The Mentrau Iaith (Language Initiatives) are dynamic, voluntary, community organisations that promote the use of Welsh throughout Wales and Mentrau Iaith Cymru supports their work on a national level to increase the use of Welsh in our communities.
The aim of the Mentrau Iaith is supporting and promoting the Welsh language across Wales.
The first Menter Iaith was established in the Gwendraeth Valley in 1991, and in the years that followed, volunteers from other communities across Wales came together to form their own Mentrau. Today, there are 23 Mentrau Iaith which serve each and every part of Wales.
The Mentrau Iaith are the way in which local communities work together for the benefit of the Welsh language. They have proven to be an effective community development model whose work makes a real difference to local communities.
The work of each Menter Iaith is managed by voluntary management committees and each Menter works with a variety of other partnership organisations locally.
Mentrau Iaith Cymru (MIC) is the national organisation which supports the work of 23 local Mentrau Iaith across Wales.
MIC supports the network of Mentrau Iaith through a wide range of activities and service areas, including marketing and communication, training and influencing for the benefit of the Welsh language and Welsh speakers. The principle of sharing – information, resources, experiences and ideas – is central to our work.
We also develop regional and national projects in partnership with the Mentrau Iaith and other organisations. Go to the our work page to learn more.
A Brief History…
Early Years of the Mentrau: 1991-1999
The first Menter Iaith was established in the Gwendraeth Valley in 1991. By 1998 there were five Mentrau, namely Cwm Gwendraeth, Aman Tawe, Taf Elai, Maldwyn and Môn. Following the success of these Mentrau, demand grew within other communities across Wales to establish their own local Mentrau. During this period the Mentrau actively shared information, experience and advice across Wales in order to help the development of new Mentrau.
Mentrau Iaith Cymru: 1999-2004
Mentrau Iaith Cymru was established in 1999 by the network of Mentrau Iaith, having recognised the need for regular meetings, networking opportunities and sharing of information, experience and good practice, as well as giving the Mentrau a collective profile and national platform.
During this period, local Mentrau staff and volunteers worked tirelessly to establish and develop MIC as a national organisation.
2004 – 2012
MIC recruited its Development Officer as the first member of staff in 2004 who undertook important work to develop MIC as a national body to support the network of Mentrau Iaith across Wales. The main duties included organising a programme of regular meetings and events, research into funding opportunities, strengthening communication and sharing of information between the Mentrau, as well as acting as a main point of contact between the Mentrau and other partners in order to facilitate collaboration and sharing of good practice.
A number of national projects were developed during this period, including the Battle of the Bands in partnership with the BBC, Menter Patagonia to promote the Welsh language in Argentina and mentoring schemes between the Mentrau to share ideas, experience and information.
By 2012 there were 23 Mentrau Iaith and the network of Mentrau now served each and every part of Wales.
2012 – Present
In 2012 MIC attracted grant funding from Welsh Government, resulting in the recruitment of a National Coordinator to join the Development Officer to further support the network of Mentrau Iaith. This resulted in MIC’s work developing further, undertaking new projects to support the Mentrau including training, conferences, more activities to influence policy makers, research and greater representation within national networks and strategic groups as well as increased marketing activities.
In January 2015 the Mentrau Iaith succeeded in attracting further financial support from Welsh Government which allowed MIC to develop its team further, recruiting a Training Officer and Marketing Officer.
The team of four officers now work closely with the local Mentrau, MIC’s Executive Committee, and a range of partnership organisations to provide MIC’s highest ever level of service and support to the Mentrau, and as an organisation we are constantly looking to expand and develop our services for the Mentrau and for the benefit of the Welsh language.
Meet the Team
Mentrau Iaith Cymru, Y Sgwâr, Llanrwst, Conwy, LL26 0LG 01492 643401Email Iwan Hywel
Likes? Rugby, Football, wildlife and any sort of pie
Dislikes? Heights, egg custard and modern technology.
Biggest pleasures? Raising 3 little rascals and working supporting the Welsh language.
Biggest challenges? Raising 3 little rascals and working supporting the Welsh language.