I spent my childhood and teenage years in South Wales believing the Welsh language was a waste of time. I wasn’t even entered into
sitting my GCSE Exam.
I just didn’t see the point of the Welsh language. Every Welsh speaker I knew
spoke English. At school, they didn’t teach us about the history of Wales, the
history of the language and the connection with our heritage, not to mention
how people had sacrificed so much to keep the language alive. Not sitting my
Welsh GCSE didn’t bother me at all at the time.
Fast forward 15 years and I landed a secondment to the Future Generations Commissioner’s Office. I discovered my lack of ability to speak Welsh was
closing doors and opportunities on both a professional and personal level.
Most staff in the office spoke Welsh. I was missing out on friendships and
career opportunities because I didn’t speak it. I was kicking myself for not
paying more attention in Mrs Davies’ Welsh class. Luckily, they offered Welsh
classes in the workplace, I signed up and it changed my life. I’m still learning,
but I’ve already discovered my own country in a new light. I’ve also learnt how
the language is key to enjoying and appreciating our unique culture and
identity. Learning Welsh is powerful, it’s already benefitted me in so many
It was my new-found passion for the language that sparked the idea for her business, ‘Siop Dwt’, an online shop on Etsy and an Instagram Community which now has over 2,500 international followers. Since 2020, both platforms have focused on helping Welsh learners to access products and content to introduce Welsh into their daily lives. One example is Helen’s bilingual diary, which has been available in the National Museum of Wales as well as gift shops more local to where I live.
To make Welsh more accessible and fun, on Tuesday the 11th of July, Siop Dwt will be launching its new & unique monthly Subscription Box for Welsh Learners. Boxes will include lots of useful products to make Welsh part of people’s daily lives. From the Lingo Newydd Magazine to bespoke puzzles and crosswords, scratch-off maps with ideas for places to visit and an opportunity to learn more about Wales. I've also partnered with several Welsh food and drinks producers and Welsh crafters to ensure subscribers can also enjoy a variety of quality and tasty treats from Wales each month.
“My subscription boxes will bring some Welsh sparkle into people’s homes.
I’ve worked with my online community to develop the idea, and as a Welsh
learner myself I’m super confident these boxes will really support learners in
their own day to day journey with the language, wherever they are in the
With things hotting up in my own community in Rhondda Cynon Taf, ahead of the National Eisteddfod in 2024 and with the Welsh Government’s target of 1 million Welsh speakers by 2050, I believe now is the perfect time to launch this
Welsh is a gift. Every Welsh learner is a win for Wales. I wish I’d been taught
that at school, I would have benefitted so much. Seeing my daughter’s
experience through Welsh medium education today proves that things are
improving, but we’ve got a long way to go. I hope my Subscription Boxes help
to make the gift of Welsh fun and accessible to all levels. Give Welsh a go –
like me, it could change your life.
Siop Dwt’s Welsh Learners Boxes are £30 a month with the option to cancel
anytime. Boxes are available to pre-order will be readily available from
launch day on the 11th of July.