The first bilingual app of its kind for parents and children will be launched at the M-SParc Menai Science Park, on Monday, 7 March 2022.
The OgiOgi app offers a treasure trove of information with more than 400 useful links to local and national resources – including information on pregnancy, health, services, rights, welfare, and leisure opportunities. It also includes a section on child development and guidance on the benefits of bilingualism and using Welsh from birth. There’s also plenty of fun activities for children and parents to enjoy.
The app was originally developed in order to meet the needs of Anglesey families. However, other parts of Wales are showing an interest in OgiOgi and feedback so far suggests that there may be potential to expand the concept nationally.
Work to develop OgiOgi was coordinated by Menter Iaith Môn, with the app drawing on the expertise of a partnership of practitioners who work directly with local parents. They include Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board health visitors and midwives, Cymraeg for Kids, Mudiad Meithrin, Flying Start, and the Isle of Anglesey County Council’s ‘Teulu Môn’ team. The partnership spent a year gathering evidence and mapping the information gap before concluding that creating an app was the most impactful and cost effective way to meet the need for more accessible information for parents.
Key to the success of the ambition to innovate and develop the app was investment by the Isle of Anglesey County Council and the Welsh Government.
Anglesey Council Leader and Social Services portfolio holder, Councillor Llinos Medi, explained: “Feedback from parents, and practitioners in the field, led to developing OgiOgi as a convenient information resource for busy parents. The app offers information on local health and well-being services, guidance on child development, bilingualism, the advantages of passing on Welsh in the home, and resources to support non-Welsh speaking parents to introduce the language to their baby in a fun way.”
The app is interactive and can be personalised through functions such as a favourites button, a local events calendar, and a tool to measure users’ confidence in using the Welsh language. As well as being a vital informational signpost for parents, the app will offer: a series of question and answer clips with Professor Enlli Thomas, 15 music playlists, a series of special baby and family OgiOgi songs, 12 Selog yoga exercises, 12 Magi Ann stories, 16 move with tedi videos, play rhymes, an introduction to reading Welsh books, and 28 Selog singing videos. Some of these resources will appear as updates during the year.
Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles MS, said: “I congratulate the partnership on Anglesey for its innovation with the OgiOgi app. It is also an opportunity to take pride in the expertise of Bangor University in the field of bilingualism and the technological innovation at M-SParc. I look forward especially to hear how the app has helped with increasing confidence in using Welsh.”
Jamie Hughes, of Malltraeth, father of Seb (3) and Nico (5 months) has already been testing the app. He said: “OgiOgi is such a handy way of getting to everything in one place on my phone. I like the relaxation playlist, the link to child development information and local health services and details of parent and toddler groups. The fun with singing and story section in particular is great to use at home and helps build my confidence using Welsh with the boys.”
Anglesey’s Welsh language portfolio holder, Councillor Ieuan Williams, added: “We are privileged that we have the innovation and expertise here on Anglesey to produce the first bilingual app of its kind in the country. I am confident that parents across Wales will benefit from OgiOgi’s resources and our thanks goes to Fforwm Iaith Ynys Môn and the project partnership’s members.”