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Wales’ inspiring people honoured in St David Awards

SOME of Wales’ most inspirational people have been celebrated in an awards ceremony.

The eighth annual St David’s Awards were held today, Wednesday, March 24, to acknowledge the extraordinary achievements of people in or from Wales and recognise the great deeds and contributions made.

The award categories were Bravery, Business, Community Spirit, Culture and Sport, Humanitarian, Innovation, Science and Technology, Young Person, Critical Worker and First Minister’s Special Award.

Professor Keshav Singhal MBE was given the First Minister’s Special Award for his work as chairman of the Covid-19 Risk Assessment group which was set up at the start of the Covid-19 outbreak and led to the development of the All-Wales Covid-19 risk assessment tool.

The Bravery Award was given to John Rees, Lisa Way and Ayette Bounouri for their bravery in defending themselves and others during a fatal knife attack at Co-Op in Penygraig last year. Mr Rees was killed while trying to save the lives of others.

The Business Award was received by Little Inspirations. The South Wales based company provide childcare services and stayed open throughout the pandemic working with seven local authorities to provide childcare for essential workers and vulnerable families.

Denbighshire Dial a Ride won the Community Spirit Award. The volunteer service provides door-to-door transport to those in the community with a disability, impairment or who cannot use public transport. They have continued throughout the pandemic, providing a lifeline to many in the community. The volunteers also deliver prescriptions and do people’s shopping.

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The Critical Worker Award went to Cartref Gofal Cherry Tree/Cherry Tree Care Home. Nine members of the staff left their homes and families during the first lockdown for six weeks to move in with the residents at the care home. They went above and beyond to protect others to reduce the risk of infection and reassure those in their care.

Delwyn Derrick was given the Culture and Sport Award for his work in creating a multi-ethnic and inclusion focused football club in Bellevue Football in North-East Wales. He uses sport to being people from diverse backgrounds together including refugees, asylum seekers and people with mental health issues or learning difficulties.

John Puzey was the recipient of the Humanitarian Award. He has been a director of Shelter Cymru and a leading housing campaigner for more than 30 years. He has overseen the growth and development of the charity to providing a wide range of housing advice services as well as increasing its campaigning and policy profile. He led their swift response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Small Business Research Initiative Centre of Excellence/Welsh Ambulance Service Trust were given the Innovation, Science and Technology Award. Their collaboration at the start of the pandemic led to a big reduction in the time taken to clean ambulances to allow the WAST to provide high standard, safe care.

The Young Person Award was given to Molly Fenton for her Love Your Period campaign. The 18-year-old founded the campaign with her 12-year-old sister Tilly to end period poverty and stigma for school pupils across Wales. She offers advice to schools, Cardiff Council and the Welsh Government and has spoken at events all across the UK to raise awareness of the stigma and promote period dignity.

The First Minister said at the event: “This year’s St David Awards finalists are an inspiring group of people that we are lucky to have living and working in Wales.

“The past year has been an incredibly challenging time. The coronavirus pandemic has brought much sadness and heartbreak – but it has also brought out the best in many people. The winners tonight are just a small proportion of those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty and are a true inspiration to us all.”

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