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Inspiring Abi scoops award.

Byline: Mark Smith Reporter mark.smith@walesonline.co.uk

A HEALTH visiter who inspired a parent to overcome depression has been awarded a prestigious Welsh Government accolade.

Abi Swindail, from Cardiff, scooped the Stars in their Lives award which aims to give recognition to "Flying Start" workers who go above and beyond the call of duty to help families.

Flying Start was set up by the Welsh Government to give deprived families with young children muchneeded support.

Abi, who has been named the regional winner for Cardiff and South East Wales, helped a parent to go into further education with the aim of becoming a health visitor herself.

She scooped the top spot for her region alongside four other outstanding Flying Start workers and a group winner from Swansea, Powys, Newport and Gwynedd who won for their outstanding dedication to giving children the best start in life.

Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, Lesley Griffiths, said: "Congratulations to Abi on winning this award which I'm delighted is recognising the invaluable help and support provided by Flying Start staff in Cardiff and communities across Wales.

"I have met many families across Wales whose lives have been changed by Flying Start which is one of my key priorities.

"Flying Start ensures families in some of our most disadvantaged communities are given the right support at the right time to ensure children have the best possible start in life."

Abi said: "I feel very honoured to have been nominated for this award and privileged to have been chosen as the regional winner. I am proud to be a Flying Start Health Visitor working within such a great team of colleagues and families."

Nominations were put forward by families who are benefitting from the support of Flying Start.

The Flying Start parent, from Cardiff, said: "Over the last two years, she has been there like no other health visitor has been there for me and my family. She has offered support, above and beyond, what I would have expected from a health visitor.

"She got me through sleepless nights, speech issues and my own depression. I would be lost without her. She is honest and open and has inspired me to make the same difference in the lives of others. "Because of her, I want to become a health visitor and will be applying for an access course next year."

Latest figures show the number of children bene-fiting from the Flying Start project in Cardiff was 5,288 and the scheme employs more than 3,000 professionals and practitioners across Wales.

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 4, 2015
Words:427
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