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27th November 2007
Simon has decided to pull out of The Big Welsh Challenge. As the other learners prepared to perform their third challenge - solving a murder mystery - Simon said he no longer wished to go on with the project after the sad death of his mentor Ray.
"Grav was more than just a mentor," says Simon. "He was a very good friend. I was enjoying working with Grav and the joy that he had when he saw me take little steps. Now that he's passed away, I really don't feel that I want to continue with it."
Simon has successfully faced the first two of the four challenges: Earlier this year he took to the stage at the Gŵyl Ifan in Cardiff to call the steps to a traditional Welsh dance and this month he and the other Big Welsh Challenge learners sang Sosban Fach live at the BBC Children in Need Appeal.
Since becoming part of The Big Welsh Challenge, Simon has also been one of the faces of the Assembly Government's Welsh for Adults campaign. And he says he's determined to carry on learning the language.
"It's not that I want to stop learning Welsh," he says. "I'll continue with that - above all else, that's what Grav would have wanted. Grav was definitely a beacon and losing him has made me want to do it more. But to bring somebody else in (as a Big Welsh Challenge mentor) two thirds of the way through just wouldn't have the same appeal," he explains.