News | Newyddion

Posted Friday, February 12th, 2016

cARTrefu, which means to reside in Welsh, is a two year programme run by Gwanwyn which aims to improve access to quality arts experiences for older people in residential care.

Emma 3

We have recruited 16 artists working in different fields to each deliver 8 x 8 week residencies at care homes across Wales. The programme has been a massive success so far and we hope that it will foster a greater appreciation of the arts among care home staff as they work with our artists. We want care home staff to acquire new skills and gain more confidence in sharing and practicing them in their daily work with residents

You can find out more about this fantastic project via cARTrefu’s newsletter, which you can download from Age Cymru’s website here:

Posted Sunday, January 17th, 2016
Posted Monday, December 14th, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from everyone at Gwanwyn!

2015 has been an amazing year for us and we’re grateful to everybody who contributed to Gwanwyn over the last year, all the organisers, venues, audiences, performers, artists, workshop attendees and gee whiz, just everyone.  You’ve all been great.  Thanks so much for all the hard work and imagination you’ve put in.  We’re totally in awe of every single one of you.


The Gwanwyn elves (pictured) are currently planning and scheming for next year’s Gwanwyn and we’re looking forward to making some very exciting announcements over the coming weeks.  2016 will be our tenth birthday, so we’re promising something extra special.  We’ve had a record number of applications for the community grant scheme and there’s an incredible buzz starting to build.

Whatever you’ve got planned for the next couple of weeks we’d like to wish you all the best and we’ll see you next year!

Posted Monday, November 23rd, 2015
Posted Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Young Critics and 3rd Act critics are working in partnership with Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales (ACNMW) on a new free project focusing on the quality and standards of exhibitions and programming at their sites across Wales.


ACNMW are keen to generate feedback and data from interested visitors regarding what makes a good exhibition and programme.  The project aims to make the work of museums more accessible to the general public and increase the reach of culture and heritage.  The project may also focus on Cadw sites and local museums and galleries.

The project is expected to last for 6 months initially, before being reviewed, and participants will be expected to commit to the lifetime of the project.  Staff at National Museum Wales will provide training and workshops, and exclusive expert guidance on their roles.  All participants will be supported in critical response methods and use of digital technologies to develop critical thinking skills.

The first workshop will take place on Saturday the 5th of December 10-1pm at National Museum Cardiff, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP.

If you aged between 12-25 or 50+ and would like to be involved please contact project coordinator Guy O’Donnell on

Posted Friday, November 13th, 2015

Ffilm Cymru Wales is a public funder dedicated to supporting the film sector in Wales and improving access to film and its benefits for the public of Wales.


To help them decide how best to support the future of how you experience movies in Wales they would like to know about how you watch films, where you watch them, and the types of films you enjoy.


More information, and the survey itself, can be found on the Arts Council of Wales web site.

Posted Friday, November 6th, 2015


From singing to knitting, amateur dramatics to painting, over 60,000 groups across the UK and Republic of Ireland provide regular opportunities for creative cultural activity.

The Epic Awards celebrate their achievements.

Could your group be an Epic Award winner? Nominations are now open!


Posted Sunday, October 25th, 2015

“It’s good to grow older because…”

WALES’ amateur photographers are invited to take part in an exciting ‘age positive’ charity competition.

Age Cymru is asking photographers young and old to capture the theme ‘it’s good to grow older because…’ with the chance of winning £100 in high street vouchers.

“Grab that camera or phone and send us a picture you’ve taken capturing why you believe it’s good to grow older in Wales,” said Sarah Price, Age Cymru’s Engagement Support Coordinator.

“Our ‘age positive’ message celebrates the contribution older people have made and continue to make to our communities.

“We’re asking entrants to complete the line ‘It’s good to grow older because…’ when they send in their photo.

“We’re hoping for some fun and original images of ageing, which will challenge some of the stereotypes of growing older!

“There’s a separate category for under 16s and we’d love to see lots of entries from young people– so whether you’re a keen amateur photographer or simply enjoy taking snaps on your phone – join in!

‘Who said I’m too old?’ by Meirwen Jones and ‘Family Traditions’ by Joel Dixon were last year’s winning entries.

Could you be the next Age Cymru photography competition winner? Submit your ‘age positive’ images by midnight on Friday 6 November 2015.

To enter simply visit to download an entry form or email or call 029 2043 1555.

Posted Friday, October 16th, 2015

Each May Gwanwyn’s Community Grants Scheme enables community groups and arts organisations across Wales the chance to provide arts experiences for older people.  Every kind of artistic activity you can imagine takes place in just about every kind of venue you can imagine, from the Wales Millennium Centre to the garden shed.

