This award was designed to recognise achievements in sport, music, visual and performing arts despite disability.
A remarkable athlete, Lily was swimming at Welsh level in Paralympic trials when she was just 12 years old. She then discovered Wheelchair Motocross. Six months after she started participating in the sport, Lily became the first person in Europe and the youngest person ever to perform a wheelchair backflip. Lily has since won several titles, including Gold in the German Open and she became Women’s World Champion in 2019.
Endaf Edwards, General Manager of Princes Gate, said:
“We are delighted to be supporting the Child of Wales Awards. Over the years, we have had the pleasure of working with and supporting children across Wales from different backgrounds with different needs.
“When we heard that Bluestone and The Bluestone Foundation were developing an awards evening celebrating the lives and accomplishments of children, many of whom have overcome so much to reach their goals, it was the easiest decision to be involved.
“We are lucky enough to have some great Welsh sporting partnerships, and are thrilled and privileged to be sponsoring the Young Sporting Hero category.”
Outstanding Charity, sponsored by: Gower College Swansea
The Outstanding Charity Award is designed to recognise a charity formed by young people to help young people.
Based on her own experiences, Emma Lewis identified a need for children to be better supported when they leave the care system. So she founded the charity the Roots Foundation. Thanks to the DIY SOS Big Build programme, the charity has an amazing base in Swansea with apartments where young people are taught how to transition positively into independent living. The Roots Foundation, which is run by volunteers, also provides activities, training, workshops, support groups and coffee mornings.
Mark Jones, Principal of Gower College Swansea, said:
“Gower College Swansea is delighted to be sponsoring the inaugural Child of Wales Awards. We are committed to
providing young people with support, encouragement and opportunities for a brighter future and see many overcome personal challenges to achieve great things.
Bravery Award, sponsored by: Joe’s Ice cream
This award was conceived for children and young people who have undertaken an extraordinary act of bravery having faced dangers and difficulties, overcoming fear.
Casey-Jane is a member of the Welsh Youth Parliament and speaks at conferences where she shares her story of overcoming bullying and dealing with severe anxiety. She campaigns for change in the mental health services in Wales after living in fear for many years because of being bullied. Casey-Jane is an inspiration to other young people that may have endured challenging times and is an active supporter of the Barnardo’s Believe in Me campaign.
Adrian Hughes, co-owner of Joe’s Ice Cream, said:
“Joe’s Ice Cream is incredibly proud to be part of the inaugural Child of Wales Awards, recognising the outstanding achievements, tireless fundraising, passion, and incredible bravery of the children and young people in Wales.
“As an ice cream producer, bringing happiness to children is part of what we do. We firmly believe that every child has a right to a happy and safe childhood, but sadly this is all too often not the case. These awards will raise much needed funds and support four amazing charities that are dedicated to helping and supporting children in Wales.”
The Roberts family
Courageous Family, sponsored by: Principality Building Society
This award was conceived with families who have coped with extreme circumstances in mind.
Henry was just five months old in 2012 when he was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour, which required emergency surgery. Two years after Henry finished his treatment in 2015, which lasted six months, his brother Edward was diagnosed with an equally rare and life-threatening form of cancer and underwent treatment for a whole year. It is hard to imagine the devastation this lovely family have felt, yet their positive attitude has remained inspiring and admirable throughout adversity.
James Harper, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Principality Building Society, said:
“We’re proud to be supporting the Courageous Family category at the Child of Wales Awards. As a society, we exist to support and celebrate our local communities, and this special event is testimony to the incredible achievements and bravery of children and young people across Wales.
“We’re also delighted that we share the same charity partner as the Child of Wales Awards – the Teenage Cancer Trust. This fantastic charity is paving the way with research, treatment and care to ensure no young person has to face cancer alone.”
Young Performer, sponsored by: MGY Estate Agents
The category of Young Performer recognises a young person achieving remarkable things in music, dance and other aspects of the arts despite disability.
