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Grow your Own – The Hywel Dda approach to building local skills and well-being

In 2019 Hywel Dda University Health Board took a bold step to start an Apprenticeship Academy. This was partly in response to the increasing financial costs of using agency staff to make up for the shortfall in employed Adult General Nurses. It was also, however, in recognition of the opportunity that the University Health Board had, as an anchor institution, to improve opportunities and well-being in its local area.

Recruitment had been a long-standing problem. There is no nursing college in the local area and those that have studied elsewhere, and begun to make lives for themselves, often prefer to find work in the same place. Recruitment from within local communities has therefore been a challenge, as even those students originating from the UHB area may not always choose to return once qualified. The UHB was also conscious that recruitment practices that simply attracted staff from other health board areas would just create problems elsewhere. A programme that could nurture and develop skills amongst the existing local population was seen as a more pragmatic, sustainable approach and one that would fit with the UHB’s values. The Apprenticeship Academy was therefore born.

The initial apprenticeship programme included two pathways: Healthcare and Patient Experience. This has already expanded to include many other pathways including areas as diverse as Engineering and Corporate Governance. The Healthcare Apprentice Programme, however, which can develop individuals from entry level to Nurse registration within seven years, remains its flagship. Its aim is to develop a future nursing workforce through targeted skills development, working with local employment organisations, educational institutions and youth organisations to promote and tailor apprenticeship opportunities. 

The establishment of the Academy has, of course, faced challenges, not least in the unprecedented number of applications and onboarding of apprentices. In 2021 alone there were over 600 applicants, with only 40 places on offer. The high standard of applicants, however, did provide the UHB with confidence to increase the places on offer to 57.

A secondary challenge was integrating the apprenticeship programme within the culture and working practices of a large, established workforce. To help navigate this, a ‘Reverse Mentoring’ scheme was put in place that has allowed apprentices to share their experiences and ideas through providing mentoring and guidance to members of the Health Board. Apprentices were also invited, with the Board’s support, to present at the 2021 Nursing and Midwifery conference, in recognition of their achievements. This gave members of the apprenticeship programme another opportunity to share learning first hand with those that might also find themselves working with apprentices, or even be thinking of starting programmes themselves.

One example of the value that this programme has brought was highlighted when the Academy Team was able to offer additional support to the Directors responsible for the staffing and implementation of Mass Vaccination Centres throughout the Health Board area.  Andrew Cavill (Job title) explains that the 2021 apprentices “have stepped up and stepped forward to support the vaccination effort, undertaking additional training to offer immunisation and administrative support to patients across all counties”.

The programme has also contributed to wider and longer-term benefits. The Academy has a principle of not taking on an apprentice unless there is a job available for that person at the end of the apprenticeship programme. This has encouraged services to look at their future staffing needs and start to plan early for how these can be met. On this basis, 100 apprentices have already been taken on with a pledge to deliver 1,000 apprenticeships by 2030 – an ambition that will not only grow local job opportunities but help to provide better health care, training, skills and well-being in the local foundational economy.

Photo od the three new members of staff

Cynnal Cymru welcomes three new staff members

In the last month, Cynnal Cymru has welcomed three new employees to support our growing work programme. Our team of 12 sustainability specialists work to support organisations across three core programme areas: (i) low carbon economy, (ii) natural environment and (iii) fair and just society.

To support our Nature Wise training programme, led by Clare Sain-Ley-Berry, we welcome our new Training and Development officer Sara Wynne-Pari. Together they will be helping more organisations in Wales to improve their understanding of the nature crisis and take action to reverse it.

To take forward the real Living Wage in Wales and support Welsh Government’s fair work agenda, we welcome Grace Robinson as the Living Wage Programme Officer and Alys Reid to support with the accreditations. Alys will also be supporting the Cynnal Cymru team in her role as HR and Administraton Officer.


Sara Wynne-Pari

Based in North Wales, Sara joined us in April as our new Training and Development officer. Sara will be delivering Nature Wise eco literacy programme. She has a background in supporting and mentoring environmental volunteer organisations and developing cross sector partnership projects in natural environment, sustainable development and pro-environmental behaviour change. 

Alongside her role at Cynnal Cymru, Sara also works part-time for Llais y Goedwig, the grassroots network organisation for community woodlands in Wales.

In her spare time, she enjoys nothing more than making the most of her backyard in Snowdonia whether that’s exploring, swimming or riding her electric bike.

Grace Robinson

Grace is the newly appointed Living Wage Programme Officer. She was born in Cardiff and has lived here most of her life – the only exception being an undergraduate degree in Swansea. She has a background in human resources and has always been passionate about equality, justice and fair work practices. Grace previously worked on the Living Wage Programme during her master’s degree in HR, which is what made her enthusiastic about this particular initiative. She looks forward to working for Cynnal Cymru and advocating for the Living Wage across Wales.

