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Wales needs more trustees

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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 www.volunteeringwales.net and www.recruit3.org.ouk to find out about trustee vacancies in your area.

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Crime Commissioner continues to secure funding for organisations that support victims of domestic and sexual violence

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THE POLICE and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed-Powys Police is again making the offer for organisations that support victims of domestic and sexual abuse to bid for additional funds.

Funding was made available last year, in light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on organisations supporting victims of domestic and sexual violence.

It was part of a £76 million package of support made available by the UK Government.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: “Thanks to this additional funding, we can ensure that victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence in Dyfed-Powys can access specialist services for support, at a time when they are needed the most.

“Unfortunately, we have seen a rise in domestic violence during the pandemic and victims need help now more than ever and I am grateful for the work of all the service providers across the Force area that help these men, women and families who are most in need.

“I want to reassure anyone who is in an abusive situation or relationship that you do not need to suffer in silence, and I urge anyone to report abuse to the Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

“This funding is open both to providers whom I currently commission and those that I do not currently fund. However, unlike the extraordinary Covid-19 funding provided in 2020/21, organisations do not need to be a registered charity, a charitable incorporated organisation, or a social enterprise to be eligible for this funding. They must, however, provide support services which have the purpose of helping victims of sexual violence or domestic abuse cope with the impacts of crime and, as far as possible, recover from the harm they have experienced. We would also encourage applications from small specialist organisations that support groups with protected characteristics.

“If you wish to submit a request for this funding, further guidance is available on my website, and can be requested via the office e-mail address.”

Closing date for submissions is close of play on Friday, March 12, 2021.

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Covid alert level lowered for whole of UK

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THE COVID alert level for all four nations of the United Kingdom has been lowered to alert level 4.

The decision comes following advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and in light of the most recent data.

In recent weeks, the R-rate and the number of covid cases has been on the decline.

Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton said: “Following advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and in the light of the most recent data, the four UK Chief Medical Officers and NHS England National Medical Director agree that the UK alert level should move from level 5 to level 4 in all four nations.

“The health services across the four nations remain under significant pressure with a high number of patients in hospital, however thanks to the efforts of public we are now seeing numbers consistently declining, and the threat of the NHS and other health services being overwhelmed within 21 days has receded.

“We should be under no illusions – transmission rates, hospital pressures and deaths are still very high. In time, the vaccines will have a major impact and we encourage everyone to get vaccinated when they receive the offer. However for the time being it is really important that we all – vaccinated or not – remain vigilant and continue to follow the guidelines.

“We know how difficult the situation has been and remains to be for healthcare workers, we thank them for their immense effort, skill and professionalism throughout the pandemic.”

Under the Welsh Government’s Alert level 4 restrictions, schools and colleges, places of worship, community centres, playgrounds and public parks are among those that can be opened.

Theatres, entertainment venues, leisure facilities and outdoor visitors attractions are among the places that must remain close while the country is in Alert Level 4.

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Postmaster and politicians welcome Goodwick cash machine U-turn

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GOODWICK post office will now be keeping its ATM, after a U-turn by Post Office Ltd.

The machine was due to be removed within months with the post master, Jon Moverley saying that it would be a disaster for the village.

If the ATM had been removed, there would have been just two 24-hour ATMs serving the whole of Fishguard and Goodwick in the short term and three when the Co-op renovations are completed.

Both politicians and local residents then got behind the campaign to keep the ATM

Pembrokeshire politicians Paul Davies and Stephen Crabb have welcomed the news that Goodwick post office is now set to keep its ATM facility. Following representations made by both politicians to the Post Office, it’s now been confirmed that Goodwick Post Office will be included in the rollout of ATM machines across the post office network.

Mr Davies said “This is really welcome news. I’m pleased that the Post Office has listened to the representations made by the local community and decided to retain the ATM at Goodwick post office. The facility is so important for local people and businesses and it’s great that that’s been recognised and the Post Office has committed to keeping it.”

Following the Post Office’s decision to invest in Goodwick’s ATM rather than remove it, Stephen Crabb MP, who campaigned for the ATM to stay, commented: “It’s great news that the Post Office has overturned its own decision and will be keeping an ATM machine in Goodwick.

“Access to cash continues to be incredibly important for a number of people and businesses and I’m pleased to have played my part in working with John from the Post Office in Goodwick, Paul Davies MS and the wider community to highlight the ATMs importance to the area. It shows what can be achieved when we work together.”

The postmaster described the news as ‘brilliant’. Mr Moverley thanked supporters.

He said “Many thanks to all of you who have used the machine and complained to POL about the removal. We were also supported by our MP, MS and mayor, the National Federation of Sub-postmasters and our Chamber of Trade.

“Everyone did their bit, and it says an enormous amount about the strength of the community.

“We are delighted that locals and so many other people have come together to save this essential facility in the village.”

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