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I Saw It First sponsors Child of Wales Awards – Who Cares Wins Award

Child of Wales Awards are delighted to announce that the fashion brand isawitfirst.com is a category sponsor.

The Who Cares Wins is a special award to honor the actions and efforts of young people in the community in highlighting their achievements during the COVID pandemic. Hundreds of young people raised money for the NHS and many other COVID related campaigns.

Leanne Holmes Brand Director at isawitfirst said “our legacy is to uplift and inspire our customers and we have been uplifted and inspired by the amazing achievements and efforts of young people all over Wales who have worked tirelessly to make life better for other people in their communities during the pandemic”


Sophie Mansell – an absolute bundle of joy and fun. She has a lunch time eco club at her new school and absolutley loves teaching others. She has made lots of new friends after being bullied at a previous school. Sophie  is a little star, and we are looking forward to giving her The Child of Wales Award at her big night on 21st January at Celtic Manor.

Child of Wales Winner of Child of Courage Award (over 13). Sponsored by Redikite.

Abi Phillips a brave and beautiful and an inspiration to many young girls. What a star she is! We are looking forward to celebrating with Abi and her family January 2022 at The Child of Wales Awards at Celtic Manor.

McKenzie is a brave, bubbly, clever, funny, boy who inspires us all at the Child of Wales Awards. He is the winner of the Child of Courage Award under 13 years old Sponsored by 1192 Laser and Beauty Clinic. This is his incredible story.

Every month, starting on Thursday 4th March we will be revealing the winners of each of the 12 categories for the inaugural Child of Wales Awards.

Please watch this short video for more information.

Dear Guests and Friends of The Child of Wales Awards,

After reviewing and taking some advice about the upcoming celebration of the Child of Wales Awards, It is with a heavy heart I write to tell you that due to the situation with the COVID virus we must postpone our event again on April 9th 2021. It really is sad as I know how much you, our winners, families and friends have been very much looking forward to celebrating.

With many events being cancelled this year despite the good news of the vaccine, it would seem sensible to move the event to 2022, the welfare of our guests and winners must come first.  We have secured a date of January 21st 2022 at Celtic Manor and then we should be in a better position to enjoy the evening, hopefully without the worries of social distancing and mask wearing.

I have explored having a virtual event this year. However, feedback was overwhelming against this idea as many attendees are looking forward to getting dressed up for a night to remember celebrating with their families, colleagues and friends at Celtic Manor. A night to look forward to, in the diary,  when everyone is able to meet again. We have some very special guests attending too, including famous sports personalities, and celebrities. We also have some wonderful video tributes to be played.

I wanted to also take this opportunity to thank you for your patience and understanding. How do we even begin to summarise the last 12 months? Words like “odd” “strange” and “unprecedented” feel entirely worn out by this point. But while the last year’s been unpredictable – we’ve been moved by your unwavering support.

Despite all that has happened we have had some highlights in 2020 with some of the children and young people attending the reception at Downing Street with families and also the fact we were able to donate some funds to our chosen charities NSPCC, Dreams and Wishes and Teenage Cancer Trust.

We will have our event and let us hope that in a year’s time there will be a better world – a world of optimism, stability, happiness, laughter and kindness – all the ingredients so appropriate to The Child of Wales Awards.

I would be very grateful for any feedback you may have.

Stay Safe

With Love


It’s National Teachers’ Day (Monday, October 5) and we decided today was the perfect day to unveil the winner of our lockdown learning competition, to recognise the work of a teacher who has gone the extra mile during lockdown.

We launched this competition back in June when we were also running weekly Vlogs by our special adviser Pepe Hart, designed to help and inspire parents trying to home school their children during the pandemic.

We realised just what a fantastic job so many teachers do – and also the lengths some were going to during lockdown to ensure children did not miss out on their education during lockdown.

On that basis, here at Child of Wales, we asked our followers and supporters, children and parents, to nominate teachers who they felt have gone the extra mile in lockdown learning. A teacher who maybe supported you and made learning easier in these difficult times.

We know that teachers change and shape lives and we would like to say a huge thank you to all teachers. You all do an incredible job.

