I’m Macsen, I’m a sixth form pupil at Ysgol Maes Garmon studying Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Music. In my free time I like to read fantasy novels, Lego, and play the cello. I am a member of the Wrexham symphony orchestra, the senior orchestra of Flintshire Music Service and a member of folk dance group Dawnswyr Delyn’s band in Mold. I have also won the young storytellers of Wales competition a few times, I’m a member of the Flintshire target shooting squad, a member of a local Explorers group and a young leader who runs activities and sessions for the Cubs groups as well.

I had the privilege at the beginning of July to visit Menter Iaith Fflint a Wrecsam during my work experience week. I had an amazing time learning about the work of the initiative as they promote and facilitate the Welsh language in the counties of Flint and Wrexham by orgnaising activities of all kinds. Everyone was extremely friendly and nice in the office and I learned a lot by working together in a team with the Menter’s officers.

To start the week, Mabli (who was also on work experience with the initiative) and I learned about the work and history of the Mentrau Iaith network, the aims of this initiative and looked through marketing folders, social media accounts, their website and read recent annual reports to learn about the hundreds of interesting projects and schemes created and supported by Menter Iaith Fflint a Wrecsam over the years, projects such as Ras yr Iaith and the sessions available to local schools. Then we set about creating a Kahoot quiz about the history of the charity and the Mentrau Iaith, and everyone in the office took part. I’m glad to say that every officer iat Menter Iaith did very well, thankfully.

The following day we had to think about interesting projects that we would like to see carried out in the area. We looked at possible community funds and looked at the requirements of these application forms before setting out to gather ideas. I thought of several different ideas and acutally learned that many of them are already offered by projects such as Helo Blod and Hapus i Siarad so I will have to think further outside the box next time. We were also busy preparing equipment for the weekend as a ‘Ben-di-tedig’ event for families and small children will take place in Green Field Heritage Park where there will be a Symud gyda Tedi session, a treasure hunt and a Superted art and craft session.

On Wednesday we went to Ysgol Y Waen to hold two Magi Ann Story and Song sessions to reinforce linguistic patterns and give the school’s children a positive Welsh experience. I once again had the opportunity to wear the costume, after rehearsing in it on Monday, and Chris, the Menter officer, entertained the children with one of the character’s famous stories and sang with the Ukulele. I danced around and the children had a lot of fun moving and cheering and singing with us. In the afternoon I was working on creating posters on Canva that tMenter Iaith can use during the year to celebrate events such as the St David’s Day, Owain Glyndŵr’s Day and Welsh Music Day. I also had the opportunity to work on my CV and have an informal mock interview with the Chief Officer.   

This wasn’t the first time I volunteered with the initiative because a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to be part of a new community festival in Mold: Gwyddgig. I introduced the festival on the main stage on the Daniel Owen Square announcing the artists, stating the safety guidelines and sharing a few jokes, all bilingually. The experience was very valuable and being part of something that I’m sure will grow and grow every year was special. Although I’m used to speaking to audiences as a young storyteller, I was still a little nervous trying to remember everything when introducing the groups inclduing Ysgol Maes Garmon, Ysgol Glanrafon, Gwilym Bowen Rhys, Morgan Elwy a’r band and more. It was a very busy day as I was also part of the Dawnswyr Delyn band and so after standing on the stage between 9:30am and 2:30pm, I had to rush to the family Twmpath (Welsh Ceilidh) at St Mary’s Church Hall to join the fun and excitement there.

I’m looking forward to the last two days in the company of the team and hope that there will be an opportunity in the future for me to return to learn skills and increase my knowledge of the Mentrau iaith’s work.