First Minister begins search for the best of Wales

The First Minister, Carwyn Jones, has opened the nominations for next year’s St David Awards and called on people to take the opportunity to recognise the exceptional people in their sectors and communities.

Launching the awards at a reception at the Royal Welsh Show, the First Minister was joined by some of last year’s winners, including Robin Jones, the Managing Director of Wrexham’s Village Bakery, Yaina Samuels, an addiction councillor and Karin Williams, a school crossing patrol officer who instinctively protected children when a driver lost control of his car in front of Rhws Primary School.

The awards were established to recognise the great deeds and contributions made by people from all walks of life for Wales.  The public are asked to nominate the outstanding people, teams or groups they believe are going that extra mile to benefit others and the country in general.

There are nine categories in total, bravery; citizenship; culture; enterprise; innovation and technology; sport; young person; international and the First Minister’s Special Award, chosen by the First Minister himself.

Last year’s ceremony at Cardiff’s Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama culminated with the emotional presentation of the First Minister’s Special Award to the people of Machynlleth, for the inspirational community spirit shown during the search for missing April Jones.

The First Minister said:

“Last year’s awards ceremony was a truly inspiring and humbling experience, it demonstrated the breadth of talent, enthusiasm and generosity we have all across Wales.

“I’m very much looking forward to beginning the search for next year’s finalists and winners. I hope that people look at the recognition bestowed upon those involved last year and feel motivated to nominate someone they feel equally deserves this great honour.”

Robin Jones, the Managing Director of The Village Bakery and winner of last year’s enterprise award, was at the launch to talk about his experiences since winning.

He said:

“The pride felt by all at the Village Bakery since winning a St David Award has been a huge boost for morale and great for business. It was a fantastic evening in which I got to meet some truly inspiring people, as well as my heroes!

“The St David Awards recognise the very best of Wales and I ask you to nominate that special person, who makes the difference to our wonderful country.”

For further information on how to nominate, visit the St David Award website. Nominations close at midnight on 28 October 2014.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in March 2015.