With the 2021/22 cycle of the Work Welsh programme coming to an end, the Welsh Language Staff Awards were held for the first time this year to celebrate those staff who have given a lot of time and effort to learning Welsh through the scheme and to recognise their hard work and dedication. In addition to those learning Welsh within Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, the occasion was also an opportunity to recognise, congratulate and thank our Welsh Language Champions.
Managers were asked to nominate members of their staff who have demonstrated a commitment to learning Welsh whose good progress with their language skills can be seen in their work, and staff who promote the Welsh language with staff and learners in their department. Aled Jones-Griffith, Principal of Coleg Menai a Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor and Chair of the Panel Iaith, Meggan Lloyd Prys, Sgiliaith Project Management Officer, Jack Greenhalgh, CCC Ambassador at Coleg Llandrillo and Angharad Roberts, Director of Bilingual Development, Learning Resources and Skills met as a panel. The panel were delighted that so many staff had been nominated, but the final 11 were as follows:
Work Welsh Learner of the Year - Support Staff - Karen Walker Jones (Busnes@)
Work Welsh Learner of the Year - Assessment Staff (WBL) - Robert Easton (Busnes@)
Work Welsh Learner of the Year - Academic Staff
-Angela Godbert (H&SC, Coleg Llandrillo)
-Sally Bond (ILS, Coleg Llandrillo)
Work Welsh Learner of the Year - Management
-Joanne Owen, Grŵp HE Manager (Coleg Llandrillo)
-Vinnie Ponalagappan, Deputy PAM Gen Ed (Coleg Llandrillo)
Bilingual Champion of the Year
-Dewi Wyn Roberts, Public Services (Coleg Llandrillo)
-Gareth Harding, Public Services (Coleg Llandrillo)
-Rhian Owena Hughes, Learner Services (Academic Services)
-Dawn Thomas Rowlands, WBL Assessor (Busnes@)
-Tony Fitzmaurice, WBL Assessor (Busnes@)
The success of the above staff was celebrated in a ceremony at the Orme View Restaurant on Thursday 3 March, with Aled Jones-Griffith and Dafydd Evans, Chief Executive of Grŵp Llandrillo Menai congratulating them. They were presented with a specially made print by Niki Pilkington, in recognition of the importance of the Welsh language and the commitment of the staff to learning Welsh. We would like to thank Niki, a former student at Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor, for creating these special awards.
Angharad Lloyd-Williams, Director of Bilingual Development, Learning Resources and Skills: "We are very proud of all the staff who are learning Welsh and promoting the language in their departments. It was very good to receive 29 strong applications for our Welsh language awards for staff. Selecting the winners was challenging for the panel, but the 11 who have received an award are thoroughly deserving as they have made a difference to their own lives and to their departments. As the college with the largest bilingual provision in Wales, we fully realise the part we have to pay in supporting the Government's ambition of reaching a million Welsh speakers by 2050. The Work Welsh course is a vital element of this work and we will only achieve this ambition by supporting adults to learn and use the language. Congratulations to everyone."