If Nelson Mandela taught us just one thing it was that people can make a difference. Every day across Wales, in more modest ways, people are showing what is meant by the term ‘active citizenship’. Last night, in a glittering awards ceremony in Cardiff City Hall, the IWA, in partnership with the Western Mail rewarded those making a difference in Wales.
The winners of this year’s IWA Inspire Wales Awards 2014 are:
Business Leader sponsored by Leadership and Management Wales.
Rachael Flanagan, Mrs Bucket Cleaning Services
Rachael Flanagan set up Mrs Bucket in 2005 when she was 18 years old and used £20 worth of leaflets and a hoover. The company is now on target to turnover £1.4m this year. In the last year alone, the company grew by 114% doubling its turnover to £1.2m and, most notably, in September 2013, Mrs Bucket Cleaning Services secured a record breaking £130,000 of new contracts.
Science and Technology sponsored by Western Power Distribution.
Dr Haley Gomez, Cardiff University
Dr Gomez is a Senior Lecturer in astrophysics at Cardiff University, and conducts research into the origins of cosmic dust using space telescopes. As well as her day job, Gomez manages two large projects to help support and train secondary and primary teachers in teaching STEM (particularly astronomy), and inspiring children from all backgrounds to follow their dreams in studying/enjoying STEM further.
Dr Gomez is chair of the Ernest Rutherford extragalactic panel for the astronomy, cosmology and particle physics community, which requires deciding on the next leaders in these fields, and Head of Public engagement and outreach for the School of Physics and Astronomy. She is also part of the STFC Education and Training committee which has a budget of 26 million for allocating PhD studentships, summer schools for training and postdoctoral fellowships in these subjects.
Environmentalist sponsored by the Waterloo Foundation and INSPIRE – University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
Keith Jones, National Trust
The fit for the future initiative started as an idea to integrate the National Trust’s environmental management in Wales into a simple frame work for delivering ambitious gains and reducing the National Trusts overall environmental impact.
According to Keith Jones the aims were simple but the execution was far from clear. Jones helped instigate the monitoring system and environmental management approach in Wales has now rolled out across the whole of the National Trust in the UK. These gains in terms of data clarity, simplification and cost reduction enabled the program to move into much more ambitious investments. Jones led the way and worked on developing their own LED bulbs, insulating all of the mansions in Wales, and smart metering oil, water, gas and electricity.
Welsh at Work (SME) sponsored by CAD Training Company.
According to David Clubb of RenewablesUK Cymru, the use of Welsh is fundamental to their operations. The organisation was prompted to make further use of bilingualism by a recognition that there are business benefits associated with being able to engage with stakeholders in English and Welsh. The organisation works closely with public officials, politicians and private business, all of whom have a component of Welsh-speakers, and who value the service provided in Welsh. Use of bilingualism also improves RenewablesUK Cymru’s access to businesses across Wales and helps with retention of existing members, and recruitment of new staff.
Young Achiever sponsored by Wales and West Utilities.
16-year-old Hannah Provence has been a volunteer with St John Wales since she was 12, after she was treated for an eye injury by a St John Wales volunteer at the Penarth festival and the volunteer encouraged Hannah to join the organisation. During her three years with St John Wales Hannah has become fully first aid trained and has recently been named County Cadet for Cardiff and the Vale, meaning she now acts as a mentor and role model to other young volunteers in the area. Hannah balances her commitment to St John Wales, studying for her GCSEs with being a young carer for her sister who has Down’s Syndrome, her mother also suffers from Atrial Fibrillation and migraines. Later this year Hannah will receive the Commandant in Chief Award, one of the highest awards available to a St John Cadet, for acts of kindness.
School Governor sponsored by Empathi Cymru and Judicium.
