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Cross Hands print company celebrates 5th anniversary with investment and charitable donation

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The business, based in Cross Hands, Carmarthenshire, has invested in new, state-of-the-art, specialist Tajima embroidery machinery as it gears up to manage a spike in demand in the past 12 months driven by a mixture of its core markets and a number of new contracts servicing the armed forces.

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The company, formed in 2016 by serial entrepreneur Angela Windsor, has also increased its workforce by 50% on the back of this demand and is seeking two new employees as it eyes further expansion and new business opportunities. It is already working with clients across the UK and Europe and wants to expand this footprint further.

Windsor has also been recognised for her efforts in going the extra mile for the armed forces by being awarded the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Silver Award for 2021.

Print Inc. is a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant, a commitment by a business to honour and support the armed forces, while Windsor has completed a number of charity fundraising efforts for the armed forces – including climbing Snowdon blindfolded.

She ascended the Rhydd Ddu route of Snowdon supporting Captain (retired) Colin Jones MBE in memory of Captain Stephen Healy and to raise money for Blind Veterans UK. The team eventually raised more than £4,000 for the charity, a remarkable achievement.

The prestigious Defence Silver ERS Award recognises employers who have actively demonstrated their support for the Armed Forces community through implementing practical policies in the workplace.

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To achieve Silver, organisations must proactively demonstrate that the Armed Forces community are not unfairly disadvantaged as part of their recruitment policies. They must also actively ensure their workforce is aware of their positive policies towards Defence people issues for Reservists, Veterans, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, and spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces.

Windsor has a long track record in printing and embroidery. She was previously the owner and manager of the award-winning AVA Dancewear, a company that pioneered improvements in the service and quality of the products offered to customers in that industry.

Angela Windsor, Founder and Director of Print Inc., said: “As we moved into our fifth year of trading, we were seeing some very positive growth. I needed to make an investment in the business but wanted to complement that by also enhancing and enriching our already established commitment to helping the armed forces.

“The investment marks the start of a new chapter for the business as we move to add new products and skillsets to our already very successful offering. In the past 12 months, we have widened our range of services to include workwear, PPE, signs & paper print, branding and clothing embroidery & print. This has led to more demand; this new machinery will allow us to keep pace with customer demand while always guaranteeing the quality matches our reputation and high standards.

“But I am a big believer that successful businesses should also give back. As a company and employer, we have proactively demonstrated our commitment and forces-friendly approach and credentials as part of our recruitment and daily activity. I am very proud of this and our efforts raising money for some very special charities.”

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Lead image: Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Awards at Cardiff City Stadium (Image: Nick Treharne)

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Cross Hands

Plan for Cross Hands Health and Well-being Centre submitted to Welsh Government

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Plans for a new Health and Well-being centre in Cross Hands, Carmarthenshire, has been submitted to Welsh Government.

Hywel Dda University Health Board say an integrated health and social care network of services for the Amman Gwendraeth area is being proposed, which includes the construction of a new Health and Well-being Centre.

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If approved, the centre will provide a base for health and care services for the benefit of local communities. The core clinical services will include two local GP practices (Cross Hands and Tumble Medical Partnership and Penygroes Medical Practice), along with a range of Community Health Services such as midwifery, health visiting, community nursing, therapy services, podiatry, and mental health.

These will be complemented with additional supplementary services, such as an Integrated Early Years Centre, which is a community-based service for families with children aged 0-12. There will also be audiology services, a community pharmacy, space for community events, library, as well as a refreshment area.

As part of the health board’s commitment towards to decarbonisation, and achieving net zero carbon by 2030, the design of the building includes a range of low/zero carbon technologies. These include the installation of photovoltaic panels, air source heat pumps, as well as the provision of charging points for electric vehicles.

Rhian Matthews, Hywel Dda UHB’s Integrated System Director for Carmarthenshire, said: “This exciting plan demonstrates the importance of delivering services as close to home as possible.

“This Outline Business Case (OBC) for Cross Hands Health and Well-being Centre is an ambitious plan that will not only be an asset for Cross Hands, but will benefit Carmarthenshire as a whole.

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“This is the first OBC to be presented to Welsh Government since the submission of our Programme Business Case (PBC) earlier this year. Our PBC aims to secure a scale of investment never before seen in west Wales, in order to deliver our long-term health and care strategy ‘A Healthier Mid and West Wales: Our Future Generations Living Well’.”

