17th November 2007
Welsh learners in Maesteg were given advice by someone whose hard work and dedication in mastering the language were recognised at the National Eisteddfod. Julie MacMillan from the Rhondda Valley became the Welsh Learner of the Year after she had been learning for just three years.
Now she has given up her job as a tax officer to teach Welsh to other adults. She came to give inspiration at the Big Welsh Challenge Welsh Learners' Day in Maesteg, telling people to use their Welsh as much as they could and never to feel embarrassed.
After a morning of formal lessons, other personalities on hand to entertain learners in the afternoon included actor, comedian, musician and Big Welsh Challenge presenter Dewi Pws and Lisa Victoria who plays Sheryl in Pobol y Cwm.
Dean Hamilton from Bridgend, who has been learning Welsh for just four weeks, joined the entry level group. "I absolutely loved the day. I persuaded a friend to come who said he'd learnt more than in three weeks of lessons," he said.
"Everyone was really approachable and interesting," said Caroline Ball from Nantyffyllon. "It's so nice to be able to socialise in Welsh. Please come back again!"