Communications Officer Alec Porter on today’s launch of a short film promoting the work of National Lottery-funded projects that promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh language, make a difference to the lives of Welsh speakers and enable them to use their first language in their communities.
To make the film, we visited three National Lottery funded projects in north west Wales who work predominantly through the medium of Welsh, speaking to the project leaders, volunteers and beneficiaries about the difference their projects have made and the importance of providing services to local people through the language of their choice.
Mantell Gwynedd’s Ffrindia’ project delivers a befriending service for older people, matching Welsh speaking volunteers to Welsh speakers in the community. One of the beneficiaries, Megan Williams says that the service is “worth the world” to her, and that it was extremely important that she could choose a Welsh speaker as her befriender so she can communicate in the language she is most comfortable with.
The Outdoor Partnership recruits and trains local Welsh speaking volunteers to run outdoor activity courses and Tracey Evans of the Outdoor Partnership says “Out of 60 outdoor activity centres in North Wales, only two provide services through the medium of Welsh. That’s why it’s so important to recruit and train local volunteers who can communicate with beneficiaries in their preferred language”.
The North Wales Play Forum project, which is developing play opportunities for children across North Wales. Senior Play Ranger, Awen Hâf Dodd says: “It’s important that children have the opportunity to play using Welsh they feel more comfortable to speak and play in their own language”. Awen continues: “It’s great that organisations like us are able to communicate with the National Lottery Community Fund in Welsh”.
Since 1994 the National Lottery Community Fund has awarded over £4.2 million to actively promote the use of the Welsh language.
With around 600,000 Welsh speakers living in Wales, we are committed to enabling our customers to use the Welsh language when they are communicating with us and also the projects we fund to promote and facilitate the use of the language in their communities.
We currently receive approximately seven per cent of funding applications in the medium of Welsh, and actively encourage more Welsh speaking groups to apply to us and contact us in the language of their choice. Our Enquiries Line is staffed by bilingual speakers, we produce all guidance and application materials bilingually, and Welsh speakers assess and manage grants. If you would like to learn more about this, please visit our website.