AWARDS PRESENTATION – PRISON OFFICERS

 

Prison Officers
Prison Officers

 

In an Awards ceremony held at Plantation House last evening, Prison Officers presented with certificates of Achievement for completing their Prison Officer Initial Training Course.  

HE Governor Mark Capes and Prison Manager Martin David highlighted that the Prison Officers’ work is often ‘behind the scenes’ but their jobs are paramount in the care of vulnerable individuals and the protection and security of the Island’s community.

Martin commented:

“What was a particular achievement was that the training was delivered to all the serving Prison Officers without a significant impact on the operation of the prison, which carried on running throughout. This demonstrated the flexibility and resourcefulness of the prison staff.”

DSC_0808
Kylie Hercules

Kylie Hercules who transferred to the Prison Service from the Police in March this year as an Offender Manager/Senior Prison Officer commented:

“My job often involves dealing with court reports, probations and direct interaction with offenders.  I work with so many different people and enjoy the fact that I have an impact on the inmates’ lives. 

“Through the Prison Officer Initial Training Course we went through defence and offence techniques, whilst establishing that all our actions towards offenders need to be fully justified; for example you must first use defence moves before opting to offence. This certificate is the basis for my professional development and will be used as a stepping stone to further my career in the Prison Service.” 

St Helena Prison Officers are now trained to deliver a higher standard of security and care, ensuring that not only the public are protected but also that prisoners are being held in a safe and as decent a manner as can be achieved in the current prison.

The Prison Officer Initial Training Course began in February this year and was delivered in a modular basis, coming to completion in August.  The course involved 10 days of classroom based training, skills training in Personal Protection (Self – defence) and First Aid.  Competency was demonstrated by a number of written exams and practical assessments.  The course covered a broad range of subjects from security, searching, handcuffing and radio use, to care of the vulnerable including those at risk of self harm.

SHG

2 September 2013

St Helena Government has launched a dedicated web page on the SHG website to help and guide customers through the complaints procedure process – available at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/complaint-procedures/.

However, customers who cannot access the internet to make a complaint or provide feedback they receive from St Helena Government can obtain leaflets from the Customer Service Centre, and help also is also available from SHG reception areas or Council Members.

SHG is committed to providing a high quality service but this can only be achieved through customer feedback.

SHG will listen and respond to any comments received. SHG aims to:

• allow complaints to be made as easily as possible

• treat all complaints seriously

• deal with a complaint promptly and politely

• respond in the right way – for example, with an explanation or an apology where the organisation got things wrong and provide feedback on any action taken

• learn from complaints and use them to improve its services Customers have the right of confidentiality as well as the right to be kept informed of progress and outcomes. An SHG employee can use the complaints procedure to make a complaint about a service received as a member of the public but cannot use it to make a work-related complaint. All complaints forms should be submitted to Mrs Carol George, Corporate Services Executive Manager, 1 Main Street or via email address customer-relations@sainthelena.gov.sh.

SHG

6 September 2013

Good afternoon,

ExCo met in a special closed session this morning to consider one agenda item. This was a paper to examine a ‘slow steaming’ proposal for the RMS St Helena. The meeting was in closed session as confidential commercial information was discussed.

Slow steaming is the deliberate slowing of a ship in order to save on fuel costs. In the case of the RMS slow steaming would add one day to the voyage between Cape Town and St Helena and would lead to one voyage per year being cancelled.

While slow steaming would provide savings to the fuel bill the additional day would impact negatively on returning Saints, tourism and medical referrals – potentially leading to a loss of investment opportunities.

Recognising that St Helena Line has a responsibility to look for savings Executive Council unanimously agreed that slow steaming should not be introduced for the RMS St Helena.

ExCo
3 September 2013

The Honourable Nigel Dollery has advised that due to personal reasons he will be resigning, with immediate effect, from Executive Council and Chairman of the Social and Community Development Committee.

