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New scheme teaches youngsters Welsh using graffiti

A scheme run by Ceredigion Youth Service is encouraging young people to use Welsh with the help of a local graffiti artist.

In a scheme funded by the Welsh Government’s Cymraeg 2050 Grant, the project targets young people across Ceredigion via their respective youth clubs to engage them in their local heritage.

Youngsters from youth centres across Aberystwyth, Aberaeron and Penparcau involved in the project kick off with a day of planning at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth. Here they use resources at the library to learn more about their local area and take inspiration for their graffiti session.

Once the young people have been fully immersed in local history and brimming with inspiration, it’s time for their session with local graffiti artist ‘Lloyd the Graffiti’. Lloyd is a Cardiff based artist with 19 years of experience and has been running workshops since 2003.

Lloyd works with the group to use imagery of local history and as well as Welsh words to create a striking graffiti mural. Once Lloyd draws out the design, the youngsters spray the paint on for themselves.

Both activities are followed by an evaluation process where the Youth Service take time to listen to the group and learn if their Welsh language skills, as well as their knowledge of their local area, has improved.

Gethin Jones, Principle Youth Officer at Ceredigion Youth Service comments,

“We’re really excited about this project as we want more young people to use the Welsh language, but in an informal, fun environment.

“We want our young people to feel more confident using Welsh in their day-to-day lives, as well as learn more about their local area and give them the chance to appreciate the heritage they have on their doorstep.

“Graffiti can often be seen as a negative thing, but it can be a great art-form for young people and we wanted to use it positively, which I think we have with the help of Lloyd.  He’s a brilliant artist and has been fantastic with the groups we’ve held so far.

“We’ve held a few sessions already, with really positive feedback, and we’re looking to run a few more up until the end of March and hopefully beyond”.

This project has been made possible thanks to the help of the Welsh Government’s Cymraeg 2050 Grant contribution of £5,000.

The Cymraeg 2050 Grant is a key element of the Welsh language strategy, Cymraeg 2050: A million Welsh speakers. It’s provided funds to innovative, short-term projects which aim to increase people’s daily use of the language and to promote technology which supports the use of Welsh.

Minister for the Welsh Language and Lifelong learning Eluned Morgan commented,

“This is a great project to get young people, especially those who aren’t that confident using Welsh, involved in a fun, creative activity that will help increase their confidence in using Welsh in their everyday lives.

“We’re really pleased to see a project that is using graffiti in a positive light and we hope that this will inspire young people to use their Welsh speaking skills creatively”.

With a total of £425,000 awarded across 26 innovative projects, other key funding includes projects from the Welsh Rugby Union, RNIB and the National Trust.