A PENARTH bookshop owner is supporting Adult Learners’ Week after learning Welsh to meet the bilingual needs of her customers.

Mel Griffin, bought Griffin Books in September 2014 after its previous owners retired. The previous owners spoke English and Welsh, and Ms Griffin was keen to make sure she continued to offer her customers a bilingual service.

The 53-year-old moved to the coastal town from Essex 18 years ago when her husband secured a job at Cardiff University. Taking over the bookshop made the avid-reader realise learning Welsh made good business sense.

Ms Griffin then passed the ‘Learn Welsh’ Mynediad/Entry-level exam in 2017 and is now on the first year of the two-year Sylfaen/Foundation-level course.

She said: “This isn’t a Welsh-language bookshop, it’s a contemporary bookshop, but I was conscious of our Welsh-speaking customers and the Welsh-medium primary school in the town, so I wanted to continue to cater to these customers. I wanted to be able pronounce the names of Welsh-language children’s book I was ordering.

"The Vale of Glamorgan has a ‘learn Welsh for the Vale’ campaign and they manage the courses. I do pay for the course but there are lots of free extras such as revision sessions around exams."

Ms Griffin said she is now able to use Welsh in her independent bookshop which hosts author talks and book signings, such as an upcoming event with former Prime Minister Gordon Brown discussing his recently published autobiography.

The bookshop owner is now backing Adult Learners’ Week which runs from June 18 to the 24 this year and celebrates lifelong learning.

Eluned Morgan, minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning, said: “We often think of education as something we do when we’re young, but learning is a lifelong activity.

“Mel is a perfect example of someone who has benefited from the decision to learn Welsh as an adult.

"The Welsh language belongs to us all, and whatever your age it’s never too late to start learning."

Adult Learners’ Week is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Social Fund and organised by the Learning & Work Institute Wales.

For more information on Adult Learners’ Week, go to careerswales.com/skillsgateway or call 0800 028 4844.