BRIT Awards success for catering learners

Catering learners from Coleg y Cymoedd are celebrating after being presented the opportunity to provide hospitality at one of the largest award ceremonies of the year.

Four students studying Level 3 Diploma in Food & Beverage Supervision were given the opportunity to help with preparations for the Brit Awards 2016 at the O2 Arena.

Through a partnership with Chartwells four learners from the college’s Nantgarw campus were given the chance to join the Hospitality Live Experience Day for the BRIT Awards Preparation.

Liam Williams, Robert Haycox, Jessica Edwards and Tyler Richard travelled up to London on Monday 22nd in preparation to start work at The O2 arena on Tuesday 23rd, ready for the glitzy awards ceremony on Wednesday 24th.

The learners worked with a team of staff from professional event caterers Payne & Gunter to prepare the arena for the celebrity guests. While the learners prepared the ceremony room artists carried out their rehearsals and sound checks.

The learners were also lucky enough to have a tour of the O2 other catering areas including the Diamond dining area and after party venue, Satellite kitchens, the suites, and the Concessionary outlets.

20 year old Jessica Edwards from Pontypridd who attended the ceremony said: “The BRIT Awards were such an amazing event to be part of, plus this experience could open doors for jobs in the future.”

Paula Marsh, Head of School for Catering at Coleg y Cymoedd said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our learners to work at such a prestigious event and is just one example of the unique experiences we provide our learners during their time with us.”

Coleg y Cymoedd has an excellent reputation for catering and hospitality with learners trained to the highest standards by our professional team. The College has three training restaurants that are run jointly by staff and learners and open to the public to use – Llewellyns Restaurant, Nant Restaurant and Scholars Restaurant. Visit

Learner launches campaign to increase anxiety awareness

A college learner who previously missed school after battling anxiety is raising awareness about the mental illness after an adult branded her ‘hormonal’.

Coleg y Cymoedd learner Bethany Lamb is now working with Fixers to help schools identify mental health problems so they can help pupils.

Bethan, who is studying Level 3 Health and Social Care at the Ystrad Mynach campus, says: “I had a lot of adults telling me it was hormones and that I would get over it.

‘I really want that to change. I think it’s important for people to realise the difference between attention seeking and genuine problems so that young sufferers of anxiety can receive the help they need.”

The 17-year-old, from Blackwood, says her experience left her feeling anxious and more isolated.

She says: “In year nine I was periodically taken out of lessons and in my last six months I had a mental block that made me unable to even walk through the school gates.

‘Schools have lots of help for the disabled and those with learning difficulties, but not so much for mental health issues like anxiety.”

With Fixers Bethany has created leaflets and business cards highlighting the symptoms of anxiety.

She says: “I hope people will look at the leaflet and be able to relate to it and empathise with a person suffering from anxiety. Ultimately, I want people to take mental health in adolescents seriously.”

It was only when Bethany started seeing a counsellor that she started to understand her anxiety and was able to explore ways to cope with the mental illness.

The teenager, who managed to pass her GCSEs despite missing school, is now studying Health and Social Care at the Ystrad Mynach campus of Coleg y Cymoedd and is looking forward to her future.

Find out more about the work Fixers do at:

Cymoedd kicks off a bright future for professional rugby players

A group of talented rugby players from the Coleg y Cymoedd rugby team have been selected by the Cardiff Blues U18’s regional team, after catching the eye of the academy coaches.

After success at the prestigious Coleg y Cymoedd rugby academy, a total of 21 players will join the Blues U18’s regional team, following in the footsteps of former learners and current Blues senior players such as Jarrod Evans, Aled Summerhill and Dillon Lewis to name a few.

Furthermore, 18 Coleg y Cymoedd players have been selected to represent Wales at international level, with ten current learners selected for the U18’s squad. The remaining eight college learners and alumni have been drafted into the Wales U20’s team, ahead of the highly anticipated Six Nations tournament.

Shane Lewis-Hughes, one of the players picked for both the Blues U18’s and Wales U20’s national team, currently studies at Coleg y Cymoedd’s Nantgarw campus. Attending the Coleg y Cymoedd rugby academy, Shane has developed his rugby skills under the watchful eye of expert coaches.

Speaking of his place in both teams, the 18 year old from Ferndale said, “I was completely over the moon to have been picked! It was a shock to be selected for the Wales U20’s as this means jumping up a level as I’m only 18, but it’s a massive opportunity that I’m going to grab with both hands.

“The training programme will become more intense now as we get closer to the Six Nations, but it’s amazing to be in such a professional environment. My dream is to play for my country and for the British Lions so I’m just going to carry on working hard and make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Shane’s passion for rugby started from the age of six, where he made his way from mini and junior ranks at Ferndale RFC and Ystrad Rhondda RFC. The flanker’s flair and ability on the pitch have been supported by his BTEC Sport course at Coleg y Cymoedd.

