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Outrage as hospice ‘bans’ fundraising group following Welsh language row

03 Dec 2021 4 minutes Read
Nightingale House Hospice. Photo via Google

A hospice has been accused of banning a fundraising group from engaging with it following a row about the Welsh language.

Outraged Welsh speaking supporters of Nightingale House Hospice (Hospis Ty’r Eos) in Wrexham, say they have been “banned from further interaction” with the charity after voicing concerns about its “lack of respect” towards the language.

But the hospice says that it was “left with no alternative but to cut ties with the group” because the situation had “escalated to a position” where its employees where “distressed and in tears as a result of interactions” with it.

According to John Morris, a supporter of the hospice, the group of Welsh speakers had raised concerns that correspondence sent out by the charity was only written in English, and did not include a Welsh language translation.

He claims that these concerns were met with “resistance” from the charity’s trustees. This he said has resulted in the charity cutting ties with the group all together.

He says the group received a letter from the Chief Executive and Board of Trustees which thanked them for their 30 year contribution to the cause but which added “this is the end of our communications”.

Morris told North Wales Live that the group is “genuinely hurt and offended” by the letter.

He said: “The group considers that the ban imposed on Welsh speakers is an attempt to isolate and humiliate them.

“The reluctance of the trustees to change conveys a complete lack of awareness, respect and blatant disregard for the Welsh language.

“The imposition of a ban on Welsh speaking supporters is totally unacceptable and justifies an urgent enquiry.”

‘Regrettably’

The statement from the hospice said: “Regrettably the situation escalated to a position where employees of the Hospice were left distressed and in tears as a result of interactions with members of this group and the Hospice was left with no alternative but to cut ties with the group concerned.

“This was not a decision taken lightly as the Hospice needs the help of as many fundraisers as possible, but it also has a duty to its employees to protect their mental health and well-being together with its duties to operate the Hospice in accordance with the relevant rules and regulations.

“Anybody who simply wishes to raise funds to support the work of the Hospice is more than welcome to do so, including members of the group in question, but the Hospice cannot engage with individuals or groups who seek to place operational conditions on their support for the Hospice.”

A spokesperson for Nightingale House has denied that the hospice not supportive of the Welsh language, saying: “the Hospice is very proud of its record in using the Welsh language whenever it can.

“Whenever possible the Hospice’s publications are produced in English and Welsh and the Hospice seeks to engage in Welsh with as many of its patients and families who wish to do so.”

‘Due to the cost’ 

On the complaint about the hospice’s Spring 2021 newsletter not including a Welsh translation, the statement said: “The print version of that newsletter was only produced in English due to the cost of producing additional printed copies in Welsh. This complaint was received at a time when the Hospice, along with all other charities, was experiencing the most difficult of times in raising funds to enable its primary services to continue operating.

“The Hospice did though produce digital versions of the same newsletter in Welsh and English and made these available to the public online.

“However, the individual concerned pursued the matter in correspondence with the Hospice and escalated it to the extent that the Hospice’s Chair of Trustees was singled out for inappropriate comment and the Hospice was forced to instruct solicitors to deal with the issue.

“The Hospice has nothing to hide or fear in relation to its use of the Welsh language and wishes to be entirely transparent about this matter.

“In an attempt to be transparent, the Hospice’s solicitors have asked the individual who is pursuing the complaint for permission to put all the correspondence in the public domain, but he has not responded to that request.

“Whilst the Hospice feels that criticism of its use of the Welsh language is unwarranted and unfair, it is particularly sad that the matter has been pursued in the way it has.

“This has caused the Hospice’s Board and employees to divert their attention away from the services that are so important to the community and to have to spend their time and resources defending their use of the Welsh language and responding to personally directed comments.”

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Eric Hall
1 month ago

“The print version of that newsletter was only produced in English due to the cost of producing additional printed copies in Welsh” – so if they could only afford to have it printed in one language, why not print the newsletter in Welsh, the native language of the country?.

Stephen
Stephen
1 month ago
Reply to  Eric Hall

Only 1 in 4000 people could read it then

Haydn Morgan
Haydn Morgan
1 month ago
Reply to  Stephen

Even more important that it’s put out in Welsh then. You best learn the language as well so we can change that 1 into a 2 👍

Tim
Tim
1 month ago

No need for separate document. Print together – same cost. This feeble excuse is 60 years past its sell-by date. Disrespectful conduct that humiliates Welsh-speaking people and harms the charity. Grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre – but not, sadly, unprecedented.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

Excuses and crocodile tears. I notice how the managers of this hospice are trying to turn this around by making them out to be the victim rather than the perpetrator.And instead of using imotive language, just admit they were at fault.

Last edited 1 month ago by Y Cymro
Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
1 month ago

As already pointed out, this could be produced in both languages at no extra cost. (See the repeated comments on the Welsh Language Commissioners in their Annual Reports and in their guidelines to businesses and those in the third sector.) As for any translation work – sadly in this area it invariably means that we translators would get the English first and work into Cymraeg – myself and my colleagues have experience of working pro bono for charities. I’m sure that a similar arrangement could have been reached with Nightingale in this case. Instead of that, one of the commonplace… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Welsh_Siôn
Jason
Jason
1 month ago

mae’r adran sylwadau hon yn llawn idiotiaid

Cymru Cymraeg
Cymru Cymraeg
1 month ago

There are probably a very small number of anti Welsh associates involved with this who have taken against an individual who has tried and tried and tried to seek equality for the Welsh language. Ultimately, it will be the terminally ill patients who’ll suffer – irrespective of their spoken language.

Stephen
Stephen
1 month ago

Don’t anger Welsh speakers…just likely to cry lol

Helen
Helen
1 month ago

Aren’t we forgetting something? I’m sure the patients would love to hear they’ve be given a clean bill of health in any language.

Carol Loughlin
Carol Loughlin
1 month ago
Reply to  Helen

It’s a hospice so it’s highly unlikely that any of their patients will be given a clean bill of health.

Stephen Lewis
Stephen Lewis
1 month ago
Reply to  Helen

What an unbelievably crass statement. You obviously don’t understand the purpose of a hospice.

Beano
Beano
1 month ago

Language activists reduce carers at a hospice to tears, still act like the victims in the story, call in their friends with a blog to encourage digital pile-on.
Admirable stuff lads.

Natalie kane
Natalie kane
1 month ago

As someone with mental health issues, it’s disturbing to see health professionals constantly root for their staffs mental health and hide behind it, but never consider the publics. You call any health organisation out and you’re a bully. Even If tempers flare, its passion and frustration at illogical or bad/lady excuses, and quite often its miscro abusive gaslighting.. let’s be honest there are usually repeated mistakes too. If the Internet version is so easy to access then make it all Internet only to make it equal?? What excuse what you give for refusing for the sake of English speakers accessibility… Read more »

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