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Teen art prodigy Makenzy Beard and GP Eilir Hughes among those up for this year’s St David Awards

17 Feb 2022 8 minutes Read
Makenzy Beard’s self portrait, left, and Eilir Hughes, right.

A young Welsh artist who has taken the art world by storm and a GP that founded the Fresh Air Wales campaign to promote the importance of ventilation during the Covid pandemic are among those up for St David Awards this year.

Makenzy Beard and Dr. Eilir Hughes are among 26 others who have been nominated for the St David Awards – Wales’ national awards to recognise everyday heroes.

Police officers who saved a 92-year-old woman from a burning house, an ITV presenter who is a domestic abuse survivor and campaigner, and a former gambler now helping other addicts, are also among those up for the awards.

The St David Awards, which will celebrate their ninth year in 2022, recognise the extraordinary achievements of people from across Wales.

This year’s awards will be given to people and companies in nine different categories, recognising Bravery, Community Spirit to Innovation, Science and Technology. The First Minister of Wales will also give his special award.

Announcing the finalists, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Some of the people shortlisted have shown extraordinary acts of bravery and determination. Others have shown incredible community spirit despite the pressures of living through the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our finalists are astonishing people and we are very fortunate they call Wales home. I would like to congratulate all those who have been shortlisted and I want to thank everyone who took the time to nominate someone for an award – unfortunately not everyone can make the shortlist.”

The winners will be announced in a ceremony on 7 April 2022

The St Davis Awards

The finalists are:

Young person

Makenzy Beard

Location – Bishopston, Gower

The 14-year-old school girl started painting as a hobby during lockdown. Her art work has won thousands of fans and gone viral on social media. Her artwork was selected for exhibition at the prestigious Royal Academy Young Artists’ Summer Show in London this summer. Makenzy also plays hockey for Wales.

Benjamin Trewartha

Location – Church Village, Rhondda Cynon Taf

Following people close to Benjamin suffering with cardiac episodes, Benjamin has been proactive in bringing about first aid training for school pupils to deal with cardiac related situations

Daniel Lewis

Location – Treharris, Merthyr Tydfil

During lockdown, Daniel started a campaign to clean up fly-tipping hotspots. Through fundraising and working with local businesses, he has successfully removed over 25 tonnes of illicit waste on the Merthyr and Gelligaer Common.

Critical Worker

Dr Eilir Hughes

Location – Nefyn, Gwynedd

A GP that founded the Fresh Air Wales campaign to promote the importance of ventilation, especially in schools, and mask-wearing to reduce the risk of spreading and catching Covid 19.

Michelle Jones and Catherine Cooper – Head teacher and Assistant Head teacher

Location – Lansdowne Primary School, Cardiff.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Michelle and Catherine provided support and child care provision for children of key workers and vulnerable children, ensuring they were able to attend school, providing families with food and other essentials, and making themselves available 24/7 to offer help and advice to the community.

Respiratory nursing team from Glamorgan Hospital

Location – Llantrisant, Cardiff

The team played an important role when they provided support for families with loved ones in hospital with Covid, as well as the guidance. They also provided reassurance to staff at the hospital’s Acute Medical Unit

Ysgol Esceifiog

Location – Anglesey

A school which gave support to a family in their school following a terminal diagnosis for one of their pupils. They ensured support was provided to the siblings in school as well as supporting other pupils who were affected by their friend’s illness.

Sport

David Smith MBE

Location – Swansea

A boccia multiple European, World and Paralympic gold medals winner over the past 14 years, most recently at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

Hannah Mills OBE

Location – Cardiff

Hannah, who won a second gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to go with several World and European titles, became the most successful female Olympic sailor of all time.

