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Technology company secures vital funding and support

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06/10/2016 Pics (C) Huw John, Cardiff.  MANDATORY BYLINE -  Huw John, Cardiff Lukas Gamble, Director of Technology, VehoGroup Ltd, Pembroke Dock e-mail: mail@huwjohn.com Web: www.huwjohn.com Twitter: @huwjohnpics

Lukas Gamble: Director of Technology, VehoGroup Ltd (pic Huw John)

A PEMBROKESHIRE-based technology company, which designs innovative digital solutions to ensure efficiency and compliance within the transport and logistics sector, is praising the support it has received from Business Wales after turning to the Welsh Government’s service for help to secure funding for growth.

VehoGroup, established in 2014, created a unique mobile and web application, VehoCheck, which records vehicle defects identified during routine vehicle inspections and delivers them immediately to the transport operator for reporting and analysis. The app and desktop software streamlines the process from defect identification to vehicle repair to ensure the transportation company can work as efficiently and productively as possible.

Realising the global potential for such an app, the forward thinking company, based in the Pembroke Dock Bridge Innovation Centre, sought Business Wales’ support in taking the product to the next level.

Chief Technology Officer for VehoGroup, Lukas Gamble, said: “We initially came to Business Wales looking for advice on funding, either through grants or repayable finance. We had been through a somewhat difficult period financially where our bank was reluctant to offer any support, and it felt like we were facing rejections at every turn.

“Our Business Wales adviser, Geraint Williams, came in and made an immediate impact. He was positive, pragmatic and pro-active, introducing us to new ideas and opportunities, whilst also signposting us to people and organisations that have helped us grow our business and strengthen our profile within the industry.”

Business Wales Relationship Manager, Geraint Williams, said: “We haven’t been working with VehoGroup for that long, but even though we’re still in the early stages, we’ve been able to point them in the right direction and open doors they would otherwise not have known about.

“The product has great potential, and it is our job to help Lukas and the team at VehoGroup reach their potential through sharing our knowledge of the industry and the contacts we have.

“We have already provided a general business diagnostic, shared international trade advice and sourced funding support. We have also enabled them to team up with a relevant venture capitalist and are working towards securing a large contract with a public body.”

Lukas continued: “Geraint understood our product and its potential. He was a breath of fresh air and his can-do approach gave us that bit of belief that we could succeed. His contacts within the industry and access to venture capitalists have opened doors that we didn’t even know existed.”

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Tragedy above Milford Haven takeaway

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DYFED POWYS POLICE has confirmed that a 20-year-old male passed away in Milford Haven last Saturday, April 17.

Police were called to the USA Fried Chicken store on Charles Street at around 1:30pm but have said there are no suspicious circumstances.

A Herald reporter was at the scene and witnessed a number of police cars and an ambulance while plain-clothed officers were also seen.

HM Coroner has been informed.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson added: “We were called to Charles Street in Milford Haven on Saturday 17 April at approximately 1.34pm to reports of a medical emergency. We attended the scene with one emergency ambulance where we assisted colleagues from the police.”

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Health

Tavernspite School the ‘healthiest of schools despite the pandemic’

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THE STAFF, governors, parents, and of course, the children of Tavernspite Community Primary School are delighted to gain the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes National Quality Award for an incredible 5th time after a recent and very rigorous assessment.

The school is already well known and highly regarded for its outstanding work in developing the health and wellbeing of all members of its school community. To achieve this prestigious recognition in the midst of a pandemic is all the more impressive. 

Health and Wellbeing at the school is led by teacher, Lauren Arthur, who has done an incredible job preparing for this re-assessment and raising the profile of the Healthy Schools scheme.

The assessor Mrs Lynne Perry, enjoyed a virtual tour and presentation by Year 3 pupils who took great pleasure in proudly showing Mrs Perry all the wonderful work the school has done to ensure its children are safe, happy with high levels of emotional and physical wellbeing.

In her report, Mrs Perry wrote, ‘Tavernspite School continues to be an outstanding health promoting school. The health promoting school ethos is evident across the whole school population and it runs seamlessly throughout everything that the school does. Tavernspite School continues to give high priority to promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of the whole school community.’

The school received fantastic support from Mrs Liz Western, Senior Public Health Officer and Lead for Healthy Schools and Pre-schools, Pembrokeshire, to whom they are very grateful.

Head teacher Kevin Phelps said, ‘We were delighted to receive this award for the fifth time, particularly considering the experiences we have all been through these past twelve months. Health and wellbeing has never been so important and we are proud to be leading the way like this.’

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Joinery learner through to Screwfix Trade Apprentice of the Year Finals

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PEMBROKESHIRE COLLEGE joinery learner, Conor Ratcliff has made it through to the final ten in this year’s Screwfix Trade Apprentice of the Year competition.

Now in its seventh year, the competition celebrates the next generation of tradespeople as they start out on their career. With over 2,500 nominations, Conor was shortlisted to the top 30 where he had to deliver a video presentation to industry-leading judges and trade body representatives. Judged on professionalism, creativity, innovation, enthusiasm and knowledge of their trade, Conor impressed the judges and is now in the final 10.  

Simon Jackson, Screwfix Customer and Digital director, commented: “Every year we are amazed by the outstanding quality of entrants and, this year, we are on the lookout for apprentices who go above and beyond to succeed within their chosen trade.

“We’ve seen how this career-boosting accolade and £10,000 prize bundle helps kickstart an apprentice’s career. I’d like to wish everyone through to this stage the best of luck!”

The prize package includes everything a future tradesperson may need to start up their own business including £5,000 of tools, a £3,000 training budget and £2,000 worth of technology. The college where they study will also receive £2,000.

Conor is thrilled to have made it through to the finals and commented: “I am extremely honoured to have made it this far in the competition and I am very excited for the final event. It would be an amazing opportunity for me, if I won this competition.

“I hope it encourages more people to consider an apprenticeship in a trade, the Carpentry and Joinery department have been incredibly supportive during my studies.”

The Final is due to take place imminently where the judges will conduct an online interview with the ten finalists before selecting and announcing their overall winner.

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