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Four South Wales women named in Cycling UK’s ‘100 Women in Cycling’

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Four women from South Wales have been named in Cycling UK’s 100 Women in Cycling. Elinor Barker MBE, Vera Ngosi-Sambrook, Sian Donovan and Ally Campbell were all included for their work encouraging women to cycle.

They join TV and film actress Maxine Peake, BBC Radio 4 presenter, Melanie Abbott and gold medal winner Katie Archibald in the cycling charity’s list recognising significant achievements in promoting women’s cycling.

The women have all been recognised in celebration of the amazing work they have done to inspire other women to cycle, as part of Cycling UK’s Women’s Festival of Cycling which runs between 17 July and 1 August.

The list also includes less well-known names of women who have been working tirelessly at grassroots level during particularly difficult times to encourage and support more women to ride: people such as Vera, Sian and Ally.

Elinor Barker MBE (pictured top) is a Cardiff-born track and road cyclist who became an Olympic champion at just 21 years old in 2016. She has been recognised for using her platform to support mental health charities and initiatives and her passion for encouraging others to reap the benefits of cycling at all levels. She recently became the first ever guest editor of Cycling Weekly magazine and used this to showcase her vision of the future where the stories of women achieving in the sport are covered in the same way and as much as men’s.

Vera Ngosi-Sambrook (Image: Cycling UK)

Vera Ngosi-Sambrook is an ultra-distance cyclist and influencer from Cardiff. Vera caught the bug for cycling four years ago when taking part in a tandem charity ride. With group rides paused in 2020, Vera became more independent and through Instagram she connected with the Women of Colour Cycling Collective.

Sian Donovan (Image: Cycling UK)

Sian Donovan is director of Pedal Power Cardiff. A few years ago at the age of 57, Sian plucked up the courage to cycle again with the help of Pedal Power, and using a trike, her confidence and love of cycling grew. Seeing the amazing work of Pedal Power, enabling everyone to cycle, regardless of age, gender, size, shape and ability, drove Sian to volunteer then eventually work for the organisation as a director.

Ally Campbell (Image: Cycling UK)

Ally Campbell, from Port Talbot, is a mountain-bike coach and founder of the Sisters of Send women’s mountain-bike festival. The main driving force behind Campbell Coaching, Ally focuses on running female sessions. Her mission is to help people develop their skills and confidence on the bike.

To launch its annual Women’s Festival of Cycling, Cycling UK has also released figures showing that more women have taken up cycling during the coronavirus pandemic. A survey found that 31% of women surveyed switched from a car to a cycle for everyday journeys, and those who cycled regularly reported improvements to their wellbeing.

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Although the number of women cycling increased during lockdown, men are still cycling nearly twice as much as women.

Cycling UK is encouraging women to stick to the pedals and continue to replace their car journeys with cycling, and is highlighting women who are inspiring, teaching and encouraging others to do so.

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Sarah Mitchell, Cycling UK chief executive, said: “Congratulations to Elinor, Vera, Sian and Ally for making it into our 100 Women in Cycling in 2021. It’s an incredible achievement and testimony to the tireless work they’ve done to raise the profile of women’s cycling.

“Every woman on our list is a powerful ambassador for women’s cycling, and many have done outstanding work supporting women to cycle during lockdown. But sadly, women remain underrepresented when it comes to everyday cycling.

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“During this year’s festival we’re asking every woman who already cycles to find just one more woman they can help and inspire to get on their bike.”

The Women’s Festival of Cycling features a range of virtual events, local group rides and a social media challenge asking women to share pictures of their ‘bicycle face’.

Find out about events in your area and to see a full list of nominees, visit our website: cyclinguk.org/womensfestival

(Lead image: Cycling UK)


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Coronavirus

New COVID vaccination centre opens at Aberavon Shopping Centre

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A new COVID vaccination centre for Port Talbot is opening at Aberavon Shopping Centre.

Situated next door to B&M, near the river bridge entrance, Swansea Bay Health Board say it will provide vaccinations to adults and children alike.

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The first clinic will be held at the Local Vaccination Centre (LVC) on Thursday, May 26th. Slots will be available by appointment only for the time being.

The health board are asking people not to telephone the shopping centre if they want to make an appointment or if they have a general query. The health board’s booking centre can be contacted on 01792 200492 or 01639 862323.

The opening comes as the health board winds down its vaccination operation at the Bay Field Hospital near Amazon, off Fabian Way, which has been open since the first Covid vaccine was rolled out to health and social care staff in December 2020.

The final Covid vaccination clinic will be held at the Bay Mass Vaccination Centre on Wednesday, June 1st.

Blood tests will continue on that site for the time being.

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Covid vaccination clinics will also continue to be scheduled at Canolfan Gorseinon Centre, in the health board’s container in the car park of Morrisons supermarket on Baglan Industrial Park and on the Immbulance mobile vaccination clinic, which stops at various venues across the Swansea Bay area.

