By Ynyr Higham, Welsh Development Officer at the Educ8 Training Group
With the world being run virtually, from matters of state to catch ups and quizzes, Educ8 wanted to join in on the fun! We’ve teamed up with Areca Design to create, design and launch our own bilingual staff-app– ‘Educ8 Welsh Coastal Path’ – ‘Taith Gerdded Arfordir Cymru Educ8’. The app encourages everyone to get some fresh air, get out for a walk in their local area and log their steps: tracking virtual progress around the coastal path, which is approximately 500 miles long. Staff will visit famous Welsh landmarks on their virtual journey: landmarks that have played, and continue to play, a fundamental role in Welsh identity. When staff hit a ‘milestone’, such as Cardiff Castle, they will receive an e-postcard telling them about its history and culture.
By creating the app we hope to promote the Welsh Language and Wales’ rich culture to Educ8 staff members, encouraging them to use #Cymraeg2050 to share their pictures, journey and experiences on social media.
As well as promoting the Welsh language and its heritage the Coastal Walk app brings many other benefits to our team. We have deliberately created our own Educ8 path, meaning our staff have an idiosyncratic experience, we hope this will encourage them, as well as their friends and families, to get out walking: fostering a positive approach to health and wellbeing whilst bringing people together. One of our core values at Educ8 is ‘positivity’ and by creating the app we believe we can beneficially impact on our staff’s mental health, and feeling of unity: taking their minds off work and giving them the opportunity to get outside and into nature.
Ultimately, we also hope to improve our staffs Welsh language skills by giving them the opportunity to interact bilingually with the app. Along their journey staff will learn Welsh named locations, Welsh history and Welsh facts. By promoting famous Welsh landmarks such as Castell Caerdydd and Bedd Gelert we hope to encourage them to visit these locations with friends and families when they are able to do so.
We have also created a number of resources to support staff’s Welsh engagement with learners. Short, fun Powtoon clips introduce incidental Welsh and useful words and phrases, which we encourage our staff to use day to day. Our new Cultural Calendar meanwhile informs both staff and learners of events across Wales and our #WelshWednesday social media posts include weekly Welsh words to learn. We have also made use of online Welsh courses with 30+ of our staff members engaging in self-study with WorkWelsh and 18 staff members engaging in a bilingual toolkit course with Sgiliaith, which aims to offer advice on best practice, training and resources to enhance learners’ bilingual skills and experiences.
I myself joined the Educ8 Training Group in October 2020, as part of the organisation’s aim to play a pivotal role in the development of the Welsh language and the celebration of its culture. The Welsh Government’s Cymraeg 2050 strategy sets out Wales’ long-term plan to achieve the target of a million Welsh speakers by 2050, and Educ8 are proud to play a part in achieving that.
Want to get involved?
There are numerous ways to get involved in a coastal walk event. If this sounds like something you would like to do, then you can visit the following Welsh Coastal path websites for further information:
Remember to share your photos, journeys and experiences on social media using #Cymraeg2050.