On the United Nation’s Public Service Day the Coleg Cymraeg is launching a new app to support public sector and emergency workers including police officers, the fire service and paramedics to communicate in Welsh with the public.
The app, Gwasanaethu drwy’r Gymraeg (Serving in Welsh) includes vocabulary and sentences suitable for general and specific situations facing workers in the field, sounds for each one, the ability to record and practise pronounciation as well as quizes to test knowledge. The app also helps learners who are undertaking public service studies in further education colleges as well as students undertaking relevant degrees in university.
According to one of the Coleg’s Academic Managers, Dr Lowri Morgans: “Enabling individuals to communicate in their chosen language in difficult and urgent situations can be extremely important, especially if they are young, elderly or vulnerable. We also know that having the vocabulary “in your pocket” is essential in order to offer support there and then to officers.
“We are very pleased that we have been able to develop the public services app in order to support workers and students to feel more confident as they use and improve their Welsh language skills. By introducing the app as part of learners’ and students’ studies we hope to normalise the use of the Welsh language and that officers will get used to using the app day to day in the workplace and in the community.”
Catrin Crawshaw is a technician for the Ambulance Service in north Wales. Talking about the app she said: “Even though I went to a Welsh school, I’ve done all of my studies since then through the medium of English. More and more in the workplace I’m asked to offer a Welsh language service to the people we work with across north Wales, especially in urgent and high stress situations. The app is excellent in helping me translate key terms really quickly. The “health symptoms” option within the app is particularly useful for me as someone who works with patients. I would recommend the app to anyone working in the emergency services.”
Chelsea McGrath is a police officer with North Wales Police. She said: “The ap has been really helpful to me. Since leaving school I’ve forgotten some of my Welsh so the ap helps me to remember the words I need to communicate with people.”
Wayne Edwards is a Public Services Tutor with Coleg Cambria. He said: “Since using the ap I’ve found my ability to embed Welsh in to my sessions has improved greatly and that’s had a positive effect on students who are fluent Welsh and those who are learning.”
The app was developed in conjunction with Sgiliaith and Galactic and was funded by the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol with support from Welsh Government. The app goes hand in hand with a new 10 hour taster course also available for workers, learners and students in the sector which was developed by the Centre for Learning Welsh.
The Gwasanaethu trwy’r Gymraeg app is available free of change from Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
The UN’s Public Service Day takes place on 23 June every year. It is an opportunity to celebrate the value and virtue of public services to the community, to recognise the work of public sector workers and to encourage young people to follow a career in the field.