Musical, Medical and Engineering achievements celebrated at The Livery Company of Wales Awards.

Seven highly talented young Welsh men and women celebrated their receipt of Awards from the Livery Company of Wales at a dinner evening held at Howell’s School, Cardiff on 27 September hosted by Master Elect of the Livery Company, Mr Geoffrey Hughes. Each gave very assured presentations outlining the use to which they put the award and how it helped them with their careers. Two messages were clear. Whilst the money was important, the recognition and encouragement given to each of the recipients by their award has helped built their confidence and determination to develop their talents to the full, and that the Awards had many benefits beyond the specific reasons for which they were given.

Katie Jenkins won a Music Award to study at the prestigious New York Juillard School of music, dance and drama. Katie is a talented musician, composer and performer. She presented a video from New York, backed with a soundtrack of her own composition, about her studies under world renowned teachers, her new friends from many different countries and the benefits and enjoyment she has had from her experiences living in this great city.

Ryan Whitfield from Coleg Gwent admitted he was very apprehensive about having to give a presentation on his work following his award to support his apprenticeship in electrical engineering but, with the help of a video he shot and edited himself, he gave an assured, entertaining and informative account. The Livery Company expressed their gratitude to his employers, SSJ Systems for their support and the benefit Wales gets from apprenticeships generally offered by such firms to our young people.

Ceri Parris is a medical student approaching the end of her studies at Cardiff University and has been given an award to support her to visit hospitals in a remote area of the Philippines and the bustling but poor city of Phnom Penh in Cambodia.  She wants to learn how medicine is delivered in places where resources are very limited and even simple medicines can have huge benefits.  She hopes to develop her self-reliance and confidence as well as experiencing other world cultures, but she did admit that her attempts to learn Cambodian were not going well!

Dr John McCrory is passionate about his music, his repair café project and promoting engineering to students and particularly encouraging women into research. His work he describes as looking at, “how things break or more particularly predicting when they will break before they actually do.” The Livery Company was pleased to award him a travel scholarship to promote links between Cardiff and American researchers in the same field studying smart structures capable of monitoring their own integrity using modified seismic techniques.

Iestyn Griffiths entertained the diners during the evening with his masterful and varied repertoire of piano pieces. He has just completed his Masters in musical performance at Cardiff University. He received the award for Music and Entertainment and his ambition is to become a West End or Broadway music director. He has organised the “City of Stars” show with a 60-piece orchestra in Cardiff made up entirely of Welsh players. To help promote his career he used some of the money from his award to buy an electric key board capable of reproducing the sound of almost any musical instrument.

Zsanett Lukacs came to Cardiff from Hungary 10 years ago and fell in love with Wales (and a Welsh boy) and after a career in marketing changed direction to Public Health medicine. She has recently completed her MSc at the University of South Wales. She received a Travel Award from the Livery Company so that she could attend a residential course in Finland. She described her experience as being educational, convivial, enlightening and with the added benefit offering the space to clear her mind and improve her fitness in the “land of lakes and forests”.

Dr Sejal Bhatt is training in Cardiff to become an Ophthalmic Surgeon having been born, brought up and trained in Wales. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she described how she spent her 2016 Gold Award on the instruments, text books, courses and simulated eyes so that she could develop her operative skills and the knowledge needed to become a consultant. She is an accomplished Indian Classical dancer and passionate about medical education. The Livery Company is proud to sponsor her as she will undoubtedly be a great asset to Welsh medicine in the future.