St David Awards finalists announced

First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones has announced the finalists in the 2016, St David Awards.

The awards, now in their third year, acknowledge the extraordinary achievements of people in Wales. They were created to recognise the great deeds and contributions made by people from all walks of life.

The finalists in the award categories: Bravery; Citizenship; Culture; Enterprise; Innovation and Technology; International; Sport and Young Person are as follows.

Bravery

Peter Fuller – nominated for his role in stepping in to stop a horrific machete attack in Mold in January 2015.

Matthew James – from Pontypridd, he is nominated for his selflessness during a time of real fear and chaos, using his body to shield his partner, Saera Wilson, from bullets during last summer’s Tunisia terror attacks.

PC Owen Davies and PC Rhiannon Hurst, Police Officers, Gwent Police – nominated for their heroic role in helping to save the lives eight family members from a house fire in Newport.

Citizenship

Grant, June and Owain Thomas, fundraisers – from Oakdale, they have been nominated for their tireless fundraising for Cardiac Risk in the Young.

Janet Williams, foster carer – from Porthmadog, nominated for being a foster carer to more than 100 children over the past 35 years and founding the Gwynedd Foster Carers Association.

Dave Cooke, charity founder – from Wrexham, he has been nominated for his work in establishing the ‘Operation Christmas Child’ organisation and Teams4u, a charity which focuses on working in vulnerable communities to transform lives through education and health.

Culture

Owain Arwel Hughes CBE, orchestra conductor – he has been nominated for his exceptional service to the world of music in Wales and further afield.

Gruff Rhys, musician – nominated for being a Welsh icon to music-lovers across the globe; his success with the Super Furry Animals and as a solo performer and his collaborations with National Theatre Wales and Sherman Cymru.

Owen Sheers, poet – from Abergavenny, he has been nominated for his work as a poet and writer.

Enterprise

Dominic Griffith, medical device manufacturer – nominated for establishing Alesi-Surgical (formerly Asalus). A leading medical device manufacturer, they’ve revolutionised the way in which surgical smoke is handled, transforming the operating theatre environment during laparoscopic surgery

Dr Graham Jackson, Chairman, food manufacturing company – nominated for his work as the chairman of KK Fine Foods PLC based in Deeside, Flintshire. As well as increasing the company’s turnover year on year, KK Fine Foods helps local charities including Blind Veterans UK, Cancer Relief and Alder Hay Children’s Hospital.

Ian Sturrock, horticulturist – nominated for his unique business model of preserving and selling varieties of Welsh fruit trees, conserving Welsh horticulture and making the public aware of the importance of growing your own.

Innovation & Technology

Geraint Davies, video engineer – from Anglesey he has been nominated for his role in developing an element of the real time video app, Periscope.

ONS Digital team, Office of National Statistics – based in Newport, the team have been nominated for their innovative approach in building a new, bespoke statistical publishing platform.

Dr Graham Foster & Dr Gareth Stockman, Renewable Energy Company Chairman and Technical Director and Managing Director of Marine Power Systems Ltd – nominated for their work in developing the WaveSub wave energy converter, a second generation device which addresses the challenges of extracting wave energy.

International

Julie Gardner MBE, television producer – from Neath; she has been nominated for her work in raising the profile of Welsh TV production around the world.

Dewi Rogers, water management expert – originally from North East Wales he has been nominated for his work as an internationally recognised expert in water management. Thanks to his efforts, billions of litres of water have been saved every year.

Matthew Rhys, actor – originally from Cardiff, he has been nominated for using his status to promote Wales and Welshness at home and abroad.

Sport

Gareth Bale, international footballer – nominated for his role as a leading footballer, helping Wales to its first major championship since 1958.

Chris Coleman, Wales Football Team Manager – nominated for his role in leading the Wales football team to the 2016 European Championship.

Dan Biggar, international rugby player – from Swansea, he has been nominated for his contribution to Wales’ success at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Young Person

Sion Eifion Jones, engineer – from Llangadfan in Powys, he has been nominated for using his engineering skills to build a business with the ‘Easy Fencer’, which has been nominated for the WJEC Student Innovation Awards.

‘Ed Up’ – Olchfa Comprehensive School Enterprise Team – Twelve Year 10 pupils from Olchfa School in Swansea have been nominated for devising an innovative app to help GCSE pupils revise.

Carwyn Williams, volunteer – from Llandudno, he has been nominated for having turned his life around through volunteering. He recently won the Wales Young Volunteer of the Year award at the National StreetGames Award.

First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones said:

“Once again the finalists in our St David awards are an exceptional group of people. It’s going to be tough to choose the winners; every one of them is a credit to Wales.

“I’d like to thank all those who nominated in this year’s awards, you’ve put forward some fantastic people. I look forward to marking their achievements at the main awards ceremony in March.”