Enfys reaches the rainbow

Heulwen and Cawod signing 'Good'
Heulwen and Cawod

Dwylo'r Enfys (Rainbow Hands), a new TV programme for young children and families in Wales, is the first Welsh language programme to use Makaton.

Each week Cawod and Heulwen, two lively and colourful characters will leave their home at the end of the rainbow to visit Wales to meet some special children and introduce three new Makaton signs.

The first series of 13 episodes will be broadcast at 8.30am every Monday morning on S4C, starting 3rd December 2012.

Six year old Enfys Thomas, from Caernarfon, who has Down's Syndrome, was the inspiration for the show.

Ruth and Enfys
Ruth and 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."

It was Ruth'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."

28th November 2012

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