It’s not often that somebody from Pembrokeshire is thanked twice during an acceptance speech at the BAFTAs, but that’s exactly what happened to Glesni Evans at the glittering awards ceremony this month.

Glesni who lives near Fishguard was thanked on stage by UK Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds who she recently helped and supported in her search for her birth mother.

The ITV documentary about Ellie’s search, Ellie Simmonds : Finding my Secret Family, won the TV BAFTA for Best Single Documentary.

Glesni is a registered and qualified social worker who specialises in adoption and intermediary work through her company Adoption Finder.

She is no stranger to television work; and has worked on ITV’s Long Lost Families, BBC 2’s Hotel Reunion and S4C’s Gwesty Aduniad.In some of these programmes the work is behind the scenes, while Glesni appears in others.

Milford Mercury: Ellie Simmonds and Glesni Evans with the Finding My Secret Family production team.

In the BAFTA winning documentary, we see the Gold-medal winning Paralympian accessing her adoption file with Glesni’s help.

In it there is some sensitive and upsetting information regarding the views of Ellie’s birth mother at the time she gave her child up for adoption, which Glesni sensitively approaches with the swimming star.

When Ellie is ready, Glesni approaches her birth mother and after an exchange of letters the pair meet up.

Receiving the award when the documentary was announced as the winner of the BAFTA Ellie thanked Glesni twice, saying: “Thank you to Glesni who supported me all the way, because I cry a lot. It was an emotional roller coaster, it was a journey and I was so so lucky that I got to have that ending.”

Glesni said that she was delighted at the BAFTA mention and at helping reunite Ellie with her birth family in the first place.

“It was a pleasure to support Ellie to access her adoption file, trace and to be reunited with her birth mother,” she said.

“I started to work independently in 2020 by setting up an adoption support agency to support adopted adults and birth relatives to reunite, having the opportunity to work with different TV programmes such as Long Lost Family and Ellie Simmonds has been a pleasurable experience.

“I was over the moon that Ellie thanked me at the BAFTA awards. I hope that the documentary will support people to understand the process around searching for family members but also the emotional journey of making contact with birth relatives.”