This week, the Work Welsh scheme, which provides Welsh language training in workplaces across Wales, has announced the winners of its national awards for 2022.
The scheme, organised by the National Centre for Learning Welsh, includes tutor-led learning, online self-study, confidence-building courses and programmes tailored for different sectors.
There were six categories this year, and the winners were:
- Robert Easton - Coleg Llandrillo Menai (Entry Level Learner)
- Fiona Hennah - College of the Valleys (Foundation Level Learner)
- Angelina Mitchell - ACT Training (Intermediate Level Learner)
- Mark Butler - Wrexham Maelor Hospital (Higher + Level Learner)
- Dr Lois Slaymaker-Jones (Work Welsh Tutor of the Year)
- Natural Resources Wales (Work Welsh Employer of the Year)
Siwan Iorwerth, Work Welsh Manager at the National Centre for Learning Welsh, said: "All the nominations we received this year were to a high standard and testament to the popularity of the scheme among employers and employees alike.
"It was a pleasure to read all the nominations and to be able to celebrate the successes of the Work Welsh scheme across the country."
The award for best tutor went to Dr Lois Slaymaker-Jones, who works as a tutor for the Higher / Further Education sector with University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD). Lois was nominated by a student in her class.
In the nomination document, the student wrote, "It's a pleasure learning Welsh with Lois. I'm happy to push myself because Lois never makes me feel silly if I make a mistake - instead, she explains if something isn't quite right, so I can learn and remember.
"Thanks to her, I hope to be confident enough before long to change my status to 'Welsh Speaker' and help the Welsh Government reach its goal of a million Welsh speakers."
After receiving the award, Lois shared what was important to her in teaching the language to others. She explained,
"I like people, and the important thing for me is empathy. Welcoming and supporting learners from all backgrounds to enjoy learning Welsh is at the heart of our work.
“The language journey is not a competitive one and it’s important our students feel comfortable to answer questions and not worry about getting everything right every time!
"Learning Welsh should be something that makes our students happy, and boosts their confidence."
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) won the award for ‘Employer of the Year’.
Prys Davies, NRW's Executive Director of Corporate Strategy and Development, added "We are delighted to have received this award. We work closely with members of the public in all parts of Wales and it’s important our staff are able to speak with the public in the language of their choice. We are also keen to see more use of Welsh within the organisation.
“The small team that supports our Welsh learner programmes across the organisation continues to do a tremendous job and this award recognises their sterling efforts.”