Marine Awareness Week is held annually on St Helena to raise awareness of both St Helena’s marine environment and global marine issues.

This year Marine Awareness Week is taking place from 7-14 February with the theme ‘Love the Ocean’. Everyone uses and enjoys the ocean and the activities planned aim to demonstrate how economy and science can work together to protect our oceans for the future.

St Helena Government’s Environmental Management Division (EMD), working with St Helena Tourism and the Island’s local marine tour operators, has planned a week of events to bring the public closer to the Island’s marine environment.

Elizabeth Clingham from EMD said:

“Marine Awareness Week is an opportunity for the Marine Section to demonstrate to the community that conservation of the marine environment is being delivered with a balanced approach, understanding both a need for economic growth and how science can complement and enhance St Helena’s marine sector.”

Activities include an underwater clean up, swim and snorkel, movie night, guided tour to Lot’s Wife Ponds, swimming in the ocean, introduction to scuba diving, a marine themed quiz night and fancy dress. There will also be information displays, touch and feel tanks, a mini aquarium and a kids’ art display at the Yacht Club from Monday 9 – Friday 13 February 2015.

Further details about activities on offer during Marine Awareness Week can be found in this week’s newspapers.

SHG

2 February 2015

 

International Trainer and Master Facilitator of the Virtues Project, Nigel Ipp, will be visiting the Island from Wednesday 18 February 2015, to provide training and support through the Virtues Project – a global grassroots initiative to inspire the practice of virtues in everyday life.

The Virtues Project has been facilitated on the Island previously with positive feedback from the community, but over the years the number of staff trained has depleted. The purpose of Nigel’s visit will be to pick up on the training of frontline staff working in safeguarding environments, and promote the welfare and wellbeing of vulnerable groups.

Social Services Manager, Samantha Dunn said:

“The Virtues Project was introduced to the Island a number of years ago and was popular providing people with confidence and positive self-awareness.  In recent times the number of people trained in this programme has declined and members of the community have approached us asking for this work to recommence. 

“The programme reiterates the importance of trust in building collaborative environments that generate ethical solutions to challenges.  Nigel is keen to engage with as many members of the community as possible and we hope this will work towards us creating a positive learning environment for children and families on the Island.  We hope to complete this training with colleagues from education and community groups.”

Nigel will be conducting various training sessions introducing people to the Virtues Project and the five strategies for bringing virtues to life, inspiring people of all cultures to remember who they really are and to live by their highest values. Sessions will focus on awakening the gifts of character to help enhance positive community and support caring and enduring relationships. For new and experienced Managers and Supervisors, Nigel will also conduct a session on Character, Effective Leaders and Teams.

Nigel has facilitated trainings in Australia, the United States and his native South Africa. His work focuses on the importance of trust in building collaborative environments that generate ethical solutions to challenges in the workplace.

Nigel’s visit is being funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Programme Fund.

The Virtues Project seeks to empower individuals to live more authentic meaningful lives, families to raise children of compassion and integrity, educators to create safe, caring and high performing learning communities, and leaders to encourage excellence and ethics in the workplace.

SHG

2 February 2015

Deputy Director of the Environment & Natural Resources Directorate, Derek Henry (photo attached), departs the Island tomorrow, Saturday 31 January 2015 – to undertake a six week placement with the Government of Jersey in the Channel Islands. This placement is funded by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s Diamond Jubilee Fund.

The placement will allow Derek to widen his experience and understanding of the workings of Government, particularly in relation to his current role. Derek will be attached to a number of teams and departments, including those relating to environment and infrastructure. He will also spend a week in London gaining similar experience on visits organised by the SHG UK Representative’s Office.

Derek Henry
Derek Henry

Derek said:

“I am very much looking forward to this visit. I am hopeful that the experiences from this visit will enable me to further develop my own role and contribute to the ongoing development of our Directorate and SHG more widely.”

Derek will return to the Island on Sunday 19 April 2015.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Fund was created as a result of the 2012 Overseas Territories (OT’s) White Paper, which supported in principle and in practical terms the exchange of expertise between public servants in the UK and OTs.

Note for Editors

The Environment & Natural Resources Directorate was formed in December 2012, amalgamating three former Directorates, Infrastructure and Utilities, Environmental Management and the Agriculture and Natural Resources Directorate.

SHG

30 January 2015

The electorate is reminded that there is one vacant seat on Legislative Council and because of this a Bye-election will take place on Wednesday 4 March 2015.  The Writ of Election will issue next week and this will state the last day and time for submitting nominations along with Polling Station details if a poll has to be taken.

In the meantime, please take time to consider who you would like to nominate to fill the vacant seat.  Further information about eligibility and procedures for nominations will be published in next week’s newspapers.

SHG

30 January 2015

Executive Council will meet next Tuesday morning, 3 February 2015, in the Council Chamber.

The meeting will be open to the public from 9.30am for the following Open Agenda item:

Request for Approval of the United Nations Development Programme – Funded Project Proposal: Tackling Domestic Abuse.

Executive Council Members are: Lawson Henry, Wilson Duncan, Leslie Baldwin, Christine Scipio-O’Dean and Derek Thomas.

SHG

30 January 2015

 

 

 

Many of you will have seen the recent articles in the international and local media concerning reports of child abuse and other sexual offences on St Helena. You will also be aware of media reporting about similar offences occurring in the UK and in other countries. St Helena is not alone in having to confront issues emanating from sexual abuse.

