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Welsh language within care


By enhancing the workforce’s Welsh language skills, knowledge and understanding of bilingualism, we can help deliver better care services for everyone.

The benefits of using Welsh at work include:

  • removing the risk of isolating individuals by failing to provide services in their preferred language
  • avoid potential complaints about poor or deficient Welsh language services made to the Welsh Language Commissioner
  • achieve equality standards by delivering Welsh language services
  • assess individual needs by communicating with users of service in their preferred language
  • promote the reputation of your organisation by providing a bilingual service.

What is the ‘Active offer’?

The ‘Active Offer’ means to provide a service in Welsh without having to ask for it. To not actively offer Welsh language services may result in people’s dignity and respect being compromised.

The Welsh Government has four priority services where Welsh language is especially important:

  • children
  • older people
  • people with learning disabilities
  • people with mental health problems.

These priority groups are particularly vulnerable if they don’t receive care in their preferred language. Some of these reasons are highlighted below:

Working with children

Helen is a Nursery Leader at Ysgol Feithrin Pontypool and is passionate about teaching the next generation through the medium of Welsh.

Working with older people and people with mental health problems

Keneuoe is originally from Lesotho. She moved to Bala in 1997 and began working for Gwynedd Council. Here, Keneuoe took advantage of the opportunity to learn Welsh at Aberystwyth University, and by 2000 she was fluent in Welsh. Promoting people’s rights, focusing on the person and what’s important to them is an important part of Keneuoe’s role. By communicating with residents in their preferred language, Keneuoe is able to build relationships and support them, which helps them maintain their well-being.
Gillian is a community care supervisor who supports staff in looking after vulnerable people locally. In this video she discusses the importance of the Welsh language within her work.

Welsh Government wants to strengthen Welsh language services within health, social services and social care. For many Welsh speakers, being able to use their own language is likely to be fundamental to their care.

Training resources to help you

Work Welsh provides a free online course for beginners that’s tailored to those working in care.

Sgiliaith (Grwp Llandrillo Menai) offer practical advice on good practice, staff training and resource, to enhance learners’ bilingual skills and experiences.

Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol give scholarships for undergraduate and postgraduate students to study higher education courses through the medium of Welsh.

Iaith Gwaith (working Welsh) scheme and the orange speech bubble badge is used to show if a person can speak Welsh.

Apps for learning

Here are some engaging Welsh language Apps for learning, available on both IOS and Android.

Mentrau Iaith (Welsh Initiatives)

Mentrau Iaith Cymru (MIC) is the national organisation which supports the work of 22 local Mentrau Iaith across Wales.

Their role is to raise awareness of the Welsh language and culture, by encouraging people to develop their knowledge and use of the language and be able to practice their language skills in a friendly and social environment in the community.

Training

National Centre for Learning Welsh was established to deliver Welsh language training with a wealth of training available from online, short courses, apps and much more.

Virtual bulletin for Welsh language resources

Welsh language virtual notice board on Padlet.com has resources for training, learners, activities, apps, music, jobs and much more to support you to learn and develop your Welsh language skills.

Educational resources

OpenLearn Wales: The home of bilingual, free learning in Wales – can be used by those who wish to know more about Welsh society and culture and brings together a collection of free educational resources relevant to Wales.

We all have a part to play in delivering Welsh language services, both Welsh speakers and non-Welsh speakers.

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