Cerys is a dedicated young harpist who first came across a harp aged six and has loved it ever since. Unfortunately, her peers at school began bullying her for her love of music which resulted in her moving schools. She has many accomplishments including winning the Under 16s Harp Solo in the National Eisteddfod of Wales 2018 when only 10 years of age; she won the Urdd Hap Solo under 12s that same year. She was also first place in the Harp Duet (Open Age Category) in Gwyl Cerdd Dant 2019.
Michelle Bishop, director MGY Estate Agents, said:
“MGY are delighted to be in a position to sponsor the inaugural Child of Wales Awards. As one of Cardiff’s leading independent estate agents, we help families find and move into comfortable homes across the city every day, which is both rewarding and a pleasure.
“As a thank you for that custom, we believe it is important for us as a company (and for our staff) to support the communities in which we operate, whether that be through charitable donations, fundraising, sports coaching, or sponsorships.
“The Child of Wales Awards provides a platform for incredibly courageous children not just to tell their stories, but be rewarded for their achievements.
“We appreciate the impact that recognition will have on these inspirational children, and we feel incredibly humbled and honoured to be involved.”
Exceptional Young Carer, sponsored by: Andrew Rees & Sons Butchers
The Exceptional Young Carer recognises young people who do so much to care for those around them including family.
Andrea is 18 years old and one of eight siblings. She came to the UK with her family from Slovakia when she was four years old. As she grew up, she adopted the role of carer for her siblings as her parents couldn’t look after them. She cooked, cleaned, and often went without food so that her siblings could eat. Andrea missed a lot of school to look after her siblings but has never once complained and always exhibits a remarkably cheerful nature.
Andrew Rees, founder of Andrew Rees & Sons, said:
“Andrew Rees Butchers is extremely proud to be one of the sponsors for the Children of Wales Awards. It is an honour to help recognise the amazing achievements of the young people of Wales.
“The Exceptional Young Carer awards will recognise an unsung hero. Every young carer deserves an award because they are all truly inspirational role models for their generation.
“We are privileged to be involved in these awards and in particular to sponsor this category.”
Lewis Craven (Flourish Summer of Picnics)
Community Champion, sponsored by: THOMAS Recruitment
This award is for children and young people who play an exceptional role in their local communities either through organising community events and/or helping others.
Lewis, who has autism, had heard about so-called holiday hunger, whereby some families struggle to feed their children during the school holidays. As a passionate cook, Lewis joined a Lottery-funded scheme called Flourish, run by Cardiff Community Housing Association, which feeds 500 people a week during the summer holidays.
The Flourish Summer of Picnics, as it became known, comprised 18 young chefs aged from 15-21 who came together at a commercial kitchen in Butetown to make up picnics and packed lunches for families in need.
Jason Thomas, managing director, THOMAS Recruitment Group, said: “The THOMAS Recruitment Group are proud supporters of several children’s charities within Wales. “We’re always blown away and humbled by the bravery and courage shown by these young people’s stories. “It’s an honour to be part of the Child of Wales inaugural Awards ceremony and to hear first-hand about the remarkable stories while raising money for fantastic causes.”
Holly & Emily Walker
Young Fundraiser, sponsored by: Mitre Linen
The Young Fundraiser award is designed to recognise the work of young people who go that extra mile raising money for good causes.
Sisters Holly, aged 14, and Emily, aged 12, sadly lost their brother Tom to Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in June 2018, when he was just 13. Since then, the sisters have raised a huge sum of money in his memory for Cancer Research Wales. One fundraising event, called ‘Swim for Tom’, saw over 600 swimmers swim a combined total of 39,000 lengths and raise over £25,000. Tom’s parents and sisters have also raised funds for a research scholarship for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia research, with the total raised approaching a remarkable £120,000.
Sian Cole, Regional Sales Manager, Mitre Linen, said:
“Fundraising is about much more than raising money; it’s about promoting a message and helping a charity or organisation achieve their goals.
“To be doing this as a young person is an amazing achievement, and one that is bound to spread throughout family and friends.”