National Work Welsh Awards 2022
Grŵp Llandrillo Menai
Work Welsh Learner of the Year (Entry Level)
Robert Easton - Winner of Entry Level Work Welsh Award
Rob joined the Work Welsh scheme back in 2019/20, through his employer, Coleg Llandrillo Menai. He had learned Welsh as a second language at school and although he remembered a lot and lived in a bilingual area with his Welsh-speaking partner, Rob lacked the confidence to speak Welsh himself.
Two years later, Rob's Welsh has improved so much that he now feels confident to ask his student if they can speak Welsh, planning professional discussions with them through the medium of Welsh. As he develops his own Welsh language skills, Rob has been encouraging his student to do the same.
Rob is very supportive of other Welsh learners in his group and helps them as new language patterns are introduced. His gregarious personality also helps other Welsh learners to relax and be happy practising their Welsh in the class.
Coleg Y Cymoedd
Work Welsh Learner of the Year (Foundation Level)
Fiona Hennah - Winner of the Foundation Level Work Welsh Award
Fiona is a Science lecturer at Coleg y Cymoedd and is studying Welsh on the Further and Higher Education program. She is in her second year of Work Welsh (Foundation level 1) and has made a lot of progress since inception.
At work, she takes advantage of every opportunity to speak Welsh and encourages students to learn Welsh as well. She includes Welsh in her learning resources and provides feedback bilingually on their work.
Outside of work, she speaks Welsh with some of the family and reads and sings in Welsh with her nieces.
She is so passionate about learning Welsh and inspires and supports others to learn Welsh too.
Work Welsh Learner of the Year (Intermediate Level)
Angelina Mitchell - Winner of the Intermediate Level Welsh Work Award
Originally from the Netherlands, Angelina could speak five languages by the time she left school - Dutch, Low Saxon Dutch, German, French and English.
Then, after meeting her Welsh speaking partner in the Netherlands, they both decided to move to Wales. She got a job with ACT training company in Cardiff, and that's when she decided to learn Welsh. She started the online Work Welsh welcome course in 2019 and has since been on several courses, including the intensive ‘Use Work Welsh’ course on intermediate level with Nant Gwrtheyrn.
As a result, ACT is now able to offer digital learning and social media courses through the medium of Welsh.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
Work Welsh Learner of the Year (Advanced+ Level)
Mark Butler - Winner of the Advanced Level + Work Welsh Award
Mark is an Information Officer at Wrexham Maelor Hospital and has been learning Welsh since 2018. Mark is originally from Ramsgate, but his family moved to the Wrexham area when he was a toddler. He still remembers the thrill of hearing and learning Welsh when he was in primary school, but he attended a secondary school in England. He was inspired to start learning Welsh again when his son started school and has now reached Advanced level.
Although Mark's work is not on the front line, he is determined to make a difference. Mark noticed a gap in the provision of standard bilingual reports that the Information Department publishes internally and begun to investigate the possibility of introducing bilingual versions for automated reporting.
University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Work Welsh Tutor of the Year
Dr Lois Slaymaker-Jones – Winner of the Work Welsh Tutor of the Year
Lois is a tutor on the Work Welsh Further / Higher Eductation scheme with Trinity St David University. One of the learners in her class said:
"Learning Welsh with Lois is a joyful experience. She explains things well and shares lots of clever tips to help you remember grammar rules.
“Lois is obviously an experienced teacher as she knows when it's helpful for us to revise and when to move on, so we keep making progress. She offers different ways of learning to make sure that everyone understands, and things stick in your mind. Our classes are lively, interactive, and effective.
“I am happy to stretch myself as Lois never makes me feel embarrassed if I make a mistake but rather always explains if something is slightly wrong, so I can learn and remember.”
“Lois is a kind and courteous, encouraging, and respectful teacher. I look forward to my lessons with her as she has created a truly supportive and welcoming atmosphere.
“Thanks to her, I hope that I will soon feel confident to change my status to 'Welsh-speaker', consider myself bilingual and help reach the one million Welsh speakers’ goal."
Enillydd Cyflogwr Cymraeg Gwaith y Flwyddyn
Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru
Work Welsh Employer of the Year
Natural Resources Wales - Winner of the best Work Welsh Emplyer
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has taken advantage of the Work Welsh scheme over the last few years, offering a range of options from online taster courses to residential courses at Nant Gwrtheyrn.
This year, approximately 150 of their staff have signed up for Work Welsh lessons. The staff can attend courses during working hours and revision sessions are arranged over the summer holidays.
NRW also offer a mentoring scheme. In the scheme, the learner is paired with an experienced learner or a fluent speaker and has the opportunity to review lessons and converse in Welsh.
NRW also uses the Yammer platform to encourage informal conversation between learners and Welsh speakers.
As NRW offers bilingual community-based services, they feel it is important to support staff to achieve this and encourage all staff to initiate all conversations or correspondence in Welsh.