We are delighted to unveil the winner of our competition as Mark Jermin, the founder of the Mark Jermin Stage School and Mark Jermin Management. Mark worked tirelessly through the pandemic and lockdown to keep in touch with all his pupils via video links to ensure they stayed active and motivated.

Pepe Hart, our special adviser, said: “Happy ‘Thank a Teacher’ day to teachers and educators everywhere! The entries for our ‘Thank a teacher’ were a joy to read. The Child of Wales team gratefully appreciated all the nominations received. You are all winners in your own right, making a difference to so many children and young people.

“Huge congratulations to our overall winner Mark Jermin, thoroughly deserved! Mark inspires young people to believe in their dreams, go out and make them happen. ‘One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.’ Malala Yousafzai.”


Here at the Child of Wales Awards, we are constantly amazed at the wonderful spirit of compassion and selflessness that so many young people from across the country show towards others.

It’s particularly great to hear the story of one teenager from South Wales who is determined to help one of our sponsored charities – NSPCC Cymru – by becoming a volunteer counsellor for Childline when she turns 16, and is on a fundraising mission to cover the cost of her own volunteer training.

Liz Brennan, 15, has set herself a challenge to run, walk and cycle 870 miles – the length of the Wales coast path – to raise £1,600, which is enough to fund the training of a Childline counsellor.

“Lockdown has been a strange one,” says Liz. “For me personally school work has been overwhelming and the uncertainty surrounding GCSE results this summer has been very stressful.

“My family have been really supportive and we have spent lots of time together at home and we started to go walking and cycling, which made those stressful moments less of a nightmare.

“It’s made me realise that this isn’t the case for many children and young people, which is why I want to support the work of the NSPCC so they can still be there for children.

“I know that the charity needs more volunteers to be able to do that, which is why I have set myself the fundraising challenge, and why I am determined to become a Childline counsellor next year so that I can be there to help others.”

Liz’s plans to apply to be a Childline counsellor were cemented having seen the NSPCC’s recent appeal for Childline volunteers in North Wales, which it made after active volunteer numbers fell significantly because many existing counsellors had to shield during the COVID-19 crisis.

Starting her challenge on Tuesday 1 September, Liz hopes to complete the distance in four

months, managing her runs, walks, and bike rides around her GCSE school work as she returns to the classroom for the start of the new academic year.

Liz from Nantgarw has already been out on some training sessions having swapped her pre-lockdown fitness classes at the gym for cycling.

She says: “To complete the challenge by Christmas I’ll have to average around eight miles every single day over four months. It’s quite a lot as I’ll be having to put the miles in before or after school.

“I saw Rhys Jenkins break the world record for covering the same distance and whilst I’m not going to be doing it that fast, I’m up for giving the distance a go and he has given me some inspiration to do that.”

Liz who attends Bishop of Llandaff School has volunteered with the charity’s fundraising team since the age of eight, supporting coffee mornings, carol concerts, bucket collections, and more recently the 2.6 Challenge.

The charity relies on public donations for 90% of its income, which is why fundraising is so important. It costs the charity £1,600 to train a volunteer counsellor for Childline and £4 to answer a child’s call to Childline.

Two of the NSPCC’s twelve Childline bases across the UK are located in Wales, in Prestatyn and Cardiff, providing support to worried children and young people. Childline counsellors are ready to listen to those who contact the service, giving them a safe space to talk about anything that is happening to them or causing them to worry.

Liz added: “Speaking to my friends, lockdown has been different for all of us and we look at the same situation differently – some of us have struggled and others have enjoyed being at home.

“I want to help make sure that Childline can answer every contact it has from a child or young person because I know that home isn’t a safe space for everyone.”

Debs Davis, Childline Service Manager for Wales, says: “We hear from children and young people every day who need someone to listen to them without judgment.

“It can be about anything, from mental-health and family and relationship concerns, to bullying, abuse, or suicidal thoughts and feelings.

“We are all heartened by the challenge Liz has set herself, raising funds that will help us be there for children and young people.

“It’s wonderful that she is so keen to become a volunteer with Childline because without people volunteering their time to support our charity, and without public donations, we simply couldn’t do what we do.”

