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Helping our dreams become reality; Each year PS40,000 worth of scholarships are handed to learners in Wales by the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales. This weekend the organisation launches a PS100,000 Jubilee appeal to increase that amount. Education editor Abbie Wightwick looks at the Company's work - and some of those it has helped.

APS100,000 Silver Jubilee fundraising appeal is being launched by the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales to celebrate its 25th anniversary this year. The fund will be spent on additional awards and bursaries to young learners in Wales over the next decade.

Announcing the appeal, Professor Gillian Davies, Master of the Company, says she wants to raise the profile of the organisation, which works to promote education, the arts, science and technology in Wales.

The Company currently gives out PS40,000 of awards every year, which it hopes will rise to PS50,000 with the Jubilee Appeal.

At Sunday's official launch at Atlantic College, St Donat's Castle, two awards will be presented to students for community projects they complete as part of their International Baccalaureate course.

PS500 each will be presented to Eve Sharples for her community project - working with the Bardsey Island Bird Observatory - and to Joshua McCarthy for his community project - improving the lives of autistic children at St Illtyd Primary School. The launch will also include a recital by professional singer and actress Caitlin McKee, who received awards from the Company in 2011 and 2015. Studying at the University of Wales Trinity St David, Caitlin was awarded a PS1,000 performing arts travel scholarship to Rio Grande University in 2011, and then in 2015 a PS500 bursary at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.

Here, some other recipients talk about how awards from the Company have helped them: | Adam Tuft, 24, from Hawarden, Flintshire, is an undergraduate engineering apprenticeship at Airbus in Broughton.

"I have a passion for engineering and wing manufacture, and the support given to me by the Livery Company and Airbus enables me to pursue the various training and qualifications needed to further enhance my knowledge and broaden my skills".

"I am a manufacturing engineer at Airbus UK, Broughton (north Wales), where we build wings for all Airbus commercial aircraft.

"I'm really enjoying working alongside cutting-edge manufacturing techniques and I'm looking forward to being involved with future projects."

| Natalie Lubbock, 27, from Pontypridd, is currently studying for a PhD and working at the University of South Wales. In 2014 she won a PS1,000 travel scholarship to study coral conservation in Honduras, Central America.

"The scholarship made it possible for me to travel to Honduras, where I was able to conduct research and fieldwork for my MSc dissertation project. Winning a PS1,000 scholarship made a tremendous difference, as I was able to afford to join the expedition with Operation Wallacea and fulfil my dream.

"I am currently looking to apply my surveying skills to degraded seagrass meadows in Wales. These habitats exist in Milford Haven, the Llyn Peninsula and even Skomer Island.

"Seagrass meadows, kelp forests and horse mussel beds are vital for the existence of economically valuable fish such as cod and they are seriously under threat".

| Chantal Spiteri, 36, from Cardiff won a Gold Award in 2012 which shaped her career in dance.

"The prize funds I received helped shape and progress my career enormously. It enabled me to seek muchneeded advice from solicitors and accountants about running a company. With that information, I was able to reach out to some very highstatus organisations in Wales, namely Wales Millennium Centre and National Dance Company Wales, and broker relationships with them around my vision for a new ZooNation Hip-Hop Academy in Wales. "I am extremely proud to say both organisations have agreed to a partnership and we are due to open the doors to a brand-new ZAD Cardiff, which will see weekly hip-hop classes for ages four to 21 running at the Dance House at WMC.

"The prize from the Welsh Livery Guild not only helped me get my vision under way financially, but, in some ways even more importantly, the validation from the Livery Guild helped to build my confidence not only to dream but to set about achieving that dream. In the most cliched of ways, it really did help me believe in myself and to believe I can make things happen.

"I have just been granted a new post as executive director of ZooNation Dance Company's resident company at Sadler's Wells theatre, London, which will start in April 2018. Alongside this role, I will also continue to run academies and training opportunities across the UK, training over 250 students each week."

| Professor Tom Crick MBE, 27, won the Company of Wales Gold Award in 2013 while at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

"It was an honour to be awarded the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales Gold Award in 2013. The award came at a key time for me and provided the necessary platform and resources for the future.

"I had just chaired a review of the ICT curriculum for the Welsh Government, which has now led into chairing the development of a new Digital Competence Framework for all schools in Wales, as well as being invited to chair the recentlyannounced National Network for Excellence in Science and Technology, a PS4m investment by the Welsh Government.

"I have no hesitation in highlight-ing the impact of the Gold Award on my career."

| Trainee eye surgeon Dr Sejal Bhatt, 29, from Cardiff, was a winner in 2016.

"I used the grant to support my educational commitments including the purchase of a range of eyes - dummies of course! - to hone my surgical skills with the precision, dexterity and decisiveness to ensure satisfactory patient outcomes."

| What is the Welsh Livery Guild? The Welsh Livery Guild was founded in 1993 to promote education, the arts, science and technology in Wales. In 2013 the guild was presented with the Royal Charter and renamed the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales.

Unlike other livery companies, it is not associated with any one trade or profession, but seeks to help young people in Wales develop skills through an annual awards programme of scholarships and bursaries.

Young people in schools, colleges and universities, apprentices and those in the armed forces can apply.

The awards available are travel scholarships, apprentice awards, bursaries, school awards and ad hoc awards.

| To find out more visit www.liverycompanywales.cymru or email awards@liverycompanywales.cymru

CAPTION(S):

<B Prof Gillian Davies Andrew James

<| Natalie Lubbock, 27, from PontypriddSaffron Jenkins

<B Chantal Spiteri, from Cardiff, with daughter Olivia Rose, two Saffron Jenkins

Prof Tom Crick Richard Williams
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 15, 2018
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