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Developing the use of Welsh one step at a time

Gethin Edwards leads the Welsh Language Commissioner’s Promotion Team, helping businesses and third sector organisations to use the Welsh language. Here he talks about how the team helps organisations to introduce the Welsh language to their activities.
‘We’d like to use more of the Welsh language, but we’re not sure how or where to start.’
Talking to business, charities and third sector organisations, we would often hear this message; that there is a desire to use the Welsh language, but often they were not quite sure how to plan for it.
To make the journey easier, we’ve introduced the ‘Welsh language promotion plan’. This enables organisations to plan their use of the language in a way which is unique to their needs, with emphasis on increasing use over time.
There are four steps to the plan:
  1. A questionnaire to assess current use of Welsh
  2. Based on the responses to the questionnaire, the system will create an action plan with an idea of the current level of provision (from 1 to 3) in each area
  3. Organisations can set targets in the plan to aim for the next level, improving the provision
  4. Present the progress plan to the Commissioner’s officers.
Keep Wales Tidy has recently completed a Progress Plan. Here, Amy Lloyd their Marketing and Communications Manager talks us through the experience of preparing and implementing the plan.
How did you get on with the questionnaire? Was it a useful way to gauge your strengths and weaknesses?
The online questionnaire was easy to use and allowed us to take an honest look at every aspect of our work – from the way we communicate with our volunteers to the training we provide.
What are the main drivers for you in putting a new promotion plan in place?
The way we communicate – both internally and externally – is very different now. We have a new brand, website and social media platforms, not to mention new programmes and services.
It’s important that we have a plan in place which reflects the way we work and sets out clear targets for improving our provision.
You have some great plans in place to consult with staff across your organisation, can you describe how you’ve gone about doing this?
We set up our Welsh Language Group just over a year ago. The Group meets every quarter and is made up of Welsh speakers, learners and non-Welsh speakers from across the charity. The Group is tasked with looking at ways to promote the use of Welsh, as well as celebrating our culture and heritage.
It’s been incredibly important to have a range of staff involved in the Group. Not only do we have a fuller picture of how Welsh is being used, but members help raise the profile of Welsh within their own teams. With the support of the Commissioner’s Hybu Team, we’ve also delivered training to all staff – helping to increase everyone’s understanding of the importance of Welsh to fundraising and engaging with volunteers.
But, it’s not just staff who are involved. Keep Wales Tidy Chair, Ed Evans, also acts as the Board Champion for the Welsh language, helping to keep all our Trustees up-to-date on our progress.
What plans do you have to measure the impact?
We’ll be keeping track of our progress through the Welsh Language Group – it’ll be a standing item on the agenda at every meeting. We’ll also plan to repeat the questionnaire in the future to see if we’ve moved on to the next level of provision.
If, like Keep Wales Tidy, you would like to complete a progress plan, click here to find out more.

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