The charity is appealing for English and Welsh speaking volunteers at its base in Prestatyn. Successful applicants are asked to give a minimum 4.25 hours per week as a counsellor, and receive a comprehensive training package.

More information is available on the charity’s website. Anyone interested in finding out more about what the role entails and how to apply can contact the staff team on 01745 772 101 or via volunteermail@nspcc.org.uk. To follow Liz’s progress with her challenge or to make a donation visit her JustGiving page.

Anyone with any concerns about the welfare of a child can call the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or visit nspcc.org.uk for advice. Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111 between 9am or midnight or visit childline.org.uk for free 365 days a year.

One of our charities, NSPCC Cymru, is making an urgent appeal for Childline volunteers after active volunteer numbers fell dramatically during the COVID-19 crisis.

Its Childline bases in Cardiff and Prestatyn are among 12 UK-wide that are continuing to provide support to children and young people when they need it most. The service has been inundated with contacts from children and young people, with many worried about what Coronavirus means for them.

Volunteer Emma Brookes, 38, has been carrying out additional shifts during lockdown to help bridge the shortfall in volunteers.

“Many of our volunteers have been shielding and, understandably, are unable to come into our Childline bases,” she says.

“Volunteering has changed slightly during lockdown – the contacts from young people have had a lot more to do with COVID19 and mental health concerns.

“Young people are struggling with the lack of face-to-face support and being stuck in the house.”

Children and young people can contact the charity’s counselling service 365 days a year, where specially trained counsellors volunteer their time to listen to their concerns and support them with their worries. Mental health, abuse, family and relationship problems, and bullying are all common concerns, but the reality is when a contact comes in counsellors are ready to talk to a young person about anything.

Mother-of-four, Emma, started volunteering for Childline in April 2019 after a friend recommended she sign up, and she hasn’t looked back.

“My ultimate goal is to work with children and families in some capacity and so I thought listening and supporting young people was a good place to start, but mainly I wanted to be able to offer young people going through a difficult time a space to be heard.

“My first shift, I was so nervous I can’t even put it into words. I was so worried I was going to say the wrong thing which could have a detrimental impact on the young people I spoke with. But at the end of the shift, I just felt fantastic and there is so much support from the supervisors that you never feel alone.”

Emma is from Holywell and mainly volunteers her time on a Saturday evening from Childline’s Prestatyn base where she supports young people around a whole host of issues, including self-harm, and suicidal thoughts and feelings.

“I think demand is high during these hours because most services are unfortunately Monday- Friday 9-5 leaving many young people with no professional help over the weekend,” says Emma.

“They have no school, no access to other services they are using and that can be when young people feel at their most vulnerable.”

Emma juggles volunteering shifts for Childline around her home life, university studies and two other volunteering roles.

She says: “Being a Childline volunteer brings me a sense of purpose – 95% of the time I leave the shift feeling like a child or young person has been listened to and maybe even just for that one evening feels that things might just be okay.

“Some calls mean that for one young person, I might have helped keep them alive for long enough for them to get support and professional help.”

Emma’s advice to anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering as Childline counsellor?

“If I could say anything, I’d just say do it – if that drive is there to help children and young people, go for it.

“Young people need somewhere to feel safe heard and supported. One shift a week could be enough to help a young person and you could be the one person who has believed them, which is massive. There aren’t enough of us, so please come and help us to make a difference.”

Children and young people can speak with a Childline counsellor online or on the phone between 9am and midnight.

Childline Services Manager, Debs Davis says: “Childline gives children and young people a safe space to talk about anything that is happening to them or causing them to worry and that is so important – in fact it can be life-changing.

“We’re desperately in need of more English and Welsh speaking volunteers at our Childline base in Prestatyn so that we can continue to still be here or children and young people when they need us most.”

Successful applicants are asked to give a minimum 4.25 hours per week as a counsellor, and receive a comprehensive training package.

More information is available on the charity’s website. Anyone interested in finding out more about what the role entails and how to apply can contact Volunteer Co-ordinator Sally King-Sheard on 01745 772101 or via Sally.King-Sheard@NSPCC.org.uk

Anyone with any concerns about the welfare of a child can call the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or visit nspcc.org.uk for advice. Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or visit childline.org.uk for free 365 days a year.