Councillor Dollery will remain a Member of Legislative Council and continue to serve the Island population.

Councillor Dollery commented:

“In case of any doubt, my resignation is purely for personal reasons and I would like to point out that I find all officials and my fellow Councillors very supportive in my role as a Councillor.”

SHG
3 September 2013

Dr Essex
Dr Essex

Former Corporate Procurement Director for St Helena Government, Dr Corinda Essex has recently retired from her post. 

Dr Essex’s career has spanned over 42 years, beginning with a teaching role in 1971 in where she progressed to co-coordinating Environmental Studies in the Middle School Sector after serving as a Senior Teacher at the Secondary Selective School until its closure. 

In the early 1990s, Dr Essex represented the Half Tree Hollow Constituency as an Elected Member of Legislative Council and remained with the Education Department as Pastoral Head (Lower School) and Assistant Education Officer. 

During her term in the UK from 1995 as St Helena’s Government Representative, Dr Essex’ work was formally commended in the House of Commons by Sir Nicholas Bonsor, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

On her return to St Helena, Dr Essex was promoted to the post of Education Officer (Training, Special Educational Needs and Resources) which she held until her appointment as Chief Development Officer in 1999.

As Chief Development Officer/Director of Corporate Procurement, Dr Essex chaired the European Union Monitoring Committee relating to St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, as well as chairing/serving on a number of Working Groups relating to her portfolio.  As Territorial Authorising Officer in relation to the European Union she formed part of the delegation representing St Helena and her sister Islands at EU/OCT Forums and headed the delegation in 2006.

From 1998, Dr Essex took on several significant acting roles within SHG which included Acting Chief Education Officer, Acting Head of Public Works and Services Department, Acting Financial Secretary and Acting Chief Secretary.  

She has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Boards of St Helena Line, St Helena Development Agency and, St Helena Fisheries Corporation, the most recent being the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of which she remains a member and St Helena Government Air Access Core Group. 

 

Alongside her commitment towards SHG, Dr Essex has been heavily involved in the island’s community, serving as a Ranger Guide Leader for 8 years, becoming a member of the National Amateur Sports Association of St Helena and Jamestown Rifle Club Committee for several years, as well as being a member of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards Committee.

On her time working within Government, Dr Essex commented:

“I thoroughly enjoyed all my varied roles within St Helena Government. Although there were moments of disappointment, hurt and frustration which are inevitable in a long career, these were far out-weighed by the highlights such as seeing most of my students achieve excellent results; raising the international profile of St Helena and opening new employment opportunities when we had lost British citizenship and unemployment was escalating; turning PWSD around following a management crisis; working with the European Union to obtain funding for St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha and writing associated programming documents which met EU requirements, thus enabling St Helena to be ahead of other Overseas Territories in the approval processes and last, but by no means least, leading Government business in Legislative Council Sessions when acting as Chief Secretary.

“I have been privileged to lead hard working, dedicated teams committed to developing their professional skills and meeting SHG’s key objectives. Many obtained internationally recognised qualifications that are testimony of their ability and competence. I will always remember and value their support, input and expertise.

I will also recall with deep appreciation the positive working relationship that was maintained with Legislative Councillors and with those involved in various project working groups.”

Gilly Francis, Deputy Chief Secretary commented:

“Dr Essex has made positive contributions to the Public Service in the many roles that she has held during her 42 years in office.  On behalf of SHG I extend thanks and appreciation to Dr Essex for her hard work, commitment and dedication throughout her time and wish her well for the future.” 

SHG

3 September 2013

 

 

Arriving on the RMS today is new Advisory Teacher for Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Andy Day.

Andy Day, New ICT Advisory Teacher
Andy Day, New ICT Advisory Teacher

Based at Prince Andrew School Andy will teach ICT classes to students there but will also provide ICT curriculum leadership across the whole of the Education Directorate.

