Head of Welsh recognised for Special Contribution at Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol awards 2023

We are thrilled that the College’s Head of Welsh, Carys Swain, has been presented the Special Contribution accolade at this year’s Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol awards.

The annual award ceremony recognises the efforts and achievements of students, apprentices and educators across Wales who have contributed towards Welsh-medium and bilingual post-compulsory education each year.

The Special Contribution award is a new category for the awarding body, which has been included to acknowledge an individual within a further education college or an apprenticeship provider for their efforts in influencing the Welsh language provision within their organisation.

“Passion is a word we use a lot but it really applies to Carys’ work. She is responsible for developing and promoting Welsh language and culture at Bridgend College and, as a result of her determination and sheer enthusiasm, the number of tutors using Welsh in their lessons has increased dramatically.

She gives so much of her spare time to encourage and support staff in their preparation for exams in Welsh. Indeed, she makes herself available at all times of the day to support students and colleagues alike.

Furthermore, on a personal note, she has greatly influenced my practice as a leader. 

I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award and I am delighted that a career of hard work, commitment and a considerable amount of fun has been recognised.”

Simon Pirotte, CEO and Principal of Bridgend College

A passionate believer in lifelong learning, Carys has over 20 years of experience within the further education sector. She joined Bridgend College in 2002 as a Welsh Tutor and Language Coordinator and has held several roles within the College since, now Head of Welsh. Carys also has worked alongside His Majesty’s Inspector Estyn, the education and training inspectorate for Wales, as a Peer Inspector since 2014.

“It has been an absolute pleasure to work with a passionate team, keen students and supportive colleagues in encouraging the Welsh language within our College community. It makes me very proud to see people engaging with Welsh, and I am thrilled of the strides we have made in making both the Welsh language and cultural activities as accessible and inclusive as possible.”

Carys Swain, Head of Welsh at Bridgend College
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