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The Inspire Wales Awards are an initiative of the Institute of Welsh Affairs in association with the Western Mail.

To celebrate the achievements of the men and women throughout Wales who make a significant contribution to society, the Institute of Welsh Affairs has teamed up with the Western Mail for the Inspire Wales Awards. The awards reward those in the fields of business, education, science, arts and media, the environment and sport, as well as seeking champions in citizenship and young achievers. Entries are encouraged from the public, private and voluntary sectors. In this profile, we reveal the finalists in the Educator category.

Professor Judy Hutchings

Having worked in education for almost 50 years, Professor Judy Hutchings has considerable experience in her field. Now a researcher for Bangor University, she has been nominated for the Educator award for her work to bring effective services to children in Wales who are at risk of anti-social behaviour. A trained child psychologist Judy has also been able to use her wealth of knowledge to help develop more effective ways of teaching anger management and problem-solving skills. She has been instrumental in researching and delivering the Incredible Years (IY) parent, child and teacher programmes across Wales through the Incredible Wales Centre at Bangor University and the Incredible Years Cymru Charity. Professor Hutchings helped develop the IY programme in 2000 based on work by the University of Washington. It has received a great deal of praise for its unique way of addressing the needs of parents and those working with them.

Stuart Rhys Jones
Firefighter Stuart Rhys Jones is responsible for educating young people throughout North Wales in fire safety. As co-ordinator of North Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s Phoenix project, Mr Jones dedicates his working life to addressing issues such as anti-social behaviour and fire-related incidents such as hoax calls and deliberate fire setting. Phoenix is targeted at people aged between 13 and 25 and aims to inform them of the dangers of fire and to reduce fire-related accidents and incidents through prevention and education. By using firefighters as a medium, Stuart hopes to encourage these young people to rethink and reform their behaviour. At the time of the project’s inception in 2004, North Wales was suffering from an increase in anti-social and fire-related behaviour with the economic cost of approximately £7m. During its existence Mr Jones has helped run a total of 90 courses teaching more than 1,000 students – the majority of whom had a history of fire-related behaviour. In 2009 76% of students on the courses had a history of such behaviour yet, as a result of attending the courses, only two have since re-offended.

Professor Derek Gallen
Professor Derek Gallen has played a key part establishing an award scheme which aims to promote excellence in medical training throughout Wales. The head of school of postgraduate medical and dental education at Cardiff University helped set up the Best Educational Supervisor and Trainer Awards (BEST) last year. Along with the Wales Deanery at the school, he is attempting to bring an end to the cultural lack of recognition for hard-working doctors and dentists in Wales. It is hoped that, in recognising good practice, others involved in the medicine and dentistry would be encouraged. And the work is already paying off. The initiative is now an established part of the Wales Deanery’s annual calendar and this year’s event will be sponsored by the British Medical Association.

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Copy written by Sam Malone, Media Wales. Photos supplied courtesy of Media Wales.

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