A bilingual Health and Care Conference was held recently at Cardiff and Vale College, sponsored by the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol.
The aim of the day was to hold events to raise awareness of the Welsh medium opportunities available within the Health and Care sectors, in the field of education and within the world of work. The day was relevant for learners with any level of Welsh, and was suitable for students studying health and care from level one to three including Access courses.
The day started with Nic showing video clips of learners at Cardiff and Vale College discussing their experiences of studying through the medium of Welsh. Menai Evans from the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol was then welcomed to raise awareness of opportunities to study through the medium of Welsh in higher education establishments across Wales.
Thanks to Sandie Grieve from Social Care Wales, Adam Pearce from Cwm Taf Health Board, Sara Davies from Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Board, and Nia Williams and two students from Swansea University for holding interesting and useful sessions during the day, with each group taking part and getting a taste of the activities in turn.
Sandie said “What a great day. I have enjoyed running the workshops and have come across special students who have instantly understood the importance of Welsh as a skill in the care workplace. Many have asked about Welsh language learning sessions which are great. Well done to the conference organizers”. Sara added “I have had an eye-opener when talking to students of all ages who want to undertake Welsh-medium courses in health. This will undoubtedly benefit the health service in developing a bilingual workforce”.
Over lunch, we were entertained with light music by students from the music department who played a collection of Welsh songs. Barbara Jackson, Head of the Health and Care Department welcomed the students back after lunch and introduced Sharon Evans from NHS Careers to give an overview of the various jobs available within health boards across Wales.
The day was a great success, with over eighty students attending and a large number of health and care staff also enjoying the sessions. The atmosphere was relaxed and many of the students were inspired to learn the language in order to develop a skill that will be of value when working in the sector. The sessions made many realise that communication in the patient's first language improves their experience and also improves their care. Nic a Menai were delighted with the success of the event and are eager to collaborate further in order to continue to support the students.