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Annual awards salute the inspiring stand against bullying

People taking a stand against bullying have been recognised at Cardiff Council's Inspire Awards 2017, held to coincide with Anti-Bullying Week. 

Compered by Polly James from Capital FM Breakfast, around 90 children and young people, teachers and other school staff, parents and community volunteers gathered at Level 3, St David's Hall for a ceremony to reward the winners, and recognise the nominees shortlisted in seven categories. 


Cole Falkingham-Smith, from Fairwater Primary School won the young person award for primary schools. 


While both Mathew Jones from Glan Taf and Kira Major from Mary Immaculate shared the secondary school young person award, after the judges found it impossible to split them. 


In the primary schools staff category, Paul Catris from St Patrick's Primary School was declared the winner, receiving his award from Suzanne Twamley from the FAW, one of the event sponsors. Annette Hagg from St Teilo's was named as winner in the secondary schools staff category. 


The whole school awards for primary schools and secondary schools were won by St Paul's and St Teilo's respectively. 


Jim Price, from the Young Carers Project was named winner in the alternative provision category. 


Duncan Evans from The Court Special School was presented with a special achievement certificate. 

Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council, and Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, said: "Everyone who makes a stand against bullying deserves recognition, and it is fantastic to see so many people nominated for an Inspire Award this year. 

"They really are all an inspiration, and their actions send a clear message that bullying has to stop and those on the receiving end have someone to turn to for support, help and guidance. 

"It is vital that we all work together to ensure that bullying does not prevail and that those affected know that they are not alone." 

On a recent Fairwater Primary School trip, Cole helped each person he was with to complete an activity course, with his thoughtfulness and determination. 

His transition teacher was so impressed, she thought he deserved an award, and so did the judging panel. 

Cole said: "After winning the award I felt very excited, very confident for myself, very cheerful and very happy." 

The judge's picked Mathew Jones because he demonstrates what it is to be inclusive, consistently showing support to one of his classmates. They also named Kira as a winner for always being on hand to give support and offer advice. 

Mathew said: "I just saw a boy there by himself, and I thought I was going to make sure he was going to have a good time in high school, and I think he has to be honest. If everyone has that mentality, I think that would be a way forward - it's a start and it's a stepping stone." 

"To anyone affected by bullying, I would say keep your head up, keep working and make sure you speak to a teacher or someone you trust. No matter what you are going through, there are people there that will support you, and there are people there that help you through hard times", Kira added. 

Jim Price impressed the judges with his 40 year voluntary service to young people in Cardiff, delivering for the most vulnerable and socially isolated youngsters in Cardiff. 

Responding to his award, Jim said: "It's absolutely brilliant to be recognised for doing work for young people - I'd do it whatever happens anyhow. But it's for the young people. I will be showing the young people my award, as it's their award, not mine." 

The judges also wanted to recognise St Paul's Primary School's attitude to improvement, change and willingness to take on new initiatives to improve pupil's health and wellbeing. 

Headteacher, Mr Chris Gascoigne, said: "We work to create a culture of kindness in the school. We don't get everything right, but we do try to learn. The award gives some credence towards the hard work of our staff and also of the pupils themselves." 

The panel's decision to choose St Teilo's High School was based on its informative event week,not in my school. 

Ian Loynd, Deputy Headteacher, said "We are delighted to have won the Inspire Award in recognition of our work to tackle hate and discrimination. Our pupils are very keen to tackle some of the difficulties that society faces, and it's really great for us that our work - although we're very much on a journey - has been recognised here today." 

Established in 2009 to recognise the children, young people and adults enhancing the lives of others through their selfless acts of kindness and support, the Inspire Awards are organised by Cardiff Against Bullying, the council's anti-bullying team funded by the Welsh Government's Families First programme. 

This year the awards were sponsored by St. David's Hall, Cardiff International White Water, Cardiff City Football Club, Taff Valley Quad Bike and Activity Centre, Cardiff Blues, Mercure Holland House Hotel, Football Association of Wales and Cardiff Devils. 


Guests were entertained by the Cardiff High School Senior Choir, singingGo the Distancefrom theHerculessoundtrack andBui Doifrom the hit musicalMiss Saigon. 

They also enjoyed presentations by children from Christ the King Roman Catholic Primary School and Thornhill Primary School. The children spoke passionately about the things they have done to create a friendly, supportive and caring environment.