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Both Kensa and Matt have been presented with a prestigious Awen medal, made in Cornwall by St Justin jewellery.

Penryn students receive awards for Cornish community voluntary work

Two students at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus have received prestigious local awards for promoting the Celtic spirit of Cornwall.

Kensa Broadhurst and Matt Blewett, both PhD students from the Institute of Cornish Studies, have been honoured by Gorsedh Kernow, one of the principal cultural organisations in Cornwall, for their voluntary and creative work in the Cornish community.

Award winners are recognised for promoting the Celtic spirit of Cornwall through creative or community work, from protecting and promoting local heritage, to encouraging greater use of the Cornish language (Kernewek).

Kensa has received an award for her contribution to community understanding of the Cornish language through two blogs she writes; ‘Kernewek Kensa’, a weekly Cornish language blog about topics relating to studying Cornish and events happening Cornwall, and her other blog, written in English, about her PhD on the history of the Cornish language.

She also received a second award in the competition category for her article written in Cornish on the causes of language death and strategies for language revival.

“I’m honoured and delighted to receive these awards from Gorsedh Kernow in recognition of some of the work I have been doing alongside my PhD funded by The Cornwall Heritage Trust” said Kensa.

“There are so many wonderful projects which promote all aspects of Cornish culture, and so I feel very privileged to be recognised in this way.”

Matt has been honoured with a ‘Mike Hartland Award’, which recognises the importance of traditional music, singing, dance and sport in maintaining Cornwall's distinctive Celtic identity.

He has received the award for his outstanding musical community outreach through his contributions to the successful Lowender Peran festival, including singing sessions to teach people well known Cornish songs translated into Kernewek.

Matt said: “Pys da of degemeres an pewas ma a-dhyworth Gorsedh Kernow, which means: I am very happy to receive this award from Gorsedh Kernow.

“I am researching the links Cornish identity has with Cornish heritage and democracy, so I am delighted that my singing work is seen as supporting the same identity I am researching as a participant observer."

Both Kensa and Matt have been presented with a prestigious Awen medal, made in Cornwall by St Justin jewellery. The unique medal depicts the Gorsedh Kernow ‘Awen’ (Inspiration) symbol, a three-rayed Celtic design signifying Furneth (Wisdom), Gwir (Truth) and Kerensa (Love).

The Grand Bard, Elizabeth Carne, who selected the award winners this year alongside the Gorsedh Kernow Awards panel, told Gorsedh Kernow News: “We are delighted that this year has seen a record number of nominations and submissions, representing the dynamism and diversity of Cornish creativity, culture and community work. Honouring those who have made outstanding contributions is a proud part of Gorsedh Kernow’s commitment to our community.’

Other award winners this year include Mark Jenkin, whose critically acclaimed film, ‘Bait’, has already won a BAFTA and community arts project St Day’s ‘Daylight Group’ that have lit up Cornwall’s cultural scene.

In usual circumstances the awards would be presented at a special awards evening at the Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos festival of culture, which takes place each September. Due to current social distancing restrictions, Gorsedh Kernow will celebrate the awards online at:

Date: 17 July 2020

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