The college’s rugby Academy aims to ensure the learners are prepared academically should a career in rugby not materialise. The learners are encouraged to develop team work skills and determination which will support them to success in any future employment, professional rugby or university.

Shane’s tutor, Lee Davies said: “As a coaching and management team, we are delighted by the selection of past and present students for the varying levels of representative honours. The boys have worked considerably hard to achieve these honours, dedicating much time and effort to achieve their goals. They deserve every success and we wish them all the best in their future endeavours.”

The players picked for the Wales U18’s and U20’s team will now take part in intense training programmes leading up to the Six Nations tournament, with the first game against Ireland on Friday 5th February.

The Coleg y Cymoedd players picked for the Blues U18’s are Connor Lewis (Tonypandy), Tom Mably (Cyncoed), Corrie Tarrant (Tonypandy), Iestyn Harris (Porth), Ben Warren (Merthyr Tydfil), Callum Bradbury (captain) (Pontypridd), Ben Sier (Merthyr Tydfil), Caleb Docking (Cardiff), Alun Lawrence (Pontyclun), Sion Edwards (Porth), Sion Jones (Barry), Dane Blacker (Pontypridd), Ben Jones (Treharris), Cameron Lewis (Porth), Declan Thomas (Tonyrefail), Thomas Sheppard (Ferndale), Conor Jones (Llandaff), Aron Clarke (Ton Pentre), Garyn Payne (Aberdare), Adam Ashford (Pontypridd), Shane Lewis-Hughes (Ferndale).

The players selected for Wales U18’s are Connor Lewis (Tonypandy), Corrie Tarrant (Tonypandy), Caleb Docking (Cardiff), Callum Bradbury (Pontypridd), Shane Lewis Hughes (Ferndale), Alan Lawrence (Pontyclun), Dane Blacker (Pontypridd), Ben Jones (Treharris), Declan Williams (Tonyrefail), Cameron Lewis (Porth).

The additional eight players who are joining Wales U20’s are Kieron Assiratti (Porth), Dillon Lewis (Pontypridd), Shane Lewis-Hughes (Ferndale), Morgan Sieniawski (Pontypridd), Jarrod Evans (Pontypridd), Harri Millard (Moutain Ash), Elis-Wyn Benham (Cardiff), Rob Lewis.

GE Aviation Wales apprentice awarded Outstanding Apprentice of the Year UK

Jonathan Elley, a Coleg y Cymoedd engineering apprentice from GE Aviation Wales has been awarded ‘Outstanding First Year Apprentice of the Year’ at the EEF UK Future Manufacturing Awards.

Jonathan, aged 23, was named First Year Apprentice of the Year at the Wales Regional awards in November 2015, before taking the UK title.

The EEF Future Manufacturing Awards, sponsored by Aldermore, are one of the most established and respected awards within the engineering industry.

Jonathan was recognised for his passion for engineering and commitment to his apprenticeship. The judges were extremely impressed with Jonathan’s knowledge, enthusiasm and drive to do well in both his apprenticeship and the aviation industry.

The GE Aviation Wales apprentice was up against five other impressive apprentices from across the UK, all hoping to win judges over with their dedication to their apprenticeships and determination to pursue careers in manufacturing.

The ceremony was held at London Connaught Rooms, Covent Garden.

Jonathan Elley, GE Aviation Wales and Coleg y Cymoedd apprentice, says: “I’m ecstatic to be named First Year Apprentice of the Year. It’s an incredible feeling to be recognised in this way for doing something I genuinely enjoy. I’m only at the very start of my career and I am excited to see what’s to come. I hope my success encourages other apprentices to enter these awards, and other young people to seriously consider becoming an apprentice too.”

La-Chun Lindsay, GE Aviation Wales Managing Director, says: “We are extremely proud of Jonathan’s achievements at this prestigious awards ceremony. Jonathan is a great asset to GE Aviation Wales and has impressed us all with his technical capabilities. He also impressed the judges with his dedication, determination and drive to succeed. It is fantastic to see him recognised for his passion for both his apprenticeship and the industry.”

“The apprenticeship programme is an integral part of our recruitment process and we have established a robust apprenticeship programme at GE Aviation Wales in partnership with Coleg y Cymoedd. I am committed to the future success of the programme as we strongly believe that apprenticeships are the building blocks of creating a sustainable future for the business. Our apprenticeship programme is also essential in developing young talent in Wales. I wish Jonathan, and all of the nominees the best of luck for the future.”

Nigel Townsend, Coleg y Cymoedd Tutor, says: Jonathan has worked tirelessly during his time at Coleg y Cymoedd to achieve excellent results; he is a fantastic role model for future apprentices and manages to combine hard work, enthusiasm and a sense of fun in everything he does. Well done Jonathan!”


Wellington Street
Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF44 8EN


Heol y Coleg
Parc Nantgarw
CF15 7QY


Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF40 2TQ

Ystrad Mynach

Twyn Road
Ystrad Mynach
CF82 7XR

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