The Welsh language has been introduced to new groups, businesses, and families across Anglesey thanks to the UK Community Renewal Fund. Menter Iaith Môn was eager to extend beyond its usual network to increase the use of the Welsh language – the funding has allowed them to do exactly that.
Up to 60 community groups and businesses have received support thanks to the investment, and activities have been held for children, young people, and Welsh learners in different areas to increase interest and to promote the language.
Looking back on the scheme’s successes Elen Hughes, chief officer at Menter Iaith Môn explains: “This money has allowed us to extend our work and reach communities that don’t often get a chance to engage with the Welsh language. Our aim was to highlight the opportunities that arise from using Welsh in education, work, and business but also socially. The language is important to us here on Anglesey, it belongs to us all. It’s therefore important that it has a place in all aspects of life.
“Among the highlights of the scheme was a sports reporting workshop held for secondary school pupils on the island run with Welsh language magazine, Golwg along with some of our most popular broadcasters. We’ve also created job opportunities for seven young people during the life of the project and held Welsh conversation sessions for learners throughout the summer holidays at Bragdy Cybi.”
The funding has also enabled Menter Iaith Môn to do some research into the status of the language and its use on the island. The hope is that the findings will help Menter Iaith Môn and other partners, to plan their work for the future and target resources to areas that will benefit most from strengthening the Welsh language.
Menter Iaith Môn is a part of the wider Menter Môn family, Managing Director, Dafydd Gruffydd said: “The language initiative’s work is central to our mission as an organisation and promoting the Welsh language has been at the heart of Menter Môn since it was established over 25 years ago. It’s great to see that this recent investment has had a positive impact in reaching new groups. If we want the Welsh language to thrive, we have to look beyond the usual areas and groups and showcase the language to new audiences.”
Menter Iaith Môn has worked with partners through the Fforwm Iaith Môn (Anglesey Language Forum) to carry out several activities that have resulted from the Community Renewal Fund. Their hope for the future is that many of the activities can continue to ensure the increase in use of the Welsh language on Anglesey.