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Wales Ambassador Scheme continues to grow

Paul Hughes

An online scheme providing people with training and knowledge about the special qualities of areas in Wales continues to expand. Adults Learners’ Week takes place during September and enrolling to become a Wales Ambassador is a great opportunity to learn something new this month. Continuous learning can have a positive impact on people’s lives; whether you’re looking to learn more about the area, improve job prospects or meet new people, becoming an Ambassador is a great way to deepen your appreciation of a place.

A series of online modules on a variety of themes relevant to each area is offered. This includes welsh language, communities, culture, history, sustainable tourism, cycling and walking. There are 3 levels of awards – bronze, silver and gold, depending on the number of modules completed. Rewards including certificates and badges are sent to everyone who completes the levels. It’s totally free and open to everyone. Residents, volunteers and local community groups are particularly encouraged to become Ambassadors to learn more about the unique characteristics of each area.

Denbighshire was the first to launch an online course of its kind in Wales.  Snowdonia and Brecon Beacons National Parks, Conwy and Gwynedd have since launched courses and Flintshire, Anglesey, Ceredigion, and Carmarthenshireare busy preparing to launch later this year. Ambassadors are actively encouraged to sign up to multiple courses to extend their learning about Wales and be part of a wider community.

Rachel Simpson from Artychoke in Llandudno who has been instrumental in setting up the schemes says: “We have been amazed at the number of people who have enjoyed progressing through the modules and quizzes to learn about history, culture, food & drink, legends, activities and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. The ‘Did you know’ surprising facts are a particular hit, adding character to what you may already know, offering new places to explore and a deeper understanding of Wales and the Welsh way of life. From the mystical to the entirely practical, you’ll find something of interest in the course content.”

Over 2,600 people have enrolled onto at least one of the courses on the website with 1,684 achieving the bronze level certificate across 5 courses. In total, 4,330 bronze, silver and gold certificates have been awarded to Ambassadors, not only from within Wales but from all over the UK and beyond.

Councillor Win Mullen-James, Cabinet Lead Member for Local Development and Planning, said: “It’s really encouraging to see this innovative project that started in Denbighshire going from strength to strength with more Authorities and National Parks investing in the scheme and working collaboratively across Wales. Denbighshire is committed to managing the scheme and continuing to work with our partners to explore new developments and opportunities.”

Paul Hughes, walking group leader for the Vale of Clwyd Mind commented: “I chose to become an Ambassador because it gives you more information, it’s always handy to have more knowledge when you’re leading people on walks and taking people around the different areas. The course is free as well which always helps. And you can do it at home over a couple of evenings a week, so it’s brilliant. You can’t have enough knowledge as they say, it’s always nice to learn something new.”