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Wales needs more trustees



WCVAA DRIVE to help Wales’s thriving third sector become even stronger will be highlighted next month during a UK-wide week of events organised to attract more volunteer trustees. Trustees’ Week 2014 (November 10-16) is a national campaign highlighting and celebrating trusteeship. Wales will see the importance of good governance outlined through events and initiatives run by umbrella body Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) and its members. They include a Twitter question and answer session, trustee seminars and the opportunity to enter a prestigious national annual awards ceremony. “We want to encourage people to take up trustee responsibilities,” said WCVA Acting Chief Executive Phil Jarrold. “Trustees are crucial to the smooth running of the third sector, but not always easy to attract.

They play a vital role, making important decisions about their organisation’s direction. Taking on such work can be both challenging and demanding, but those who decide to become trustees are not alone, and there is a wealth of information and support available for them.” Events taking place during Trustees’ Week include: Two shared learning seminars for trustees, which will be hosted by the Wales Audit Office in Cardiff on Tuesday (Nov 11) and Llanrwst on Thursday (Nov 13).

A WCVA Twitter Q&A on trustee training and development on Friday (Nov 14) using the hashtag #trusteesweek as part of a programme of Q&A sessions being held during Trustees’ Week – including ones to be hosted by the Charity Commission and the Charity Finance Group. The deadline for entries for WCVA’s Third Sector Awards Cymru, featuring a category rewarding good governance, which is also on November 14. The winner in the 2013 awards was YMCA Swansea which, between 2007-2013, saw a significant growth from having just four members of staff to employing 31 people and managing another 34 across Wales, delivering an all-Wales portfolio with a turnover of £1.5m.

Chief Executive of YMCA Swansea, Anne-Marie Rogan, said: “To have a board of trustees that is 100% engaged and committed to the organisation has been fundamental in building our organisation’s strength and determining our strategic direction.” One of the runners-up in the same category were the trustees of Vale Centre for Voluntary Services (VCVS), Barry, who led the organisation on a programme of continuous improvement since the adoption of the Practical Quality Assurance System for Small Organisations (PQASSO) more than 10 years ago.

Partnership and Development Manager, Clive Curtis, said: “The award shows that VCVS trustees have worked hard to ensure that the organisation is fit for purpose to support voluntary and community groups and also demonstrates that we have robust policies and procedures in place.” A number of Welsh trustees have been recognised for their work over the past year, including Tenby’s Kathy Talbot, who recently stepped down as Honorary Curator of one of the town’s top tourist attractions – its Museum and Art Gallery – but has remained as a Trustee.

Kathy, who picked up a 2014 WCVA Wales Volunteer of the Year Trustee category award, was credited by her nominator with bringing the museum into the 21st century. “The role of trustee should bring skills and contacts for the administration of – in our case – the museum, to ensure a sustainable future,” she said. “A trustee can take both a bird’s eye and strategic view of the operation, but at the same time should be prepared to take an active role, helping in seeking funding, outreach work and marketing, etc.” WCVA and county voluntary councils across Wales are able to provide direct support to individual trustees and trustee boards, as well as signposting to further sources of expert advice and guidance.

A range of information sheets to help trustees are also free to download from WCVA’s website, as well as free publications including: Good governance: a code for the third sector in Wales Faith and hope don’t run charities (trustees do) WCVA’s governance health check. Other support includes events such as the annual Wales Charity Law and Governance conference in May, and seminars delivered by a range of professionals including associate accountants and solicitors. Visit and to find out about trustee vacancies in your area.

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Join the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Panel as an independent member



THE Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Panel is looking for two members to join them in their work to support and challenge the Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Panel is made of up of members nominated by Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys county councils along with at least two independent members.

Opportunities have now arisen for two independent members to join the Panel and carry out key statutory roles that will support the Commissioner exercise his role effectively.

Members will be expected to attend and take part in regular meetings and take part in decision making, creating reports and making recommendations to the Commissioner.

They will review the Commissioner’s annual draft Police and Crime Plan and annual draft budget, review and scrutinise his decisions and actions, and if necessary review the proposed appointment or removal of the Chief Constable and other senior police force appointments.