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Grants can be anything up to £500 and we are keen to include as many different kinds of community organisations as possible.  2016 will be a special year for Gwanwyn as we celebrate our 10th birthday, so we want to get as many applications as possible.

You can find out more here:

Applications close on 9th December 2015 and we will be notifying successful applicants from early January.

Posted Friday, October 2nd, 2015
Posted Friday, September 25th, 2015

Are you an older actor?  A former actor?  With a good voice?  Can you do characters … voices … accents?  The Readers Theatre of Wales is a new amateur company, based in Cardiff, that is looking for actors who would like to take part in a short comedy play in the Readers Theatre format for distribution via internet radio and YouTube video. Would you like to know more?  Would you like to help?

If you are not familiar with Readers Theatre please visit to find the answers to some of your questions and then send an email to to tell us you are interested. We will send you more details about the production and invite you to a readers theatre introduction event in the coming weeks.  Writers too…if you are interested in writing for this format we’d like to hear from you too.

This will be a ‘JFF’ production … that’s ‘just for fun’ … you won’t be paid and won’t be asked for money.

We hope to hear from you.

Posted Friday, September 25th, 2015


Age Positive Week is Age Cymru’s annual celebration of all that’s positive about ageing.  This year it will take place from Sunday 27 September to Sunday 4 October 2015 and, as before, will coincide with the UN International Day of Older Persons on 1 October.


Age Cymru held the first ever Age Positive Week last year and we were delighted by its success. Age Positive events were held across the country and more than 60 different activities were registered, from boules and indoor golf to creative writing sessions, film screenings, tea afternoons and open days. These, combined with events organised by Age Cymru, led to a fantastic celebration of ageing enjoyed by hundreds of people across Wales.

Join in the fun web

Have a look at the events registered so far, including events organised by Age Cymru.

Keep a look out too for our sponsorship of programmes on S4C during the Week!

If you’re already holding an event next week – whether it’s a coffee morning or exercise session, a forum meeting or weekly bingo – then you can simply badge your get together as Age Positive.  For more information about Age Positive Week and how you can get involved please visit Age Cymru’s website:

Tell us about it!  We’d love to know what you’re planning, so please let us know about your event via Facebook or Twitter.


Posted Friday, August 28th, 2015

GWANWYN IS 10 YEARS OLD NEXT YEAR! Help to shape arts events for and with older people by answering a few short questions and be entered into a prize draw for free theatre tickets!

You can help us shape the future of Gwanwyn. We have a few questions that will help us to understand what you like about the arts and how you want to get involved in the future.

Your input will help develop the festival, and by taking part you will be automatically entered into our prize draw for two free tickets to an event at Sherman Cymru or Galeri, Caernarfon!

Posted Friday, August 14th, 2015
Posted Friday, August 14th, 2015

‘NOW – an exploration of the present with a chosen one’ invites couples who are living with dementia to explore the ‘here and now’.

The relationship could be a new friendship, or with your partner/husband/wife, carer, children or grandchildren.

This experience will allow you to find out what you enjoy about being with this person, how the relationship has formed and developed, to how it has affected you and how it is right now.

Clare Parry-Jones and Denni Dennis will spend up to 5 sessions with you, giving you the chance to enjoy the beauty and humour within your relationship.

Clare and Denni are artists based in South Wales, working locally and internationally, with community groups, arts in health, theatre, cabaret and circus.

Couples can express how they feel through word, music, movement, performance or visually through photography or film.

Clare is a trained Dramatherapist who has performed in care homes in Powys and both artists have taken part in dementia awareness training.

If you would like to get involved in this exciting new experience, please contact Emma Robinson at or call 029 2043 1540.

Posted Friday, August 7th, 2015

Over 50’s in Denbighshire were given a fun and therapeutic introduction to mindfulness meditation as part of this year’s Gwanwyn Festival at Canolfan Ni, in Corwen.

Corwen is a small, rural community and it is easy for older people there to become isolated. But staff at Canolfan Ni work hard to show how art can be used as a tool for better health and wellbeing.

A Community Grant from Gwanwyn enabled thirty people to attend two workshops of drawing and meditation. Participants worked in sociable groups on zendoodle activities designed to relax them and free up their creative minds. They also had the opportunity to display their work after the session.


Everyone felt encouraged to expand their mind and enjoy a good laugh with each other. For many of the participants it was their first experience of mindfulness, and some of them were encouraged to find out more about how it could increase their creativity and wellbeing.

