A SPEECH and language therapist who started learning Welsh after moving to north Pembrokeshire nine years ago has been named Pembrokeshire Welsh Learner 2019.

Jennie Welton, who is originally from Wiltshire, enrolled on a beginner's course with Learn Welsh Pembrokeshire in 2014.

Jennie has now completed four courses and feels confident speaking the language with the children under her care. She says that learning Welsh has had a positive effect on her work.

"I frequently use the language at work," she said. "Learning Welsh was particularly important to me as I work in a field which is all about talking and communication."

Jennie's two young daughters attend Welsh-medium school Ysgol Eglwyswrw. Being able to help them was also a big factor in Jennie's decision to learn Welsh.

"I wanted to be able to support my daughters as they grow up in a predominantly Welsh-speaking environment. It's now so rewarding for me, considering I'd lived in England all my life and had never spoken Welsh before moving here."

Jennie enjoys watching Welsh language programmes on S4C and reading Welsh books. She has also taken part in the Siarad scheme, which pairs Welsh speakers with learners so that they can chat in an informal environment.

"I'm so grateful for the help and support of my Siarad partner Eluned Jones who nominated me for the award," she said. "We have had a great time chatting in Welsh and I feel like a true part of my local community."

With a new term of Welsh courses beginning at the end of September, Jennie is full of praise for the courses and her tutors:

"My tutors have been so enthusiastic, and it's been great to learn alongside like-minded, committed people. The classes are motivating and fit easily into my busy schedule," she said. "It's such an interesting language to learn and I'd recommend it to anyone."

For more information about Learning Welsh in Pembrokeshire please visit http://bit.ly/DCSBenfro or email learnwelsh@pembrokeshire.gov.uk.