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AM supports campaign to recruit Care Ambassadors



Care AmbassadorsREBECCA EVANS AM, has helped to recognise the efforts of over 100 volunteer care ambassadors across Wales at a special event held in the Assembly this week

 The campaign to recruit more Care Ambassadors in Wales was given fresh impetus at the event to recognise the efforts of volunteers who play a key role in attracting more people to work in care. The Care Ambassador project was developed to raise the profile of the sector and offer prospective employees an insight into the world of care. There are now more than 100 Care Ambassadors across Wales. Care Ambassadors are also being recruited from early years and childcare practitioners. Recognising the invaluable assistance offered by the Care Ambassadors, Mrs Evans said: “I am more than happy to help recognise the efforts of Care Ambassadors and their employers in raising the profile of the work that they love. The passion and commitment of Care Ambassadors shines through in the work they do to challenge misconceptions about working in the care sector and in seeking to encourage people with the right skills and aptitudes to consider a career in caring.” The Ambassadors are people already working in care, who are passionate about sharing their experiences with others and changing their perceptions about care as a career. With the support of their employers, they go to schools, colleges and job centres to talk about what it is like to work in care. Todate, they have spoken to more than 10,000 people across the country. Led in Wales by the Care Council, and funded by the UK government, the Care Ambassador project has been developed by Social Care in Partnership (SCiP) regional co-ordinators, working closely with Careers Wales and schools and colleges. Care Council Chair, Arwel Ellis Owen, said: “Care Ambassadors play an essential role in attracting good-quality recruits into the care sector. At a time when the number of people needing care is predicted to rise significantly, it is important we have enthusiastic ambassadors who are passionate about the work they do and about sharing the reality of that rewarding experience with as many people as they can around Wales. “While the Care Ambassador project can play a key role in developing a sustainable workforce for the future, it requires a number of parties working in partnership towards a common goal. Particularly important are the employers of the ambassadors. Without their foresight and goodwill, we would not have as many ambassadors in Wales reaching thousands of potential recruits through their presentations and talks. “That is why our main priority going forward is to recruit more employers across Wales, from different parts of care, such as social work and early years, who are prepared to be part of this already successful project, and to supply ambassadors from their workforce,” he added. The Deputy Minister said: “The social care sector is one of the major employers in Wales. There are 70,000 staff delivering care and support for people across Wales every day. This is a varied and dynamic sector incorporating services in the public and independent sectors. Its size and significance is growing and the importance of the social care workforce for the population of Wales cannot be overstated. “I’m delighted to be able to highlight the particular contribution that Care Ambassadors make to promoting social care as a compelling field of work. “There are two principle reasons why care ambassadors are so valuable to what we are working towards in achieving sustainable social services. Firstly, they can help recruit the greater numbers of workers needed by the sector to meet future demand. The second reason that care ambassadors are so valuable is that they boost the public image of social care. I want to boost the esteem in which social care is held in the public eye. This will not only offer fairer recognition for the good work done by social workers and social care workers, but it will also help us to recruit and retain the brightest and the best to the sector.” John Wynne Hughes, Care Ambassador and Service Development Coordinator with Mental Health Care (UK) Ltd, said: “After reading about the aims of the programme, I was very interested and wanted to be a part of it. So far I‘ve spoken at careers events and schools, to hundreds of people, providing information and guidance on health and social care settings, the benefits of working within health and social care, the skills required and how to go about obtaining those skills. I’ve also talked about my own career path and the opportunities that are available. “We must endeavour to attract the best possible group of individuals to work within health and social care to drive standards, nurture innovation and gain experience,” added John.

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Former Cardigan Castle director sentencing delayed



THE SENTENCING of a former director of Cardigan Castle who has pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft totalling over £40,000 has been delayed.

Former director, Jac Davies, pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft was due to be sentenced on Wednesday (May 4) at Swansea Crown Court – but has now been delayed.

Davies who held the £40,000 a year post fraudulently obtained £33,098.75 and stole a further £7,932.97 from the award winning restoration project..

Davies held his position at Cardigan Castle from September 2017 to November 2019.

The defendant has pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining £4,143.20 from the castle on December 21, 2017.

Again Davies admitted to fraudulently obtaining £28,955.55 between February 4, 2019 and November 3, 2019.

Two further charges of theft were also admitted – one charge of  theft from the castle of £1,908.18 between May 2, 2018 and May 24, 2019 and a further charge of theft from Cardigan Castle Enterprises to the sum of £6,024.79.

Dyfed-Powys Police conducted a year long investigation after being contacted by the castle board of directors.

Financial discrepancies were identified during financial monitoring.

An internal investigation was launched and Davies left his position within the castle in October 2019 following a disciplinary process.

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Dyfed-Powys Police criticised for failing to record thousands of crimes



A SHOCKING new report says that Dyfed-Powys Police failed to record thousands of crimes, despite being told to improve two-and-a-half years ago.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found the force had documented just 87.6% of reported crime – meaning upto 4,400 crimes are not recorded each year.

The report highlighted that of violent crimes, 85.4% were registered, which means about 2,400 went unrecorded, some involving domestic abuse or the vulnerable.

The force said it had “plans in place to improve its crime recording.”

HMIC reached their conclusion by comparing the number of reports to the police with recorded numbers. About 35,900 were reported.

In 2018, HMIC found that our local force was too often not recording crimes. And in 2014 it was reported the force was one of the worst in the UK at recording crimes. 

Dyfed-Powys Police T/Chief Constable, Claire Parmenter was quick to respond to the shocking finding. In a statement emailed to The Herald she said: “We accept the concerns and recommendations published by HMICFRS in respect of crime data integrity. As an organisation, we are firmly committed to supporting victims and putting them at the heart of everything we do. The force has plans in place to improve its crime recording and I am determined we will get this right.

“Since the previous HMICFRS inspection in 2018 we have made significant improvements in our response to Domestic Abuse victims, creating the vulnerability desk which provides real time intelligence to officers attending incidents of Domestic Abuse and ensuring that safeguarding arrangements are in place through a new partnership hub. Recent audits in April evidenced we were achieving a 98% compliance for the completion of risk assessments. This ensures that every Domestic Abuse victim is looked after and kept safe.

“We have a programme of change already in place which will deliver significant process and cultural change. The elements of this programme will improve the forces’ ability to manage demand, support victims, improve the timeliness and quality of investigations and supervision of crime. HMICFRS were unable to take this project into account as part of this inspection. Delivery plans commence next month (June 2021).

“Since the date of this inspection, we are already seeing improvements as a result of the swift additional action we have taken, achieving 100% crime recording compliance in respect of anti-social behaviour for February and March 2021 which is positive.”

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Firefighters extinguish blaze at St Catherine’s Fort, Tenby



A CONTROLLED wood fire earlier in the day caused a fire to break out on Tenby’s St Catherine’s Island on Thursday (May 6).

Heat that was caused by a wood fire earlier in the day caused a ignition on the unburned wood nearby that was needed to be extinguished by Tenby fire crew.

Taking to their Facebook page, St Catherine’s island thanked Tenby Fire Brigade for their assistance.

No serious damage was caused by the incident.

The spokesperson said: “A massive shout out to Tenby Fire Brigade last night who were called to the Island last night after we left following a long day working on the Fort and burning off all the old flooring, having now replaced it all. 

“We had spent at least half an hour making sure that our controlled barrel fire was out. Unfortunately the ground was so hot it transferred to the rest of the unburned wood. 

“Thanks to our amazing local Fire Service, they were on hand to help us out and no damage occurred.”

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