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Gwynedd health visitor scoops top award for giving children a ‘Flying Start’

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

A health visitor who has gone the extra mile to provide support and advice to Gwynedd families, has scooped the top accolade in prestigious early years awards.
Thursday 10 December 2015
Gwynedd health visitor scoops top award for giving children a ‘Flying Start’

The Stars in their Lives awards recognise the dedicated Flying Start professionals across Wales who go above and beyond the call of duty to improve families’ lives and support children’s development.

At an awards ceremony in Llandudno earlier today, Miriam Williams was announced as the national winner.  She was presented with her award in front of an audience of 120 Flying Start professionals, including midwives, health visitors, speech and language therapists, and parenting and childcare workers.

Health visitor Miriam – who works in the Gerlan, Bethesda – has provided extra support to parents and made a big impact on the community by being there to provide advice, information, support and guidance to families.  

Miriam was announced as the North Wales regional winner last month. Judges felt her consistently high level of support for local families also made her the clear winner for the top, national award.

Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, Lesley Griffiths, presented Miriam with her trophy at the ceremony:

“Congratulations to Miriam on winning the national Stars in their Lives award. This accolade is very well deserved, as Miriam consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty to support Gwynedd families.

“I am delighted these awards recognise the invaluable help and support our hard-working Flying Start professionals provide to people in Wales. Flying Start ensures families are given the right support at the right time to ensure children have the best possible start in life.”

Miriam said:

“I’m in shock, I can’t believe it. It is a whole team effort and all workers in the Flying Start scheme work so hard for families. I feel so honoured to be invited to people’s homes and to be able to help them in any way.”

Flying Start provides free part time quality childcare for 2-3 year olds, parenting support, an enhanced health visitor service and help for speech, language and communication.

Nominations were put forward by local families who are benefitting from Flying Start. One of the families to nominate Miriam said:

“Miriam makes a huge difference to all women and children in our community by making sure we are all safe and well. Re-assuring us that we are doing things right, giving advice and information when we didn’t know things and being easy to talk to are some of the great qualities and she is great with children.”

Another added:

“Miriam is an amazing lady who goes out of her way to help others, not just because it’s her job, but straight from the heart.”

The Minister also presented awards to the regional and group winners at the celebration today:

  • Abigail Swindail (Cardiff and South East Wales Regional winner) - a health visitor from Cardiff who inspired a parent to enrol into further education.
  • Yvonne Surgay (Swansea and West Wales Regional Winner) - a health visitor from Swansea who provided intensive support to a family, signposting them to useful groups and grants that they did not know existed. 
  • Karrie Humphreys (Mid Wales Regional Winner) – a childcare worker from Powys who goes above the call of duty to help families, giving them reassurance and confidence.
  • Busy Butterflies (All-Wales Group Winner) – a Newport childcare setting who helped a family gain the support they and their child needed.


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People and communities 10 December 2015 Programme for Government - Tackling Poverty North Wales

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