Coffee, ‘clecs’ and a step ahead
The Mentrau Iaith create many opportunities for new Welsh speakers to practice their Cymraeg in a fun and informal atmosphere, while getting to know their communities.
One of these is Menter Bro Ogwr in Bridgend. The Menter works with people of all ages across the county, helping them use and enjoy their Welsh outside school and Dysgu Cymraeg lessons. Bore Coffi, Clwb Clecs, and the Cam Ymlaen walking group are among the activities they organise especially for Welsh learners to practise chatting and develop their skills. Two ladies who’ve taken part in these activities are Felicity and Susan. Here’s a bit more about them:
Felicity began learning Cymraeg in Walsall in the 1970s, but Walsall didn’t offer much opportunity for her to practice what she’d learnt. Felicity’s only chance to ‘ymarfer’ (practise) each year was one week’s camping with friends at the National Eisteddfod. Usually, she could understand more than she could speak.
When Felicity moved to Bridgend in 2018 she wanted to learn Cymraeg again and use every opportunity to use it. After she started taking lessons with Learn Welsh Glamorgan she heard about the Menter’s Bore Coffi coffee morning. She now takes part in every Menter event. She’s a keen member of the Cam Ymlaen walking group and joins the Clwb Clecs a Mwy every month in Bridgend.
“Menter Bro Ogwr activities have definitely helped me speak with more confidence. My vocabulary is also better as I speak in many different situations and with different people, and so it’s a different experience.”
After retiring in 2018 Susan had more time on her hands so she was keen to both use her Welsh more and volunteer. She joined the Cam Ymlaen group that meets at Parc Slip every week to walk and chat in Cymraeg. She very much enjoyed the chance to keep fit while also using her language skills.
During lockdown, Susan took advantage of the Menter’s digital offering, taking part in their Zoom chats. She enjoys talking to Welsh learners, introducing new vocabulary during the activities.
“Menter Bro Ogwr has given me more opportunity to speak Welsh. I enjoy meeting new people and helping Welsh learners. It’s a pleasure to see the members of Cam Ymlaen gain confidence, taking a step forward with their Welsh and to feel that I’ve helped them develop.”
Confidence boost and opening doors
Menter Bro Ogwr is delighted to see Felicity and Susan taking part in the different activities. Amanda Evans, Chief Officer of the Menter says;
“Felicity and Susan definitely use more Welsh through joining in Menter activities.
“Felicity’s confidence in speaking Welsh has massively increased and it’s given her a chance to practice what she learns in class in a different setting. Her knowledge and enthusiasm for Welsh culture has grown and she really enjoys sharing this with members of her chapel and her fellow classmates.
“Volunteering with the Menter has also opened doors for Susan to other volunteer roles. After meeting someone at one of our activities, Susan has joined the Coastguard and volunteers in Porthcawl.
“It’s been a pleasure to have both Felicity and Susan take part of our activities.”
Want to practice your Cymraeg? Find this logo on posters for events and activities suitable for Welsh learners.
Here are a few events currently happening across Wales:
Visit www.mentrauiaith.cymru for more information.