My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Cardiff University School of Medicine named Business of the Year at Arts & Business Cymru Awards

Cardiff University School of Medicine has been named Admiral Business of the Year at the Arts & Business Cymru Awards for the innovative way it uses the arts to improve healthcare for people with learning disabilities.

Learning-disabled actors from theatre company Hijinx have worked with more than 400 fourth-year medical students on role-play clinical scenarios to address a lack of training in communicating with, and caring for, people with learning disabilities. The partnership, now part of the core curriculum for the university’s medical students, has grown students’ confidence as they have learned to adjust their approach and language to suit different situations.

The project has enhanced the school’s reputation, making it more attractive to future students, and has boosted Hijinx’s reputation as a pioneer of inclusive theatre as its actors seek regular, paid work opportunities.

The partnership also won the Arts, Business & Health Award.

The annual Arts & Business Cymru awards ceremony took place last night [Friday 25 May] at Wales Millennium Centre.  The event, now celebrating its 25thAnniversary, recognises outstanding commitment to supporting the arts.

The awards were compered by broadcasters Nicola Heywood Thomas and Arfon Haines Davies, and an array Welsh stars presented the winners with their especially designed trophies, including actors Suzanne Packer, Mark Lewis Jones, Richard Mylan and Hannah Daniel, designer and presenter Anna Ryder Richardson, ex Olympic athlete and presenter Colin Jackson and Grammy Award winning soprano Rebecca Evans.

The event’s main sponsor was global energy company Valero and the categories, which recognise the best partnerships between businesses and arts organisations, were sponsored by a range of Welsh firms.

Other winners on the night included Philip Carne, MBE, who received the prestigious Robert Maskrey Award for Arts Philanthropy in recognition of his tireless support for emerging talent in Wales’ performing arts. The Carne Trust, founded by Mr Carne and his wife Christine, has provided a wealth of support to various Welsh arts organisations and talented students at music and drama academies, both during their study and after they graduate.

The Hodge Arts Award and its £2,500 cash prize went to The Aloud Charity in recognition of the creative and sustainable way it has worked with businesses to improve the lives of young people across Wales.

Rachel Jones, chief executive of Arts & Business Cymru, said:

“Tonight marks the 25thAnniversary of these awards and the quality of entries we receive never fail to excite and inspire us.

“Arts & Business Cymru believes passionately in the arts’ unique capacity to unite communities and improve lives. We have witnessed the positive impact that partnerships between arts organisations and businesses can have, not only for each other but the communities in which they operate and the wider Welsh economy. It is an honour to celebrate so many excellent companies and arts organisations working together across Wales in innovative, and often humbling, ways.

“I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to the sponsors and partners for their continued support of our work and these awards. Without you, this would not be possible.”