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Yr iaith Gymraeg yn ffynnu ym Mhatagonia

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Mae tir o lynnoedd a mynyddoedd: Patagonia, lle mae'r iaith Gymraeg yn ffynnu.

Mae tir o lynnoedd a mynyddoedd: Patagonia, lle mae’r iaith Gymraeg
yn ffynnu.

MAE ADRODDIAD yn dangos bod yr iaith Gymraeg yn mynd o nerth i nerth ym Mhatagonia.

Bu cynnydd o 19% ers y llynedd yn nifer y bobl sy’n astudio cyrsiau Cymraeg a chynnydd o 54% yn nifer yr oedolion sy’n dysgu’r iaith.

Mae Adroddiad Monitro Blynyddol 2014 sy’n cael ei weithredu ym Mhatagonia gan British Council Cymru, yn dangos poblogrwydd cynyddol y Gymraeg yn y rhanbarth, gyda’r adroddiad yn dangos fod cynnydd o 19% yn nifer y bobl sy’n dysgu Cymraeg (o blant i oedolion), o 985 yn 2013/14 i 1174 yn 2014/15, sy’n gynnydd o 39% ers 2011.

Mae cynnydd sylweddol yn nifer yr oedolion sy’n dysgu’r iaith gyda 268 o oedolion yn mynychu cyrsiau, cynnydd o 54% eleni a 135% ers 2011. Yn ogystal â’r nifer mwyaf erioed o ddysgwyr, yn 2014 y gwelwyd y nifer mwyaf o ddosbarthiadau Cymraeg yn hanes y prosiect, 90 o ddosbarthiadau i gyd, i fyny o 83 yn 2013 a 79 yn 2012.

Dywedodd Gareth Kiff, monitor academaidd y prosiect ac awdur yr adroddiad: “Mae’r cynnydd yn y niferoedd o bobl o bob oedran sy’n dysgu Cymraeg yn ystod y tair blynedd diwethaf yn dyst i waith caled pawb a fu’n ymwneud â’r prosiect ym Mhatagonia a Chymru. Mae’r niferoedd yn tyfu ymhob categori oedran ac erbyn 2016 dylem gyrraedd sefyllfa lle bydd tair ysgol gynradd ddwyieithog. Gwaith y prosiect yw sicrhau bod gan bobl leol berchnogaeth o fentrau o’r fath a sicrhau bod dyfodol tymor hir i’r iaith Gymraeg ym Mhatagonia. Mae hyn yn digwydd ac o ystyried y swm bychan o arian sydd ar gael i ni, mae’r prosiect yn enghraifft o gost effeithiolrwydd mewn cyfnod o galedi economaidd.”

Dywedodd Jenny Scott, cyfarwyddwr British Council Cymru: “Eleni, rydym yn nodi 150 o flynyddoedd ers i ymsefydlwyr o Gymru gyrraedd Patagonia ac mae’r adroddiad yn dangos yn glir sut y mae Prosiect yr Iaith Gymraeg yn helpu’r iaith i ffynnu yn y rhanbarth. Gobeithio y bydd y flwyddyn o ddathlu yn annog mwy o bobl yng nghymuned Gymraeg Patagonia ac yma yng Nghymru i ddysgu’r iaith. Mae prosiect y British Council, sef Connecting Classrooms hefyd yn helpu i greu cysylltiadau rhwng Cymru a Phatagonia gyda phartneriaeth ar waith rhwng Ysgol Pentreuchaf, ger Pwllheli, ac Ysgol yr Hendre yn Nhrelew, Chubut. Mae Ysgol Feithrin y Gaiman, Chubut ac Ysgol Gymraeg Aberystwyth hefyd yn creu partneriaeth ac mae pâr arall o ysgolion wedi mynegi diddordeb.”

Mae Prosiect yr Iaith Gymraeg wedi bod yn hyrwyddo a datblygu’r iaith Gymraeg yn nhalaith Chubut ym Mhatagonia, yr Ariannin ers 1997. Bob blwyddyn mae tri swyddog datblygu iaith o Gymru yn treulio cyfnod rhwng mis Mawrth a mis Rhagfyr yn dysgu ym Mhatagonia. Maent yn datblygu’r iaith mewn cymunedau sy’n siarad Cymraeg drwy ddysgu a gweithgareddau cymdeithasol.

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BBC Unsung Hero Awards are back!

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BBC Wales is searching for a great volunteer in Wales who’s made a difference in the last 12 months. Nominations are open today (17 September) for the 2019 BBC Wales Unsung Hero award.

The BBC Wales Unsung Hero award celebrates the most inspiring, dynamic and dedicated volunteers driving participation in grassroots sports and fitness activities in Wales.

Last year, volunteer Asa Waite from Newport was named the BBC Wales Unsung Hero. Asa is a basketball coach and runs training sessions and games for young people.

Asa said: “Winning the BBC Wales Unsung Hero award last year was such an honour. The award is something I would never have dreamt of and couldn’t achieve without the support of the participants, parents and guardians. All the other nominees were amazing so I really feel honoured. Winning the award has given me such confidence in what I am doing and made me realise that I am making a real difference to not just local young people but Newport as a whole.”

From volunteer fitness instructors who offer classes in communities, to the person who spends their free time running the social media accounts for dance clubs, or the steward who turns up every week to cheer on the runners in the weekly 5km. BBC Wales is looking for your local sporting superhero who has an inspiring story to tell.

