An Ellesmere Port man is one of the four finalists in the National Eisteddfod's Welsh Learner of the Year competition, following a full day of activities and interviews at Llangefni’s Oriel Ynys Môn.
Hugh Brightwell from Ellesmere Port, Emma Chappell from Deiniolen, Gwynedd, Richard Furniss from Llangefni and Daniela Schlick from Menai Bridge, Anglesey are this year’s successful entrants for the National Eisteddfod, which will be held in Anglesey in August.
The winner will be announced at a ceremony at Tre Ysgawen Hall near Llangefni on August 9.
Anglesey Eisteddfod Learners’ Committee chairman Elwyn Hughes said: “It’s a pity we can’t put everyone through to the final, as all the entrants are so inspiring.
“It’s a wonderful experience to meet and chat to all the competitors and find out why they’ve learnt Welsh and how it’s shaped and changed their lives.
"We warmly congratulate each and every entrant, not only for competing but for their commitment to the language and culture. We wish them all very well in the future.”
Hugh Brightwell lives in Ellesmere Port and started learning Welsh when he and wife Gilly discussed moving to Wales.
As he started learning, he became interested in Welsh history and culture and has attended a number of courses to improve his skills.
Emma Chappell was born in Cambridge but now lives in Deiniolen, Her partner Arwel and their two sons speak Welsh and Emma decided to learn too.
She uses Welsh at work in Bangor University every day.
Richard Furniss lives in Llangefni with his wife Delyth, and has been learning Welsh since 2005.
He originally started learning Welsh to help him to find work locally but, as he found out more about Wales, its culture and what the language means to people, it became obvious that Welsh had become an important part of his own life.
He feels very honoured to be bilingual.
Daniela Schlick is originally from Germany, but fell in love with Wales when she came here on holiday and started learning Welsh when she returned home.
Two years ago, she felt confident enough speaking Welsh and left her home and job and moved to Menai Bridge.
She has already competed at the National Eisteddfod, coming second in the learners’ recitation competition last year, and sings with the Eisteddfod Choir.
This year’s adjudicators are Jenny Pye, Alun Charles and Nia Roberts.
Announcing the shortlist, Jenny said: “We’ve all enjoyed meeting the entrants in this year’s competition.
"The standard has been high and everyone’s stories and experiences have been extremely interesting. We look forward to meeting Emma, Dani, Hugh and Richard again in the final during Eisteddfod week.”
The winner of the competition will receive a trophy and £300, while the other three finalists will also receive trophies and £100.
The winner is also invited to become a member of the Gorsedd.
The Anglesey National Eisteddfod will be held in Bodedern from August 4 to 12.