Employees at one of the area’s largest law firms are being offered the opportunity to learn Welsh in the workplace, with a view to them gaining confidence to converse in Welsh with clients.
GHP Legal, which has offices in Wrexham, Llangollen and Oswestry, already has several fluent Welsh speakers on its staff, including some of the firm’s partners who regularly conduct client business in Welsh.
Under a scheme run by TILT, tutors from Bangor University are attending GHP Legal’s Wrexham head office in Grosvenor Road and also their office at The Old Bank Chambers in Berwyn Street, Llangollen, to teach skills in basic Welsh conversation. The 2-hour lessons take place every Wednesday afternoon.
Welsh speaker Annest Smith, a Solicitor Advocate with GHP Legal, is team leader for the learning project. “With the emphasis very much on the spoken language,” she says, “the classes provide the learners with a written framework for the course, as well as the opportunity to practice these new skills with fellow employees in fun role-playing activities.
“There has been a very positive response from the seventeen participants who have signed up for the lessons so far, and many have commented that they have wanted to learn Welsh for a long time. They are also enjoying the experience of learning something new.”
Course participant Ann Thomas is a secretary in the GHP Legal litigation department. She said: "I feel my confidence and ability in Welsh has increased in just a few weeks and the lessons are such an enjoyable way of learning the language with co-workers. I hope that I can continue to develop my Welsh language skills in the future."
Pictured left to right:- Iain Hall, Ceri Pritchard (Tutor) and Penny Bomphrey.