After leaving school with only a few O levels behind me, the only work available in the Gwendraeth Valley was that of the coal industry. And this is where I spent eleven years working at three different collieries. Although this time was very enjoyable where I worked with some remarkable hard working characters but we always faced industrial action over pit closures, where thousands of miners faced losing their jobs.



This is exactly what happened to me. After the demise of the coal industry in Wales in the 1980s by the then Conservative Government I was made redundant and after a long time of unemployment and in and out of part time jobs I decided that I decided that it was time for me to gain some form of qualifications if I was to secure permanent employment. So I enrolled onto one of the courses run by Swansea University within the community.My first course was a basic IT course for beginners ran at Menter Cwm Gwendraeth in my home village of Pontyberem, it was here that it all began. I then ventured onto other courses both in the communities and at Swansea University to improve my IT skills. A few years later i was employed by Menter Cwm Gwendraeth as a Technical Officer where my duties included designing all their Multimedia work producing professional flyers, posters and booklets and on building and maintaining their website. I am also the editor of the local newspaper 'Papur y Cwm'.

Part of my duties as a technical Officer is that of a Photographer and it is here that that my interest in photography has developed. The highlight of this is my theatre work where I have been involved photographing young artists performing various shows and concerts and producing Front of House displays for these productions. I also take wedding photos and travel around Wales to take photographs of our beautiful country.

I now tutor for Swansea University delivering a variety of courses within the community, to students of all ages. It is important that the opportunity of learning and teaching within the community continues so that students from all aspects of the community can have the opportunity to study outside the University Campus.

I am grateful to the following for all their support and help over the years:

Deris Williams, Wynne Harries, Menter Cwm Gwendraeth, Swansea University,
Menna Williams, Alison Llewelyn, Nader Salam
Wendy Mcloughlin and to all my fellow students over these years....

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