditions and, potentially, their own ability.

A coordinated effort in the education of road users, targeting specifically those identified most vulnerable groups, with a range of activities, interventions and publicity that result in behavioural change forms the core of today’s road safety strategy.

This strategy sets out how the Fire and Rescue Services in Wales will support the Welsh Government’s vision for a continued reduction in the number of people killed and seriously injured on Welsh Roads, with the ultimate aspiration of no fatalities.

Station Manager Simon Brown, Road Safety Manager for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) said: “The All Wales Road Safety Strategy (2015 – 2020) encourages the Fire and Rescue Services’ of Wales and their partners to work together to identify local risks within their areas and develop a targeted approach to reducing deaths and injuries on Welsh roads.

“As such, SWFRS is extremely pleased to be continuing to work collaboratively on this strategy and associated activities with our partners that aim to make our communities and roads safer and save lives.”

Stuart Millington, Senior Fire Safety Manager for North Wales Fire & Rescue Service (NWFRS), said: “All three fire and rescue services in Wales have a common objective which is at the heart of everything we do – to work together for a safer Wales.

“We are delighted to be part of the All Wales Road Safety Strategy that will continue to ensure that we all work together as best as we can within the fire and rescue services across Wales and with our partner agencies to make the roads in Wales as safe as possible.

“As part of this strategy we are looking at a variety of approaches that organisations can take to improve road safety including training, education, publicity, sharing information and evaluation. By combining all these we hope that we will be able to improve road safety across Wales.”

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Police launch public appeal following Carmarthenshire burglary

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating a burglary at a property in Ponthenry.

People broke into a shed at a home in Victoria Road at around 8.30pm on Monday, 31 October, before leaving after spotting a CCTV camera.

They returned at around 10.15pm and again at around 10.55pm.

During their raids they tooka green Wolf motocross helmet with a full face with a peak and line green motocross goggles.

Officers are appealing for help to identify two people they would like to speak to over the incident.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DPP/0756/01/11/2022/02/C. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Morrisons Foundation supports children’s charity with grant for vital equipment

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The Morrisons Foundation supports registered charities that make a positive difference. They recently awarded national children’s disability charity, Cerebra, based in Carmarthen, a grant of £11,109.

This will fund the creation of writing slopes through the Cerebra Innovation Centre, which is partnered with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and designs wonderful toys and equipment to help children living with a brain condition to learn and play.

The writing slopes are designed to help children who struggle with posture and fine motor skills. They also aid children with writing, drawing and hand control. Ross Head, Product Design Manager at the Cerebra Innovation Centre explains;

‘The slopes include a lovely wipe-clean surface for children to experiment with mark making, their own set of pens and a clever lid-free pen store to remove the challenge of removing lids for some children. We are so lucky to be able to do what we do and funding like this is so important to allow us to push boundaries and provide vital equipment that looks beautiful.’

At the start of 2022, the Cerebra Innovation Centre highlighted that they anticipated the need for an additional 20 writing slopes for children. Cerebra Fundraising Manager, James Hay then worked with the grants team at the Morrisons Foundation, who were delighted to support this project. David Scott, Morrisons Foundation Trustee said:

‘Cerebra is dedicated to helping families who have a child with a brain condition to discover a better life together, that’s why I’m delighted that we’ve been able to provide this support. The specialised writing slopes will make a huge positive impact on children with sensory and mobility issues, providing a great opportunity to develop their skills, which will last a lifetime.’

Grants like this are a vital source of funding for Cerebra so that they are able to continue to support children living with a brain condition and their families who face challenges every day. The Cerebra Innovation Centre is one of the many support services provided by the charity that so many families have come to rely on. James Hay adds;

‘Thank you so much to the Morrisons Foundation for this generous grant! We are over the moon as we know how much this project will change young lives. These are particularly challenging times for charities and so this funding from Morrisons for the creation of 20 writing slopes is warmly welcomed.’

You can find out more about Cerebra and how they help children and families by visiting www.cerebra.org.uk 

Writing Slope
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White Ribbon campaign supported by Carmarthenshire County Council

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CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL says it is again showing its support for the White Ribbon campaign, which takes place on Friday, November 25 and is followed by 16 Days of Action.

White Ribbon is the UK’s leading charity engaging men and boys to end violence against women and girls.

While domestic abuse affects both sexes, the largest number of violent incidents involve men against women. But ultimately male violence against women is everyone’s issue, not just women’s.

The council was awarded White Ribbon UK accredited status for the first time in 2018 and is continuing to work to tackle such violence.

White Ribbon flags will be flying at County Hall in Carmarthen and town halls in Llanelli and Ammanford on White Ribbon Day (Friday, November 25). County Hall will also be lit up on the evening to show support.

The council is working alongside partners to raise awareness of the campaign across the county – from sports clubs, joint visits with the Police to licensed premises, our leisure centres and libraries to bus stations.

With this year’s White Ribbon Day falling on the same week as the start of the FIFA men’s World Cup, there has never been a better time to come together and start playing as a team to end violence against women and girls.

The council will be raising awareness of the campaign at special events including a Walking Football session at Amman Valley Leisure Centre on November 30 and at “An Evening with Sam Warburton” at the Lyric Theatre in Carmarthen on White Ribbon Day (November 25).

Cabinet Member responsible for Community Safety, Cllr Philip Hughes, said: “It’s vital that we raise more awareness about domestic abuse so that anyone affected can get help and support from one of our local services.”

Support locally can be found at: Threshold (Llanelli) on 01554 752 422 or www.threshold-das.org.uk; Calan DVS (Ammanford) on 01269 597 474 or www.calandvs.org.uk; Carmarthen Domestic Abuse Service on 01267 238 410 or www.carmdas.org and Goleudy on 0300 123 2996 or www.goleudyvictimandwitnessservice.org.uk or call the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800 or visit https://gov.wales/live-fear-free for free advice and support 24/7

For more information on the White Ribbon campaign visit www.whiteribbon.org.uk

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