Honouring the unsung heroes who are the pride of a nation
With only one month left until the closing date of nominations for next year’s St David Awards, now is your chance to put forward your ‘Welsh legends’ for a chance to win national recognition for their outstanding achievements...
THE St David Awards recognise and celebrate the exceptional achievements of people from all walks of life in Wales.
Now in their fifth year, nominations are currently being sought, with just over one month to go until the closing date on Wednesday, October 18.
The award ceremony will take place on Thursday, March 22, 2018, and for the first time, the event will be presented by S4C, BBC Radio Wales and Capital South Wales presenter Geraint Hardy and journalist and TV host Catrin Haf Jones.
Geraint said: “I’m thrilled to be presenting such important awards. We have some everyday heroes in Wales and this is a chance for some of them to be recognised for what they do daily without even thinking about it.
“I was moved by so many of the stories last year and I’m sure that will be the case again this year. It’s one of those nights where I’m so proud to be Welsh.”
Catrin is also looking forward to presenting the awards.
She said: “I’m really looking forward to presenting the awards ceremony with Geraint.
“Having enjoyed an awe-inspiring event last year, showcasing the range and depth of talent we nurture here in Wales, I can’t wait to see who makes it to the shortlist this time.
“To our credit, we do humility very well here in Wales – but celebrating our best people, from culture to enterprise, from sport to community heroes, is something we don’t do often enough, and it’s so important to highlight the contributions of those who make Wales such a great country!”
Some of last year’s winners and finalists include Gary Slack and Billy Connor, on-call firefighters at Tenby Fire Station who won the St David Award for Bravery for their role in saving two teenagers who had got into difficulty in the sea at Castle Beach, Tenby from drowning.
David Banner, from the Rhondda, won the St David Award for Enterprise last year.
As well as being a multi-awardwinning games designer and managing director of Pencoed-based Wales Interactive, Dai has been instrumental in the growth of Wales’ games industry. He founded the annual Wales Game Show in 2012 and created the GamesLab project, a digital development initiative for the University of South Wales which has nurtured hundreds of students and provides a global platform for Welsh digital companies.
Nizar Dahan reached the final in the International category for his humanitarian work.
Nizar, from Swansea, works for the Human Relief Foundation and was nominated for his extensive international humanitarian work in response to the refugee crisis and for establishing the Swansea Humanitarian Aid Response Project, which supports displaced and vulnerable people.
Talking about his nomination, he said: “To be nominated for this award restores my faith in humanity. For my work to be recognised, it means that people care, so maybe we can change the world and help the less fortunate and protect the vulnerable.”
Jessica Leigh Jones was a finalist in the Innovation, Science and Technology category.
She is an astrophysics graduate and award-winner for developing a series of novel fibre-optic transducers. An advocate for technical sciences, she is also director of the Engineering Education Scheme Wales and patron of Science and Engineering at Alton Convent School.
The Welsh members of Team GB and Paralympics GB reached the final of the Sport category after a very successful Olympic Games and Paralympics in Rio in 2016.
The 24 Welsh athletes selected by Team GB were the largest-ever overseas contingent of Welsh athletes at an Olympic Games, while the 26 Welsh Paralympic athletes accounted for 10% of the Great Britain team. The represented the country with dignity and courage.
They said: “After such an incredible summer, we were so proud to be nominated. Wales is small but we’re achieving great things!”
The finalists and winners are decided upon by First Minister Carwyn Jones and the St David Awards Advisory Committee, a group of independent senior figures in Welsh public life and previous award-winners or finalists.
Chaired by Dr Phil George, chair of the Arts Council of Wales, the committee will meet in December to discuss the nominees and will put forward a shortlist of three in each category for the First Minister to select a winner.
Help find more individuals and groups for Wales to be proud of. Nominate your Welsh legends before October 18 at www.stdavidawards.org.uk
2017 finalists Nizar Dahan, Jessica Leigh-Jones and David Banner
> First Minister Carwyn Jones at this year’s event with winners of the Bravery award Billy Connor and Gary Slack