19 Aug 2015

MEEA Project’s Over 50s Consultation Event

No Comments Minority Ethnic Advocay Project (MEEA), Uncategorized

Swansea Bay REC’s Minority Ethnic Elder’s Advocacy (MEEA) Project organised a very successful event this morning involving its beneficiaries. _MTI5277-Small-web The event was aimed at seeking views from people over the age of 50 from black and minority ethnic communities about their
perceptions, experiences and views on issues affecting older people such as age friendly communities, opportunities for learning and employment and loneliness/isolation. These views will form part of the Swansea Council’s response to the Welsh Government’s ‘Ageing Wales Plan’.

The event was also used to assess equality issues such as hate crime, staff training and access to services for the Council’s Strategic Equality Plan.

The event was addressed by members of the Swansea Council’s Chief Executive’s Department.

The MEEA Project is a Wales-wide project funded by the Big Lottery Fund and operates within the four RECs/REN in Wales. Swansea Bay REC, as part of the Welsh Equality Group (WEG) consortium of all Equality Councils in Wales has a MEEA Advice Worker, Rebecca Heslop, based in Swansea serving the local authority boundaries of Swansea and Neath Port Talbot.


MEEA Logo      Big Lottery LOGO lottery

15 Dec 2014

Advice Cafe

No Comments Current News, Minority Ethnic Advocay Project (MEEA), Voices Have Spoken

A series of Advice Cafes have been organised by Swansea Bay REC teams dealing with hate crime/incidents and elder advocacy projects. The advice cafes will be staffed by officers from our Voices Have Spoken (VHS) team and the Minority Ethnic Elders Advocacy (MEEA) Team. Please see the PDF document on the link provided to read more about this new initiative from Swansea Bay REC staff which takes our services to the heart of the community in venues across the Neath Port Talbot and Swansea areas.

Advice Cafe – Swansea

Advice Cafe – Neath Port Talbot

10 Nov 2014

Minority Ethnic Elders (MEE) Project

No Comments Current News, Minority Ethnic Advocay Project (MEEA)

“Helping ethnic minority elders to say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain services they need” – these are the ethos of this new project being delivered in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot.

The MEEA project is an all Wales project funded by the Big lottery Fund for 3 years under Advantage Funding, based in various locations including Swansea. During this time Swansea Bay REC’s part of the project aims to carry out: Advocacy on behalf of ‘Ethnic Minority Elders’ (MEE) on a variety of issues.

For further information please visit the link given below:

MEEA – Minority-ethnic-elders-advocacy-project

02 Dec 2011

Swansea Bay REC Annual Dinner 2011

2 Comments Awards and Honours, Current News

The Leader of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, Cllr Ally Thomas and Cllr Mary Jones of City and County of Swansea received framed pictures depicting the Swansea Bay area to thank them for the respective Council’s support for the Swansea Bay REC (SBREC) over the last year. These pictures were part of the photographic  work of Mr Taha Idris, OBE, JP, the Chief Executive of SBREC .

The gifts were presented by the organisation’s Chair, Mrs Angella Gullam at SBREC’s annual dinner which is held in December of each year. This year the Annual Dinner was held in a Neath restaurant, The Plaza Indian Cuisine, which won the ‘Best Curry Awards’ two years ago. Said Mrs Gullam, “We like to thank everyone who has helped us to achieve our goals during the year in allowing SBREC to tackle a whole host of equality, diversity and discrimination issues. We are grateful for all the help and support that the two local authorities had provided to us even in an extremely challenging financial atmosphere”.

Attendees to the annual dinner include members of staff and members of the Executive Committee. This year the invited guests included some key figures from society including the Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayoress of Neath Port Talbot, Cllr Jeff Dinham and Mrs Brenda Dinham along with the Leader of the Council Cllr Ally Thomas. There was also representation from the Police by Superintendent Joe Ruddy and the Clerk of Swansea and Neath Port Talbot Magistrates, Jim Hehir Esq.

An award was also presented to an SBREC employee who, it was felt, had contributed most to the efficient running of the organisation over the year. Abu Miah was singled out for this accolade. He received a cheque which was presented by the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Jeff Dinham. Abu had not expected this and his excitement and appreciation showed when he was asked how he felt about it. Abu had this to say, “Wow, never in a million years would I have believed when the award was being announced that my name would be called out to come and receive it. I feel so humbled.”

25 Mar 2011

New High Sheriff for West Glamorgan

No Comments Current News

Susan Waller, who served as the Lord Mayor of Swansea during 2007-08 has been named as the new High Sheriff of West Glamorgan. She will be inaugurated in her post at a ceremony at St Peter’s Church on 19th April 2011. She takes over the reigns of High Sheriff from Rowland Jones Esq, a well known local businessman.

There is a High Sheriff for each county in England and Wales. High Sheriffs’ functions are largely representational.  They attend judges sitting in local courts and provide hospitality for them, and many are active in local and national schemes that reflect their historical functions.

