Cardiff and Vale College student Katie wins award for her Outstanding Commitment to the Welsh Language

21 May 2021

Katie Hill, an A Levels student at Cardiff and Vale College, has won a CAVC Award for her Outstanding Commitment to the Welsh Language.

CAVC is proud of its Welsh heritage and it was decided to create this special award to celebrate the Welsh language and culture and to reward learners who show their commitment to it. The award is sponsored by Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol.

Katie, who is 18 and from Hengoed, was chosen as the first winner of the award for the excellent commitment to the Welsh language she has shown over the last year. Through her passion for Welsh, she was chosen to be a CAVC Welsh Ambassador.

She has also worked tirelessly during the pandemic, creating a bilingual wellbeing club on Microsoft Teams, where students can have the opportunity to discuss their thoughts, feelings and concerns in their preferred language of Welsh or English. Katie has also participated in departmental CAVC newsletters and discussions and set up Welsh language quiz for Welsh Music Day to raise money for Velindre.

I feel amazing about winning the Outstanding Commitment to Welsh language award,” Katie said. “I'm completely shocked as well as I didn't even know this award existed.

“And I'm very proud of both myself and the College for, not only being able to achieve this award myself, but for the College for acknowledging that something like this should be celebrated.”

Katie, who rarely gets the opportunity to use Welsh with family or friends, believes CAVC’s support for bilingualism is vital.

“I believe it's immensely important that the College promotes the Welsh language,” she explained. “As a Welsh ambassador, it's up to me to push it forward as being something fun.

“And as someone who was also in primary and secondary school in a Welsh medium, moving somewhere English based is very intimidating, - I believe the integration has been amazing here at the College.

“I adore the ability to use the Welsh language at College. I think it's an amazing place to be able to use it as we can promote it both academically and for communal purposes.

“I think a lot of pupils, especially my age, forget that the Welsh language isn't just something you learn to do GCSEs through, it's something that you can have for the rest of your life and the whole culture that comes with it is phenomenal.”

Speaking of her work as a CAVC Welsh Ambassador and setting up a wellbeing club for English and Welsh speakers, Katie said:

“I think what I've enjoyed the most about being in college is the ability to promote the Welsh language and not only be able to show students that it can be taken further into education but it can also be used for fun, like when we did a quiz for Dydd Miswig Cymru as well.

“The main achievement I have had with the College has definitely been the creation of my wellbeing club that I have set up with the help of the Wellbeing team and my fellow Welsh Ambassadors. It's called 'y lles space'. And we have mental health services for both English and Welsh language speakers so that everyone can be as comfortable as they need to be.”

Katie plans to complete her A Levels and progress on to university, and eventually become a Doctor in Psychology.

“The college is 100% helping me achieve my goals,” she said. “I have never been in an educational system that is so supportive of not only my future, but right now in the present moment as well.”

Cardiff and Vale College Deputy Principal Sharon James said: “Well done Katie! At Cardiff and Vale College we celebrate the Welsh language and culture and Katie’s work in helping us do that has been amazing over the last year.

“We are proud to be Welsh and believe everyone has the right to communicate with us and learn with us in Welsh. That is why we are so pleased to give Katie this award for her outstanding commitment – it’s our way of celebrating members of the CAVC Family who have excelled with their Welsh language skills.”