Wales

Welsh people behind the Nato summit in Newport

Much of the build up to the Nato summit at Newport's Celtic Manor on 4 and 5 September has been focused on the world leaders who will be attending, along with the security operation.

But behind the scenes there are many lesser-known people who are preparing for the two-day event.

They include Welsh people and businesses who will have some involvement during the Nato summit.

Here, we take a look at those who will add some Welsh flavour.

The carpenter

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Cabinet maker Paul Rathkey's work will be right at the very centre of the Nato summit.

His carpentry firm Rathkeys, based in Llandow, has been making the two meeting tables the world leaders will sit around for their discussions.

Four tonnes of wood, all from Wales, have been used in the construction of the 25m-long (82ft) main meeting room table, and a 17m (55ft) one for the second room.

"My six man team will be working around the clock to get this ready on time," he said.

The beekeeper

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For beekeeper Scott Davies, supplying honey to the Nato summit brings the sweet taste of success just a few years after a serious back injury forced him out of work.

The 26-year-old took up bee keeping as a hobby while recuperating at his parents' farm in Newtown, Powys, during an 18 month lay-off before setting up Hilltop Honey, in 2011.

It has since grown from being a one-man, one-hive operation to employing four other beekeepers.

He said: "I love the idea of Barack Obama having some of my honey on his toast in the morning."

The flagbearer

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Welsh Guards Colour Sergeant, Dean Hughes, has the prestigious job of carrying the Union flag at a ceremony to remember those who have served, been injured of killed in Afghanistan, on the first day of the summit.

The 30-year-old from Blaenau Ffestiniog currently trains troops ahead of deployment and has served in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo.

Mr Hughes said: "This is going to be a career highlight for me. I have a young child and I'll be able to tell them about it one day."

The head of event management

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Leon Hughes has worked at the Celtic Manor Resort for 11 years. The 33-year-old from Newton, Porthcawl, started as reservation agent and worked his way to head of events management.

He started working on the Nato summit over a year ago and has been managing the behind-the-scenes arrangements to ensure attendees get the best experience out of their stay.

Over the last two weeks, he has been working on the final preparations - coordinating aspects of the event, organising catering and minimising the impact on existing guests.

He said: "The excitement is definitely building at the Celtic Manor. The team is eagerly anticipating the guests arriving next week."

The whisky distiller

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Wales may not be as famous as a whisky producer as its Celtic cousins but Stephen Davies has been busy building its reputation.

The 49-year-old from Port Talbot runs Penderyn Distillery which became the first whisky producer in Wales for over a century when it launched in 2004.

Gift bottles of its finest whisky, named after Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, will be supplied to world leaders at the summit.

The police chief

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The Nato summit will be the culmination of nearly a year's work for Gwent Police Ch Supt Alun Thomas.

The 51-year-old from Llanelli is the man tasked with keeping both the delegates and the public safe during the event, as well as minimising the impact on the community.

As lead police planner he has been coordinating a team effort by a number of police forces which will involve around 9,500 police officers, working closely with military, health and fire services.

He said: "It has been the challenge of my lifetime. I think the Olympics has been the only task on this scale in the UK in terms of security planning."

The star chef

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One of the more famous names involved with the Nato summit is Welsh chef Stephen Terry.

The Great British Menu contestant, who runs The Hardwick in Abergavenny, will provided a banquet for visiting world leaders and other delegates on Thursday in Cardiff.

He will be supported by a team of students from Cardiff Metropolitan University as he serves up Welsh dishes, prepared with locally-sourced produce.

The sausage maker

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Sausage-making brothers Pat and Mike Turner have entered firmly into the spirit of the Summit with the invention of their special "Nato sausage".

They created the pork and bacon sausage, flavoured with paprika, herbs, chives, nutmeg and Worcester sauce in honour of the event and its been on sale at their stall in Newport Market for the past month.

Mike Turner said the summit was having a real impact on the city: "We haven't had much going on in Newport in the past but that's all changing now. We've had the Ryder Cup and now we've got Nato. It's really putting us on the map."

The printer

Graphic designer Aimee Hibberd will supply hundreds of items to the Nato summit just two years after setting up her printing business.

The 28-year-old runs Sticky Ink, in Newport, with partners Mike Rice and Stewart Palmer.

Between them they have prepared more than 500 t-shirts for the volunteers helping facilitate the media and camera crews, as well as more than 1,200 gift bags.

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