The Inspire Wales Awards are an initiative of the Institute of Welsh Affairs in association with the Western Mail.
Inspirational people from all walks of life are being honoured in the second annual Inspire Wales Awards. The awards – a partnership between the Western Mail and the Institute of Welsh Affairs – recognise the contribution of those in the fields of business, education, science and technology, arts and media, the environment and sport. They also aim to mark the work of young achievers, those who promote Wales to the world and the Welsh language in the workplace, as well as champions of citizenship. Today, we reveal the finalists in the Welsh at Work (small) category.
Dafydd Hardy Estate Agents (Dafydd Hardy)
From its inception in 1992, Caernarfon-based estate agent Dafydd Hardy has worked to incorporate Welsh into the heart of what it does. To ensure this, the company introduced a bilingual policy for communication with customers, tracking the policies of the Welsh Language Scheme, which allows a choice of either Welsh and English for customers, and encouraging its staff to learn or improve their Welsh language skills. It also helps support local translation services, external language tutors and engage with local bilingual suppliers to promote the everyday use of the language. Dafydd Hardy has also arranged conversational Welsh lessons for staff and promoted bilingual internal communications, a policy conceived and enacted for the last 19 years. Its Welsh-centric policies have meant that, since it has grown to have 40 employees, the vast majority of which can speak Welsh fluently.
Caws Cenarth (Carwyn Adams)
Set up more than 25 years ago by a Welsh-speaking family, the Welsh language has been a constant feature in the daily life of the Carmarthenshire cheese producer. Proprieter Carwyn Adams felt it was important, for a West Wales company, to be able to communicate with people locally and across Wales and so it formed an essential part of the company brand and a marketing tool for its message of produce made and sold from the Welsh countryside. Bilingualism has been a key part of the company since it was founded and it continues to use Welsh and English side-by-side, forming marketing material and branding of the company. The reach of Welsh even extends to the names given to their produce – Perl Las, Perl Wen, Cennin Cenarth, among others. As a result, you see Welsh words on the menus of the best eating houses and on the shelves of some of the best shops in the country.
South Caernarfon Creameries (Alan Wyn Jones)
Bilingualism has been deliberately at the heart of the work of the creameries since it was established in 1939. Today, 90% of its 150-strong workforce speaks Welsh – a fact that reflects the company’s pride in its history of language use, and drives its bilingual marketing campaign to ensure products are prominent. Its language-development approach has evolved naturally over the time of the company’s existence, and its policies – such as offering development skills to staff – have been praised by the Welsh Language Board. Its bilingual approach has also helped break new business ground, with companies, including several big supermarkets – and its efforts to break new ground are reflected in its policy of reviewing its language policies, which will strengthen the company’s recruitment and business position.