A new series on S4C's Cyw Service will introduce a signing system to small children in Welsh for the very first time. Dwylo’r Enfys will be the first Welsh language programme to use Makaton.
A little girl from Gwynedd was the inspiration for Dwylo'r Enfys which starts on S4C on Monday 3 December. Six year old Enfys Thomas, from Caernarfon, who has Down's Syndrome, is one of the stars of Dwylo'r Enfys.
"Makaton was a stepping stone for Enfys," says Enfys's mother, Ruth Thomas. "All the Makaton provision available was through English. I wanted Enfys, and other children in Wales, to be able to learn Makaton through the medium of Welsh."
Dwylo'r Enfys will visit special children all across Wales. Each week Cawod and Heulwen, two lively and colourful characters will leave their home at the end of the rainbow to visit Wales, and to meet these special children and introduce three new Makaton signs each week.
Makaton is a language programme which uses speech, signs and symbol to encourage communication and it is a system which is used by over 100,000 children and adults. There are many English-language Makaton DVDs available, and Something Special with Mr Tumble on Cbeebies.
It was Ruth Thomas's big dream to create a Welsh language TV programme introducing Makaton, so she contacted S4C, who put her in touch with producing company Ceidiog, and the dream finally came true.
I'm so glad that S4C supported the idea. Dwylo'r Enfys is a very special programme and it's a programme for everyone, – not only for children with communication or learning difficulties, their families, and friends and at School but also for babies and toddlers before their speech develops. Makaton has changed our lives and I know that Dwylo'r Enfys will now do the same for Welsh families."
"Dwylo'r Enfys is a very important project," says Nia Ceidiog. "This is the first time that children with special needs have been given such a stage on S4C. The programme shows Wales and all its diversity. It is refreshing and historical, here in Wales."
"It's very important that we reflect the whole of Wales on S4C. Says Sioned Wyn Roberts, Commissioner for Children's Content on S4C. "Dwylo'r Enfys does that, and offers great entertainment while introducing the Makaton system to families."
"We're so grateful to Ruth Thomas for contacting S4C to suggest the idea for Dwylo'r Enfys – this is an opportunity for S4C to provide children with a unique and valuable resource. We're now working with the Welsh Government's Education Department to develop Makaton resources which will be available to families and school in Wales."
In the first episode of Dwylo'r Enfys Cawod and Heulwen visit Owen in Whitchurch, Cardiff. Owen loves music and, playing their special seeking game Chwarae Chwilio, the three of them go on a journey which leads to Tŷ Cyw where Owen and his brother Joshua perform with Cyw's Band
The star of the following episode is Efa who lives on a farm in Cwmpenanner. Efa and her older sister Erin take Heulwen on a walk with Fflam the dog and have fun in the wave pool at Plas Madog.
As well as giving these special children a stage Dwylo'r Enfys also offers them new and exciting experiences.
Don't forget to watch Dwylo'r Enfys – a groundbreaking new series on S4C.