2007 Winners & Shortlisted

Businesses with more than 250 employees  

Phil Jones & Sam Marshall, Joint Managing Directors Nemo Finance

Winners.
Nemo Personal Finance launched in January 2005 and is a subsidiary of the Principality Group. It provides secured loans to homeowners.

Phil Jones and Sam Marshall are a unique team who work together to inspire everyone who works with them. Phil and Sam’s leadership style is central to the culture of Nemo and has fostered an entrepreneurial spirit to grow the company into one of the top three lenders in the UK. Both have very different attributes and approach problems in different ways, but always come out with the same solution and create one vision and noticeably inspire each other to succeed and to improve.

As a team they empower their staff to make decisions, giving everyone a sense of purpose and ownership to make people want to go the extra mile to make things happen. They encourage people to think independently and make decisions themselves while operating an open door policy and always being on hand to support.

A key element to their leadership success is their innate ability to build lasting relationships with both staff and customers. They lead by example by practicing the characteristics they expect from others and challenge their thinking to create an even better solution.

Their clear vision and inspirational leadership has created a very special and successful company. Nemo is going places which is testament to the enthusiasm, drive and guidance of both Phil and Sam.

Vicky Watts, Lending Controller, Lloyds TSB

Lloyds TSB Asset Finance Division employs 6,500 staff across three contact centres and over 100 hundred offices throughout the UK, providing unsecured and secured loan services for consumers and businesses.

Vicky balances care for the personal development of her teams with a tight control of the compliance and risk management disciplines which underpin the practical successes of her department. She has the ability to deliver tough decisions in a positive and objective manner, making all parties feel that the right action has been taken.

Vicky’s effective delegation style is key to empowering and motivating those around her with a sense of personal responsibility and accountability. Vicky not only listens well but she acts on what is said. The engagement achieved as a result means that people are motivated to deliver the extraordinary. Her standards are high, measured against clearly set objectives, and while she assesses the quality of results, she does not judge the personal qualities of those who deliver them.

Vicky’s leadership successes speak for themselves, with staff attrition rates below 7% – a significant achievement in a contact centre environment. Over 30% of the staff reporting directly to her are engaged on a professional development course and there is a high level of individual progression with multiple members of her team being promoted internally.


Voluntary and not for profit organisations

Chris O’Meara, Chair of Community Housing Cymru, Cadwyn Housing Association

Winner.
Cadwyn Housing Association is a charitable organisation that works in partnership to build and manage permanent and temporary homes for people in need. It also provides services including tenancy support and community development.

Chris inspires others with her vision of what Cadwyn can achieve and how to get there. She is guided by deeply held values of fairness and respect for others, and her principles permeate the culture of the organisation.

She is passionate about what she believes in and leads by example, inspiring staff to higher levels of commitment and motivation. She communicates her vision to make it real for those around her, then extends this vision to reach not only staff and customers but colleagues in other housing associations and local authorities.

She always keeps the bigger picture in mind, communicating her vision so that people can share her vision and understand how the whole fits together. In this way Chris ensures that everyone sees the contribution they can make and where they fit in. She inspires innovation in people, encouraging people to think their minds and contribute to debate.

She gently challenges the assumptions of those around her, helping people think through solutions and develop their abilities to be able to do it independently in the future. She presents a challenge that people are eager to meet and inspires them to go the extra mile and exceed expectations.

She is honest, open and straight orward and always keeps her word.

Roger Warren Evans, Asylum / Immigration Adviser, Asylum Justice

Asylum Justice is a charity which provides free legal advice to asylum seekers and refugees. The charity is run entirely by volunteers, including eight lawyers.

Roger founded Asylum Justice in an attempt to address his concern about the lack of legal help for asylum seekers in south Wales. For asylum applications to be fully and properly considered, this legal help is vital, but many people have no means of receiving such help. Thanks to Roger and six lawyers who work with him part time, the charity now offers surgeries and interpretation services in Cardiff, Newport and Swansea. Throughout setting up of the charity he has seen solutions not barriers. As a retired barrister he was no longer eligible to provide law advice, so he decided to undertake the qualifications necessary to become a registered immigration advisor. Rather than focus on the charity’s scarce resources, Roger maximises the goodwill of existing groups, organisations and individuals to achieve his goal of providing a free legal advice service.

