Swansea University’s Academi Hywel Teifi will launch its redeveloped app, Gofalu Trwy’r Gymraeg, (Caring through Welsh) at the Urdd Eisteddfod on Wednesday 30 May.
The award-winning app, which helps healthcare workers use the Welsh language in their day-to-day work, has been so popular that a new comprehensive version has been developed thanks to funding provided by the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol.
In 2014, the app scooped the IT and the Welsh Language award in the Welsh Government‘s Welsh Language in Health, Social Services and Social Care Awards.
The original version of Gofalu Trwy’r Gymraeg included helpful healthcare-related words, terms and phrases. Its aim is to support and enable individuals working in the healthcare sector to use Welsh with patients, thus ensuring that Welsh-speaking patients can discuss their conditions using their preferred language.
Extensive improvements have been made to the app, according to Lynsey Thomas of Academi Hywel Teifi who has led the development: "This update provides a better learning experience for the users. The original app was built almost five years ago, so this is an opportunity for us to improve its quality and content.
“There are additional sections of terminology and expressions that are specific to doctors, health visitors, care workers and physiotherapists. The phrases are spoken by the Welsh language tutor and TV presenter, Nia Parry, a former Swansea University student.
"Other new developments include guidance for workers on informal topics of discussion, such as the weather, in order to put their patients at ease. The app can also send push notifications, for example Word of the Day, and it is hoped that this will prompt and encourage users to continue using the app and develop their Welsh language vocabulary”.
Dr Dafydd Trystan, registrar of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, said: "We’re delighted to support a resource that has proved to be so valuable and popular among healthcare workers here in Wales.
"More students than ever before study a part of their health courses through the medium of Welsh, but more needs to be done to attract students to the health field, and I hope that this app will be one resource which could be of great benefit to them during their training”.
Dr Gwenno Ffrancon, director of Academi Hywel Teifi, added: “We’re heartened to see that so many healthcare staff and students have benefited from the app over the years, and we’re very grateful to the Coleg Cymraeg for its continued investment in it”.