Let me assure you that any allegations of abuse are taken most seriously. They must be investigated and on St Helena we are doing this.

We have achieved significant progress in improving the capacity and capability of your Government to safeguard individuals and to investigate allegations. We have secured specialised resources for the police, social services and the judiciary – some are here already and we have more on the way. The results are already clear for all to see, with more cases reported, properly investigated and offenders sentenced to significant sentences of imprisonment. We are also working with our UK partners to obtain expert support to investigate historical cases and, if the necessary evidence can be found, to bring those cases to Court.

A new Safeguarding Directorate was created on 1 December 2014 with structures and resources now coming together to ensure that all of those who are vulnerable in the community are supported, not just now but into the future. We recognise too that we need better resources to help the victims of these crimes and to ensure that those who offend do not do so again.

Of course, it would be naive to think that Government can tackle all of this alone. Everyone on St Helena has a responsibility to work together to help to protect the vulnerable in our community and I urge you to come forward if you have any information that would assist the authorities.

I turn now to the very serious allegations made by two former employees of SHG who, as widely reported in the media, have alleged that the FCO, DFID and SHG conspired to cover up sexual abuse and other offences on St Helena.

In response to those serious allegations, the UK Government, with full support from SHG, quickly concluded that the only way to deal with these allegations was to appoint a strong, independent Inquiry to investigate them. The Inquiry, which I and my colleagues in Executive Council and in SHG fully welcome, is now established and chaired by respected English Barrister, Ms. Sasha Wass QC. Ms. Wass will receive 100% support and cooperation from SHG and I am entirely confident that her team will conduct a thorough and professional inquiry to establish the facts. I hope that all on St Helena will welcome them here and do everything possible to assist them as they set
about their important work. There will be announcements shortly to explain how you can contact Ms. Wass and her team should you wish to bring any matters to their attention.

Certain media reports of the allegations to be examined by Ms. Wass have mentioned a number of individuals, some of whom are serving or former employees of SHG. It is important that people should be aware that due to ongoing legal proceedings in the UK and to avoid cutting across the work of Ms. Wass, those identified are, at this point, unable to reply to the allegations. Of course, that position will change once those constraints are removed.

In closing, I know that many people – here and overseas – were dismayed by some of the media reports over the past year. While I think we must be prepared to see more uncomfortable media reporting in the weeks and months to come, St Helena has a resilient and proud community that I feel sure will emerge from this stronger and with renewed confidence.

Governor Mark Capes
29 January 2015

Due to the recent hot weather, the Roads Team has been treating the effects of overheated roads around the Island. The bitumen in the roads will start to melt when the road temperature reaches over 50 degrees Centigrade.

The Roads Team will apply dust to heat affected roads and warning signs will be placed on the affected sections.

Please drive carefully when travelling on the treated roads, as you may potentially experience skidding on the treated surface, especially when travelling around bends.

Enquiries about this work can be made to telephone number 23640 during normal working hours.

Thank you for your cooperation.

SHG

28 January 2015

 

 

It was announced yesterday that HM Customs would be closed on Friday 30 January 2015 between 8.30am and 11.30am for cargo and baggage collection.

HM Customs would now like to advise the public and merchants that due to a change in circumstances, the service will not be closed and instead baggage and cargo may be collected as normal.

HM Customs apologises for any confusion.

No baggage or cargo will be issued on Saturday 31 January 2015 due to dealing with baggage from embarking passengers and passenger embarkation itself. Business will then resume as normal on Monday 2 February 2015.

SHG

28 January 2015

 

 

 

 

The public will be aware that outpatient clinics in the outlying districts have been temporarily out of operation due to staff shortages at the Hospital, and in the immediate term these clinics will remain closed.

Taking into account the problems these closures have created for some patients – those having to travel to Jamestown to see the doctor – from Tuesday 3 February 2015, the Hospital will be offering a free bus service to people who have an appointment in Jamestown on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. These patients will be transported to the Jamestown outpatient department.

Bus times for patients in the country are as follows:

Levelwood – Tuesdays

A bus will collect persons in Levelwood, leaving at 9am from the Flag and then stopping at Silver Hill Shop, Levelwood School, Woody Ridge, Alarm Hill, and Wells, going on to Jamestown by 10am.

Longwood – Tuesdays

A bus will leave Longwood Green at 10.30am, stopping at Longwood Gate, Longwood Clinic, Hutts Gate, the Alarm Forest Police Post, going on to Jamestown by 11am.

The bus will leave Jamestown at 11am to take Levelwood patients back to their area, before returning to the Hospital to collect Longwood patients.

Sandy Bay, St Paul’s and Half Tree Hollow (HTH) – Thursdays

For patients who attend the HTH Clinic, a bus will leave Sandy Bay Chapel at 9am, stopping at Bamboo Hedge, Milestone, Sandy Bay Community Centre, White Gate, Rosemary Plain, Cleughs Plain, and New Ground – going on to Jamestown by 10am.

The bus will then return to Red Hill, departing at 10.30am and stopping at Half Way, White Wall, HTH Clinic and HTH Community Centre on the way into Jamestown.  It will then return patients to Sandy Bay and St Paul’s, before returning the HTH patients.

This arrangement will continue until the outlying clinics resume normal operation.

The public is thanked in advance for their continued understanding and cooperation.

SHG

27 January 2015