Residents of a Swansea care home have enjoyed a series of bilingual singing workshops due to a collaboration between Ffa-la-la and Gower College Swansea.
Thanks to funding support from Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, the College arranged for three sessions to take place at Hengoed Park Care Home in Winch Wen where residents and staff were encouraged to take some time out of their busy day and sing together in Welsh.
“Health and social care is seen as a priority sector by Welsh Government in terms of Welsh language provision as a lot of older people speak the language and sometimes feel more comfortable communicating in Welsh,” says the College’s Bilingualism Champion Einir Wyn Hawkins. “It is essential that training providers such as Gower College Swansea continue to promote and champion the language at every opportunity both on campus and out in the community.”
The College has a close working relationship with Hengoed Park and has placed many learners and apprentices there over the years, on a range of courses from Level 2 right up to Level 6.
Assessors Alex Manley and Emma Howells, who took part in this project, also spend a lot of time there and have developed a real rapport with the management and staff.
“They were able to observe the care home staff interacting bilingually with the residents and really enjoying the experience,” adds Einir Wyn. “Even those who don’t speak Welsh were able to join in as the sessions are pitched at just the right level where everyone can participate.”
Ffa-la-la, which was founded in 2014, aims to develop Welsh language skills in a variety of settings such as schools, nurseries and residential homes.
“Running workshops for Hengoed residents was a special experience,” said founder Carys Gwent. “Their enthusiasm and energy was great and they were very keen to learn Welsh words through singing. Keep at it!”
The Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol works to ensure more opportunities for Welsh medium students, support students studying through the medium of Welsh, and develop quality modules, courses and resources for Welsh medium students.
“It’s great being able to support an activity of this kind that shows learners the importance of Welsh in the workplace,” adds Communication Manager Elin Williams. “The College supports a number of projects across Wales to encourage more use of the Welsh language in situations outside the classroom.”