A Wrexham woman has won two national awards at a glittering ceremony in Cardiff.
Iolanda Banu Viegas won the Rhodri Morgan prize at the Ethnic Minority Welsh Women Achievement Awards, which was presented by the late First Minister’s widow Julie Morgan. She also picked up the Self-Development Award at the same event.
Iolanda, who was born in Mozambique and grew up in Portugal, has lived in Wrexham for the past 18 years and raised her family here. She moved to Wrexham to work in a local slaughterhouse but spent much of her spare time helping her fellow Portuguese as a community activist and translator.
She is now a director of CLPW community company, which represents the Portuguese-speaking community in Wrexham and was recently appointed a team associate for National Theatre Wales. She chairs Black History Month in north Wales and is also the local representative for Race Council Cymru.
Iolanda was also elected as a councillor representative for Portuguese people living in the UK and has been responsible for helping to improve relations between the 2,000-strong Portuguese community and wider Wrexham population.
The award was for her work in Wrexham and across Wales over the past few years.
Speaking after winning the awards, Iolanda said: “I’m really proud to achieve this award and it was a total surprise.
“I feel that Wales is my home now and I want to make it a better place for us all to live in. The Portuguese community has integrated well into the wider community in Wrexham and I hope that’s a model for the whole of Wales.
“These are uncertain times for many people, especially those of us who are EU citizens, but I hope we can continue to work together for the entire community.”
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