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Active Learning? Take a Walk in Welsh

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Ty Bro Dyfi

Y Plas,
Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 8ER, UK.
phone: 01654 703965
e-mail: info@ecodyfi.org.uk

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press release29/5/2008

Now Welsh Learners in the Machynlleth area can walk while they talk: Welsh tutor Margaret Teare and walking leader husband Keith have teamed up with Mentro Allan to run nature-themed walks through the summer.

Mentro Allan Bro Ddyfi (Venture Out) is a Big Lottery funded health research project aimed at discovering - and overcoming - the barriers to being active outdoors.

The local project includes a wide variety of activities from gardening to yoga and from cycling to survival skills, all laid on for free for people who want to get active outdoors.

It is coordinated by ecodyfi.

Mentro Allan Co-ordinator Teresa Walters explained the thinking behind the Walks in Welsh: "As you’d expect, many of our participants are either fluent Welsh speakers or Welsh learners who’d like to spend more time with first language speakers" she said.

"For some people, learning Welsh is really important, but they just don’t enjoy the classroom environment." She went on to say that speaking Welsh, getting fitter and learning more about local and natural history are all quite high on their lists of "things we really should do"; so Mentro Allan has packaged it all up together.

Anyone who would like to join in the mobile classroom can contact Keith and Margaret direct on 01650 521843.

Walks are roughly every two weeks - and the next four are on Mondays 9 June and 7 July and Saturdays June 21 and July 19.

Teresa added that people shouldn’t be put off by thinking they might not be fit enough for the walks. They are of different distances and not difficult - and will go at a pace that is comfortable for all participants. She suggested that people ring her if they feel unsure about this.

Other Mentro Allan activities are featured on ecodyfi’s events calendar.

Notes for editors:

Mentro Allan is a collection of projects in Wales supported by the Big Lottery Fund and a national partnership. The programme targets specific groups that are generally less active than the wider population.

Each of the projects will be funded for four years to increase the physical activity levels of its target group, making best use of the local natural outdoor environment close to where people live. The programme will collect evidence on the effectiveness of specific interventions designed to increase people's levels of health-benefiting physical activity.

The Bro Ddyfi Mentro Allan programme will engage individuals in the Dyfi Valley community to increase levels of their physical activity, using a variety of settings in the outdoor natural environment.

Our main target group is the broad population who experience rural isolation and who live sedentary lives. We are particularly concerned with individuals suffering from loneliness and social exclusion as a result of poor access to services and a dispersed population pattern, though activities will be open to all residents.

Our sub-target groups are: parents of young children, especially young parents; 11-18 year olds, especially those at risk of social exclusion; people with mental health issues, especially those not in regular contact with support groups and services. We will target residents of the Machynlleth, Cadfarch, Glantwymyn and Llanbrynmair areas, but residents from other parts of the valley will be welcome to join in.

Ecodyfi is the lead body and other partners include: Community Action Machynlleth And District; Coed Lleol; US Mach; Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin, Sir Trefaldwyn; Play Montgomeryshire; NPHS Inequalities in Health project; Bro Ddyfi Communities First; Powys County Council; Tir Coed; NCH Sure Start; PAVO.

Contacts: