Today (15 May) begins a period of celebration for businesses and charities that have been successful in securing the Cynnig Cymraeg (Welsh offer) approval. Among the most recent to commit are Banc Bwyd Arfon, Ramblers Cymru, Xplore! and supermarket Lidl.
Cynnig Cymraeg is the official recognition from the Welsh Language Commissioner and is given to organisations that have collaborated with the Commissioner's officers to plan their Welsh language provision.
Throughout this week, we will hear more from those bodies that have secured approval while at the same time encouraging others to go for it.
According to Welsh Language Commissioner, Efa Gruffudd Jones, this is a great opportunity for organisations to demonstrate their commitment to the Welsh language,
"Cynnig Cymraeg gives organisations an opportunity to raise awareness of their Welsh language services. The aim is to see an increase in awareness which will in turn lead to an increase in the use of Welsh language services. We offer support to those who wish to be part of the scheme and so far, the response has been fantastic.
"Since starting in my role, I have constantly emphasised that the crucial work of compliance monitoring needs to work hand in hand with the work of promoting the Welsh language. If we want to increase the use of the Welsh language naturally in our day-to-day lives, the Welsh language needs to be visible everywhere, and we need to use it.
"I am grateful to all of the organisations that have committed to our Welsh Language Offer and encourage others to take advantage of the opportunity."
One organisation that has recently received the Cynnig Cymraeg is Ramblers Cymru, a national charity that works to promote walking for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, in towns and cities and in the countryside.
They are extremely proud to receive the approval according to Bran Devey from the charity,
"We are part of a body that operates across the UK, but Ramblers Cymru is also a Welsh entity with a Welsh history and as an organisation we value the Welsh language and culture. The Ramblers are also an inclusive body, and using the Welsh language is an important part of respecting and realising our values.
"The Cynnig Cymraeg lends credibility to our commitment to the Welsh language while also helping us to develop the Welsh language provision we offer."
Another organisation that is working towards securing approval is Xplore! in Wrexham which is North Wales' primary Science Discovery Centre. The centre attracts over 80,000 visitors each year and offers interactive science displays as well as live science shows to the public.
According to Centre Manager Scot Owen, they appreciate the collaboration with the Commissioner's office as they aim to get the approval,
"Since opening the centre, the interest in our work has been great, and we offer activities for people and groups across north Wales and England. It is natural for us to deliver our services bilingually, especially when working with schools and the Cynnig Cymraeg reinforces that work.
“We have had excellent support from the Commissioner's staff in developing our language plan and we are looking forward to expanding our Welsh language services in the future."
Since the launch of the scheme in June 2020, approval has been given to the Cynnig Cymraeg for 75 businesses and charities, and the Commissioner's office is working with over a hundred other organisations on developing schemes.
More information on Cynnig Cymraeg can be found here.