Details of the three main organisations which receive grant in aid from the Welsh Language Board are included below. The grants are distributed to assist them in their work of promoting and facilitating the use of Welsh.
Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin
Grant – 2003/04: £1,000,000
Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin, established in 1971, is the national association of Welsh-medium playgroups.
It is responsible for providing and promoting nursery education through the medium of Welsh. A service is provided throughout Wales by a network of parent and child groups (for children from 6 months to school age, accompanied by their parents or carers), and playgroups (for children from 2 to school age).
The organisation depends to a large extent on the services of volunteers (mainly parents) to maintain its activities. Around half the children who attend MYM’s groups come from non-Welsh speaking homes, and many of them move on to Welsh-medium schools.
MYM is therefore a key player in the process of introducing the Welsh language for the first time to children and families.
National Eisteddfod of Wales
Grant 2003/04: £350,000
The National Eisteddfod promotes Welsh culture and protects the language through arranging an annual cultural festival during the first week of August and publishing the winning literary compositions.
This peripatetic festival attempts to serve all parts of Wales by visiting different areas in the north and south alternately. Local events lead up to the week of the Eisteddfod itself.
Events during the week such as concerts, plays and youth activities in locations other than the Eisteddfod maes (site) all contribute to making the Eisteddfod attractive to a wide range of people.
The sense of ownership of the festival by the local community, and the contributions of local volunteers, are essential for the success of an event which costs around £2 million each year to stage and which attracts around 160,000 visitors.
Urdd Gobaith Cymru
Grant 2003/04: £520,000
Urdd Gobaith Cymru was established in 1922 and is today among the leading youth movements in Europe, serving around 50,000 members, native Welsh speakers and learners, in 1,200 branches throughout Wales. A quarter of all children aged 10 living in Wales are Urdd members.
The work is supported by over 10,000 volunteers. The Urdd offers many kinds of activities – eisteddfodau, camps, sports, magazines, humanitarian work and local clubs for children and young people up to the age of 25.
The Urdd National Eisteddfod, held annually at the end of May, is Europe’s largest youth festival.