Roger leads by example, giving inspiring speeches but focusing on getting things done. He can focus people on the task in hand whilst keeping the bigger picture in sight. He takes on responsibilities and doesn’t apportion blame for mistakes, making sure everyone feels they have their part to play and rewards success whilst learning from failures. His tremendous personal warmth makes people want to support him. He is not afraid to give bad news or face difficulties but has genuine sympathy for those who have suffered personal setbacks or suffering.

Roger’s passionate concern for justice has inspired others in the charity to help the plight of those seeking asylum in the UK. He has a profound concern for others, particularly for the most excluded and vulnerable of people. Asylum Justice is an example of what can be achieved with determination and commitment from volunteers.

Barbara Natesagara, Chief Executive, Safer Wales (formerly known as Safer Cardiff)

Safer Cardiff is an association of social inclusion and community safety initiatives which protect people’s right to feel safe. The initiatives are: HomeSafe, ChildSafe, ReStart, Cardiff Women’s Safety Unit, Cardiff -Wales Lesbian and Gay Mardi Gras, Combating Homophobia Project, Project Dyn and StreetLife.

Barbara is an inspirational and innovative leader who continually pushes the boundaries of the voluntary sector to get the best possible results for the community she works in.

As a leader, Barbara communicates clear, inspirational but tangible visions across diverse audiences. She is passionate about protecting human rights and combating social exclusion and inspires the rest of the organisation to follow her lead. She encourages others to reflect upon their own development in order to show that everyone can make a difference. She strives to ensure that people feel valued, empowering them to have ownership of their work. Her leadership has resulted in the creation of an all-encompassing organisation that reflects the community it serves.

Barbara encourages active participation and collaboration between workers to get the best possible outcome. Her management style is collaborative, inclusive and empowering. She believes in teamwork as a way of achieving things that cannot be achieved through individuals alone. She uses this approach to positively influence all aspects of service deliverance and development.

Innovation defines Barbara’s approach. She believes in the voluntary sector and its ability to make change in communities. Barbara embraces collaborations with partner organisations. She has overcome challenges to bring together the public, private and voluntary sectors to benefit communities, whilst helping businesses and their staff at the same time. Her background in business training has contributed to the growth and stability of the organisation and it is now a true social enterprise, generating its own income and becoming self-sustaining.


Businesses with fewer than 250 employees

Mel Knight, Executive Chair of Castleoak Care Partnerships

Winner.
Castleoak Care Partnerships is the UK’s leading specialist design and construction company working exclusively in the field of social care for older people.

With a clear business objective in mind, Mel has lead Castleoak to a position of pre-eminence in a specialised market which provides social care for older people.

By maintaining a positive work/life balance, Mel sets a real example for staff to follow. At the same time his strong desire to positively affect the communities in which the company works is embraced by all staff through the operation of an award winning community support programme.

He has been instrumental in the creation of an office culture that does away with blame replacing it with learning, swaps office politics for openness and honestly and recognizes and rewards talent.

Commitment to the pursuit of excellence and the fulfillment of individual potential are at the heart of Mel’s leadership style. Staff training needs are identified on an individual basis and an appropriate programme is put together. This includes a mixture of classroom and field based training. It also relates to technical, job specific needs and to broader areas of personal development.

Mel always has the bigger picture at the forefront of his mind and has developed a collaborative approach with staff, customers and suppliers. This approach has resulted in genuine and lasting partnerships, which are of mutual benefit to all parties involved.

He believes that team motivation is key to Castleoak’s success and as a result has developed a living, breathing staff communication programme. This includes weekly team talks, monthly newsletters, an annual conference as well as regular social events.

In 2005 Castleoak was ranked the best small company to work for in Wales and the 4th best in the UK according to the Sunday Times 100 Best SME Companies to Work For. Turnover of staff is very low and Castleoak is increasingly being acknowledged as a great place to work.

Mel epitomizes what’s best in a business leader – sound thinking, great determination and focus, a willingness to share rewards and an absolutely genuine sense of social responsibility.

Adam Price, Managing Director of IT3.com

IT3.com is a rapidly expanding IT company specialising in search engine optimisation, content management systems, web design and e-commerce.

Adam has been in the IT industry for 25 years and has worked at the top level of several international companies, yet his passion for innovation in the IT industry drove him to set up his own company, IT3.com. This drive and commitment has created the success of the firm, but he is always thinking about the future of the firm and where he wants to take it.

Adam’s enthusiasm for the company’s products is infectious and has a direct impact on his staff, who are inspired to share the company’s beliefs and work towards its success. His excellent communication skills allow him to share his passion with others. He can convey complicated technical information in an easily comprehensible way. He captivates others with his passion for the industry, and his charisma and friendly approach inspires trust in customers and employees alike. His expertise and enthusiasm are central to the credibility and reputation of IT3.com.

Adam encourages his staff to make decisions and lead for themselves, making them feel more valued and empowered. Adam cultivates a ‘team-working’ culture where each member’s contribution is valued and contributes to the success of the business. He rewards good ideas by putting them into practice, and allowing people to see how they have made a difference. His open manner encourages employees to have their say, and he respects and rewards the opinion of everyone.

Adam’s investment in his staff means that IT3.com attracts industry-leading workers, and contributes to the outstanding growth of the company. He has created a business that is fun to work for, and where morale and results are high.

Brian Westall, Training Manager, SEWS-Europe

Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems Europe Ltd (SEWS- Europe) is part of a worldwide group, headquartered in Staffordshire UK, and is a major supplier of automotive wiring harnesses and components to the European automotive industry.

The “never too old to learn” attitude of former National Coal Board apprentice Brian Westall has inspired, and continues to inspire, dozens of workers in South Wales to undertake learning and training activities.

Although he is now a project manager for the Wales Union Learning Fund at the SEWS-E plant at Ystradgynlais, Brian didn’t set out on his own learning journey until he was in his late 40s. He leads by example, encouraging and supporting others to further their own personal development as he has done.

In 1999, the plant was downsized and more than 2,000 employees lost their jobs. Brian, who was the drawing office manager, decided he needed to develop his skills to make himself more employable and set out to gain an NVQ Level 4 in Management and become a member of a professional body to indicate his abilities.

Between January 2001 and December 2004, whilst working very long hours, he still managed to study and gain a range of qualifications, including an NVQ Level 5 Operational Mgt and a City & Guilds Graduateship. He became a Union Learning Representative (ULR) and was appointed project manager for the Wales Union Learning Fund (WULF) which is now recognised as the centre for excellence and flagship project for training by Amicus, Wales TUC, Welsh Assembly Government and SEWS-Europe.

Since the WULF project began 84 per cent of SEWS-E personnel have attended at least one learning activity, and over 42 per cent have attended a second and third. Activities range from Tai Chi, cake decoration, basic skills awareness and computer programming.

A total of eighteen shop floor personnel have gained NVQ Level 2 Performing Manufacturing Operations qualifications and every person involved has signed and in the process of completing a Modern Apprenticeship (two of these being 57 – 61 years of age).

Brian’s contribution to the project has been immeasurable, driving the project forward by his own personal determination to complete the tasks at hand whilst helping others. He is an excellent role model and his supportive attitude to learners has been instrumental in encouraging some employees back to learning for the first time since leaving school.


Public Sector

Mark James, Chief Executive Officer

As Chief Executive, Mark has created an environment in which everyone has a clear understanding of where they are going and what is expected of them, enabling people to flourish

High performance, innovation, entrepreneurship, involvement, excitement and celebration have become the hallmarks of the organisation. By providing his staff with clear direction and understanding of priorities, making them understand in simple terms what they need to do as individuals, to deliver the council’s vision.

Mark’s commitment to “improving the way that we live and work” in Carmarthenshire is infectious and by changing the culture to a “Can Do, Will Do” organization has promoted a positive mental attitude amongst the staff.

Mark has re-structured and re-engineered the council to make it more efficient and effective. He has been the driving force behind a £450 million regeneration master plan for Carmarthenshire and a £120 million School Modernisation programme. During the last three months his commitment has resulted in the council being awarded the Gold Corporate Health Standard, together with an excellent Estyn Inspection on LEA Strategic Management and Joint Review of Children’s Service.

His leadership qualities are well know and respected all over Wales and are illustrated by the fact that he was a founder member of Public Sector Management Council (PSMW), past chair of Solace Wales and a member of the all Wales Making the Connection Steering Group.

Mark is a visionary motivator and communicator, who takes his staff along with him on the journey to make Carmarthenshire a better place to live and work.

Andy Edwards, Assistant Chief Constable, Dyfed Powys Police

Dyfed Powys police service is responsible for policing a geographically very large force area monopoly 1,850 employees.

As Assistant Chief Constable with responsibility for all aspects of operational performance, Andy has sought to generate a climate of learning and continual improvement concentrating on four themes of developing leadership, ensuring accountability, becoming more professional and nurturing commitment.
He is an excellent communicator who has the gift of being able to deal with complex strategic issues breaking them down into parcels that everyone in the organisation can understand.

During the tremendous change that the police force has undergone in recent years Andy has ensured that the organisation remained focused throughout and continues to improve its performance.

His leadership, accountability, professionalism and delivery (LAPD) model has been recognised by lIP and her Majesty inspectorate as providing a focus for the force in improving its performance over the past two years. This leadership element of the model, incorporating a leadership charter, was based upon behaviours and values that staff wanted to see within their leaders, qualities that Andy believes and demonstrates on a daily basis.

Andy has developed the organisation’s awareness of the principles of good leadership by introducing the LAPD model and linking that to the continuous professional development of staff. This has resulted in the increased number of officers registering on the national Core Leadership Development Programme, which enables officers develop their leadership skills in preparation for promotion.

Andy believes in the organisation and its people. He is enthusiastic and transparent in his dealings and encourages others to achieve their full potential.

Wendy Keay-Bright, Lecturer, UWIC

UWIC is a relatively new university which focuses on vocational higher education courses. Wendy works in the Cardiff School of Art and design within UWIC.

Wendy is a senior lecturer in graphic communication and design for interactive media at UWIC. She is an inspirational colleague and teacher who constantly reflects on and uses all aspects of her life to assist her understanding of how people learn and communicate the joy of education.

Her holistic approach is particularly evident in her latest work ‘Reactive Colours’, which she founded and now directs, is a world leading computer-based learning environment for autistic children. Her work has received major funding and awards and has been published and presented internationally.

Wendy leads by example and demonstrates an absolute dedication to, and engagement with, the task at hand. For example the ‘Reactive Colours’ project started life as a project to help Wendy’s young son with his reading. Once its potential was realized as an aid for autistic children, Wendy dedicated herself to its success by extending her knowledge and skills, immersing herself in the autistic community, and engaging with a variety of stakeholders.

Her passion and leadership have ensured collaboration from an extraordinary variety of participants including experts from special needs education, information communication technology, psychology and online communities. However it is the relationship she has formed with autistic children, through their teachers and families which has had the most significant impact.

Every aspect of Wendy’s life demonstrates her commitment and vision. Her teaching and research are based on a generous sharing of knowledge, and a democratic approach to leadership.


Young Leader

Joe Llewellyn, Riverside Youth Forum

Joe, a 16 year old student at Atlantic College, passionately believes in young people’s rights, especially in their right to be heard and to have a voice which can influence both social and political agendas.

He is a founder member of Riverside Youth Forum, and has taken part in both national and European youth participation projects. His passion for safeguarding young peoples’ rights and entitlements led to his involvement in the Forum and Funky Dragon (the Wales Youth Parliament).

As a principled and enthusiastic leader, Joe uses his good communications skills to positively engage his peers in improving their immediate environment and considering the needs of the wider community. His ability to mix with people from a variety of backgrounds has resulted in him initiating and successfully rallying other young people to campaign to re-open the Riverside youth club in his area.

Joe has also engaged with and influenced people at various levels within organizations across Wales. He is a member of Save the Children Young People Team and has recently traveled to Brussels for a web cam discussion with
the European Commission Vice President, Margaret Wallstrom.

Joe’s determination and passion has resulted in real achievements and positive change for young people in his local community and throughout Wales. He is a positive role model for all young men.

Adelle Williams, Blaenau Gwent Youth Forum

Blaenau Gwent Local Health Board works with partner organisations and local people with the overarching aim of improving the health and well-being of the population of Blaenau Gwent

Adelle is a leading member of Blaenau Gwent Youth Forum and the first co-opted youth member of the Local Heath Board (LHB). Her interest and enthusiasm in the health service is driven by her ambition to become a doctor.

Her contribution in representing the views of young people and her commitment to the role has been instrumental in the success of engaging young people on issues of healthcare in Blaenau Gwent. She has helped to set up a working group to develop a young peoples magazine, Health Warning, a health related publication produced by young people for young people in Blaenau Gwent. The magazine was recently launched at the inauguration of the Youth Mayor Participation and on the BBC Wales programme, ‘Me and my health’.

Adelle has given invaluable advice to LHB staff, for instance ensuring that research tools such as questionnaires and leaflets are worded in a language that is appropriate for young people. She has also helped set up an interactive voting session for a local Youth Work week and has participated in a number of conferences and workshops, taking a lead role in facilitating discussions aimed at discovering views and ideas around how future facilities should be provided in the County Borough.

She has also met with the First Minister Rhodri Morgan at the Healthy Children and Young People exhibition to discuss young people and healthcare. Adelle has raised the awareness and importance of how young people are being engaged in the decision-making and consultation process in Blaenau Gwent.

Gemma Lang, Founder, Full Stop 2 Bullying

Full Stop 2 Bullying is a campaign which is dedicated to preventing bullying and the pain and hurt that goes with it. It provides support to victims and their families via the internet, e-mail and telephone.

Gemma, aged 21, set up Full Stop 2 Bullying! after being a victim of bullying herself to help others in the same situation and put an end to bullying for good. She runs the campaign in her spare time while holding down a full time job working as an AMPS Controller for the Welsh Ambulance Service and working as a Special Constable with Gwent Police. Despite these pressures on her time, she actively runs the campaign, pushing it on to raise awareness of her anti-bullying message.

Driven by the need to help others, most of her spare time is spent on supporting victims of bullying by raising awareness of the dangers of bullying and providing help to those who are victims. She has not only turned around a negative situation in her life but tried to help others at the same time.

She is leading the way in the fight against bullying and has expanded the campaign beyond its original remit, organising groups of counsellors and offering training in schools on issues of bullying. She is also looking to develop Full Stop 2 Bullying! at work and in the army. Gemma has installed a phone line for Full Stop 2 Bullying! in her home and answers it at any time of the day or night to help those in need.

She started Full Stop 2 Bullying! to help others rather than for any selfish gain but a side effect of her hard work has been increased media interest in her work. She has appeared on Sky News and Real Radio as well as other media sources voicing her concerns about bullying.

Despite the growing commitments of the campaign Gemma always has a smile on her face without compromising her work duties. Most of all she will go a long way to see a smile on someone’s face and see them feel self-respect again. She is compassionate, inspirational and a fighter.


Team Leader

Amanda Davies, Head of Human Resources Business Services, South Wales Police

Winner
South Wales Police is the largest force in Wales, with 5,000 staff serving a diverse community of over 1.5m people.

Amanda has been with South Wales police for over 25 years, starting out as an administrative assistant and working her way up to become head of her department, completing qualifications alongside full time work.

Amanda is an inspiration to members of staff new and old, she is a charismatic leader who ensures that her colleagues reach their full potential. A key part of her work ethic is to always treat people with the utmost respect and dignity and value every person’s contributions. Amanda puts this approach into practice by always finding time for people, no matter how busy she is.

After two key personnel left her department, Amanda stepped in and ensured the strategic direction of the department was maintained, whilst continuing a personal involvement with her staff and always supporting them.

Amanda leads by example, and would take on any activity she would be happy to do herself. She promotes flexibility and inclusiveness to get the best out of people.

One of Amanda’s key strengths is her ability to take strategic policies down to a common sense level, allowing everyone in an organisation to be involved and work together to achieve the organisation’s goal. She works hard to enable people to understand where they fit into the organisation’s strategy and make everyone feel like an important team member.

Amanda empowers her work force, making them feel involved and showing that their contribution is valuable. She makes work fun for people and gives them the confidence to see how they can contribute to the organisation as a whole.

Sarah Cosgrove, Temporary Assistant Director of Media & Marketing, South Wales Police

South Wales Police is the largest force in Wales, with 5,000 staff serving a diverse community of over 1.5m people.

Sarah took over the leadership of the communications department at very short notice. What was expected to be a short stand-in post became more long-term, but rather than see her job as temporary Sarah worked to make a difference within the department.

She developed close ties with chief officers and senior managers, creating a greater role for the communications and marketing team that has given it a voice in the organisation.

She identified pressure points the department was facing and worked with Chief Officers to bring about change. A key issue was the extra pressure the team was finding itself under, without the necessary resources to address those issues. Sarah’s work resulted in extra staff being appointed and greater understanding of the department’s significance in South Wales Police.

Sarah has implemented internal communications strategies during difficult periods of transition for the organisation and managed media relations through a number of high profile cases and incidents.

Within her department, Sarah has given members of her team ownership of projects, adding to their sense of achievement and self worth. The daunting extra responsibilities she took on have not fazed her, leading by example in a situation where the department faced crisis.

Sarah has steered the department through a period of difficulty and change when lines of communication with senior officers were being compromised. Through her efforts, the external profile of South Wales Police has been raised and ties with partner agencies, businesses and communities have been strengthened.

Claire Johnson, Head of Wills and Estates, Leo Abse & Cohen

Leo Abse & Cohen is a full service law firm with 130 employees and offices in Cardiff, Swansea and Newport.

Claire’s proactive attitude has gained her the respect of her team and colleagues throughout the firm as well as in the south Wales legal profession. She continually demonstrates her commitment to the Firm and her clients whilst inspiring those around her.

Claire leads her team by example and encourages her team to share examples of best practice and offers her own for scrutiny. Claire provides guidance and advice and has an open door policy which means her team know they can always approach her for professional advice, support and direction. Claire seeks to make everyone feel valued by creating an environment in which everyone consults and shares knowledge. Promoting the personal development of others is seen by Claire as key part of her role and her team members are actively encouraged to gain extra qualifications to expand their professional knowledge.

As well as being an example to her team, Claire’s leadership style has brought tangible results. Her strong reputation in the south Wales legal market has been a decisive factor in growing the department from a sole practitioner two years ago to being seven strong today. Since becoming team leader Claire has seen her team exceed their annual targets and holds regular celebratory occasions when targets are reached. Claire has developed the department so that it offers specialist legal advice to more sectors than ever before and is leading the team’s continuing expansion into new and potential growth areas.

Claire’s motivational, innovative and caring approach to leadership has transformed her department and enthused, encouraged and excited her team to work with her to continue building on its success.


Special Recognition Award – “Learning Leader”

Linda Narbeth, Managing Director, Cherryblue UK

Winner
Cherryblue is Wales’ leading provider of IT, personal and management development training programmes.

Linda is a prime example of someone who has led, inspired and motivated so many people to achieve beyond their expectations. Having left school with few qualifications, her first work experience was as a supermarket assistant, a role far removed from her childhood dream of owning her own business.

Through sheer determination Linda demonstrated her ability to lead and inspire others and was quickly identified as someone who could make a difference. By supplementing the life experiences she gained in several administration and sales job roles with a commitment to improving her own academic qualifications, she gained valuable first-hand experience of what it took to be a great leader of people.

Linda now runs her own successful business, dedicated to developing people’s real potential. As a team leader, she continues to inspire and encourage her staff to strive towards their own dreams and aspirations, as well as enhancing the success of those who have turned to Cherryblue to help improve their personal and business skills.

Linda’s player-manager leadership style has earned her personal success in the coveted Welsh Woman of the Year competition, as well as Investor in People accreditation for her company. By setting such high standards for herself and the company she is a truly inspirational learning leader.

Brian Westall, Training Manager of SEWS-Europe Ltd

Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems Europe Ltd (SEWS- Europe) is part of a worldwide group, headquartered in Staffordshire UK, and is a major supplier of automotive wiring harnesses and components to the European automotive industry.

The “never too old to learn” attitude of former National Coal Board apprentice Brian Westall has inspired, and continues to inspire, dozens of workers in South Wales to undertake learning and training activities.

Although he is now a project manager for the Wales Union Learning Fund at the SEWS-E plant at Ystradgynlais, Brian didn’t set out on his own learning journey until he was in his late 40s. He leads by example, encouraging and supporting others to further their own personal development as he has done.

In 1999, the plant was downsized and more than 2,000 employees lost their jobs. Brian, who was the drawing office manager, decided he needed to develop his skills to make himself more employable and set out to gain an NVQ Level 4 in Management and become a member of a professional body to indicate his abilities.

Between January 2001 and December 2004, whilst working very long hours, he still managed to study and gain a range of qualifications, including an NVQ Level 5 Operational Mgt and a City & Guilds Graduateship. He became a Union Learning Representative (ULR) and was appointed project manager for the Wales Union Learning Fund (WULF) which is now recognised as the centre for excellence and flagship project for training by Amicus, Wales TUC, Welsh Assembly Government and SEWS-Europe.

Since the WULF project began 84 per cent of SEWS-E personnel have attended at least one learning activity, and over 42 per cent have attended a second and third. Activities range from Tai Chi, cake decoration, basic skills awareness and computer programming.

A total of eighteen shop floor personnel have gained NVQ Level 2 Performing Manufacturing Operations qualifications and every person involved has signed and in the process of completing a Modern Apprenticeship (two of these being 57 – 61 years of age).

Brian’s contribution to the project has been immeasurable, driving the project forward by his own personal determination to complete the tasks at hand whilst helping others. He is an excellent role model and his supportive attitude to learners has been instrumental in encouraging some employees back to learning for the first time since leaving school.