Aberystwyth University’s Lifelong Learning and Learn Welsh Awards Ceremony on Monday 22 October 2018 was a celebration of the love of learning.
Held at the University’s Medrus conference centre, the annual ceremony recognised the successes and achievements of students of all ages on a wide range of lifelong learning courses.
Dr Rhodri Llwyd Morgan, Director of Welsh Language and Culture and External Relations said: “Congratulations to each and every one of our lifelong learners on their success. Embarking on a lifelong learning course is a great personal commitment, and one which also requires the support of family and friends.
“As well as celebrating their achievements, the Lifelong Learning and Learn Welsh Award Ceremony offers learners a chance to thank the inspirational tutors who work so hard to support learners and go the extra mile to ensure their success.
“Lifelong Learning and Learn Welsh provide everyone with an opportunity to upskill and contribute in new and interesting ways to the community, wider society and to the economy.
“We are also delighted as a University to work alongside our learners to contribute towards realising Welsh Government’s target of one million Welsh speakers by 2050”, he added.
At the ceremony, students were presented with Certificates of Higher Education in Art and Design, Creative Writing Studies, Field Ecology, and the Diploma of Higher Education in Field and Conservation Ecology, and Continuing Education.
A number of awards were also presented to both students and staff during the ceremony in recognition of their contributions, successes and achievements.
The Lifelong Learning Student of the Year Award was presented to Art and Design student Caroline Nicholas.
Nominatedby her tutors and fellow students, Carolinehas completed a number of Lifelong Learning courses including Plant Portraits and Painting Gardens. Her work was described as “awe-inspiring and motivating”.
The Lifelong Learning Student Team Award was presented to Candy Bedworth, Ian Munday and Danielle Harrisonwho worked on the Figuratively Speaking volunteer initiative, an Art and Design distance learning development.
The team spent nine months creating educational units for a distance learning module and have been described as “amazing ambassadors for future learners”.
The awards also recognised the contributions of Lifelong Learning tutors.
Alison Pierseand Lara Clough were presented with the Lifelong Learning Tutor of the Year Award, having been nominated by their students.
An Art and Design tutor in Lifelong Learning for more than twenty years, Alison Pierse was described as having “teaching in her bones”, “going the extra mile” and showing “enormous energy and enthusiasm”.
Fellow award-winner, Creative Writing tutor Lara Clough, was nominated for“her love of literature and of creative writing, backed up by her own experiences as a published author.”
The awards were presented by Elen James, Corporate Lead Officer for Lifelong Learning and Culture at Ceredigion County Council, and Chair of Ceredigion Adult Community Learning Partnership.
The event also celebrated the successes of Welsh language learners and organisations who have been promoting the use of the language.
Cecilia Harman and Emily Leafwere joint winners of the Welsh in the Family Award.
Both from Llandrindod, Emily has been learning Welsh for three years. Along with her partner Robin, who is also learning Welsh, and their three children who are receiving Welsh medium education, the family supported the Urdd National Eisteddfod which was held in Llanelwedd earlier this year.
Cecilia Harmanalso lives with her family in Llandrindod and has been learning Welsh for less than two years. Having moved to Wales from London four years ago, her sons receive Welsh medium education.
The Welsh in the Workplace Employer Awardwas presented to The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales.
In May 2016 the Commission moved to new offices in the National Library and has seen an increase in visitors to its library and research facility, and over the past year, seven of the Commission’s staff have been learning Welsh, including the course Welsh in the Workplace.
And the Welsh in the Workplace Employee Awardwas presented to a member of staff at The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales.
David Thomas, is Head of the Commission’s Public Services and receives a £30 book token and a book from the Amdaniseries by Aberystwyth University publishers CAA.
The ceremony’s final award, Welsh Language Group of the Year, was presented to Grŵp Pontarfynach, which meets every Monday evening at the Hafod, Devil’s Bridge.
The award recognises the success of a group that has brought native speakers and learners together to promote the use of Welsh and £100 worth of Welsh medium resources.
The awards were presented by Dr Rhodri Llwyd Morgan, Director of Welsh Language, Culture and External Engagement at Aberystwyth University, who also presented certificates to students who have successfully completed their WJEC ‘Use of Welsh’ Entry, Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced qualifications.
Further information about Lifelong Learning study opportunities at Aberystwyth University is available at: www.aber.ac.uk/en/lifelong-learning/
Further information about Learn Welsh is available at: www.aber.ac.uk/en/learn-welsh/
Photo: Alison Pierse (left) joint winner of the Lifelong Learning Tutor of the Year Award with Elen James, Corporate Lead Officer for Lifelong Learning and Culture at Ceredigion County Council, and Chair of Ceredigion Adult Community Learning Partnership.