My name is Heulwen Jones and I am the newly appointed Welsh Language Tutor for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service. Welsh is my first language and I have spoken it all my life. My father was from Gwynedd in North Wales and my mother from South Wales and both her parents were Welsh speaking. My brother and I were brought up in a Welsh speaking home, and we speak to each other in Welsh everyday.
I am thoroughly enjoying my role here within SWFRS. I am finding the work extremely interesting and enjoyable and my colleagues here have been friendly, supportive and extremely welcoming.
In the short time that I have worked here there has been a massive interest from staff to learn Welsh and also for staff who can already speak Welsh to develop their skills so that they can incorporate the language skills into their daily work routine.
A variety of courses are being arranged to suit all levels of Welsh training, incorporating relevant vocabulary used within the Service. As part of this I have designed some courses for specific departments within the Service, so that staff will be able to incorporate some Welsh language skills into their day to day working life.
The first step in Welsh within the Service is an Introduction to Welsh session. Staff will then be able to proceed to the WJEC Mynediad (Beginner) course which will be 3 hours a week over a year. Following this there will be the Sylfaen (Intermediate) course and Canolradd (Advanced) courses which will also be 3 hours a week over a year each.
Informal sessions for Welsh speakers will also be commencing so that Welsh speakers within the Service can practice their Welsh language skills in an informal atmosphere and gain confidence to speak more Welsh.