You can view some photos of the event on our Facebook page.

Posted Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Red Cafe Community Project is a youth and community co-op in the Mumbles. They’ve been working with Gwanwyn for a few years now, and this year their Community Grant took them to Swansea’s Quadrant Shopping Centre to raise awareness about dementia.

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As well as dance and music workshops from festival favourites Tan Dance, there were ballroom dancing taster sessions and a performance by the Musical Memories Choir.

Hundreds of shoppers witnessed the event and it was an important opportunity to show people how creativity could be an important part of living well with dementia.

It also strengthened ties between several organisations who work with people with dementia who were able to share information and build important new relationships.

Those taking part also included the Alzheimer’s Society, Age Cymru, YMCA, Community Connections, Swansea Museum, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea Carers Centre, Gower College, Gwalia and Forget Me Not Clubs.

Red Cafe kindly sent us some photos you can view on our Facebook page.

Posted Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

An important part of the Gwanwyn Festival each year is the Community Grant Scheme Project which enables small community groups to put on art events to promote creativity in older age.  Carrog Craft Club in Denbighshire were able to apply for a grant to put on a creative writing and art workshop.

The work combined print making with creative writing about people and places dear to the craft club members.  They looked at medieval illuminated manuscripts like the White Book of Rhydderch and the Book of Kells for inspiration, and their colourful work was displayed in Carrog Village Hall for everyone to enjoy.


The members had a great day and made lively art works which evoked loved ones and memories that were clearly very important to them.  The session was delivered bilingually and the group invited residents from Glyndyfrdwy, Corwen and Bryneglwys for this special event.

Carrog Craft Club have sent us some lovely photos which you can view by following the link to our Facebook page.

Posted Friday, May 29th, 2015

It’s hard to believe that Gwanwyn 2015 officially ends this weekend. There are a few events still to go, but we wanted to thank all the artists, musicians, writers, dancers, poets, actors, crafters, knitters, singers, photographers, organisers, volunteers, participants, workshoppers and audiences across Wales who combined to make this year’s festival one of the best and most memorable yet! Three cheers for all of you!

Don’t forget to share any photos with us on Facebook. The ones we’ve seen so far are really amazing and it’s nice see our organisers sharing experiences with each other.

We’re already hard at work on 2016’s festival, so keep an eye out for news and announcements. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter or follow this link to sign up for our mailing list to keep abreast of funding deadlines and special projects.

Posted Monday, May 11th, 2015

A UNIQUE food-themed performance by a choir made up of people living with dementia and their families is taking place at Caerphilly Castle on 14 May.

The Forget-me-Not Chorus’s appearance in the castle’s banqueting hall is part of a Wales-wide arts festival for older people, called the Gwanwyn Festival.

Singing waiters from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama feature as special guests.

Kate Woolveridge – the accomplished mezzo-soprano and vocal animateur, who leads the chorus, says:

“The Forget-me-Not Chorus supports people with dementia and their families through weekly singing and creative workshops.

“We aim to empower both people with dementia and their families to use their voice in song to express themselves and to use the power of music to provide an escape from the everyday caring routine.

“We’re all really looking forward to this concert at Caerphilly Castle which promises to be a highlight in the choir’s history and a positive experience for us all of being together.”

This is the first time the Forget-me-Not Chorus has been on the festival’s bill, as Emma Robinson, Gwanwyn’s Coordinator says:

“I’m very excited that Gwanwyn Festival and the Forget-me-Not Chorus are finally working together.

“It is a privilege to have such an ambitious and pioneering organisation that shares similar aims and ambitions as the Gwanwyn Festival on this year’s bill.

“Art – in any shape of form that meets our own individual tastes, is something that we should be able to enjoy, appreciate and take part in at any stage of life.

“This performance promises to be one that will make quite an impact on everyone who experiences it –ether by taking part in it or as a spectator, and I can’t wait to see it served up on 14 May.”

Posted Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Lovely interview with Peggy Seeger today in Wales Online about her forthcoming performance this Saturday at Attitude Festival in Merthyr.

Posted Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Fancy using your knitting skills to create music?

We’re looking for five experienced knitters (you need to have the ability to look up from your work to follow conducted instructions) to join the performance of ‘Killing Time’ at Wales Millennium Centre on Saturday 16 May, led by contemporary composer Jobina Tinnemans

You will continue knitting on long white knitted ‘scores’ which were started by the knitting performers in New York.

