Inspiring others across Wales

Jessica Davies-Timmins profiles more candidates for this year’s Inspire Wales Awards.

This week we’ve been profiling the candidates for this year’s Inspire Wales Awards 2014, culminating in our ceremony this Friday. You can see pictures of the nominees and more details about the inspiring work they have undertaken by following the category links.

This year’s nominees for the Educator Category, sponsored by Agored Cymru, are:

Scott Mckenzie, Cardiff University

Mckenzie has project managed the Discovery Synopsis: A programme of events aimed at raising aspirations of young people aged 14 – 19 with Asperger Syndrome and other high functioning autistic spectrum disorders and encouraging them to go on to higher education in its entirety, and voluntarily doubled his workload in doing so.  The Discovery programme of activities (including the summer school, mentoring project, SENCo conference and visit day) are aimed at raising aspirations of young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD), giving the opportunity to experience student life in a safe and supported environment, and ensuring their teachers and parents have access to the right information too.

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.  Today Ajuda runs over 50 different Health & Safety related subjects, we own our own Training Academy in Cardiff Bay with over 30 professional trainers delivering training throughout the UK. In addition to her role as Company Director at Ajuda, she is also a Role Model for the Welsh Government Big Ideas Program.

Julia Terry, College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University

At Swansea University there were examples of good practice of involving local people with long term health conditions in a few modules, but no overall strategy for user involvement, and far more user involvement was required across all programmes to benefit student learning. In 2010 eight local people attended a workshop to set out what was wanted in a nurse, in nurse education, and in health care. This formed the basis of the new Nursing 2012 curriculum for adult, child and mental health nursing programmes. The idea to set up a user involvement group was agreed. In 2010, Terry was awarded a Florence Nightingale travel scholarship to explore best practices and processes in user involvement, and visited 15 universities across the UK and Ireland. Led by Terry the findings were then implemented at Swansea University, which included a user involvement strategy, a user involvement training programme, and clear payment processes, which has resulted in improved outputs for students, service users and staff. Terry is now the College’s strategic lead for service user and carer involvement.

This year’s nominees for the Citizen’s Voice award, sponsored by First Great Western, are:

Ali Abdi

Ali is a leader with Cardiff Citizens – an emerging alliance of churches, schools, mosques, trade unions, charities and other civil society organisations who act together for social justice and the common good. Cardiff Citizens is part of Citizens Cymru Wales and affiliated to Citizens UK. Ali is a member of the Leadership Team for Cardiff Citizens, and has a strong track record of leading young people from Somali, BME and other young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Butetown and Grangetown into non-partisan political action. Since 2011, Ali has played a leading role in successful Cardiff Citizens campaigns to persuade Cardiff Council to pay the Living Wage and to persuade Nando’s to open the first mainstream halal-compliant restaurant in Cardiff city centre.

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. LRC offers an all addictions approach to help individuals suffering from addiction to alcohol and drugs (prescribed or illicit); people with gambling, sex, eating disorders, self – harm and any other dependency or harmful behaviour. LRC also provides regular residential retreats, which uses the 12 step recovery programme, as Chair of the organising committee Ellis Owen led partners in the first ever Welsh National Recovery Walk in Cardiff when 1500 people marched through the city to counter the stigma and discrimination that still persists.

After a 40 year career as an actor, director and writer working in television and theatre, he 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.

Rhian Bowen Davies, Calan Domestic Violence Services

Calan, which stands for renewal and change provides a holistic range of services for all individuals and families who have experienced domestic abuse, including support and information, refuge accommodation, community based support and specialist children and young people’s services. Rhian leads the organisation with a vision to develop and deliver high quality services that will enable and support individuals and families to make lasting positive differences and life changing decisions and make our communities safe from domestic violence. After studying law at Aberystwyth and Cardiff Universities, Rhian joined the police and was an officer for seven years. During her last three years in the police service she worked as an independent domestic violence advisor (IDVA) supporting individuals and families at very high risk of domestic abuse. As a result of Rhian’s work the training facilitated by her team is designed to pass on knowledge and raise awareness of professionals so they are able to identify the signs of domestic abuse and be confident in signposting individuals to specialist support services.

This year’s nominees for the Creative Industries Development Award, sponsored by Welsh Government, are:

Wales Interactive

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. Since incorporation the company has developed and published 16 products on our own Wales Interactive label on an array of digital stores’ including Playstation Store, Nintendo eShop, Steam, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Windows Store.

Time to Change

Time to Change Wales is the first national, online campaign to end the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems in Wales. Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 people, yet mental illness is surrounded by prejudice, ignorance and fear. Despite attitudes about sexuality, ethnicity and other similar issues improving, discrimination against people with mental health problems is still widespread (affecting 9 in 10 people). The Time to Change campaign is delivered by a partnership of Wales’ three leading mental health charities: Gofal, Hafal and Mind Cymru and is funded by the Big Lottery, Comic Relief and the Welsh Government.

Studio Tri

Founded in 2011, Studio Tri is an award-winning advertising agency based in Cardiff. As a full-service agency, they specialise in bespoke advertising campaigns for both traditional media and online platforms. The company has grown to become an industry-leading agency with a London office due to open soon, and serves Welsh SMEs, not-for-profit organisations and other institutions. Clients include Welsh Blood, TradeCentre Wales, Football Association Wales, Peter’s Pies and the Wales Cooperative Centre.

This year’s nominees for the Arts & Culture Award, sponsored by The Orchard Media & Events Group Ltd, are:

Edward Thomas

Over the past 10 years, Wales has seen great resurgence in its film and television industries. Productions such as Doctor Who, Torchwood, Sherlock, Casualty, Merlin, Being Human, Gavin & Stacey, Stella, Upstairs Downstairs and Da Vinci’s Demons are rapidly cementing the country’s leading position in the industry. Edward Thomas has played a central role in ensuring that the production and design talent required to support these industries can and should be home-grown, and in turn has provided valuable employment opportunities for a new generation of designers and makers.

John McGrath

John McGrath created Wales’ first ever English-language national theatre in 2009, and since then had overseen dozens of productions held all over Wales and as far away as Japan, to audiences of thousands in Port Talbot (The Passion, starring Michael Sheen), many thousands online (via the live- streaming of The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning), and tens of thousands in forests, miners’ institutes, on beaches and whole towns across Wales. One of his most successful ideas was to launch the company digitally, by creating a new online community which has by now risen to almost five thousand members, who chatter and debate about theatre, art, performance, writing, and politics.

Mark Jermin

Mark Jermin showed a keen interest in performing arts at an early age winning local and national Eisteddfods in recitation and singing. As a solo boy soprano, singing with Côr Waunarlwydd, Swansea he performed in Germany and throughout the UK. Age 10, he chose not to accept a scholarship with St Paul’s Cathedral Choir in London, and attended Pontarddulais Comprehensive School in Swansea where his theatrical skills were developed taking leading roles in productions and winning the School Drama Award.

Jessica Davies-Timmins is the Business Development Manager for the IWA.

Also within People and Places