National News | 22nd Sep 2021

Book Launch Celebrating Mudiad Meithrin’s 50 Birthday with Mererid Hopwood

This year, Mudiad Meithrin is celebrating a special anniversary as it celebrates 50 years of providing quality Welsh-medium education since it was established in 1971.

The special book Cylch o Hanner Canrif – a book celebrating 50 years of Mudiad Meithrin’s work – will be launched in the company of its editor, Mererid Hopwood, at 2.00pm, at the Theatr of the Arts Centre, Aberystwyth on Saturday, 2nd October. During the launch we will have the opportunity to reflect with wonder on everything the Mudiad has achieved over the last half century for the benefit of Welsh-medium education and the growth of the Welsh language within our local communities.

Mererid Hopwood, editor of the book, said:

“One of the secrets of Mudiad Meithrin’s success has been its ability to continually renew itself through the decades. In that sense, the Mudiad is not 50 years ‘old’ this year, but rather 50 years ‘new’.  With 1,500 volunteers, almost 2,000 staff in the Cylchoedd, nearly 300 central staff and 22,000 children flocking to benefit from its provision, Mudiad Meithrin has grown to become a Welsh powerhouse. It it a story to lift the spirits of all who love Wales, love the Welsh language, and love children.”

A number of people have contributed to the volume, including some of the early founders, former officials, and the parents and children of today. Another individual who has contributed to the volume and whose links with the Mudiad go back decades, is the early years specialist Siân Wyn Siencyn. We will have the opportunity to hear some of Siân’s fondest memories during the launch.

This book is published by the Gwasg Carreg Gwalch Press with the support of the Welsh Books Council. Myrddin ap Dafydd, founder of Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, said:

“It is a privilege both for me personally and for the press to be part of this celebration. I was born too early to benefit from Mudiad Meithrin, but I grew up surrounded by the hubbub of the initial enthusiasm because my mother was part of the national council that met monthly in Aberystwyth. It was clear that an exciting development was underway. I’ve seen my children benefit from the work of the local Cylchoedd Meithrin, as they enjoyed the new horizons opened to them. And now my first grandson has followed in their footsteps too! What a contribution and what a story – it’s wonderful to see this colorful record between the covers of a book.”

Looking back at the Mudiad’s achievement over the last half century and looking forward to the future, the vision of Dr Gwenllian Lansdown Davies, the current Chief Executive of Mudiad Meithrin is thus:

“The whole mission and purpose of our work is to use the early years as a medium to create new Welsh speakers from children who would not otherwise speak Welsh; and the experience of learning through play is paramount in its own right. But I believe that the greatest legacy of the Mudiad will be to see the day where it is no longer needed, when our care and education system automatically provides the best possible support to the youngest children through the medium of Welsh. Hopefully, that will be realized before reaching the 100th anniversary!”