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Reading Friends

Connecting with Welsh heritage

Written by Aura Libraries, Flintshire
28 February 2022

Aura Libraries in Flintshire told us about their Reading Friends Welsh speakers and Welsh learners’ groups and the difference it has made to one participant.

How did the groups start?

Ffrindiau Darllen Siaradwr Cymraeg (Welsh Speakers) and Ffrindiau Darllen Dysgwr Cymraeg (Welsh Learners) groups started following conversations with staff and customers who missed our Welsh conversation groups and missed being able to socialise and chat in Welsh. Our local bookshop in Mold, Siop y Siswrn, were also interested in working with us to promote Welsh language fiction so these groups were born.

How has it been running?

We launched the groups in early 2021 and they meet monthly via Zoom. We managed to meet a few times in person at Mold Library. They are led by Welsh speaking staff supported by the Siop y Siswrn bookshop staff. There’s a theme to start the conversation each month. We advertised via Social Media, through our Libraries, the bookshop Siop y Siswrn, the local newspaper Papur Famau and tutors teaching Welsh at Coleg Cambria. There’s roughly been 6-8 people attending each group each month.

One participant’s story

One of the people attending is a young mum who has been having treatment for cancer and is isolating due to Covid. She was looking for company and seeking ways to support her son in learning Welsh. She’s attended all sessions for Welsh learners since the group started.

What difference has it made to her?

She has increased in confidence and the group has enabled her to rekindle her passion for reading and her love of speaking Welsh, which she hadn’t really done since leaving school. She has started reading regularly and reading more with her son, discussing books with him and sharing some of her childhood favourites. She suggested this as a theme for one of the Reading Friends sessions. She says it gives her something to look forward to and is helping her to make new friends.

Please contact [email protected] to find out more about Reading Friends in Flintshire.

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