Lauren Price

Location – Ystrad Mynach, Caerphilly

In 2021, became the first Welsh woman to win a boxing gold medal at the Olympic Games. This will add to her Commonwealth gold medal in 2018 and European Championship Gold Medal

Bravery

PC Ian Chattun and Sergeant Katy Evans – Police officers from Dyfed Powys police saved a vulnerable woman from drowning on Aberystwyth seafront

PC Thomas Scourfield and Sergeant Geraint Jenkins – The police officers risked their lives to attempt to save the life of a 92 ­year ­old man who was trapped in a burning building in Port Talbot

Aaron Gray

Location – Prestatyn, Denbighshire

A father saved seven neighbours from a fire just minutes before their house was engulfed in flames. Aaron saw the blaze, after being woken by his three-year-old son at 5am. The former soldier rushed over and roused the two women and five children inside the bungalow in Prestatyn.

Business

A&R cleaning and security services

Location – Bridgend

A business that adapted their services during the pandemic, investing in new technology, allowing them to become the first in Wales to offer a bio-misting services which provides additional biosecurity against Covid.

Awesome Wales CIC

Location – Barry and Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan

Awesome Wales is a social enterprise with zero waste stores that allow customers buy environmentally friendly and ethically produced goods with no unnecessary plastic packaging

Jordan Lea

Location – Llandudno, Conwy

An inspiring individual, Jordan Lea started a community interest company Deal Me Out in 2020 following debilitating mental health issues surrounding his gambling addiction which he has overcome.

Community Spirit

Carole Anne Dacey

Location – Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan

Since her retirement, Carole has worked full time with some of the most vulnerable people in Wales, including the homeless; people who have been trafficked; and prisoners. She has also trained others (including prisoners) to be able to take on volunteer roles.

Ruth Dodsworth

Location – Cardiff

A well-known TV presenter who suffered abuse and controlling behaviour by her husband for nearly 20 years. She now campaigns against coercive control and helps Wales’ police forces to spot the signs of domestic abuse.

Siop Griffiths

Location – Dyffryn Nantlle, Gwynedd

A community enterprise in Penygroes, Dyffryn Nantlle in Gwynedd that has helped create local solutions to the challenges facing the Nantlle Valley and to give young people opportunities to stay and thrive in their community.

Culture

Berwyn Rowlands

Location – Cardiff

Berwyn is a Welsh TV and film producer and film fan and is the Festival Director of the Iris Prize – Cardiff’s LGBT+ Film Festival which awards the world’s largest short film prize.

Dr Ami Jones and Glenn Dene

Location – Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

As well as fulfilling their usual duties, Ami and Glenn published a collection of Glenn’s photographs from inside Welsh hospitals in a photo book entitled ‘Behind the Mask: the NHS Family and the fight with Covid 19’, with Ami narrating.

Jessica Dunrod

Location – Cardiff

A writer and linguist who has made a huge impact on Welsh language literature. In an effort to diversify Welsh literature, she brought 10 titles to the Welsh market in less than a year.

Environment Champion

Dr Sarah Beynon – The Bug Farm

Location – St Davids, Pembrokeshire

Dr Beynon, a farmer, conservationist and academic entomologist, has established a multi award-winning Bug Farm in 2013 on her 100-acre farm. As a research and education centre showcases the sustainable future of food, farming and wildlife conservation.

Low Carbon Built Environment Group (Cardiff University)

Location – Welsh School of Architechture, Cardiff University

A group have helped significantly to reduce carbon emissions in housing whilst improving conditions and reducing energy bills.

Melissa Forster and Kristina Pruett

Location – Pontypridd

They have led the way in recycling and fly-tipping in their area. Their pledge, The Litter Pick Challenge, developed into a community action organisation with links to other areas of Wales, the U.K. and abroad.

Innovation, Science and Technology

Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, Prof Rob Honey, Dr Byron Wilkinson and Phil Butler

Location – Cardiff University

A small team of dedicated researchers co­produced research on decision­-making in emergency situations for with the National Fire Chiefs Council.

Luca Pagano, Graham Howe, Peter Charlton, John Hughes and Richard Morgan

Location – University of Wales Trinity St Davids (UWTSD), Carmarthen

A small team that has developed a 3D printed jet respiratory support system to help the NHS during the initial COVID-19 outbreak.

Research and Delivery Team Swansea Bay University Health Board

Location – Swansea Bay University Health Board

The research staff worked together to support clinical teams with trials focusing on urgent public health trials. The team adapted to change to ensure that research continued during such a pressured time for health boards.


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