In a ceremony held at South Wales Police Headquarters in Bridgend today (Wednesday 2nd September) Deputy Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan presented the 2020 South Wales Police Welsh Language Learner of the year award to Daniel Holloway. Dan is a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) and part of the Cardiff Bay local neighbourhood team.
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 who are part of the South Wales Police Learning & Development team were particularly impressed with Dan’s enthusiasm, positivity and efforts to develop and improve his Welsh skills, both in work and at home with his family. Receiving his award, Dan said: “I’m delighted to have won the award, and I’m grateful to my family, colleagues and South Wales Police for the help and support I have received.
“My interest in learning and improving my Welsh started in around 2012 when I was deployed to the Grangetown area of Cardiff which has a strong Welsh speaking community. At this time my eldest son also started in a Welsh language Primary school and as a family we attended cultural events such as Tafwyl and the Urdd Eisteddfod.
“My daily beat introduced me to the Welsh speaking community, and I felt the need to gain a further understanding of the language and culture of the community. I started teaching myself Welsh and talking with Welsh speaking colleagues who assisted me in my learning, I also engaged in Welsh with members of the community during my daily interactions and my confidence slowly grew.
“In 2018 I started learning Welsh formally by completing in house South Wales Police Welsh language training levels one and two, and in my spare time I began the “Cymraeg i’r Teulu” course with Cardiff University. Last year I continued Welsh Language learning in the workplace and completed my Level three training and I’ve have recently completed the second “Cymraeg i’r Teulu” course with Cardiff University.
“Looking to the future I’m committed to improving my Welsh and really enjoy interacting with people through the medium of Welsh. It can be challenging but it’s also a lot of fun, and has given me a real sense of pride and achievement. I would encourage anyone who is interested to give it a go, there are many free resources available, and you can quickly learn some basic phrases and words at your own pace.
Deputy Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan, who leads on the Welsh language at South Wales Police said: “I’m delighted to recognise Dan’s efforts and congratulate him on his success. His achievement is even more impressive when you consider the stiff competition he faced as we again had record numbers of South Wales Police officers and staff making the effort to learn and improve their Welsh language skills. They do this through our learning and development courses and also in their own time.
“In addition to recognising Dan’s success I would also like to pay tribute to Heulwen Jones our Welsh Language Trainer and the Learning and development team. Heulwen continues to provide our learners with fantastic support, and we are grateful for her continued inspiration and patient guidance.
“As an organisation we continue to develop and improve the policing services we offer, whether our communities choose to access these in Welsh or English. The fact that so many of our officers and staff want to learn and improve their Welsh is reassuring and also inspiring. I’ve no doubt that the determination and passion shown by Dan and other colleagues will help us achieve our goal of making South Wales Police a truly bi-lingual organisation.”