Andy joins the Directorate from a previous role as a senior teacher at a large rural Secondary School in the West of England.

Director of Education and Employment, Colin Moore said:

“We have recruited Andy to lead on 21st century learning. It is vital that our young people possess the skills to compete in an increasingly technologically driven global economy. With the coming of the airport more and more of our young people will need to have advanced skills in using information technology.

“Andy has worked successfully for a number of years in different schools in the West of England where he has introduced new teaching and learning styles and supported the introduction of a range of exciting learning resources. I have no doubt that he will help us take learning to new levels on St Helena.”

Andy added:

“I am very much looking forward to this challenge, both professionally and personally. New technologies are important as they will open new doors and possibilities to the young people of St Helena.

“ICT is exciting because it is always changing and developing, a subject in which we are all lifelong learners, both students and staff. I am particularly interested in using ICT to promote independent learning and encourage thinking skills.

“The Internet, when used properly can be an amazing resource for learning, and I am keen to promote its safe and positive use for all students.”

Andy is accompanied by wife Lucy and sons, Toby (13) and Lawrence (9), all are looking forward to life on the Island and enjoying all it has to offer.

SHG
2 September 2013

Arriving on 9 September is the new Government Economist, Ian Smyth. Ian has entered a 2 year contract with St Helena Government and succeeds previous Government Economist, Owen James, who completed his contract earlier this year.

Ian brings to his new post a wealth of experience having previously worked as an Economist in three very different organisations; Inland Revenue, delivering economic impact assessments on budget measures, Essex County Council, where he was responsible for strategic planning and delivering closer integration between the corporate plan, budget and performance management, and more recently at the UK Financial Services Authority where he worked with the central economics team on major policy initiatives such as the Retail Distribution Review.

On Ian’s appointment, Director of Corporate Policy and Planning, Susan O’Bey said:

“We are looking forward to Ian joining us in the Corporate Policy and Planning Unit. His experience and advice will be invaluable during this crucial period as we work towards achieving sustainable economic growth as set out in the Sustainable Development Plan.”

Ian is very much looking forward to his new role and will be accompanied on Island by his wife and two children.


SHG
2 September 2013

Phillippe Prudhomme
Phillippe Prudhomme

Originally from France, Philippe Prudhomme is the first Advisory teacher to introduce French to Prince Andrew School’s curriculum, starting with Key Stage Three students this coming school year, and gradually expanding it to the whole school.

Having gained a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in the UK, Philippe set off to Nairobi to become a linguistic advisor for the French Embassy, developing French in the Nairobi area, and assisting in the training of Kenyan French teachers.

Philippe then progressed to Head of Modern Languages at the International School of South Africa. He moved on to Lagos (Nigeria) where he was part of the Pioneer Senior Management Team (Deputy Head Welfare) to set up the British International School of Lagos, Nigeria.  After working on Curriculum Development in the South of Nigeria with the help of the United Nations body, Philippe took a job in Switzerland for three years (2 years as Co-Head of Boarding and 1 year as a French teacher and Discipline Advisor)

Commenting on taking a job on St Helena, Philippe said:    

“After a return to Europe (Switzerland), where the standards of French are very high, I wanted to go back to similar work that I conducted in Kenya and South Africa, introducing French to students, to an adult audience unfamiliar with the language and making a positive contribution. St Helena offered this new and exciting opportunity.”

Philippe’s main role here will be to teach French at Prince Andrew School and then commence classes into the wider community, building on Judith Moore’s French adult evening classes.  

Director of Education, Colin Moore said:

“The arrival of Philippe Prudhomme, a qualified French teacher, represents a major step forward for education on St Helena. Introducing French to the curriculum will extend opportunity and widen the offer we have available to our young people. Philippe will also be aiming to equip the local business people and the developing tourism industry with the skills to converse in French.

“I would also like to thank the French Consul, Michel Martineau for helping us to establish the basis upon which we could bring the teaching of French to our schools.

