Awards set to inspire Wales again

Geraint Talfan Davies looks forward to the second annual Inspire Wales Awards

Much has been made in recent months of David Cameron’s Big Society idea. The launch yesterday of the second IWA Inspire Wales Awards was a reminder that this is in reality an old idea. The Institute of Welsh Affairs set itself the task of doing what it could to strengthen civil society in Wales when it was launched 24 years ago. The IWA has been built on the notion that we all need to be engaged in the task of improving life in Wales.

The IWA Inspire Wales Awards were launched last year, with the support of the Western Mail, to give recognition to those people who make a progressive society a reality, people who run with ideas and passions in a way that inspires those around them, people who, in business or education, in sport or the arts, in safeguarding the environment or in community development, bring about change.

Last year the scheme far exceeded our hopes for the inaugural event. It produced 458 nominations for 10 categories, from which we selected 33 finalists. In the event the ten winners were drawn from all sectors – public, private and voluntary – and all parts of Wales. A majority of them were women.

We are launching for the second year very confident of even greater success, with numbers at yesterday’s launch – sponsored by Western Power Distribution – at Cardiff’s City Hall, well up on last year. The 2011 final will take place there on Friday, 17th June.

The 10 categories this year are

  • Business Leader – sponsored by Leadership & Management Wales
  • Educator – sponsored by University of Wales
  • Science & Technology – also sponsored by University of Wales
  • Environmentalist – sponsored by Viridor
  • Arts, Media & Creative Industries – sponsored by Orchard
  • Welsh at Work – sponsored by The CADCentre (UK) Ltd, this award will reward both small companies and large organisations.
  • Citizen’s Voice – which is currently un sponsored
  • Global Wales – sponsored by University of Wales
  • Young Achiever – sponsored by Wales & West Utilities
  • Sport – sponsored by Sport Wales

Closing date for nominations for the first five categories is 8 April 2011, and for the last five categories 15 April 2011.

Simon Farrington, Business Development Editor for Western Mail owners, Media Wales, is equally confident of success. “I predict greater success for the Inspire Wales Awards because at its heart, it has people: people who help others, people who motivate, people who lead, compassionate people who give hope, and people with ideas, who love life and, above all else, inspire.

“The Inspire Wales Awards are a celebration of people who, on the night, you can guarantee will be embarrassed to be described as selfless, unassuming, occasionally heroic, often generous, and always contributing to the community in which they live. That’s why we are delighted to be backing the scheme as media partner,” he said.

It’s now over to the public. You can enter yourself for the awards, or you can nominate someone else. To find out more or to receive an entry form, or to explore sponsorship opportunities, contact IWA Events Manager, Emma Brennan on 029 2066 0820 or via emmabrennan@iwa.org.uk – or click on the Inspire Wales Awards 2011 tab on this page.

Geraint Talfan Davies is Chair of the IWA

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