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Extraordinary people shortlisted for national awards

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The St David Awards are Wales’ national awards to recognise every day heroes

Police officers who saved a 92-year-old woman from a burning house, an ITV presenter who is a domestic abuse survivor and campaigner, and a former gambler now helping other addicts, are among those shortlisted for a national St David Awards.

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The St David Awards, which will celebrate their ninth year in 2022, recognise the extraordinary achievements of people from across Wales.

This year’s awards will be given to people and companies in nine different categories, recognising Bravery, Community Spirit to Innovation, Science and Technology. The First Minister of Wales will also give his special award.

Announcing the finalists, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Some of the people shortlisted have shown extraordinary acts of bravery and determination. Others have shown incredible community spirit despite the pressures of living through the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our finalists are astonishing people and we are very fortunate they call Wales home. I would like to congratulate all those who have been shortlisted and I want to thank everyone who took the time to nominate someone for an award – unfortunately not everyone can make the shortlist.”

The winners will be announced in a ceremony on 7 April 2022

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The finalists are:

Bravery

PC Ian Chattun and Sergeant Katy Evans – Police officers from Dyfed Powys police saved a vulnerable woman from drowning on Aberystwyth seafront

PC Thomas Scourfield and Sergeant Geraint Jenkins – The police officers risked their lives to attempt to save the life of a 92 ­year ­old man who was trapped in a burning building in Port Talbot

Aaron Gray – Prestatyn, Denbighshire – A father saved seven neighbours from a fire just minutes before their house was engulfed in flames. Aaron saw the blaze, after being woken by his three-year-old son at 5am. The former soldier rushed over and roused the two women and five children inside the bungalow in Prestatyn.

Business

A&R cleaning and security services – Bridgend – A business that adapted their services during the pandemic, investing in new technology, allowing them to become the first in Wales to offer a bio-misting services which provides additional biosecurity against Covid.

Awesome Wales CIC – Barry and Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan – Awesome Wales is a social enterprise with zero waste stores that allow customers buy environmentally friendly and ethically produced goods with no unnecessary plastic packaging

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Jordan Lea – Llandudno, Conwy – An inspiring individual, Jordan Lea started a community interest company Deal Me Out in 2020 following debilitating mental health issues surrounding his gambling addiction which he has overcome.

Community Spirit

Carole Anne Dacey – Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan – Since her retirement, Carole has worked full time with some of the most vulnerable people in Wales, including the homeless; people who have been trafficked; and prisoners. She has also trained others (including prisoners) to be able to take on volunteer roles.

Ruth Dodsworth – Cardiff – A well-known TV presenter who suffered abuse and controlling behaviour by her husband for nearly 20 years. She now campaigns against coercive control and helps Wales’ police forces to spot the signs of domestic abuse.

Siop Griffiths – Dyffryn Nantlle, Gwynedd – A community enterprise in Penygroes, Dyffryn Nantlle in Gwynedd that has helped create local solutions to the challenges facing the Nantlle Valley and to give young people opportunities to stay and thrive in their community.

Critical Worker

Dr Eilir Hughes – Nefyn, Gwynedd – A GP that founded the Fresh Air Wales campaign to promote the importance of ventilation, especially in schools, and mask-wearing to reduce the risk of spreading and catching Covid 19.

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Michelle Jones and Catherine Cooper – Head teacher and Assistant Head teacher at Lansdowne Primary School, Cardiff – During the COVID-19 pandemic, Michelle and Catherine provided support and child care provision for children of key workers and vulnerable children, ensuring they were able to attend school, providing families with food and other essentials, and making themselves available 24/7 to offer help and advice to the community.

Respiratory nursing team from Glamorgan Hospital – Llantrisant, Cardiff – The team played an important role when they provided support for families with loved ones in hospital with Covid, as well as the guidance. They also provided reassurance to staff at the hospital’s Acute Medical Unit

Ysgol Esceifiog – Anglesey – A school which gave support to a family in their school following a terminal diagnosis for one of their pupils. They ensured support was provided to the siblings in school as well as supporting other pupils who were affected by their friend’s illness.

Culture

Berwyn Rowlands – Cardiff – Berwyn is a Welsh TV and film producer and film fan and is the Festival Director of the Iris Prize – Cardiff’s LGBT+ Film Festival which awards the world’s largest short film prize.

Dr Ami Jones and Glenn Dene – Aneurin Bevan University Health Board – As well as fulfilling their usual duties, Ami and Glenn published a collection of Glenn’s photographs from inside Welsh hospitals in a photo book entitled ‘Behind the Mask: the NHS Family and the fight with Covid 19’, with Ami narrating.

