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May 18th, 2009

BANGOR & ANGLESEY MAIL, December 30th, 2004
By Roland Hughes


A stress counsellor in Bangor is still taking on patients despite being struck off by the industry's main watchdog.

Howard Jones, who works from the Complementary Therapies Centre on College Road, was thrown out in the summer following a hearing into his conduct.

However, a lack of regulations means Mr Jones, of Llanrug, is still allowed to provide private therapy - despite the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy saying: "We would prefer people like him not to continue to practice."

Mr Jones expressed regret over the incidents leading to the complaint, and said he has learnt valuable lessons. He added that he will be looking to offer training rather than counsel in future.

A BACP report states: "There were many infringements of basic boundaries, that were admitted by Mr Jones. Those infringements included allowing a client in danger to stay with him in a caravan overnight, inviting a client to share his accommodation, inviting members of a therapy group to a house-warming party and contacting a client's partner for personal benefit."

The report added: "The Panel makes a finding of professional malpractice, for example through incompetence, recklessness and failing at times to provide an adequate professional service."

Sanctions were imposed, with which Mr Jones failed to comply, leading to his expulsion from the BACP.

Phillip Hodson, of the BACP, said there was no regulation for talking therapy in Britain, and anybody could start a counselling service. It is hoped new regulations will control who can practise as a counsellor.

Mr Hodson said: "We deal with about 70 or 80 professional conduct cases a year but only about two or three are expelled. That shows how seriously this particular case was viewed.

"We can't stop people like Howard Jones practising, but he must not claim  to be a member of the BACP. Clearly we would prefer people like him not to continue to practice and there is concern that some people may not be aware that he has been expelled."

A former yacht skipper who also served in the Army with the Royal Engineers, Mr Jones trsined in Southport before moving to his detached former farmhouse in Llanrug 10 years ago.

'What I do, I do well'

Originally from Leeds, he advertises in the Yellow Pages and said he also receives referrals from satisfied ex-clients. HE added that only a few referrals came from authorities.

Mr Jones, 55, expressed regret over the case and sympathy towards the complainant.

He said: "I do think I let her down. I can only apologise and ensure that it doesn't happen again. From my perception, I look at the whole thing about learning about boundaries.

"There's no legal obligation to be a member of an association to call yourself a counsellor. Anybody that asks me whether I am a member of a professional body, I would tell them. None come to me and asked that.

During the time I should have been doing the sanction, my father died and my partner left. I could have contacted the BACP and told them about my personal details. All I can do is approach them again. Some of the things they were attempting to pin on me I refuted - they were hearsay. With certain things I have done, there were boundary issues.

"I acted in response to a crisis and that has been twisted. I made a mistake - it's an isolated case. It has been three years since the woman made the initial complaint. I said at the hearing that I respected her courage for coming forward.

"I am attempting to rejoin BACP. There are many regrets, obviously. My biggest is not being able to fully explain to the BACP my personal situation. I wrote to them a couple of days ago.

I know the quality of the work I do. I get referrals from various other people and what I do, I do well.

"I have actually declared myself bankrupt since the start of November. There is very little business - I have chosen to drop out of that field. I will be training."

Lists of counsellors registered with the BACP, the UKCP and the BCP authorities are available at libraries or through the organisations themselves.


CHARITY ALARMED BY USE OF NAME: Social care group concerned at title
BANGOR & ANGLESEY MAIL, December 30th, 2004
By Roland Hughes

A CHARITY has spoken of its fears that Howard Jones is trading under their name.

A sign outside Mr Jones' office at 12, College Road, Bangor, and business cards inside, name the business as Turning Point Counselling Services.

However, Mr Jones' work is unconnected to that of Turning Point, a social care charity that helps around 100,000 people across Britainevery year, and is well-respected within the counselling service.

When contacted by the Mail, Turning Point said Mr Jones was not, and never had been, associated to their organisation, which helps people with mental health problems and drug and alcohol dependencies. The group's only centres in Wales are found in the South.

David Chayter, of Turning Point, said that although a small number of groups had adopted the name Turning Point before, it was important to make a distinction.

He said: "Turning Point Counselling is not a part of Turning Point. We would very concerned if we thought that Mr Jones was trying to trade on our name in any way, particularly as in this case he has been struck off. We will be looking further into the matter."

When asked if it was misleadingly using the Turning Point name, Mr Jones said both groups having the same name was coincidental.

"When I first thought of the name, I didn't even know [the charity] existed - mine is Turning Point Counselling Services. Turning Point is a charity for alcohol and drug addicts."

He said that, despite the name's prominence all over the College Road centre, he was no longer trading under the name Trading Point Counselling Services.

