A SHOP and café in the Anglesey village of Cemaes that became a Welsh language community hub during lockdown has helped Welsh translation and advice service Helo Blod reach one million words this month.
Tŷ Cemaes, founded by Isabel Bottoms in 2019 and situated in the heart of Cemaes, is a sustainable village shop and café, selling a variety of goods such as fresh produce to Welsh-made textiles and gifts.
The shop and café in recent years has become a popular Welsh language hub for both visitors and residents.
This is through the introduction of bilingual events, fairs, and workshops with the support of Helo Blod, a fast, free, and friendly Welsh translation service run by the Welsh Government to help businesses benefit by using more Welsh.
Helo Blod is celebrating translating one million words this month, having introduced more than 1,000 businesses across Wales to the benefits of using more Welsh as part of a push to help double the daily use of Welsh by 2050.
Launched in March 2020 to support the Welsh Government’s Cymraeg 2050 strategy, Helo Blod offers businesses and charities up to 500 words a month translated, free of charge.
The fast and friendly service also offers text checking of up to 1,000 words as well as practical advice, guidance, and support to help businesses use more Welsh.
This includes providing bilingual signage or lanyards and badges, which let customers know that businesses have staff who can speak or are learning Welsh.
In the past two years, 1,121 businesses across Wales have said hello to Blod, either online or by phone.
Indeed, the service has proved popular among cafes, shops, professional services and food and drink producers looking to use more Welsh into their website content, product signage, social media posts or advertising.
Owner Isabel has utilised the services of Helo Blod to include Welsh labels on all the store’s products and bilingual menus in the adjoining café.
Isabel says that Helo Blod has been a tremendous support system in the growth of Tŷ Cemaes and creating a safe space within the community.
Although Isabel is a confident Welsh speaker, she sought support and guidance from Helo Blod to gain help in continuing to keep the Welsh language alive throughout the shop, café, and all passing events.
Tŷ Cemaes has benefitted from Helo Blod’s Welsh language merchandise, including open/closed and welcome signs and Welsh language booklets and posters, as well as Helo Blod totes and Iaith Gwaith badges to visually promote the use of Welsh at Ty Cemaes and invite customers to practice the language while visiting the shop.
Isabel said: “Since day one, the presence of Welsh in my business has been key to the success of Tŷ Cemaes.
“It is inspiring to see local residents gather in our café and speak to one another in Welsh, and even greater to see visitors and tourists drop in and speak the language with us too.
“Knowing that I can send copy off for translation for my online site or request a proof of my existing copy for the shop and be able to get on with the running of my business and my request is processed, is a huge weight off my shoulders.
“Every business that wants to incorporate the Welsh language into their day-to-day, or already does, could benefit from saying hello to Blod.”
Minister for education and Welsh language, Jeremy Miles MS, said: “Helo Blod, our free Welsh translation and advice service for businesses and charities, has helped thousands of people to use more Welsh in their daily lives.
“Just using a little Welsh can help you spread your message further, turn customers into regulars and bring communities together.
“So, if you’re a business, charity or community enterprise, try our service today, and let us help you to use more Welsh.
“Together, we can double the daily use of Welsh by 2050.”