You will need to be available for rehearsals in the morning (10 – 11am) and the performance on the Glanfa stage in the afternoon (3pm).

Jobina will also be delivering a workshop at 11:30 for up to 10 knitters and these events are part of a packed programme of Gwanwyn activity throughout the Centre.

If you would like to join Jobina and knit for the performance please contact us!

Posted Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Wales’s only annual national arts festival for over 50s is back for its ninth year on May 1 and it promises to be bigger and better than ever before.

This year’s Gwanwyn festival features a chance for older people to learn about parkour and graffiti, a ‘Pimp my ukulele’ project, music with knitting needles, and much more.

Emma Robinson, Gwanwyn’s Coordinator says:

“This year we’re proud to be working with Men in Sheds on a project to build and customise ukuleles and also with the Attitude Festival in Merthyr Tydfil on 9 May.

“On 14 May, we’ve got a performance by the ‘Forget-me-Not Chorus’ at Caerphilly Castle, led by the mezzo soprano and 2012 Inspirational Woman of the Year – Kate Woolveridge.

“There’ll be a performance by Cain – Galeri Caernarfon’s dance performance group for over 60s on 15 May.

“We’ve also got a packed day of free workshops for over 50s at the Wales Millennium Centre on 16 May, which will give over 50s the chance to try their hand at graffiti, parkour, singing and much more!

“And let’s not forget our amazing ‘music with knitting needles’ performance by Jobina Tinnemans at the Wales Millennium Centre, also on that weekend.”

Posted Monday, February 9th, 2015

Age Cymru is looking for 16 artist practitioners (four for each of the following art forms – Performing Arts, Visual Art, Music and Words) as part of a new project, cARTrefu, which will deliver arts based residencies to care homes across Wales.

For more information head to Age Cymru’s website

Posted Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Poetry and Dementia
Friday 27 February – Sunday 1 March
Tutors: Karen Hayes and John Killick
Fee: £275 (single room) / £220 (shared room) (more…)

Posted Friday, October 10th, 2014

Gwanwyn Festival of Arts and Creativity for older people is organised by Age Cymru and supported by Welsh Government and Arts Council of Wales

Community Grant Scheme now open (more…)

Posted Tuesday, January 7th, 2014



They are currently seeking older people to join their books, especially those aged 60+ (more…)

Posted Friday, December 20th, 2013

The Gwanwyn team would like to wish you all Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year. 

We are looking forward to developing the exciting plans for the festival in 2014 and cant wait to start working on the creative ideas.  There is still plenty of time to apply for a Community Grant for organisations who would like take part in the festival.  For more informatioin on the scheme please visit the Download page on this website. 

Nadolig Llawen

Gwanwyn xx

Posted Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Sax for Fun at Cardiff Half Marathon

A huge thanks go to Bev and members of the Sax for Fun group for providing fantastic musical entertainment for all Age Cymru runners, and others, during the 1/2 marathon on 6th October

Age Cymru runners and supporters have all said how much the music lifted their spirits and tired legs. 

Sax for Fun received a community grant for Gwanwyn 2013.  The group run weekly workshops for people who are interested in learning to play the sax and offer regular performance opportunities.  For more information please visit 

Thanks again Sax for Fun and well done to all the runners.

Posted Friday, September 6th, 2013

Emma Robinson

Age Cymru has appointed Emma Robinson as their new Arts and Creativity Development Officer.  Emma will run Gwanwyn, the Wales-wide arts festival and arts programme for over 50s.

She will be curating and developing the charity’s Gwanwyn festival for over 50s which runs each May and a year-round arts programme.

The former touring officer with Hijinx Theatre has also previously worked with Brotfabrik arts centre in Berlin, Comic Relief and Cardiff Council. (more…)

Posted Friday, August 9th, 2013

Gwanwyn, in partnership with the Older People’s Commissioner, invited schools and youth groups to organise intergenerational projects that enabled young people to exchange stories with their parents and grandparents on what a Saturday night out means (or meant) to them.    (more…)

Posted Friday, August 9th, 2013

Staff at University Hospital Llandough caring for older people with mental health problems have been getting hands on help from local artists, following support from Age Cymru’s Gwanwyn Festival. 
Students from the Cardiff School of Art and Design were asked to submit concepts for a piece of art to help change the hospital environment for older people.


Posted Friday, August 9th, 2013

A Lifetime on Tiptoes

Would you like to review a Gwanwyn supported script A Lifetime on Tiptoes?

