A day of welcome was held to celebrate work by pupils in South Powys schools, as part of a competition organised by Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees.

Focussing on the theme of welcome/croeso, the competition was unveiled in the 2024 spring term with local schools invited to submit entries by mid-April. 500 pieces of work were received from 10 schools and 3 panels of judges worked hard to choose the winning submissions.

The Schools that entered were Archdeacon Griffiths CIW Primary School, Brecon High School, Cradoc School, Clyro CIW Primary School, Crickhowell Community Primary School, Llangattock CIW Primary School, Llangors CIW Primary School, Mount Street Infant School, Priory CIW Primary School and Ysgol Y Mynydd Du, and the judges were Phil Clarke, Punch Maughan, Michael Baye, Jasper Fforde, Jo Scott-Lowe, Tom Owen, Clare Owen, Amanda Renwick and Tom True.

The second annual awards evening was held in St Mary's church Brecon with over 200 people including the Leader and Deputy Leader of Powys County Council, as well as county councillors, town mayors, teachers, parents and children packing in to see High Sheriff Lady Kathryn Silk present nearly 80 awards.

The High Sheriff stressed the importance she placed upon compassion, empathy and the need to welcome people and praised the Schools of Sanctuary movement for the emphasis it gives to welcome, inclusion and how they can teach pupils about current affairs and much more through the stories of migration. Many of the schools which entered are working towards recognition as Schools of Sanctuary. Cradoc and Llangors Schools already have this designation. Cradoc was the first primary school in Wales to achieve the award.

Lady Kathryn said: “I am delighted to live in an area that is so generous and welcoming. It is gratifying to see that our schools and children reflect these values and judging from the entries have a deep understanding and empathy for those forced to flee wars and oppression.”

All the winning entries are on display in Theatr Brycheiniog Gallery until 5th July together with some samples of work done by schools working towards School of Sanctuary status.