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Gwilym Roberts from Cardiff wins the Aled Roberts Memorial Award

Gwilym Roberts from Cardiff wins the Aled Roberts Memorial Award

Gwilym Roberts from Cardiff has received the Aled Roberts Memorial Award at an event held today (14 May, 2024) by the National Centre for Learning Welsh.

The award is presented in memory of Aled Roberts, the politician and former Welsh Language Commissioner, to a volunteer who has made a significant contribution to the Learn Welsh sector.

Gwilym Roberts was born in Cardiff and lives in Rhiwbina.  He was a Welsh teacher in three primary schools in the city for 31 years before retiring early and moving to Patagonia, South America, to teach Welsh voluntarily.

Over the years, Gwilym has also offered Welsh lessons to young people in the Cardiff area and worked as a tutor with the Cymdeithas yr Iaith Welsh Learners Group, all on a voluntary basis.

According to Anne Utuska, who nominated Gwilym for the award, "Gwilym has been an inspiration to me - and many others.  He used to hold a Learn Welsh class before the Aelwyd yr Urdd youth club, for sixth formers who weren't fluent at the time.

"We were then able to join in the Aelwyd straight after class with the Welsh speakers. Gwilym looked after us during the activities, helping us to use and expand our language.

"Many of us then went on to do our higher education studies through the medium of Welsh.  Without the contribution of Gwilym and the other volunteers, that would not have happened."

For a number of years, Gwilym was also a tutor on the Cymdeithas yr Iaith Welsh Learners Group courses and would bring a number of other tutors with him to ensure the success of the courses.

Anne added, "Without his vision, the Welsh language wouldn't be where it is today - not only in Cardiff but also as far away as Patagonia, where Gwilym's voluntary contributions were key to the revival of the language.”

According to Llinos Roberts, Aled Roberts' widow, "Excellent work is done by volunteers all over the country, and Gwilym is a perfect example of someone who has worked tirelessly helping young people and adults to speak Welsh with confidence outside the classroom.  It was a pleasure to present Gwilym with the award in memory of Aled."

Helen Prosser, Director of Teaching and Learning at the National Centre for Learning Welsh added, "It is so nice to recognise the important work done by volunteers in the Learn Welsh sector.  I first met Gwilym when I was a child on a second language course at the Urdd camp in Llangrannog when he gave me a ‘language ticket’ (gold star) for saying the word 'clogwyn' (cliff).

"When it was announced that the 2024 National Eisteddfod would be in Rhondda Cynon Taf, the first cheque and card that we received was from Gwilym.  He is true to every cause and a thoroughly deserving winner.”

Image: Llinos Roberts, Aled Roberts’ widow and Gwilym Roberts.