Applicants will need to demonstrate that they can take a balanced and objective approach in supporting the Panel and the Commissioner, make strategic and well-informed decisions, and interpret and question financial, statistical and performance related information.

They will also need to be able to act as a ‘critical friend’, challenging views or proposals for change constructively.

Applications close on May 31, and appointments to the Panel will be made until October 31, 2024. 

For further information, visit

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Successful Fire Service and Health Board partnership to enhance COVID-19 vaccine roll out comes to end



TUESDAY 11 May 2021 marked the end of a hugely successful partnership between Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Hywel Dda University Health Board, initiated to enhance the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine to the communities of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

Since February, Community Safety Staff from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service have transported 125 passengers over 9450 miles to ensure they were able to receive their COVID-19 vaccination.

Chris Davies, Chief Fire Officer for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “Recognising the configuration of our Service, the areas we cover and indeed the people we employee, this seemed an ideal opportunity for us to widen our response to the pandemic and support our partners in safeguarding our communities.

“Whilst we already collaborate with the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust, this opportunity enabled us to expand our assistance further within the health arena. This partnership with Hywel Dda University Health Board was the first of its kind for Fire and Rescue Services in Wales and paved the way for a number of similar partnerships for us and the other Fire and Rescue Services in Wales.

“I am extremely proud of our staff who have participated in this collaboration and have made a huge difference to the lives of so many people. Their contribution has without doubt had a positive impact on our response to this global pandemic”.

Mydrian Harries, Corporate Head of Prevention and Protection for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, coordinated the Service’s response to this call for assistance.

“Our communities are at the heart of our core business. Knowing we were in a position to make an impact, we put in place a robust solution in record time, to not only ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff, but to also safeguard those who were eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination, but may have had barriers preventing them from attending their appointments.

“Using this partnership as template within which we could expand, we have since been able to offer our assistance to other Health Boards across the Service area. Indeed, a group of 10 vaccine heroes from our Service have joined Powys Teaching Health Board’s vaccination team, playing their part in distributing vaccines at mass vaccination sites in Newtown and Builth Wells. This is another fantastic example of how working together has been vital in our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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Brand new features unveiled at Scolton Manor Park



ONE of Pembrokeshire’s best-loved family destinations has announced it will be unveiling several new attractions in June, ready for the summer holidays.  

Among the new features at Scolton Manor are an eco-explorer village, a 1.2km woodland cycle track, an outdoor pirate ship play area and a dedicated railway attraction complete with steam train locomotive ‘Margaret’ and ‘Scolton Express’ play train.

Mark Thomas, manager of Scolton Manor Park, said the team were looking forward to showing visitors the new attractions.

“We’re delighted with our new facilities and believe they will perfectly complement the attractions we have here already at Scolton,” he said.

The woodland eco-explorer village aims to give children more opportunities for outside play and spark their enthusiasm to discover more about the natural world.  

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Culture and Leisure, said the village is perfect for all young explorers from toddlers right through to older children.

“Children love playing outside and we want to inspire them through their play to not only find out more about biodiversity and the environment but also how to care for it,” he said.

“As well as eco-explorer areas, games and activities there will be fun tips on how they can reuse, reduce and recycle more and protect the environment.”

The eco-explorer village is funded by a £50,000 grant from the Landfill Disposals Tax Community Scheme and £25,000 grant from Community Facilities Programme (Welsh Government), in partnership with the Pembrokeshire Beekeepers’ Association.

Mark Thomas said the current attractions at Scolton have also proved very popular since the outdoor areas at the park re-opened to the public earlier this spring.

As well as an adventure play area for older children which includes a 30-metre zip wire, a spinning climbing web and ‘super swings’,  younger visitors can enjoy the wooden playground, sensory musical play area and woodland play features.

“The many and varied attractions at Scolton enhance its role as a community facility while providing a wide range of countryside experiences at a lower cost,” said Mark.

“The new features in particular will also help to continue the development of the site into a must-visit tourist attraction within mid and North Pembrokeshire.”

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