Supported by funding from the John Andrews Trust, we worked with Ysgol hafod lon, an sen school in Gwynedd, to establish a choir of local children, young people, their families and support workers.
The aim of the programme was to bring the community together, both encouraging and improving community cohesion and social relationships. The participants attended weekly sessions to focus on traditional Welsh songs, folk songs, sea shanties, hymns & lullabies which record Wales’ heritage and history. The programme was open to people of all abilities and in order to ensure full inclusivity we were able to offer alternative engagement methods to children, parents, or carers who may not wish to sing. Introducing arts and crafts into the project, these participants used recycled and craft materials to make musical instruments to play alongside the choir. Participants also created a permanent mural to display in the new school which illustrated the songs that the choir had learned. Community links were permanently formed with the local Male Voice Choir, Côr Meibion y Brythoniaid, and a concert at the Plas Glyn y Weddw concluded the 10 week programme. With further support from John Andrews a CD was created to raise funds for the choir going forward.
The programme provided the children and young people in the Pen Llŷn area with an improved knowledge of Wales’ history and culture, and the heritage of Welsh songs as well as improved Welsh language skills. Sharing this positive experience brought families, friends and neighbours together. Participants made new friends and developed new interests, improving not only their cultural well-being but their social well-being too.
“It’s been our pleasure to have been asked to come and sing with the choir – and I hope we will form a lasting relationship. I also hope that the choir can come and open our annual concert next year.”
Phillip Treadwell Jones, Côr Meibion y Brythoniaid