IN a special ceremony held at Headquarters in Bridgend, Assistant Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan presented the 2019 South Wales Police Welsh Language Learner of the year award to Julia Mason who works as a Research & Data Quality Officer in South Wales Police Headquarters.

The award recognises the year’s outstanding Welsh learner and the person who has shown the most commitment, drive, and passion for learning Welsh over the past 12 months.

During their deliberations, the judges were particularly impressed with Julia’s enthusiasm and efforts to develop, practice and improve her Welsh skills both in work and at home. Her determination has played a key part in her studies.

Receiving her award, Julia said: “I’m delighted to have won this prestigious award.”

“I’m extremely grateful to Heulwen Jones, Welsh Language Trainer in the Learning and Development team.”

“Heulwen has provided me with tremendous support over the past 12 months. She is an excellent and dedicated trainer who makes everyone feel comfortable with the challenge of learning the language.”

“I studied some basic Welsh at school but my heritage is predominantly English and no Welsh has ever been spoken in my family.”

“I would also like to thank ACC Vaughan for championing the language, Sally Hillman, my line manager, and Claire Roach who works in Data Protection for their help.”

“Like many of my colleagues I’m passionate about improving my Welsh language skills and I would encourage anyone out there who feels intimidated by the prospect to give it a go. We all learned English which is a difficult language so there is no reason at all why we can’t learn Welsh as well! We need to be working towards a bi-lingual Force as Welsh is not the only resurgent within the communities we serve but an integral part of our cultural identity.”

ACC Vaughan who leads on the Welsh language at South Wales Police said: “I’m delighted to recognise Julia’s efforts, and I pay tribute to her and the record number of South Wales Police officers and staff who are making the effort to learn and improve their Welsh language skills in their own time, and through our learning and development courses.”

“As an organisation we are clear that we can and must improve our ability to provide our communities with an excellent bi-lingual service. I’ve no doubt that the personal determination and passion shown by Julia and other colleagues will help us achieve our goal.”

Julia won the award against stiff competition from others across the Force, her positivity and determination to learn Welsh was the difference and she is rightly being recognised as our Welsh learner of the year.

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