Geoff Williams, Head of Sport at BBC Wales says: “The Unsung Hero award is all about honouring the people who show up, bring people together and really make a difference in their community. Volunteers are a hugely important aspect of any sport and it’s fantastic to give these people the recognition they truly deserve.”

Winner of BBC Wales’ Unsung Hero award will receive the award at the Wales Sport Awards ceremony on Tuesday, 10 December at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.

The winner will then represent Wales in the BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero joining other winners from Scotland, Northern Ireland and English regions. The overall UK winner will receive their award at this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony live on BBC One.

To nominate your BBC Wales Unsung Hero by video, audio, online webform or via email, simply visit www.bbc.co.uk/unsunghero or www.walessportawards.co.uk. Entries close on Sunday 20 October at midnight and the shortlist will be revealed in the days leading up to national BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony in December.

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Donate A Gate Scheme Launched

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Life is punctuated by occasions and events to be marked, remembered and commemorated. For some of these, it may be more appropriate to do something that has a longer-lasting effect than a card or flowers. Speaking on behalf of Ceredigion County Councils Public Rights of Way team, Eifion Jones says: “We have regular requests to install memorial or commemorative benches along paths in the county, and whilst there are a few locations where this is appropriate and useful, in the most part something as formal as a garden bench can be intrusive and out of place in our wild and remote landscape.” With this in mind, the team have launched a ‘Donate a Gate’ scheme.

The idea came about after a member of the public got in touch to see if they could ‘adopt’ a path as a unique and unusual gift to mark the wedding of some close friends. The couple are keen walkers regularly visiting Ceredigion to use the Rights of Way network, and their imaginative friend thought that contributing to the upkeep of these would be a fitting way to mark their special day. Not being something that had been done in Ceredigion before, it seemed wrong to turn down the chance of being able to carry out work which, without this donation, may not have been possible right now. The team came up with the suggestion of buying a pedestrian gate to replace a ‘past its best’ kissing gate on the Coast Path.

Councillor Rhodri Evans is the Cabinet member with responsibility for Economy and Regeneration. He said: “A simple replacement such as this can allow access to more people in line with Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to providing the least restrictive access wherever possible. The team’s innovative idea of launching the donate scheme is a great way for people to contribute to the Rights of Way network in a unique and special way while the team and its volunteers can continue to repair and protect the coastal path; doing their best to make it fit for use by anyone wanting to enjoy our wonderful countryside views.”

Installed by the Rights of Way Volunteers, the gate sits on the Coast Path looking over Ynys Lochtyn. As such it gives the newlyweds a stunning location to visit as part of their walks, something tangible they’ve contributed to and a place to visit to remind them of their special day.

If you’re looking for a way to mark an occasion, remember a loved one, promote your business or for an unusual gift, then you could consider donating towards a piece of furniture or stretch of path. The scheme is not restricted to gates and will include waymarking posts, bridges and flights of steps at the discretion of the Rights of Way team. These could be on a path which is near to your home, has a special significance to someone or indeed the iconic and famous Ceredigion Coast Path. A plaque can be placed on the item with appropriate wording recognising the donation as part of the installation process.

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Drug deaths at their highest ever levels in Wales

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WELSH drug deaths are at their highest ever levels according to a new report by Public Health Wales, with deaths from drug poisoning having increased by 78 per cent over the last 10 years.

The report also highlights that drug deaths may be increasingly occurring in people using drugs on a recreational basis, with a rise in deaths involving cocaine, amphetamine and MDMA collectively accounting for 14 per cent of drug misuse deaths. These deaths tended to occur amongst younger people in their 20’s.

In a third of all drug deaths reviewed, ‘no known contact’ was reported between the deceased and any local health, social care or criminal justice services in the 12 months prior to death.

The report recommends action to influence the current legislative approach to drugs policy in the UK, as well as a medical amnesty policy to protect people seeking medical attention relating to drug poisonings.

Drug misuse deaths, a subset of drug poisoning deaths, have increased by 52 per cent over the last decade and by 12 per cent in the last year up from 185 deaths in 2017 to 208 in 2018 – with a current rate of 72 deaths per million population. Wales has the second highest rates of drug misuse deaths in England and Wales regions.

Josie Smith, Head of Substance Misuse in Public Health Wales, said:
“Drug markets have changed and expanded over the last few years, both in terms of availability, and range of drugs, and this trend is set to continue. One of the most distressing impacts of these changes is the rise in premature deaths.

“Across Wales there are effective interventions in place to reduce premature drug deaths including specialist substance misuse services and, for opioid deaths, the provision of Take-Home Naloxone. However, expansion of the Naloxone programme will be required to ensure widespread access to this life-saving intervention. In addition it is vital that the range of people using drugs are able to make better use of services that can support them, and reduce their risk of harm and premature death.

“Given the scale of problem drug use in Wales, it is likely that every member of the population will know someone affected by, or experiencing difficulties with drugs be they illegal or prescribed, but may be unaware. Evidence is clear that seeking support early on can prevent escalation of problem use and dependency, however, fear of stigmatisation and social exclusion may be barriers to this. Consideration needs to be given to how this can be overcome in Wales to prevent future tragic deaths.”

As in previous years, opioids including heroin were involved in the just over half of drug misuse deaths reported in 2018. Poly-drug use, the use of other drugs including benzodiazepines and cocaine, was reported in 49 per cent.

In addition, there has been a more than four-fold increase in the number of deaths involving cocaine over the last five years. In 2018, cocaine was recorded in 31 of deaths, representing 15 per cent of all drug misuse deaths.

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