Trustee retires from Police and Community Trust after two decades

Trefor Jones is pictured with volunteer police cadets from left to right; Alexandra Wilson, Matthew Fox and Niamh Drummond-Welsby.

A TRUSTEE of a North Wales police and community trust which supports projects making a difference in their neighbourhoods has retired after more than two decades of dedicated service.

Trefor Jones CVO CBE, a founding member and former chairman of the North Wales Police and Community Trust (PACT), was thanked for his loyal service by three police cadets.

He was part of a team in the late 1990s who agreed to join forces, share their skills and support North Wales Police with the valued work they were carrying out in the neighbourhoods where they worked, in particular with young people.

Trefor Jones is pictured with volunteer police cadets from left to right; Alexandra Wilson, Matthew Fox and Niamh Drummond-Welsby.

Trefor was a leading businessman in the region at the time as Chairman and Chief Executive of Pilkington Optronics in St Asaph and was approached to help set up the Trust.

Trefor, now 80, who lives in St Asaph and was born and brought up in Rhyl, said: “It struck a chord with me and I joined it along with a number of other trustees and it started its journey from there.

“In particular, I felt it was needed to help bring some recognition and support for the work the police were doing with young people.

“I grew up in Rhyl in the 1940s and 50s and I always felt I had benefited from a lot that was on offer to young people in those days – the scouts, the local chapel, the teachers I had and it all helped keep me on an even keel. It seemed to me this would be a good way of giving something back to all that I had gained from the region in my young years.

“My profile as a local businessman helped I think. I had done a lot of work with training for business, for engineering and preparing for the world of work and I was also a member of the Welsh Development Agency.

“Shortly after I was appointed as Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd and an important part of the remit was to foster the development of initiatives for young people so my work with PACT was a brilliant support to that.”

PACT manages and distributes a pot of funding which is generated in part by money from the Police Property Act Fund relating specifically to money generated by the sale of lost items which are taken into police stations and are then sold when they are not claimed after a certain amount of time.

Grants varying from £250 to £2,000 are awarded by PACT to a variety of community and voluntary groups which work in partnership with their Neighbourhood Policing Teams with the aim of creating a safer environment and increased quality of life within their neighbourhood.

Trefor said he always held a special regard for the groups which supported the development of young people and was always keen to support the work of the uniformed cadets in the region including the volunteer police cadets.

One of the programmes Trefor was most proud of supporting was the Crogen Cadet Challenge which ran over a number of years.

Trefor, who has three children and six grandchildren, said: “We work closely with the High Sheriffs across North Wales and the cadet challenge was the idea of Henry Robertson, former High Sheriff of Clwyd, who set aside an area on his estate, the Crogen Estate, to bring together uniformed cadets in a challenge which was a bit like an ‘It’s A Knockout’.

“It brought these young people together for activities which encouraged team building, communication skills and other important life skills in an environment that they perhaps wouldn’t ordinarily get to visit.

“A lot of what PACT does is to enable things to happen. It gives people the chance to get projects off the ground and provide young people to develop the skills and make the most of their potential.”

Niamh Drummond-Welsby, 16, of Rhyl, joined the volunteer police cadets two years ago.

The Rhyl College student said: “I have gained such a lot from being in the volunteer  police cadets especially in dealing with people and interacting with them. It has definitely improved my self-confidence a lot.

“It’s also given me a much better idea of my community because you are volunteering and meeting different people in different circumstances that you wouldn’t do otherwise.

“I am thankful to anyone and any organisation who helps support the cadets and what they do. It’s brilliant for young people like me to be a part of and it also benefits our community too.”

Trefor’s fellow PACT trustee, David Catherall, Managing Director of TDC Services based in Ewloe, said he wished to thank Trefor on behalf of the whole PACT committee.

He said: “We will miss the knowledge, expertise and skills which Trefor has brought to PACT and the advice that we know we can call upon if we need to.

“He has given 20 years of loyal, valuable service to the committee and we really do thank him very much for that support.”

Trefor, who is also a former chairman of St Kentigern Hospice and retains his role as Chancellor of Glyndwr University in Wrexham, will be succeeded on the PACT panel by Dr Peter Harlech Jones, last year’s High Sheriff of Gwynedd.