THIS is just a reminder that the Ty Cadog project is still active, in case you haven’t been following our progress over recent months.

Three social evenings have been held – quizzes before and after Christmas, and a Welsh sing-along session on January 25 to celebrate Santes Dwynwen (the Welsh St Valentine). The response has confirmed that a Welsh-language community centre, hosting numerous activities, is needed in the Vale of Glamorgan.

A number of questions have been raised by the results of the Census. Will Welsh survive if children do not use it outside school? Is it possible for “new speakers” (those who have learned or are learning Welsh) to become active members of our community if they lack the confidence to use the language in a local shop or café? How should a bilingual family adapt when one of its members begins using Welsh? Will ‘incomers’ from England see any purpose to learning Welsh if they do not hear the language being spoken?

To us, here in the Vale of Glamorgan, the answers are obvious. We have a wonderful resource in the form of our Welsh-medium schools, and priceless good will inherited from the visit of the Eisteddfod. Now is the time to move the fortunes of the language forward, to celebrate and build on foundations which may seem fragile but are young and growing.

We are eager to see a home for the Welsh language in the Vale very soon. To this end, we intend renting a shop in Barry as soon as possible so that we can open a café/bookshop, with the intention of spreading into another storey before long. The hope is to purchase the property in the future and this will affect our choice of location.

All offers of support or advice will be welcomed. Our numbers on the steering committee may be small but we are conscious that we represent the longing of many of the Vale’s inhabitants – to hear young people speaking Welsh on the streets of our towns, to hear an increasing number of people sufficiently confident to attempt public transactions in Welsh, and to know that there is at least one place in the Vale where use of the Welsh language will be expected and welcomed.

Please visit www.tycadog .org now and again to keep up to date with our news, come to our social activities, where beginners and non-Welsh speakers with an interest in our shared heritage will be welcomed, and tell your friends about this project.

Kay Holder Chair Steering Committee Ty Cadog