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Squirrel Group articles

Bangor & Anglesey MAil, August 31st, 2005
GRUELLING WALK FOR ANIMAL HOSPITAL: Challenging trek in the Land of Ice and Fire to raise money for charity
By Lee Roberts


A COUPLE who have returned from a gruelling trek in Iceland have spoken about their fundraising adventure. Tom and Sandra Unite from Llanfaelog recently taken part in a tough 42-mile walk across some of the most rugged landscapes on the planet.

The couple decided to take part in the tough challenge in a bid to raise money for the Brooke Hospital for Animals charity.

The three-day trek involved walking on rough hilly ground in an area famous for its hot water springs and volcanic geysers.

Sandra explained: "The trip went great, we are still collecting the sponsorships but have already collected around £1,000. The weather there was fantastic. It took a toll physically and I had some blisters. We walked 42 miles in three days and the route was not flat either!

"We slept in tents and it could be very cold, but we were told to bring good sleeping bags beforehand. It was intensive but we did enjoy it.

"I think we may do something similar in the future perhaps in two years' time. It was great to see the hot spas, where the water was pumped into homes and didn't need heating."

Tom added: "I suppose the highlight of the trip for me was the hot springs. It was always light there too even at 2am. It was gruelling though."



Bangor & Anglesy Mail, September 7th, 2005

CHILDREN TO LEARN ABOUT ISLAND'S RED SQUIRRELS: Education packs about endangered species to be launched by wildlife group
By Lee Roberts

A GROUP that aims to protect the endangered red squirrel wich has an Anglesey stronghold are launching their latest initiative to help protect the animals.

The Friends of the Anglesey red squirrels are to launch an education pack for members and pupils to find out more about the species and its importance.

The group, which has already visited several schools on the island, is to launch the packs at the Tre-Ysgawen Hall, Capel Coch on Thursday, September 15. The bilingual pack which contains  puzzles, information and games will be given to each school on the island.

Raj Jones, one of the group coordinators, said: "The children of Anglesey are fortunate to have the opportunity, right on their doorstep, of participating in the excitement of bringing a threatened native mammal like the red squirrel back from the brink of extinction.

"It is imperative that we take them on board from an early age and get them involved in the important task of saving threatened species and habitats, since they will be the future guardians of all that we achieve today, and hope that they will take it a step further and do it even better," she added.

Menter Mon has helped produce the pack in a bid to safeguard the species' stronghold on the island.

Gerallt Llewellyn Jones, Menter Mon's chief executive said: "We are proud of our central role in safeguarding the red squirrel, one of Anglesey's unique resources. This pack is also unique as it is the first and only bilingual teaching material of its kind in Wales."

To accompany the pack, Bethan Wyn Jones has adapted and translated into Welsh The Red Squirrel, by Tom Tew and Niall Benvie, which was published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch earlier this year.

Bethan, who will be signing the book at the launch, added: "I felt that it was tremendously important for the island's children, and indeed children throughpout Wales to be able to read in their own mother tongue about this native, appealing, shy, beautiful mammal that we are so fortunate to have here in Anglesey.

"There is shortage of colourful material about the natural world written in Welsh, and the photographs in this book are simply stunning. While visiting different primary schools on the island to talk about the red squirrel, I soon realised that the children were fascinated by te red squirrel and were very interesteds in its conservation in Wales," she added.
  • For more information on the group's work, visit its website at www.redsquirrels.info


Bangor & Anglesy Mail, September 21st, 2005

FRIENDS' PACK TO HELP SQUIRRELS: Aim is to get youngsters involved in project
By Owen Hughes


A GROUP set up to protect the endangered red squirrel on Anglesey launched its school education pack and book at Treysgawen Hall, Capel Coch, last Thursday.

The project by the Friends of the Anglesey Red Squirrel aims to inform children about the important and successful work of saving the squirrel on the island.

They eventually hope to visit every school on Mon.

Mrs Raj Jones, one of the group's co-ordinators, said: "The children of Anglesey are fortunate to have the opportunity, right on their doorstep, of participating in the excitement of bringing a threatened native mammal like the red squirrel back from the brink of extinction.

"It is imperative that we take them on board from an early age and get them involved in the important task of saving threatened species and habitats, since they will be the future guardians of all that we achieve today, and hope that they will take it a step further and do it even better."

The bilingual education pack is free, and there is one for every primary school on Anglesey.

It has been prepared specifically for pupils in Key Stages 1 and 2 by the Red Squirrel Project Team of Rebecca Gwynne, Gareth Pritchard and Bethan Wyn Jones at Menter Mon, with advice from Martin Bailey, Raymond Reynolds and Craig Shuttleworth.

Designed to be informative as well as entertaining, it contains puzzles, games, drawings for colouring, word search and a maze as well as teachers' notes.

All aspect of the red squirrel's life, from its diet to its enemies and habitat, is contained in the pack, as well as references for further reading and website addresses.

Gerallt Llewelyn Jones, Menter Mon  chief executive, said: "Our organisation is proud of its central role in safeguarding the red squirrel, one of Anglesey's unique resources.