Interim Head of Transformation, James Ruggiero, said the move to the shopping centre signals a wider change in the Covid vaccination programme.

“The Bay has been absolutely brilliant for us but thankfully, we no longer need a permanent venue of that size.

“While no one can predict exactly what will happen in the future, we do know that some people, particularly those who are vulnerable, will need Covid boosters to help maintain a level of protection against the coronavirus, which is still out there.

“This new venue is perfect for that and a bonus is that being smaller and less intimidating, it can also be used to host clinics for children aged five to 11.”

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Vaccination staff Owain Williams, Samantha Minards, Rebecca Maus, Mathew Davies and Geraint Hammond, inside the new vaccination centre at Aberafan Shopping Centre (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

Mr Ruggiero added: “Our teams have worked hard to set up this new convenient unit and to make it as comfortable and efficient as possible.

“We hope the public welcome it and enjoy popping to the other shops to pick up a bargain once they’ve come in for their vaccination.”

The Aberafan Shopping Centre LVC will be open between 9.30am and 4.30pm. Vaccinations are on an appointment-only basis for now.

The first vaccinations will be for the spring booster which, in line with JCVI guidance, is being given to those aged 75 and over, older care home residents and those aged 12 and over who are immunosuppressed.

The health board will shortly be announcing clinic dates for those aged five to 11 in June.

A Covid booster programme is due to run in the autumn, with interim JCVI advice saying that Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults; Frontline health and social care workers; All those 65 years of age and over; and adults aged 16 to 65 years in a clinical risk group should each receive one dose.

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(Lead image: Swansea Bay NHS)

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Port Talbot

Police launch appeal to find missing disabled woman

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South Wales Police have launched an appeal to find missing Waunarlwydd woman, Kelly Randall.

45 year-old Kelly was last seen in Port Talbot on Tuesday 3 May.

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A wheelchair user with one leg, Kelly is described as being around 5ft of medium build with brown hair which is tied up – possibly in a bun.

She was last seen wearing black jeans and a black coat.

She has links to both Swansea and Port Talbot.

South Wales Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen Kelly, or who has information which will help them to find her, to contact them online or by calling 101 quoting occurrence number 2200149152.

(Lead image: Family photo / South Wales Police)

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Port Talbot scaffolder jailed for heading-up drug gang

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A Port Talbot scaffolder has been jailed for 12 years for heading up a drugs gang.

Three men, who were part of the organised crime group which sold illegal drugs, were jailed for a total of 23 years after an 18-month long Police investigation.

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Operation Formby is an investigation conducted by South Wales Police Force Intelligence & Organised Crime Unit into the drug trafficking activities of Daniel Baker and his gang.

Daniel Baker, aged 30 from Sandfields, Port Talbot, was the head of the organised crime group involved in trafficking Class A Cocaine and Class B Ketamine throughout the South Wales region, and in the Oxfordshire area of England.

His connections with Oxfordshire were through his legitimate scaffolding employment.

He was arrested at his home address on August 18, 2021, where he was found in possession of a significant quantity of Class B Ketamine, a firearm and in excess of £44,000 cash.

The investigation uncovered that Baker had been supplying Cocaine since at least 2016 and had been using various individuals to collect debts on his behalf, collect and courier the drugs for him, and other individuals to supply both Cocaine and Ketamine on his behalf.

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Baker and his gang were proven to have supplied 1kg of Cocaine between 2015 and 2018 and a further 9kg between May 2021 and August 2021. The 10 kilograms of Cocaine would have had an estimated street value of between £1.1 million and £1.4 million.

The co-defendants convicted in the conspiracy to supply Cocaine with Daniel Baker were Steven Hughes, age 46, from Abercynon and Mark Lapper, age 41, from East Hanney, Oxfordshire.

The three appeared at Swansea Crown Court today (Monday 9 May 2022).

Daniel Baker pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Supply Class A Cocaine, Possession with intent to supply Class B Ketamine and Possession of a s.5 Firearm. Baker was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Steven Hughes pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Supply Class A Cocaine and Possession of Class B Cannabis. Hughes was sentenced to 8 years in prison.

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Mark Lapper pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Supply Class A Cocaine. Lapper was sentenced to 3 years in prison.

Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) proceedings are now ongoing in relation to these individuals to recover assets realised as a result of their drug trafficking activities.

Detective Inspector Russ Jenkins from the Force Intelligence & Organised Crime Unit said: “Organised Crime Groups such as these have continued to operate within our local communities and have been brazen in their activities and believed they are beyond the reach of law.

“Our investigators have worked tirelessly, and continue to utilise all opportunities available, to investigate these offences and successfully prosecute those involved.

“The continued success of these operations provides reassurance and confidence to the communities of South Wales.”

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(Lead image: South Wales Police)

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