Anthony Ironfield is Chair of Governors for Willowbrook Primary School in St Mellons and works to steer the strategic direction of the school through the work of its Governing Body. Recently the school was successful in securing a grant to enable a cycle shelter and access routes to be built in line with eco friendly initiatives). Anthony was then elected to serve as Chair of Governors in 2012 following a unanimous vote from the Governing Body. Lecturers from Caerleon Campus have visited and commented that the coding skills system used by the school has not been seen in any other establishment. The school is ahead of its rivals and this can only have significant value to the way pupils adapt to these current issues.
Welsh at Work (large organisation) sponsored by CAD Training Company.
Hywel Dda Health Board is committed, through its Welsh Language Scheme, to increase the number of staff that can provide a bilingual service. It is important that the patient/service user is able to note his/her language need and that the Health Board can make the ‘active offer’ so that sensitive matters can be discussed in the most appropriate language. Hywel Dda Health Board, through the development of its Bilingual Skills Strategy and as the first Health organisation in Wales to do so, is leading the way with an innovative approach to developing the bilingual skills of its workforce, to better meet the needs of patients/service users.
Sport sponsored by Sport Wales.
Sarah Draper, Merthyr Running Club
Draper started running 8 years ago after she had her second son, she won a place in the London Marathon – got fit, lost weight and made her family proud. After searching continually for a local running club she decided to start her own, which later merged with another small group to become Merthyr Running Club. Sarah coached at each session, organized the coach rota, applied to be Welsh Athletics affiliated, before putting a committee together and now has 10 qualified coaches. Drapers works full time running the family business, cares for two children and volunteers a lot of time to the club and has watched it flourish greatly over the years.
Educator sponsored by Agored Cymru.
Dawn Evans, Ajuda Limited
Dawn set up Ajuda Limited 4 years ago after her daughter choked on a sweet. She realised that if she hadn’t had essential First Aid skills her daughter could have died. More importantly the mothers with her that day said that they would not have known what do if it was their child. Dawn became a First Aid trainer and started teaching mothers, teachers, crèche assistants, schools & colleges in First Aid. Ajuda Limited, formed in October 2009, is a specialist Health & Safety training provider based at Cardiff bay.
Arts and Culture sponsored by The Orchard Media & Events Group Ltd.
Edward Thomas has played a central role in ensuring that the production and design talent required to support the resurgence of TV being made in Wales and in turn has provided valuable employment opportunities for a new generation of designers and makers. After working in South Africa in 2005, he returned to Wales to help BBC Wales re-launch Doctor Who to a whole new generation. As the Production Designer he created an Art Department to bring to life the otherworldly travels of the new Doctors (Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith). He worked on over 70 episodes of the new series, as well designing the spin-off series Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventures. Sherlock, Outcasts and the feature film United followed, and most recently the Dylan Thomas film titled Set Fire to the Stars staring Elijah Wood, which also chose Swansea as its location of choice because of Edward and his teams ability to make Swansea look like New york.
Wales Interactive is a BAFTA Cymru award winning video games developer and publisher based in Pencoed Technology Park. The creates new original entertainment products which we develop and self-publish worldwide. Over the last 20 months the company has transformed from a two-man operation making Apps into a prosperous, 18-strong games development & publishing team making video games for all the major next generation gaming consoles. The original motivations’ for setting up the business were to create a significant games industry. The company has put Wales on the video games development map and created sustainable highly skilled jobs in the games sector.
Wynford Ellis Owen
Founder and CEO of Living Room Cardiff – a ground breaking, community based recovery and day care centre offering free on going support and after care for anyone who needs support in taking that 1st step towards recovery or wants to maintain their ongoing recovery. After a 40 year career as an actor, director and writer working in television and theatre, Wynford decided to return to college aged 58 to study for a degree in Addictions Counselling through the Centre for Addiction Treatment Studies (CATS) in Warminster. In long term recovery from severe drug and alochol dependence – he celebrates 22nd sober birthday this July. He cleared his debts by writing and then pursued his dream of setting up the Living Room Cardiff and then returned to college.