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Lia presented with national award for her bravery

The Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor student received the award from First Minister Vaughan Gething at a ceremony in Cardiff

Brave Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor student Lia Thomas was presented with the St David Award for a Young Person, after supporting her mother through domestic abuse.

The St David Awards are the national awards of Wales, celebrating people from across the country who have made extraordinary contributions.

Lia, from Pwllheli, was nominated by her mum Swsan Williams for helping their family through an extremely difficult period.

Swsan told the BBC: "I'm terribly proud of Lia. She's a polite and happy girl. She supported me and her brother constantly during that very difficult time.

"I want her to know how incredibly grateful I and her brother are to her."

Lia urged victims of domestic abuse to speak out, saying: “Anyone who is going through it, I know it’s hard but just tell someone. It will help you, and your family will be much better and life will become easier as you go on to be happier.”

Lia is studying Level 2 Health & Social Care at Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor’s Pwllheli campus, as well as working in a care home. She said life is now much better for the family.

She was presented with her award by First Minister Vaughan Gething during a ceremony at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.

Mr Gething said: “Each and every year, the St David Awards shine a spotlight on some of the most brilliant and brave from all over the country and are a chance to show the rest of the UK what Wales is made of.

“This year’s awards, my first as First Minister, will always be particularly special to me, and all this year’s finalists are truly inspirational. We are very lucky to have them living and working here, and it’s been a privilege to celebrate their contribution to Welsh life.”

The St David Awards, now in their 11th year, recognise people from all walks of life in Wales who have been nominated in categories including bravery, business, community spirit, environment and innovation.

Also among the winners this year were Alan Bates, the former Llandudno sub-postmaster who led the movement to uncover the Post Office Horizon IT scandal, the Windrush Cymru Elders, for their work to promote understanding of ethnic minority elders’ concerns, and explorer scout Callum Smith, who saved a young man about to take his own life.