St David's Day - Ategi staff are learning Welsh!
Today is St David's Day, when we celebrate the patron saint of Wales. On this day Welsh people around the world wear one or both of Wales's national emblems – a daffodil and a leek! Today, Ategi celebrates its Welsh roots that go back nearly 30 years which was when the charity began.
Over the past year Ategi has been working hard on developing its equality and diversity policies, which included a motivation to recognise and champion Ategi's Welsh roots. Which is why in September 2022 Ategi started a group called "Dysgu Cymraeg - Welsh Learners". A group of Ategi staff that meet once a month to develop and work on their Welsh Language.
Karen, Ategi's Head of Administration and Company Secretary explained why it was important for Ategi to start this Welsh Learners group:
"Ategi is a Welsh based charity and we want to embrace our Welsh heritage and language. Making small changes to how we provide services in Welsh can make a huge difference to the people we support and their carers and families. Our aim is to demonstrate the Welsh language through our activities and through the support that we provide."
We asked some of the learners what it's been like learning Welsh and why they wanted to learn...
"I have lived in Wales for over 40 years and have made several attempts to learn to speak Welsh, it is difficult! In 2021 I moved from Cardiff to Llandeilo, where Welsh is widely spoken. I hear Welsh spoken around me all the time and have realised that this is my best chance to learn. I have started to use the little Welsh that I know when I am out and about and I am gradually building my understanding and vocabulary. I love how learning Welsh makes me feel a stronger connection with Wales."
"I am learning Welsh to feel more Welsh, I suppose – to feel more connected to the land and the people and the history. I am enjoying it though I am struggling to make any real headway without practising conversations. Benefits include having little exchanges with my 9 year-old as he does Welsh in school but also now spotting and recognising words around the place like on road signs and in shops. I get quite excited about it all!"
"It is important to me that I show respect for the history and values of the country I live in, and in addition it's good fun!"