In her spare time, Grace enjoys being as creative as possible and always has a project on the go (currently a baby blanket for an expecting friend). She also enjoys being active and going for a sea swim when she can.

Alys Reid Bacon

Alys is joining us as a HR & Administrative Officer to provide support on the Living Wage accreditation process and Cynnal Cymru’s human resources. Alys is fluent in both Welsh and English and is currently working on her PhD in Biological Sciences, titled, “The influence of genotype, environment & management factors on yield development, grain filling & grain quality in oats”.

She has experience of dealing with members of the public in different environments, including as a hospital receptionist, administrative assistant and Ward Clerk and as a Youth Worker. She has also been involved in work to promote STEM subjects in schools across mid Wales funded by Salters’ chemistry institute.

Alys is passionate about sustainability and enjoys spending her free time walking, sea swimming, cooking, eating and gaming.

Yellow TSE is Coming to Cardiff City Centre

Yellow TSE will open its doors in the Morgan Arcade on Earth Day 2022, for an exclusive launch event to celebrate sustainable business and a new way of shopping coming to Cardiff.

Founder and CEO Tamsin Ford, has planned, plotted, lived and breathed, Yellow TSE for the past three years. When COVID-19 hit, she wasn’t sure it would ever be a reality. But, after battling all hurdles in her way, it’s full steam ahead for this inspirational business venture.

Tamsin is well-known for sustainable retail through her business born in Pontcanna, Blossom & Nectar. Now home to the second location for Yellow TSE, Blossom & Nectar fuelled her passion for sustainable business and inspired her to encourage wider change in retail

Following the launch event, the Morgan Quarter venue will under-go sustainable construction work from Sampson Carpentry & Build, who have worked with businesses such as Kin & Ilk to deliver stylish and sustainable fittings.

The venue is set to be open for the public in May 2022 in plenty of time for what’s set to be abooming summer in the Welsh Capital, post-Covid restrictions. Featuring art from KatherineJones Artist, and other local sustainable businesses as concessions, Yellow TSE is your one-stop sustainable shop, work-space, and cafe in Cardiff City Centre.

Get a taste for what’s to come at Yellow TSE, in Pontcanna. Already open for business, the secondary venue is settling in nicely to the suburb, with many locals eager to get their hands on the app as soon as possible.

Tanya Lynch, Creative Director and Expert Connector for Yellow TSE, said:

“The journey of Yellow TSE is one story I’m so proud to be a part of. So far it’s required a lot of blood, sweat and tears and an unbelievable amount of patience.

Our founder Tams is one remarkable human being who is carving the way for a better and more sustainable shopping experience. It takes passion, grit and dedication to launch such an epic business venture. Tams and her team will bring a department store like no other to the streets of South Wales. I do believe the people of Cardiff will love what Yellow has to offer!”

It’s out with the old and in with Yellow TSE. Sustainable shopping is not for a niche group of people and it’s not a trend, it’s for all and it’s the future.

Find out more on the TSE website >>

Opening & closing times:
Pontcanna: 10-5.30 Wednesday- Saturday
11-4 Sunday
Morgan Quarter: 9.30-6 Mon-Sat
11-4 Sundays

Location:
Pontcanna: 6 Pontcanna Mews, Pontcanna, Cardiff
Morgan Quarter: 1 Barry Lane, Morgan Quarter, Cardiff

New Campaign Calls on Motorists to ‘Drive your Litter Home’

With more vehicles than ever before on our roads and a significant increase in our food and drink on-the-go culture, roadside litter is a growing problem in Wales. It is harmful to our environment and wildlife. It ruins the beautiful views for locals and visitors alike, whilst also being difficult, dangerous and expensive to clean up.

Research shows that 78% of vehicle litterers feel guilty after littering. [i] Keep Wales Tidy’s new campaign encourages drivers to have a guilt free journey with no regrets and to ‘Drive your litter home’.

The nationwide campaign is being run as part of Caru Cymru (a Welsh phrase meaning ‘Love Wales’) – an inclusive movement led by Keep Wales Tidy and councils to inspire people to take action and care for the environment.

As part of the campaign, outdoor advertising will appear across roadside litter hotspots in Wales such as roadside billboards, back of buses and petrol pump adverts. This will also include radio and digital audio advertising to target drivers listening to their favorite channels.

Advertising will step up a gear during busy weekends and bank holidays over the summer months to target as many drivers as possible.

Keep Wales Tidy has also developed resources for haulage companies and other commercial drivers to utilise.