Subject to Welsh Government approval, planning process and construction phase, the new centre would be built adjacent to the A48 and the new Cross Hands Business Park. It is scheduled to open in autumn 2025.

(Lead image: Hywel Dda University Health Board)

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Carmarthenshire business Do Goodly Foods crowned Wales Food and Drink Start-Up Business of the Year

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Cross Hands-based plant-based food producer Do Goodly Foods has won Wales Food and Drink Start-Up Business of the Year at the inaugural Wales Food and Drink Awards, celebrating and showcasing the best food and drink producers in Wales, which were held at the Mercure Hotel in Cardiff on May 13.

Do Goodly Dips makes healthy, plant-based dips and in just over 12 months has secured a listing in a major, national supermarket and its products can be found nationally in farm shops, delis and independent stores through key wholesalers and distributors in the food industry.

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Since launching the brand Do Goodly Dips Superstar Salsa has been awarded the highly acclaimed Great Taste Award and all the products in the range have been given Farm Shop & Deli awards.

The company was formed by local businessman Richard Abbey and Michelin-trained chef Scott Davis after they discovered a shared ambition to create a range of healthy, feelgood food. Made with an emphasis on flavour and nutrition, the dips contain no added sugar and nothing artificial.

The current range includes Mighty Beetroot Borani, Smashed Pea Guacamole, Superstar Salsa and Tasty Tomato and Bean Houmous.

Do Goodly Foods co-founder Richard Abbey said: “We’re delighted to have won Wales Food and Drink Start-Up Business of the Year. This kind of recognition is very important for young Welsh businesses. We were getting Do Goodly Foods off the ground during lockdown, which made for an interesting experience, but I’m pleased to say we have gone from strength to strength and achieved listings in major supermarkets.

“It was brilliant to be able to attend the awards ceremony in Cardiff and celebrate with so many outstanding and inspiring Welsh businesses. Wales really does excel when it comes to great food and drink products and these awards perform a vital function in helping to recognise and promote them.”

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Environmental groups to benefit after Castell Howell pollution incident

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Wildlife and environmental groups are to benefit from a collaborative approach taken by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Castell Howell Foods following a pollution incident caused by a malfunction at a pumping station in Carmarthenshire.

Projects carried out by the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llyn Llech Owain SSSI Peatlands partnership, the West Wales Rivers Trust, and Wales Federation of Young Farmers Clubs are to benefit from money paid by Castell Howell Foods Ltd, and facilitated by NRW.

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The company paid the money as part of reparations for a pollution incident in July 2019. Following an investigation, and in light of Castell Howell’s rapid response, remediation work, and remorse, NRW identified the incident as suitable for a Civil Sanction – namely an enforcement undertaking.

The incident saw overflow effluent enter the Afon Gwili near Crosshands, caused by a mechanical failure at a sewage pumping station adopted by Castell Howell upon the purchase of adjacent land. The incident, which resulted in the death of fish native to the river was exacerbated by low river flow caused by the hot, dry weather.

When contacted by NRW at the time of the incident, Castell Howell confirmed they had unknowingly discharged effluent via the overflow pipe due to telemetry equipment failure at the pumping station. The company took immediate action by switching to manual pumps and subsequently blocked off the existing permitted emergency overflow.

The following month (August 2019), the company installed a new telemetry system and pump. Daily inspections and an improved maintenance schedule were implemented, and a full drainage CCTV survey was undertaken.

Jane Chapman, Legal Services Manager for NRW, said: “Our role is to ensure businesses can operate without harming people and the environment. This may involve prosecution, but in certain cases it can be in the public interest to look at options other than a court case.

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“The company has spent a considerable amount of time reflecting on this incident, and clearly take the impacts and consequences very seriously.

“The community will benefit from the enforcement undertaking through monetary and volunteer support for local projects financed by the company.

“This approach is an example of NRW fulfilling its key role for the greater good of the wider community.”

Edward Morgan, Group CSR and Training Manager for Castell Howell, said: “As a company that takes environmental matters and our location in the countryside very seriously, the Afon Gwili incident shocked and concerned us.

“We therefore welcome NRW’s view that our immediate remedial action and the swift installation of new equipment and protocols makes the incident suitable for an enforcement undertaking.

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“We are also very pleased that money paid as part of that undertaking is to go to organisations and projects working to protect and enhance wildlife and the Welsh countryside.”

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

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