A key part of the work of the Older People’s Commissioner and her team is travelling across Wales to meet and speak with older people at a variety of different groups and clubs.
This engagement not only allows us to share important information about the Commissioner’s role as an independent voice and champion of older people in Wales, and our work to make Wales a good place to grow older for everyone, but also allows us to hear directly from older people about their experiences of growing older and the issues that affect their lives.
In recent years, there’s been a welcome increase in the number of groups across Wales that are bringing older and younger people together, providing opportunities for them to connect in a meaningful way, through having fun, sharing knowledge and experiences and providing each other with support.
A growing body of research is also clear that intergenerational activities bring a range of benefits to older and younger people, as well as to the communities in which they live. It is therefore essential that there are even more opportunities for different generations to interact together.
That’s why it’s been really interesting to find out more about Cylchoedd Ti a Fi, safe spaces where parents and grandparents can socialise and have fun playing with their children and grandchildren.
It’s often assumed that these groups are only for Mums and Dads, but older people are also welcome to attend Cylch Ti a Fi, where they can enjoy the benefits of spending time with younger people and can introduce the Welsh language to younger generations. This is particularly important as grandparents are supporting their families with childcare more than ever before.
It’s really positive that these groups are available for older people who are first-language Welsh speakers, and that they provide opportunities for older people to introduce young children to the Welsh language – a great example of how older people can share their wealth of knowledge and experience with younger generations.
And for grandparents who want to use more Welsh with their grandchildren, something that can also bring different generations closer together, there’s Clwb Cwtsh, an eight-week taster class focused on helping people to speak Welsh with young children. Many grandparents and older carers have already taken part in the course, and there are courses held regularly across Wales.
If you’re interested in finding out more about attending a Welsh-medium Cylch Ti a Fi group or a Clwb Cwtsh, visit the Mudiad Meithrin website https://www.meithrin.cymru/home/ or call 01970 639639 to find out what’s available in your area.
Kelly Davies is the Deputy Older People’s Commissioner for Wales.
More information can be found about the Commissioner’s work here: