Techniquest donates gifts to Safer Wales

Techniquest, the educational charity in Cardiff Bay, has begun its Christmas celebrations and donated a selection of must have gifts to Safer Wales.

The science centre was joined by two of its ambassadors, Casualty stars George Rainsford and Amanda Henderson along with Kinetic Youth Academy as it hosted ‘Techniquest Recommends’. The event began with an exclusive performance of music from Elf the Musical, before revealing its pick of the fun and unconventional presents it recommends should be making it into the children’s Christmas stockings.

Following the reveal of the ten chosen gifts, the centre got a head start on the season of giving and arranged for the donation of thirty presents to Safer Wales.

Rob Keetch, Techniquest’s Retail Manager, said: “The event was a great success, in part due to the great feeling of one charity giving to another. Our visitors absolutely loved our gift selection, and it’s fair to say many of them have already made a dent in their Christmas shopping. We were thrilled to be joined by our new ambassadors, who seemed to enjoy the event as much as our visitors!

“If any of our visitors were unable to make the event and are looking for some amazing stocking fillers, the gifts will still be available in our gift shop during the run up to Christmas.”

Bernie Bowen-Thomson, co-CEO of Safer Wales, said “It was fantastic to be involved with Techniquest for this event. These toys will go to some of the most disadvantaged children in Wales, and it will really brighten their Christmas. The fact that these toys are coming from Techniquest means that some of these children who have never been introduced to science or technology will finally get to enjoy what these industries have to offer.”

Safer Wales announces unique job share for CEO position

Our current deputy CEO, Bernie Bowen-Thomson, has been promoted to the top role as part of a unique job share.

Bernie, who has been deputy CEO at Safer Wales for eight years, will share the CEO role with Barbara Natasegara MBE.

It is thought to be the first time a charity in Wales has made such an arrangement.

Our Board of Trustees were happy to approve the request as part of their strong commitment to flexible working and the empowerment of women all stages in their lives and careers.

We have a proud history of supporting internal staff development, growth and progression through a strong coaching ethos, and the move is also designed to create a succession plan for the future of the senior management team, as well as opportunities for other members of staff to receive mentoring and learn new skills.

Safer Wales chair Terry Flynn MBE said: “The Board of Trustees was more than happy to endorse this proposal, and we believe we are getting the best for Safer Wales.

“Barbara and Bernie both have a passion for social justice, equality, integrity of practice and transparency, and have many skills in common as well as their own individual specialisms.”

Bernie has worked with Safer Wales in various capacities since 2000, with other roles in Welsh Government, the Home Office and the Gwent Criminal Justice Board in between.

She said: “I have enjoyed a close working relationship with Barbara for many years and I am delighted we will now be sharing the CEO role and working together to direct the charity’s vital work with vulnerable people.”

Barbara said: “I am excited to be sharing the role with Bernie and look forward to continuing our successful partnership. 

“I am also looking forward to taking some time to explore other avenues in public service as well as to pursue my personal interests and study.”

A 2011 survey of women across seven global organisations by specialist recruitment agency Capability Jane found that 61 per cent would like the opportunity to job share to enable them to work part-time.

Last year research conducted by flexibility experts Timewise and funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that 14.1 million workers, 46 per cent of those in employment in the UK, wanted flexible working.

Welsh language soap shines a light on male domestic abuse

This blog post is taken from an article published in the Wales on Sunday on 17 July 2016.

The Welsh language soap Pobol y Cwm has gripped the nation in recent weeks as it continues to explore the volatile relationship between characters Ed and Sioned.

Portraying such a sensitive issue on screen would not have been possible without the help of Safer Wales, a charity which provides support and advice to those experiencing both psychological and physical abuse in their daily lives.

Events in the show came to a head in Monday night’s episode when Sioned’s character spat in Ed’s face during an argument. It was the first time any physical abuse has occurred in the couple’s storyline so far, but the plot will develop over the next month as their relationship deteriorates.

The Safer Wales team and a client worked closely with the producers and actors at BBC Cymru Wales in the development of the storyline to ensure the treatment Ed experiences at the hands of Sioned is portrayed realistically. They drew from knowledge gained during their work with real domestic abuse victims to identify the common behavior traits expressed in such situations.

Discussing domestic abuse experienced by men is often seen as a taboo subject. However, by telling such stories through the lives of familiar characters, the popular programme is helping to raise awareness of the issue as well as informing people of the signs to look out for.

Chief executive of Safer Wales Barbara Natasegara said:

“Raising awareness of domestic abuse suffered by men is extremely important, and we are delighted to be working with Pobol y Cwm to do this. As we have seen through Ed and Sioned’s story, forms of domestic abuse can present themselves in many different ways, both physical and emotional.

“It’s is something that can affect anyone and everyone, in all walks of life. We are used to hearing stories of physical and emotional control from a man over a woman, but the reality is that this is something that can happen to anyone of any gender.”

Llyr Morus, series producer of Pobol y Cwm said: 

“Pobol y Cwm has a strong track record of telling challenging stories; last year actor Dyfan Rees' portrayal of his character lolo White's struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder was recognised with a Mind Media award.

“This storyline highlights the issue of male domestic abuse and we have a responsibility to ensure the programme reflects these situations as accurately as possible. We take this responsiblity very seriously and working with expert organisations such as Safer Wales is key. I'd like to thank Safer Wales for their co-operation and advice ; it has been invaluable.”

Safer Wales offers a number of different services to those experiencing abuse in Wales. The charity’s Dyn Project specifically provides support for heterosexual, gay, bisexual and transgender men who are experiencing domestic abuse from a partner.

If you are concerned about issues surrounding domestic abuse of any kind, you can contact Safer Wales, Dyn Helpline 0808 801 0321.

Pobol y Cym is broadcast at 8pm on S4C on weekday nights.