IN a special ceremony held at South Wales Police Headquarters in Bridgend on October 3rd Assistant Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan presented the 2018 South Wales Police Welsh Language Learner of the year award to Sergeant Julie Odgers.

The award recognises the year’s outstanding Welsh learner, and the person who has shown the most commitment, drive and passion for learning Welsh over the past 12 months.

During their deliberations, the judges were particularly impressed with Sergeant Odgers’ enthusiasm and efforts to develop, practice and improve her Welsh skills both in work and at home.

Her determination has played a key part in her studies over the last three years, she first took part in the Mynediad course two years ago, after which she continued on to do the Sylvaen course at Bridgend College, before finally continuing her studies in her own time at St Cyres School.

Receiving her award, Sergeant Odgers, who is based at Barry Police Station said: “I’m delighted to have won this prestigious award, and I’m grateful to my colleagues, family and South Wales Police for the help and support I have received. Learning Welsh is something I have been determined to do for several years, and once I put my mind to something I do not give up.

“The journey has not been easy, and my role and commitments outside work have not always allowed me to progress as quickly as I would have liked, but this hasn’t put me off. The progress I have made has been very rewarding and I’m grateful to Welsh Trainer Heulwen Jones and others in the Learning and Development team for their ongoing guidance and support.

“I look forward to building on my knowledge and putting my new skills to use.”

Assistant Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan, who leads on the Welsh language at South Wales Police said:

“I’m delighted to recognise the efforts of Sergeant Odgers, and I pay tribute to her and all the other Welsh language learners in South Wales Police who have been working hard to improve their Welsh language skills.

“Sergeant Odgers won the award against stiff competition from others across the Force, in the end her unwavering determination to learn Welsh was the difference and she is rightly being recognised as our Welsh learner of the year. ACC Vaughan continued:

“At the moment we have unprecedented interest and take up of Welsh language courses provided by our Learning and Development Department. Our increasing numbers of Welsh language learners are in turn increasing our ability to provide an excellent public service, whether it’s required through the medium of English or Welsh.

“The increased demand in training and support is being met by ongoing investment and reflects our commitment to the language and culture of Wales.”

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