High Sheriffs are appointed to serve for a fixed term of one year.  The post is unpaid and the general expenses of the office are borne personally by the holder.  The system of appointing High Sheriffs reflects the antiquity of the office.  It is the responsibility of each High Sheriff to provide the names of people suitable to serve in the future.  These names are added to the list of Sheriffs, and every November at a ceremony in the High Court the Lord Chief Justice and three other judges formally add as many new names for each county as are needed to ensure that there are Sheriffs in nomination for each of the next three years.  A Sheriff needs to own property in the county for which he or she is nominated.  The following March The Queen, at a meeting of the Privy Council, formally selects one of the three nominated Sheriffs to serve for the next twelve months by literally pricking a hole through his or her name on the List with a bodkin.

Mrs Waller, who was first elected as a Newton Councillor in 1986, has in the past, worked as a teacher at the former Gowerton Girls’ Grammar School. She also went on to work at Swansea Institute and Gorseinon College, as well as teach English to Vietnamese refugees. The latter of which brought her in contact with Swansea Bay REC’s preceding organisation, the West Glamorgan Community Relations Council.

She served on the Executive Committee of the organisation in the 1980s and cherishes fond memories of her experiences. She continued to support the work of Swansea Bay REC in later years. Mrs Waller resigned from her Council responsibilities last year for personal reasons.


08 Mar 2011

International Women’s Day 2011

No Comments Current News

Today is the one hundredth anniversary of celebrating International Women’s Day. It was 100 years ago, on 19th March 1911, that International Women’s Day was first officially honoured in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. The first celebratory rallies were attended by more than 1 million women campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination The celebration was moved to 8th March just before the first World War in 1913.

International Women’s Day is now an official holiday in a number of countries from Asia, Europe, Africa and South Americas.  Whilst the world around us has seen significant developments, for example women astronauts and Prime Ministers of large nations, many women even today believe that the patriarchal society of yesteryears still has a long way to go before complete freedom from discrimination is achieved. However, given the advances, it is accepted that the future holds virtues in celebrating successes rather than bemoaning failures of society.

Within the Swansea and Neath Port Talbot areas, the Neath Port Talbot (NPT) Tigers’ Female Club is celebrating the event at Aberavon Beach Hotel on 9th March 2011 between 18:00 and 21:00 hours. NPT Tigers Female Club may be contacted via their email address: npt-tigersfemale(@)hotmail.co.uk or through their website: http://www.pt-tigers.org.uk/.

05 Mar 2011

Welsh Referendum 2011

No Comments Current News

On Friday, 4th March 2011, the Welsh electorate has given a resounding ‘Yes’ to a referendum which asked them whether the devolved Welsh Assembly Government should have primary law making powers in the 20 major areas of devolved responsibility. These policy areas, such as health, education, the environment and transport, are where currently any laws which affect Wales have to be rubber-stamped by the MPs in the House of Commons before it becomes law. Whilst the referendum took place on Thursday 3rd March 2011, the results were announced on Friday.

Supporters for a ‘Yes’ campaign, which included all the major political parties in Wales, have felt that the extra step of MPs’ approval has been an unnecessary burden. The ‘No’ campaigners have on the other hand felt that there was a need for a second house to verify any laws passed in Wales before they are applied to Wales. It has become apparent throughout the period of canvassing that the ‘No’ campaigners have sought to question the capability of the devolved government in respect of governing itself.

National Assembly for Wales was formed after a major referendum in 1997 which asked the people of Wales whether there should be a publicly elected body in Wales which should look after Welsh affairs exclusively under the guidance of central government in London. At the time 50.3% of the people of Wales narrowly voted ‘Yes’ and 49.7% voted ‘No’ to the proposal.The turnout for the 1997 referendum was 50.1%.

The 2011 referendum saw a dramatic drop in the turnout of voters, down to 35.4% of all voters. Political commentators are pointing to the fact that this low turnout is as a result of voter apathy and ought to be addressed by the politicians. A county-by-county analysis is given below for the 2011 referendum:


