April Jones's Machynlleth is a St David Awards winner

Representatives of Machynlleth joined April Jones's parents on stage for the award

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The community of Machynlleth has been recognised for the support given to the family of murdered five-year-old April Jones at the first St David Awards.

First Minister Carwyn Jones' special award was presented by April's parents Paul and Coral at an event in Cardiff.

The minister said the community's spirit during the "horrifying events of October 2012 remains an inspiration".

Olympian Jade Jones, singer Cerys Matthews and scientist Dr Lyn Evans were also among those honoured.

The St David Awards recognise inspirational people making a difference in Wales.

'Lasting legacy'

The people of the Powys town received the special award for their resilience following the disappearance of April Jones in October 2012, for whose murder Mark Bridger is serving a life sentence.

Carwyn Jones told the ceremony: "We heard incredible stories coming from this community. The help came from every area - from the bin men who searched endlessly, to the head teacher who offered support in helping the children come to terms with what had happened, to the hundreds of people who searched day and night, donating food, making sandwiches, helping any way they could."

The Reverend Kathleen Rogers, speaking for the Machynlleth community, said: "April Jones, in her very short life, has left a lasting legacy to our community and that is the true meaning of unity, compassion and love. She will always be in our hearts.

"It is the intention of the representatives to arrange a family day in the summer for the community of Machynlleth - a day to say thank you."

Winners of the St David Awards 2014 The winners of the first-ever St David Awards line up with First Minister Carwyn Jones

Categories for the new awards included bravery, citizenship, culture, enterprise, innovation and technology, international, sport and a young person's award.

The winners were unveiled at the ceremony at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff on Thursday night.

  • The Innovation and Technology Award went to Dr Lyn Evans CBE for his work on the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN institute in Switzerland
  • The award for sport was to Baroness Grey-Thompson for her achievements as a Paralympian athlete and her work promoting disability sport
  • The award for bravery went to Karin Williams, a school crossing patrol woman in Rhoose, Vale of Glamorgan, who was injured when she tried to help youngsters after a collision involving a car outside a primary school
  • Yaina Samuels won the award for citizenship, for her work in establishing her own social enterprise to educate and train others about substance misuse after recovering from drug addiction herself
  • Opera star Bryn Terfel was the winner of the international award for his work in promoting Wales and its culture across the world
  • The enterprise award was won by Robin Jones, managing director of the Wrexham-based Village Bakery, which employs more than 250 people
  • Singer/songwriter and broadcaster Cerys Matthews won the culture award for her promotion of Welsh music
  • Olympic taekwondo champion Jade Jones won the award for young people
  • The First Minister's Special Award went to the community of Machynlleth

Carwyn Jones, who first announced the introduction of the honours last year, said: "The winners of these awards are exceptional people.

"They have done extraordinary and inspiring things and I'm proud that the Welsh government has been able to recognise their achievements through these first-ever St David Awards."

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