Keep Wales Tidy Chief Executive Lesley Jones said:

“We’re putting our foot down on roadside litter. Not only is it a blight on our beautiful country, and often the first thing visitors see when arriving into Wales, but it also has a significant impact on our environment and wildlife. We estimate that the cost of collection and disposing of roadside litter in Wales is at least £3.5 million every year.

Our new roadside litter campaign takes ‘do the right thing’ up a gear by highlighting how littering makes people feel. The vast majority of drivers know that littering from their vehicle is unacceptable, and we want everyone to have a guilt free journey with no regrets.

When you’re out and about in your vehicle please leave nothing behind you. Keep your conscience and our roadsides clear by driving your litter home or disposing of it in the nearest bin.”

To find out more and download free materials, visit the Keep Wales Tidy website: www.keepwalestidy.cymru/caru-cymru    

Caru Cymru has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.


[i] Highways England. (2021). Understanding Vehicle Littering Research Report.

Our New Members in March

FOR Cardiff

FOR Cardiff is the business improvement district (BID) for Cardiff city centre. As a BID they are elected and subsequently funded by the non domestic rates payers within a defined area – they collect an annual levy from these organisations and use those funds to deliver a five year business plan.

Their current business plan runs from 2021-2026 and includes ambitions to help Cardiff businesses transition to a greener economy, alongside a host of other projects such as promoting the city to a wider audience, improving the safety of the city centre, and improving the public realm.

Find out more about FOR Cardiff >>

Greener Globe Funeral Awards

As a company in development, GGFA is a budding example of how individual sectors are working towards the global goal of net-zero emissions, by developing a sustainability framework specifically for funeral directors.

Offering a bespoke service to each member, the GGFA will provide guidance and support for funeral directors so they can make a positive environmental impact with the resources available to them. It will provide recognition of this impact through a four-tier award system, which can be used by members to showcase their work around the sustainability agenda to customers, stakeholders, and the broader community.

More information about GGFA will be available soon.

Membership


The Cynnal Cymru network is a community of proactive organisations who share our vision and values. Members and partners are action focused and innovative, eager to learn and collaborate to find solutions and new ways of doing things for a more sustainable Wales.

On joining Cynnal Cymru, our members have access to a free sustainability assessment, action based training and a diverse network of like-minded people.

If you are committed to a sustainable future and interested in becoming a member or in partnering with us then we would love to hear from you. Find out more >>

The Carbon Cost of your Christmas Tree

As the Partner in Wales for the Carbon Literacy Project and a growing team working on our consultancy offer– we are often considering, as a Team, the Carbon cost of everyday choices. Sometimes, at Christmas we can get overwhelmed by wanting to enjoy the festive season to the fullest but also make the most ethical and environmentally friendly choices.

We’re hoping the below considerations from Karolina can help you to do that regarding your Christmas tree;

According to Carbon Trust, the fake tree has a much higher carbon footprint than a real tree, because of the processes that go into producing one.

The estimated carbon footprint of a fake tree is 40kg, compared to 16kgs for a real tree (if both end in a landfill).

So, the emissions to avoid after Christmas aren’t the ones produced by eating too many sprouts. The real issue is to do with the disposal of the trees – real or fake.  If both trees end up in landfill – the fake tree might take hundreds of years to decompose, whilst the real tree will emit methane – a very potent greenhouse gas.

If you want to avoid these trees going to landfill, you can reuse the fake tree and pass it on to your family (think of it as an heirloom tree – a forever tree that can be passed down through the generations). Whereas a real tree can be chopped and turned into wood chips that can later be used for mulching.

The best thing you can do to keep your Carbon emissions down is to plant a tree in a pot, watch it grow, bring it indoors for Christmas and take it outdoors until the next year. Or, adorn your existing plants at home with festive LED lights.

Growing real Christmas trees at mass might take away precious land that can be used for creating carbon sinks, in other words, real forests for people and wildlife.

So, if you want to be environmentally friendly this season, use what you have at home and garden already, have a friendly chat with small scale suppliers as to how they manage their land to learn about the process of growing trees, and focus on planting trees or shrubs at the right time and at the right place in your community.

Dr Karolina Rucinska, Sustainability Consultant

Making Global Goals Local Business Roadshow: Cardiff

14 October 14:00 – 16:30 BST

Since 2017, the UN Global Compact Network UK has travelled across the UK to connect sustainability practitioners, inspire action and equip you with the knowledge and skills to effectively engage with Agenda 2030 and its sustainable development goals. In the lead-up to COP26, this workshop will allow you to dive into developing a whole systems approach to delivering the global goals and develop an understanding of how to lead action for Agenda 2030.

