ACTIVITIES TO PROMOTE THE WELSH LANGUAGE
To receive a report updating members on the Welsh Language promotional activity since the last meeting and the outline plans for the year ahead (copy attached)
The Welsh Language Officer (WLO) introduced the report highlighting the activities to promote the Welsh Language (previously circulated); the report aimed to inform the committee of the internal and external work to promote the Welsh Language.
These were as followed –
· Staff Eisteddfod
The Council held its fourth Eisteddfod between 18 February and 1 March as part of the St David’s Day celebrations. The event is part of the Council’s efforts to raise the profile and ensure a better understanding of the Welsh language and also to celebrate Welsh culture. It was held during a period of considerable focus on the Welsh language with the return of the Urdd Eisteddfod to the County in May 2022. Once again this year, because of Covid-19, the Staff Eisteddfod was held digitally. Our private staff Facebook platform was used to hold the Eisteddfod and to promote the various categories for staff to compete in by uploading a photo to accompany each category. Categories included Pet in the Best Condition, Most Talented Pet, Before and After/Old and New, a sentence from DEWI SANT, my favourite place in Denbighshire and many more; this was made to encourage more people to participate in the Eisteddfod this year, it was decided that all Council staff should be adjudicators. They chose the winners by ‘liking’ photos/videos on the Facebook page, and those with the most ‘likes’ were the winners. The response and support received were extremely encouraging again this year, with a good level of staff engagement.
· The Urdd Eisteddfod in Denbighshire
The Urdd Eisteddfod returned to Denbighshire this year and was held at Kilford Farm on the outskirts of Denbigh. Preparations for the Eisteddfod began in 2018; however, it had to be postponed twice because of the Pandemic. Arranging the Eisteddfod re-started in 2021 with many busy months leading up to the event itself. Denbighshire County Council was one of the Eisteddfod’s main sponsors this year, and we were also sponsored the two shows – the primary schools’ show ‘Ni yw y Byd’ (We are the World) and the secondary schools’ show ‘Fi di Fi’ (I am Me). We had a large marquee on the Eisteddfod field, and our theme was ‘Discovering Denbighshire’. The marquee had several sections, which concluded of a theatre, business/tourism, arts and crafts and countryside. It was an extremely successful Eisteddfod, and Denbighshire’s marquee was busy all day, every day. It was lovely to see so much excitement and buzz on the maes after such a long time.
· Paned a Sgwrs
Sessions are still being held virtually. Numbers reduced during 2021 as a result of the sessions being virtual, but they have risen again over the last year, and the sessions are going from strength to strength. We have face-to-face reading clubs once a month at Denbigh and Ruthin Libraries. Staff choose a book from the ‘Amdani’ series, which is suitable for learners and read it by the next session, where the book is then discussed, allowing learners to use Welsh to express their opinions. These sessions have been very successful, with staff favouring the face-to-face sessions. Weekly written tasks are also prepared for staff to help them develop their written skills.
Next steps: Proposed timetable of activity for 2023:
· October 2022 – August 2023 - Internal campaign on ‘Doubling your daily use of the Welsh language
· November – December 2022 - FIFA World Cup
· November 2022 – March 20223 - Welsh Language Strategy
· November 2022 – January 2023- Policy on Implementing the Welsh language internally
The committee discussed the following further –
· The committee fully supported the activities which were carried out.
· Members suggested that lanyards and badges be used more, online and in person, which would make starting conversations easier.
· The committee raised that there needs to be an encouragement of a good environment to get people to speak Welsh within the Council.
RESOLVED that the Welsh Language Steering Committee note the update regarding the activities to promote the Welsh Language.