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Jessica Dunrod – Cardiff – A writer and linguist who has made a huge impact on Welsh language literature. On an effort to diversify Welsh literature, she brought 10 titles to the Welsh market in less than a year.

Environment Champion

Dr Sarah Beynon – The Bug Farm – St Davids, Pembrokeshire – Dr Beynon, a farmer, conservationist and academic entomologist, has established a multi award-winning Bug Farm in 2013 on her 100-acre farm. As a research and education centre showcases the sustainable future of food, farming and wildlife conservation.

Low Carbon Built Environment Group (Cardiff University) – Welsh School of Architechture, Cardiff University – A group have helped significantly to reduce carbon emissions in housing whilst improving conditions and reducing energy bills.

Melissa Forster and Kristina Pruett – Pontypridd – They have led the way in recycling and fly-tipping in their area. Their pledge, The Litter Pick Challenge, developed into a community action organisation with links to other areas of Wales, the U.K. and abroad.

Innovation, Science and Technology

Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, Prof Rob Honey, Dr Byron Wilkinson and Phil Butler – Cardiff University – A small team of dedicated researchers co­produced research on decision­-making in emergency situations for with the National Fire Chiefs Council.

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Luca Pagano, Graham Howe, Peter Charlton, John Hughes and Richard Morgan – University of Wales Trinity St Davids (UWTSD), Carmarthen – A small team that has developed a 3D printed jet respiratory support system to help the NHS during the initial COVID-19 outbreak.

Research and Delivery Team Swansea Bay University Health Board – Swansea Bay University Health Board – The research staff worked together to support clinical teams with trials focusing on urgent public health trials. The team adapted to change to ensure that research continued during such a pressured time for health boards

Sport

David Smith MBE – Swansea – A boccia multiple European, World and Paralympic gold medals winner over the past 14 years, most recently at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

Hannah Mills OBE – Cardiff – Hannah, who won a second gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to go with several World and European titles, became the most successful female Olympic sailor of all time.

Lauren Price – Ystrad Mynach, Caerphilly – In 2021, became the first Welsh woman to win a boxing gold medal at the Olympic Games. This will add to her Commonwealth gold medal in 2018 and European Championship Gold Medal

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Young person

Benjamin Trewartha – Church Village, Rhondda Cynon Taf – Following people close to Benjamin suffering with cardiac episodes, Benjamin has been proactive in bringing about first aid training for school pupils to deal with cardiac related situations

Daniel Lewis – Treharris, Merthyr Tydfil – During lockdown, Daniel started a campaign to clean up fly-tipping hotspots. Through fundraising and working with local businesses, he has successfully removed over 25 tonnes of illicit waste on the Merthyr and Gelligaer Common.

Makenzy Beard – Bishopston, Gower – The 14-year-old school girl started painting as a hobby during lockdown. Her art work has won thousands of fans and gone viral on social media. Her artwork was selected for exhibition at the prestigious Royal Academy Young Artists’ Summer Show in London this summer. Makenzy also plays hockey for Wales.

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Cycling

Minister announces £50m investment to encourage cycle use

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Getting people out of cars and on to bikes is the aim of a £50m investment announced by Deputy Climate Change Minister Lee Waters.

Speaking on a visit to Cardiff-based cycling charity Pedal Power, the Deputy Minister said the money would fund cycling routes and new facilities right across Wales.

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Deputy Minister for Climate Change, with a responsibility for Transport, Lee Waters said: “This is a substantial investment and part of our commitment to making cycling easier so people cut the amount of journeys they take by car and travel in a way that is better for our planet.

“Getting people out of cars for short journeys and encouraging them to walk or cycle instead is a huge challenge for us, but one that has to be met if we are to reach our net zero carbon emission target by 2050.

“We need to make sure that we have the right infrastructure and routes in place so that people have the choice of cycling for their everyday journeys – we need to make the right thing to do, the easy thing to do.”

One organisation that is benefiting from this investment is Pedal Power in South Wales.

As part of a series of Welsh Government e-bike pilot schemes, the cycling charity received £0.21m for its ‘See Cycling Differently’ project which is aimed at increasing the inclusivity of cycling by offering a range of e-cycles.

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Thanks to the money received the charity has expanded its e-cycle fleet and is encouraging its users to cycle more.  

Jeff Mayle, Pedal Power use and Deputy Minister Lee Waters

Director of Pedal Power, Cardiff, Sian Donovan said: “Cycling is a fantastic way for everyone – all ages and abilities – to have fun, gain more independence and enjoy a sense of freedom which we know has provided a lifeline to many during the pandemic.

“We were delighted to receive funding from the Welsh Government to help us to continue to remove barriers to cycling so that it can be truly accessible and inclusive for all.”

As part of the investment announced today, all local authorities will receive a minimum of £500k with additional allocations having been awarded based on the outcome of a competitive application process.