"This pack is also unique as it is the first and only bilingual teaching material of its kind in Wales."

To accompany the education pack, Bethan Wyn Jones has adapted and translated into Welsh the book The Red Squirrel by Tom Tew and Niall Benvie, which was published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch earlier this year.

Bethan said: "I felt that it was tremendously important for the island's children, and indeed children throughpout Wales to be able to read in their own mother tongue about this native, appealing, shy, beautiful mammal that we are so fortunate to have here in Anglesey.

"There is shortage of colourful material about the natural world written in Welsh, and the photographs in this book are simply stunning."

Friends of Anglesey Red Squirrels also have a bilingual website - www.redsquirrels.info

This gives people further information about red squirrels in Anglesey, their reintroduction genetics, the future of the Newborough Forest, nesting boxes, photos as well as the education work.

There is also an opportunity to join the Friends of th eAnglesey Red Squirrels.

Dr Craig Shuttleworth, who is responsible for the Anglesey Red Squirrel Project, added: "Community involvement is an essential element in the successful conservation of the endangered red squirrel, and the fantastic work of the Friends has galvanised local support."

Bangor & Anglesy Mail, 2005/6
SCHOOLS GO NUTS ABOUT SQUIRRELS: Pupils study a rarely-seen creature
By Ffion Jackson


Budding conservationists at Cemaes Bay Primary School have held a 10-month study of Anglesey's red squirrels, and now more than half of the island's primary schools are getting involved too.

Pupils at Cemaes have worked hard and learnt a great deal about the shy and rarely-seen woodland creature over the past year.

The children joined the conservation group Friends of the Anglesey Red Squirrels (FARS) last September to launch the project.

The FARS have over the past few years supported the conservation and reintroduction of the red squirrel into island habitats such as Newborough Forest.

They have written to primary schools across Anglesey hoping to gain support for their campaign and make new members.

The response was amazing, with 28 island schools signing up.

These schools are now regularly visited by Bethan Jones, an education project officer and FARS member, to keep the pupils updated.

Cemaes Bay pupils have been taking an active part, visiting other schools in the group to give talks on the squirrels.

At two of the schools they visited, the pupils were asked if they had ever seen a red squirrel to which they had to reluctantly answer no.

To put this right, the pupils recently visited the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay to see a real-live squirrel.

The group have also fashioned a squirrel nesting box which will be presented to a new red squirrel reserve planned at Penrhos in Holyhead.

Bethan Jones said: "The enthusiasm, dedication and determination shown by the children of Ysgol Cemaes is, I believe, an example to us all.

"Guided by Mr Reynolds their headmaster, they have taken the plight of our native red squirrel to heart and have worked extremely hard to draw the attention of othe school children on the island to its predicament.

"It is very encouraging to know that the children of Anglesey are not only willing but keen to take action to save our red squirrels from extinction.

"We also take pupils from the islands' schools on guided nature walks to visit the habitat of our native red squirrel and it is always uplifting to see how they respond to a walk in the woods.

"The action taken by all the children and the schools who support the campaign shows that it is possible to make a valiant, concerted effort to save our native red squirrels.

"Well done, Ysgol Cemaes!"

Ms Jones is happy to visit any schools on Anglesey to give talks on the red squirrel and can be contacted through the Mail.
  • Anyone who wishes to learn more about the work of FARS can visit www.redsquirrels.info


Bangor & Anglesy Mail, January 18th, 2006
YOUTH GET INVOLVED IN SQUIRREL PROJECT: Training group builds homes for a rare native animal
By Owen Hughes


YOUNG people on an island skills project have dedicated their time and effort to support a red squirrel conservation scheme.

The group based at Hylfforddiant Parys Training, Amlwch, have been making nest boxes for the Friends of the Anglesey Red Squirrels.

Raj Jones, chair of Friends of the Anglesey Red Squirrels, gratefully accepted the finished nest boxes and said: "The red squirrels are inspiring people from all walks of life on Anglesey into caring for their long-term survival.

"The Friends have worked hard to raise awareness about the plight of the beautiful native red squirrel, and it is gratifying to see this very personal hands-on involvement by the young people of Amlwch."

Dr Craig Shuttleworth, who is repsonsible for the Anglesey Red Squirrel Project, added: "Community involvement is an essential element in the successful conservation of the endangered red squirrel, and we are most grateful to these brilliant young people for giving their time to make the nest boxes. They will certainly be put to good use."

Cllr Gareth Winston Roberts, Communities First manager, said: "I would like to praise and thank all the staff and young people at Hyfforddiant Parys for the extra work they have put in to build these boxes. They have all been keen to help the red squirrel project out."

Hyfforddiant Parys is part of Communities First in Amlwch and is supported by the European Social Fund and Anglesey County Council.
  • For more information on the work of Friends of Anglesey's Red Squirrels, visit www.redsquirrels.info

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