Coleg Cambria’s branch of Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol – Cangen Cymraeg Cambria – has been a huge success in the last 12 months.
Welsh medium students have enjoyed access to training, events, and education online during the Coronavirus pandemic.
As restrictions ease, more and more activities are being held in person at college sites in Wrexham, Northop, Llysfasi and Deeside, including drop-in sessions with branch officer Haf Everiss, guest speakers and weekly society meetings, with more than 50 students of all ages attending.
Haf said collaborations with organisations including Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board – which held a virtual Welsh-language health and social care session seminar with learners – have also proven popular.
“Covid-19 has brought its challenges, but we have still managed to engage with students and communities in north east Wales to promote the use of Welsh in the workplace and education,” said Haf.
“It’s been a learning curve, identifying resources we might need bilingually to take the branch forward for learners, discussing any obstacles they’ve faced and how we can grow together – the response has been fantastic.”
She added: “We are starting to see numbers increase and people want to meet up and see other students in a safe, warm environment.
“The social aspect of the society meetings in particular has been pivotal for those learning Welsh or lacking in confidence after this period of isolation; they are made to feel supported and welcome, which is what Cangen Cymraeg Cambria is all about.”
Demand for Welsh-medium education has grown significantly as many employers are now experiencing the benefits of having a bilingual workforce.
Llinos Roberts, Head of Corporate Communications and Welsh Language at Coleg Cambria, said the college will continue to celebrate and preserve the language for generations to come.
She added: “The college is committed to championing the Welsh language, providing opportunities, and delivering a first-class bilingual education for our learners.
“While we are working hard to help the Welsh Government reach its target of one million Welsh speakers, it is crucial the courses and programmes we deliver are relevant, adding value for participants and highlighting the importance of the Welsh language as a valuable skill in the workplace.”
For more information, visit www.cambria.ac.uk and follow @Cangen_Cambria on social media.