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Business

Welsh and UK Governments agree to establish Freeports in Wales

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The Welsh Government has reached agreement with the UK Government on the establishment of Freeports in Wales.

Welsh Ministers have agreed to support Freeport policies in Wales following the UK Government’s agreement to meet the Welsh Government’s demands that UK Ministers provide at least £26m of non-repayable starter funding for any Freeport established in Wales, which represents a parity with the deals offered to English Freeports.

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The UK Government have agreed to meet a number of other demands – including that both Governments will act on the basis of a ‘partnership of equals’ to deliver any Freeports in Wales.

In addition, both Governments have agreed a Freeport will only be implemented if it can be demonstrated clearly it will operate in a manner that aligns with the Welsh Government’s policies on fair work and environmental sustainability, including the commitment to Wales becoming a net-zero carbon nation.

Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said: “Following considerable engagement between our Governments, I’m pleased we have been able to reach agreement with UK Ministers to establish Freeports in Wales. The agreement we have reached is fair to Wales, and respects the Welsh Government’s responsibilities in devolved policy areas.

“However, we have made it clear to the UK Government that a Freeport will only be implemented if it can be demonstrated, using robust evidence and analysis, that it will support our fair work agenda and deliver long-term, sustainable benefits for Wales, and value for money for Welsh taxpayers.

“I very much hope that the UK Government’s willingness to work with the Welsh Government as equals on Freeports can provide a positive model for future co-operation between our governments on other initiatives.”

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The UK Government’s Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove said: “I am delighted that Wales is the latest area in the UK set to benefit from a new Freeport.

“The UK Government’s ambitious Freeports agenda will help to level up our coastal communities and create new opportunities for people right across the country.

“Together with the Welsh Government, I look forward to seeing innovative proposals come forward that demonstrate tangible benefits for the people of Wales.”

In addition, Welsh and UK Ministers have agreed that the UK Government will provide tax incentives for Freeports in Wales in parity with Freeports in other parts of the United Kingdom for the reserved taxes that have been designated to advance the policy aims. The Welsh Government will design tax reliefs from local and devolved taxes (Non-Domestic Rates and Land Transaction Tax) to support the policy aims.

Both Governments say they will remain open to the possibility of a multi-site Freeport in Wales. In recognition of Wales’ unique economic geography and the Welsh Government’s aspirations for economic development in Wales, the UK Government is willing to relax the 45 km boundary limit for a multi-site Freeport solution, should there be a sufficiently compelling case for doing so.

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Both Governments will also remain open to the possibility of allowing more than one Freeport in Wales, should they be presented with a sufficiently compelling business case.

As with English Freeports, a fair and open competitive process will be used to determine where the policy should be implemented in Wales. Both Governments will work together to co-design the process for Freeport site selection, and both will have an equal say in all decisions throughout the implementation process. This includes the final decision on site selection.

Both Governments have begun the process of designing the bid prospectus for the competition and further details about the timing of next steps will be released in due course.

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Welsh Government

Welsh Government plans to set up a supervisory authority to oversee coal tip safety

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Climate Change Minister Julie James has set out plans to introduce a new law to manage the legacy of centuries of mining in Wales which put “community safety at the forefront.”

The Minister confirmed the Welsh Government will recommend the creation of a supervisory authority to oversee the new regime, which will ensure management arrangements are in place for the highest-category tips as well as compile and maintain a new national asset register.

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The full proposals, which also include a new national approach to the categorisation of tips, follow a recent report by the Law Commission which provided valuable evidence to help shape a White Paper released today.

Minister for Climate Change, Julie James said: “Wales has a proud mining heritage, but I understand the nervousness felt by those living in the shadow of coal tips. Due to increased risks from the climate emergency, it’s clear the current coal tip safety law is no longer fit-for-purpose.

“The Welsh Government is committed to introducing legislation during this Senedd to ensure people can feel safe and secure in their own homes, within communities that were vital in firing up the industrial revolution.

“We have put these people at the heart of our proposals for a whole new regime, while ensuring we protect critical infrastructure and continue to care for our environment.”

A new national approach to the categorisation of tips will be led by the new supervisory authority, who would arrange tailored hazard assessments for each site to scope the threats a tip might pose, with a management plan then agreed.

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While the new supervisory authority would ensure management arrangements are in place for the highest category tips, it would introduce maintenance agreements for those in lower category sites.

The Welsh Government say that addressing the lack of enforcement powers within the existing legislation is also key. They say this would include allowing rights of access for inspections, upkeep, or remedial works, with civil sanctions imposed when the new legislation is not complied with.

The White Paper consultation on the Welsh Government’s proposals for coal tip safety is now open and will run for 12 weeks.

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