  1. Authority

  2. Blaenau Gwent
  1. Yes votes

  2. 11,869
  1. % Yes

  2. 68.9
  1. No votes

  2. 5,366
  1. % No

  2. 31.1
  1. Turnout

  2. 32%
  1. Bridgend
  1. 25,063
  1. 68.1
  1. 11,736
  1. 31.9
  1. 35.4%
  1. Caerphilly
  1. 28,431
  1. 64.3
  1. 15,751
  1. 35.7
  1. 34.5%
  1. Cardiff
  1. 53,427
  1. 61.4
  1. 33,606
  1. 38.6
  1. 34.9%
  1. Carmarthenshire
  1. 42,979
  1. 70.8
  1. 17,712
  1. 29.2
  1. 44%
  1. Ceredigion
  1. 16,505
  1. 66.2
  1. 8,412
  1. 33.8
  1. 43.8%
  1. Conwy
  1. 18,368
  1. 59.7
  1. 12,390
  1. 40.3
  1. 33.5%
  1. Denbighshire
  1. 15,793
  1. 61.8
  1. 9,742
  1. 38.2
  1. 34.1%
  1. Flintshire
  1. 21,119
  1. 62.1
  1. 12,913
  1. 37.9
  1. 29.2%
  1. Gwynedd
  1. 28,200
  1. 76
  1. 8,891
  1. 24
  1. 43.1%
  1. Merthyr Tydfil
  1. 9,136
  1. 68.9
  1. 4,132
  1. 31.1
  1. 30.2%
  1. Monmouthshire
  1. 12,381
  1. 49.4
  1. 12,701
  1. 50.6
  1. 35.4%
  1. Neath Port Talbot
  1. 29,957
  1. 73
  1. 11,079
  1. 27
  1. 37.6%
  1. Newport
  1. 15,983
  1. 54.8
  1. 13,204
  1. 45.2
  1. 27.8%
  1. Pembrokeshire
  1. 19,600
  1. 55
  1. 16,050
  1. 45
  1. 38.3%
  1. Powys
  1. 21,072
  1. 51.6
  1. 19,730
  1. 48.4
  1. 39.7%
  1. Rhondda Cynon Taf
  1. 43,051
  1. 70.7
  1. 17,834
  1. 29.3
  1. 34.4%
  1. Swansea
  1. 38,496
  1. 63.2
  1. 22,409
  1. 36.8
  1. 32.8%
  1. Torfaen
  1. 14,655
  1. 62.8
  1. 8,688
  1. 37.2
  1. 33.4%
  1. Vale of Glamorgan
  1. 19,430
  1. 52.5
  1. 17,551
  1. 47.5
  1. 39.7%
  1. Wrexham
  1. 17,606
  1. 64.1
  1. 9,863
  1. 35.9
  1. 26.8%
  1. Isle of Anglesey
  1. 14,011
  1. 64.8
  1. 7,620
  1. 35.2
  1. 43.5%



20 Feb 2011

Obituary to a Founding Vice Chair of SBREC

No Comments Current News


Sadly on Wednesday 16th February 2011, Mr David Holmes (aged 81) passed away, peacefully in his sleep at his home in Swansea. Mr Holmes was a founding Vice Chair of Swansea Bay REC’s predecessor organisation, the West Glamorgan Community Relations Council. The organisation started life in 1983 with Mr Holmes alongside Judge Ray Singh and the late Councillor Mehar Verma as the three founding Vice Chairs. Mr Holmes served on the Executive Committee of the organisation until 1988. Seen in the picture with Carwyn Jones, AM the First Minister of Wales, Mr Holmes leaves behind his wife, a daughter and three grandchildren.

Mr Holmes had been seriously ill for a number of months. He leaves behind memories of a joyous and happy life. He was always eager to help anyone in difficulty. Indeed, in his role at the time, as Manager of Monmouthshire Building Society’s Swansea branch, many people will remember him with fondness and gratitude for his endeavours to ensure that they had their first homes without any fuss, even in the financially troubled times of the 1980s.

Swansea Bay REC offers its heartfelt condolences to his widow, Mrs Audrey Holmes.

10 Feb 2011

Swansea Bay REC Full Council Meeting

No Comments Current News

Swansea Bay RegionalEquality Council (SBREC) is governed, at a top level, by its registered members, both individual and affiliated. In order to facilitate this, there are two annual meetings, one of these, of course, is the Annual General Meeting, held sometime in July of every year. The second of the annual meetings is the half yearly Full Council meeting.

This year, the Full Council Meeting is due to be held in the Lord Mayor’s Reception Room in Guildhall Swansea on Tuesday 15th February 2011. The meeting will be preceded by an informal get-together of all partner agencies who work with SBREC. The partners will have an opportunity to network and to learn about SBREC’s operations. Briefings will be given by the Chair, the Chief Executive and officers of SBREC. This event commences at 5:30pm. Invitations have been sent out to partner agencies already. This will be followed by the formal Full Council Meeting for which invitations have been issued to all registered individual and affiliated members.

09 Feb 2011


2 Comments Welcome

Hello and welcome to the newly refurbished pages of Swansea Bay REC. As you look at these pages, please bear in mind that the organisation, which was set up in 1983 and has continued to work towards racial justice for all these years, will be undergoing substantial changes in the course of the next few months. All the information provided on this site corresponds to our local situation and its implications on equality. We have of course seen a number of attempts, in recent years, by far right wing organisations to impose their will on the people of Swansea and Neath Port Talbot. Each time their attempts have been unsuccessful.

We have recently learnt about leafleting by an organisation in the Gorseinon area of Swansea, which is quoted as having been distasteful, by some residents who had received the leaflet. We keep emphasizing the need to be vigilant of extremist views wherever they might perpetuate a feeling of unease. As we approach the local authority elections in May 2011 we will see a lot more activities by far right wing organisations. Most of them will try to attempt to persuade you that they are just looking after YOUR interests. Please look at each and every opinion with objectivity and with the correct information to hand. Often you will find that the ‘illusion behind the reality is an illusion itself’ which is a very apt quote that we picked up from an unknown source. Enjoy your visit to this site, but more so than that please take away information on local needs, aspirations and realities.

Taha Idris, OBE, JP
Chief Executive