“We are all pleased to welcome Philippe to St Helena and wish him well in his new post.”

As this is the first foreign language to be introduced to a young audience on St Helena, Philippe acknowledged the added pressure that students will experience when learning something completely new.  Philippe aims to trigger his classes’ interest with a variety of teaching techniques, setting clearly identified objectives, making the students aware of the importance of learning French and incorporating effective methods to help students cope with the stress of learning a foreign language.

Philippe commented:

“Over time I am confident that many school students and adults will be able to build up a wide range of French vocabulary that will help them in their social or professional life, building up links and facilitating the connection with the global village.” 

Following the introduction of French to Key Stage Three students Philippe hopes to reach younger students at Primary School level, allowing them to learn and develop a foreign language, and extend the teaching of the language to a wider adult audience particularly in the field of tourism and commerce.  

(Picture attached)

SHG

30 August 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steel Framed Home - Bottom Woods
Steel Framed Home – Bottom Woods

An Open Day was held on 27 August 2013 at one of the three new steel-framed homes on St Helena.

Located at Bottom Woods the new home is one of the first three Government landlord houses to be built in 10 years. Showcasing modern methods of construction the new home features an open plan layout with two large bedrooms, a bathroom, fully fitted kitchen area, utility room and outside patio. All three new homes are fitted with solar-powered water heating.

Andy Crowe, Housing Executive explained the reasoning behind these steel-framed homes:

“The steel-framed homes built at Bradleys Camp for the airport workers were built very quickly so this was a pilot project to see whether the same technique could be applied for homes to buy and rent on the Island.

“Steel frames are just one of the many modern methods of construction that have been exploited around the world moving to building techniques that can be faster and cost effective, warmer and more free from damp than the traditional forms.”

The purpose of the Open Day was to gather the public’s views on the new homes.

Andy said:

“We have our own views on how the new homes look and work, but the most important thing was for visitors to the home to give their ideas and recommendations.”

Over 150 visitors attended the Open Day and 66 took the time to comment on the house. 60 of these made positive comments such as “fantastic – when can I move in?” “love the space,” “ideal for a small family,” and “very lucky tenants”.

Importantly many commented favourably on the “good workmanship” and the fact that “you could never tell it has a metal frame”. The most common comment was that the home was warm and comfortable even though it was cold outside and the doors were open.

Visitors also took the time to make suggestions on how the new homes planned for Half Tree Hollow might differ – tiling rather than carpeting the floors, more privacy for the bathroom and toilet, some outside storage and fitted cupboards have all now been incorporated into the planning application for Half Tree Hollow, shortly to be submitted.

The three homes took approximately 8 months from start on site to completion and cost just over £50,000 each to build. Included in the cost are a fully fitted kitchen and bathroom, carpeting and tiling.

Andy explained:

“The time to build three houses was longer than anticipated, but we have to bear in mind that this is a learning process. I am sure we can get them completed faster. Equally, we expect the cost to fall now that builders on the Island are more familiar with the skills and materials needed.”

SHG
28 August 2013

DfID’s Overseas Territories Department’s Environment & Climate Adviser, Razi Latif (photo attached) will arrive on Island on 2 September.  Razi is new in post and this visit will be a familiarization one allowing him to become more familiar with the Island both from an environmental and sustainable development view.

Razi will undertake a programme of meetings and site visits with among others, staff from the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate, Enterprise St Helena and the St Helena National Trust. Razi is also keen to meet with the wider St Helena community and a session will be set aside for this.  If anyone is interested in meeting Razi please contact Cherilee Thomas on telephone 2270 or email cherilee-thomas@enrd.gov.sh.

Razi’s visit coincides with the Basil Read/ DfID airport visit and he will also be joining some of the environment related meetings and site visits to gain a general understanding of the airport project and associated environmental issues.    

Razi will depart St Helena on 10September.

SHG

28 August 2013