Making a difference in 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 Welsh at Work (large organisations) categorysponsored by CAD Training Company, are:

Cwm Taf University Health Board

Cwm Taf University Health Board was approached by the University of South Wales and asked if they would support the release of a member of nursing staff to work collaboratively to develop a consultancy package that supports Welsh speaking student nurses whilst undertaking clinical placements.The package includes the Development of a Student Nurse Handbook, Pilot mobile application/Handbook with Students in University of South Wales,  Practice Facilitators to provide list of up to date mentors via mentor and Welsh Language Officers in Cwm Taf UHB – supporting ward/clinical staff with enhancing/developing Welsh language skills.

Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council

The council has invested heavily in marketing material to promote the language of choice among the residents of the County e.g. by distributing wallets bus pass for pupils of 6th form the Welsh County schools, preparation of mouse mats etc worked closely with children’s services, youth services, social services Menter Iaith by establishing specific committees to promote the Welsh language, and established a Welsh Language Taskforce. On an operational level, the Council now has recourse to two working groups (Welsh Language Working Group, and Welsh Language Working Group Community Services).

Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Hywel Dda University Health Board

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.

This year’s nominees for the Young Achiever category, sponsored by Wales and West Utilities, are:

Amirah and Ashraf Peckham

Last year (2013) with the support and encouragement of her brother Ashraf, Amirah Peckham climbed to the summit of the highest mountain in Africa – Kilimanjaro (5,895 m). Amirah suffers from cerebral palsy and is registered disabled. At the time of the climb Amirah was 9 years old and Ashraf was 12 years old. Amirah is believed to be the youngest girl in the world to have climbed Kilimanjaro and the youngest person with a disability. This would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of her brother, who is also one of the youngest Britons to have climbed the mountain.

Hannah Provence

16-year-old Hannah Provence lives in Penarth with her two younger sisters and her mother. She 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.

Ebbi Rose Ferguson

In her first year at Coleg Sir Gâr Ebbi achieved the Student of the Year award, she works hard to balance all her commitments including being a Gold Young Sports Ambassador, where she is responsible for promoting the seven Olympic & Paralympic values being respect, friendship, personal excellence, courage, determination, equality and inspiration and uses these pillars. In November 2013, she was elected onto the National Union of Students’ Welsh National Executive Committee in a Further Education position. Later that month she was successful in my selection onto the Great Britain squad for canoe polo.

This year’s nominees for the Sport category, sponsored by Sport Wales, are:

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. Draper 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.

Fiona Reid, insport, Disability Wales

Led by Fiona Reid and the team, insport is a project which consists of 3 different programmes, each of which is supported through a 3 year funded cycle by the St James’ Place Foundation.  The intention of insport is to support the delivery of inclusive opportunity throughout the sport and leisure network for all disabled people. Insport works to enable all sport and leisure agencies, organisations and individuals within them, to consider disabled people as part of their audience and membership from the start and throughout their provision; thereby delivering inclusive opportunity.

James Pontin, Valleys Golf Enterprise

James Pontin and his team developed Valleys Golf Enterprise a not-for-profit social enterprise which delivers coaching, education and training with the objective of unlocking and realizing the full potential of the communities in which we work through golf. They have established golf academies throughout South Wales, with the main focus on group coaching in the following sectors: Pre-school ‘Skratch’ programmes for children aged between 2-5; Junior boys and girls aged between 4-7, 7-11 and 11-14; Advanced boys and girls; Ladies; Disabled; Adult beginner and Inter Club groups. VGE also delivers free coaching to primary and secondary Schools in the local authorities of Rhondda Cynon Taff, Caerphilly, Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent.

This year’s nominees for the School Governor category, sponsored by Empathi Cymru and Judicium, are:

Natalie Johnson

Natalie is Chair of the Governing Body of Llantilio Pertholey Church in Wales Primary School in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire. She is currently in her third academic year as chair, a role in which she is highly effective.  She provides excellent leadership to the Governing Body, gives much of her free time to the school, and, in particular has been an important driver for ‘Governor Initiatives’, most recently re-establishing the After School Club. The latter was much needed, and Natalie has helped a small group of parents to form a management committee, and helped them to negotiate the various procedures required, as well as to obtain a start up grant and to employ staff to run the Club. In recent years, she played a central role in the ‘Safe Routes to School’ and “Safe Routes in Communities” initiative, liaising with the County Council on a regular basis, with the support of her Vice Chair, a local County Councillor. As a result of the initiative, the routes around the school have been equipped with warning signs and traffic calming measures which have improved road safety for pupils and the wider community.

Anthony Ironfield

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. He carries out quality assurance/performance management of the Headteacher to ensure the school’s priorities are fully realised. He has to liaise weekly with the Headteacher and Vice Chairman to make strategic decisions relating to standards, pupil progress, governing body involvement and appropriate distribution of responsibilities according to individual strengths within the governing body.

Eirlys Pritchard Jones

Eirlys has a knowledge and experience of education at different levels, including working at policy making level and being invited to 10 Downing Street as one of a group of education advisors to Tony Blair, were useful to the Governing Body. Eirlys was able to bring a broad view to the Governing Body, helping it to become focussed and effective and placing the pupils’ education and welfare at the centre of every discussion and decision. As an active and involved community governor at Ysgol Iolo Morganwg since 2004, Eirlys has been involved in the appointment process of all the members of the Senior Management Team and chaired the curriculum sub-committee and revised and formulated subject policies and statutory documentation.

Limited tickets are still available for this year’s IWA Inspire Wales Awards. To book please visit our Eventbrite page.


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

One thought on “Making a difference in Wales

Comments are closed.

Also within People and Places