Speakers include Sarah Hopkins, Director at Cynnal Cymru and Sophie Howe, Office of the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales.

Register for the event.

Nature Wise Open Course

Nature Wise

Eco Literacy

Learn about the links between human activity and ecosystem disruption and develop the knowledge to enable you and your organisation to take action for nature recovery.

Nature Wise is a science-based, action-focused course to help participants understand the relationships between people and natural systems. It shares knowledge, builds understanding and provide the tools to motivate and catalyse action. 

The course

Duration

Two sessions in one week
4.5 hours total

Facilitated Sessions

Tuesday
Thursday

Self Directed Learning

Optional
further learning

Certification

Subject to completion
of the course

Learning Outcomes

During the course you will learn about:

Who is this Course for?

Individuals will learn about the links between human activity and ecosystem disruption and develop the knowledge to enable action for nature recovery.

This course is available to any member of a voluntary organisation or community group in Wales (staff and volunteers). We are particularly keen to hear from non-environmental organisations.

Planning for a Successful Learning Experience

You will need access to computer with the internet to attend and participate in the online facilitated sessions.

This is an interactive course where you will be encouraged to participate verbally or in the chat messaging box.

The course includes two virtual sessions with your course-tutor(s) and fellow students. These sessions are essential to achieving your certification as well as providing a valuable opportunity to reflect on your learning and explore each topic in more depth.

To participate in the online facilitated sessions you will need access to a computer or tablet with a mic and camera as well as access to Zoom video conferencing or Microsoft Teams.

Checklist

Course Tutors

Clare Sain-Ley-Berry

Policy and Development Manager

Clare is an experienced trainer and facilitator and has been delivering Nature Wise since its inception. She has a background in delivering partnership projects for the natural environment and sustainable resource use and enjoys facilitating collaboration.

Rhodri Thomas

Principal Consultant

Rhodri co-ordinates and develops advice and training with a focus on integrated management and reporting, Environmental Management Systems and ‘Carbon Literacy’.

You can explore the course below, and see what content is featured.

How to create a more sustainable organisation in 2021

The new year is always a period of reflection, goal setting and looking ahead at the things we’d like to achieve over the next 12 months. 

We know that for many organisations, part of that involves thinking about becoming more sustainable, more fair and more representative. 

Here are our top three tips to get 2021 off to a productive start…

Commit to learning about climate change 

When it comes to the environment, knowledge is power. Learning the science behind climate change is the best way to recognise how it impacts your life and gives you the confidence to make informed decisions that tackle the problem. 

The best place to get started is with an accredited Carbon Literacy training course, which provides a valuable basis of information, resources and accountability for anyone who wants to commit to making a real change this year. 

As the only accrediting body in Wales, we’re proud to have trained over 400 people, from small enterprises to large organisations.

Consider signing up to our next group open course on 25-28 January 2021.

Focus on long-term solutions  

For organisations wanting to make a long-term commitment to sustainable development, consider investing in expert support to help you reach your wider goals. 

This aspect will help you to understand how to balance the financial needs of your business with benefits to society, the economy and the planet. 

Consider a sustainability health check, a review of your environmental policy or getting advice on how to start an environmental management system. 

Our Members have access to a free sustainability assessment, action based training and a diverse network of like-minded people amongst other benefits.  

You can become a member for as little as £150 a year. To find out more, please reach out to lynsey@cynnalcymru.com 

Become a real Living Wage employer 

Paying the real Living Wage has shown to have a number of benefits for employers and employees alike. 

In 2020, 93% of businesses said that paying a real Living Wage has benefited their business, with a further 75% sharing that it has increased motivation and retention rates for their employees. 

Hundreds of organisations across Wales chose to go further than paying the Government minimum wage last year, by becoming real Living Wage employers, including Health Board, WLGA, United Welsh, Natural Resources Wales. We also completed a clean sweep of accredited universities; a huge achievement for the real Living Wage movement.

We can guide you through the process of becoming a real Living Wage employer. 

Email bethan@cynnalcymru.com or Register online via the Living Wage Foundation Website

If you have any questions or want to find out more about how we can help you to achieve your wider goals and objectives, please email lynsey@cynnalcymru.com

A Zero Carbon World

As you will have learnt from earlier on in this course, climate change will affect every aspect of society. In order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we need to take drastic action and begin the transition towards becoming a zero carbon world by 2050.

In this section, we will explore whether a zero carbon society is possible and what it would look like from a UK perspective. By the end of this lesson, you will have:

  • Gained an understanding of key policies and statistics relating to climate change

Explored what a zero carbon world could look like and your role in relation to this transition

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