This year’s Welsh Learner of the Year is Emma Chappell.
She was honoured in a special ceremony on Wednesday evening at Llagenfni’s Tre Ysgawen Hall, following an excellent competition. The adjudicators were Jenny Pye, R Alun Charles and Nia Roberts.
Emma Chappell was born in Cambridge and brought up in Royston, Hertfordshire, but now lives in Deiniolen, Gwynedd. She and her partner, Arwel, have two sons, Deion and Guto, who speak Welsh and attend the local school. Emma decided to learn Welsh after meeting her partner. She knew that the language and his national identity were very important to him, so she decided to learn the language. She lived in Warrington at the time, and was lucky to find an evening class in the town. She then moved to Wales and immediately enrolled in a Welsh class.
Emma uses Welsh at work in Bangor University everyday, with customers, students, staff and contractors, and is also part of the Welsh language action group and has helped other members of staff with their Welsh. Welsh is also the language of the home and her community life in the village, where Emma plays an active role.
Emma said, “I’d like to develop my Welsh at home and at work. I know as the children will get older there’ll be more situations where it’s important I know what’s going on.”
Emma received a trophy, donated by Rhian and Harri Pritchard, Cemaes, and £300 (Bangor University Welsh for Adults). The unique troph was designed and created by Emma Smith and Naomi Williams, who were both Art and Design students at Bangor’s Coleg Menai.
The other three in the final round were Hugh Brightwell from Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, Richard Furniss, Llangefni and Daniela Schlick from Menai Bridge, and the three also received trophies created by Emma and Naomi, donated by Rhian and Harri Pritchard, Cemaes, and £100 each (Teulu’r Wern, Talwrn).
The four also received a year’s subscription to the magazine, Golwg, and gifts from Merched y Wawr, and Emma will be invited to become a member of the Gorsedd.
Emma will be at the press conference on Thursday morning.