COLEG CAMBRIA’S commitment to the Welsh language was celebrated at an inaugural awards ceremony.

Coleg Cambria, in partnership with Popeth Cymraeg, delivers Welsh-language courses in Wrexham, Flintshire and Denbighshire on behalf of the National Centre for Learning Welsh.

Participants from across the area were recognised for studying the language and achieving exam success at the Learn Welsh North East Wales prizegiving.

The awards were hosted by S4C Tv presenter Nia Parry, who highlighted the importance of learning the Welsh language and emphasised the hard work, commitment and achievement of both students and tutors.

Among them was Francesca Sciarillo, who earlier this year won the Learner Medal at the Cardiff and Vale Urdd Eisteddfod.

The Italian marketing apprentice, from Mold, attends weekly Welsh lessons at the college’s Northop site and pipped fellow Cambria Welsh student Molly Evans to the title.

“I’m very proud to be Italian and Welsh as they are two beautiful countries,” said Francesca, 23, the only person in her family that speaks the language.

“Learning Welsh has changed my life in many ways. It has opened doors for me to new books, new music, new politics and more importantly, new people - people who mean the world to me.”

Francesca and Molly, who now plans to study for a PGCE at Bangor University through the medium of Welsh, received special accolades on the night for their efforts at the Eisteddfod, which included a day of challenges and tests.

Other awards went to:

  • Entry Learner of the Year - Kierion Lloyd (Wrexham), Emelie Pierrel (Flint), Daniel Longhurst (Denbigh)
  • Intermediate Learner of the Year – Ian Samuels (Wrexham)
  • Advanced Learners of the Year - Jan Joynson-Crosby and Roger Morgan Smith (Flint)
  • Advanced (Meistroli) Learner of the Year – Richard Pooley (Flint)
  • Learner of the Year Proficiency – John Growcott (Flint)
  • Workplace Learner of the Year – Christopher Arkell and Rebecca Sparey-Taylor
  • Highest Mark in the Entry Exam - Yvette Moss (Wrexham)
  • Learner of the Year: Diary Entries – Lynn Jones (Denbigh)
  • Learner of the Year Informal and Supplementary Activities – Sandra McKenzie (Wrexham)
  • Learner of the Year: Teaching Others - Hugh Brightwell (Wrexham)
  • Ambassador of the Year – Tony Jones (Denbigh)

There was also a prize for Andrea Roberts, who, despite suffering a heart attack, continued to learn Welsh and was named Foundation Learner of the Year; The Learner of the Year for Inspiring Others title went to Margaret Atkinson, who holds conversation sessions in her home so her whole class has a place to meet and practice their Welsh during the holidays; and Michelle Matthews, who received an award for Transmission of the Welsh language to Others. Michelle is originally from Rochdale and created a Welsh newsletter for her colleagues at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

Llinos Roberts, Head of Corporate Communications, Welsh Language and International at Coleg Cambria, congratulated the winners.

“The dedication and passion shown by all of the learners in developing their Welsh language skills is truly inspiring,” said Mrs Roberts.

“We work closely with employers, the public sector and organisations across the region to increase and enhance the use of Welsh in the workplace, and our communities.

“Our students epitomise the success we have had in the last year – well done to you all.”

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