A Lifetime on Tiptoes is a play about the Partition of British India 1947.  Director, Dominic Rai, who has strong links with Age Cymru’s Gwanwyn festival, has worked with writer and poet Mazhar Tirmazi to produce a script about the human cost of the Partition of British India. (more…)

Posted Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

A NEW dance company for over 60s will be making its debut performance at the National Eisteddfod in Denbigh.

Cain Performance Company is Galeri Caernarfon’s dance company for older people.

It will be performing ‘Anwel’ (Invisible) – a piece about older people feeling invisible in society, at 11.00am on Monday 5 August in Theatr y Maes. (more…)

Posted Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

TWO Anglesey writing groups have joined up to write a book of short stories and poems that have been inspired by the island.

The ‘Write On’ and ‘Copper Writers’ groups have published ‘Môntage – Writings from a Welsh Island’ which is a collection of works about Anglesey by its residents. (more…)

Posted Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Llandudno will be hosting a unique event this weekend that celebrates older and younger people’s experiences of Saturday nights.
‘What does a teenage Saturday Night out mean to you?’ is taking place at the Mostyn gallery on Saturday 29 June.
It’s all part of the Commissioner’s Choice project by the Gwanwyn arts festival for over 50s from Age Cymru and the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales.
Claire Bottomley from Age Cymru says:
“Saturday night is a teenage rite of passage that provides a rich seam of stories that we can probably all relate to and enjoy together.
“Getting younger and older people to share their experiencesthrough projects such as the Commissioner’s Choiceis a great way to build bridges between the generations.
“It helps to bring everyone closer by giving us a different perspective on familiar situations as wellas teaching us that even though the world changes, we’re not as different from each other as we may once have thought.”
A film made by local 15-25 year-olds – the Circuit/Cylch, about older people’s memories of Saturday nights will have its public premier at the event.
There’ll also be a soundscape installation and sensory memory boxes made by the Mostyn Ninjas – a group of 11-13-year-olds from the area, on show.
Sarah Rochira, the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, comments:
“Travelling extensively across Wales as Commissioner, I have seen for myself just how much older people and younger people have in common so I was delighted to support this project through the Commissioner’s Choice award.
“Projects like this are an important way to challenge the stereotypes often faced by older people and younger people alike, which can often lead to negative treatment and discrimination.
“But more than that, projects like this and the other Commissioner’s Choice projects are a great way to bring the generations together in an innovative and enjoyable way.”
Members of the public can experience the film and soundscape installation and sensory memory boxes at Mostyn on Saturday 29 June.
There will also be jive dancing, an indoor garden tea party, games and photography exhibition from 2pm onwards.
Mostyn is located at 12 Vaughan Street, Llandudno LL30 1AB.

Posted Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Title: Textile Art Workshops
Date: 8, 15, 22, 29 May & 5 June
Location: Ysbyty Eryri, Caernarfon
Time: Afternoon sessions
Cost: Free

Artist Wendy Rogers will deliver a series of 5 textile art sessions for patients and carers at Ysbyty Eryri. Wendy will be using wool and fabric to create artworks inspired by trees and fruit. These sessions are open only to hospital in-patients and/or outpatients via the Speech & Language Therapy Team.

Tel: 01286 679721

Posted Saturday, June 1st, 2013

Title: 3rd Age Dance
Date: Wed afternoons – ongoing
Location: Arwel Y Mor,Community Centre,Porthcawl,Bridgend.
Time: 1-3pm
Cost: free

A free dance class for those aged 50+.The class is suitable for all ability levels and uses dance as a method of supporting emotional and physical wellbeing.
The class has a specific focus Parkinsons but all are welcome.

Tel: 01639 813428

Posted Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Mask Theatre comes to Caernarfon
Vamos Theatre, the Worcestershire-based full mask theatre company, tours nationally and internationally, taking its unique style of innovative and engaging theatre to small and large communities alike: theatre that brims with visual inventiveness, original music, puppetry, dexterity, and hilarity. Vamos Theatre is dedicated to devised work, physical and fantastical adaptations of human stories, often rooted in real life histories and events. Vamos is passionate about theatre and its role in people’s lives, in performance and participation. Local to international, Vamos Theatre engages and inspires intergenerational audiences and participants with its playful and fearless full mask theatre.
Galeri, Caernarvon will celebrate this year’s Gwyl Gwanwyn Festival with a Vamos Theatre workshop. A performance of Finding Joy as part of the TONIC session will follow the workshop.
Artists from Vamos theatre will lead a mask workshop in the theatre in Galeri. Here’s an opportunity for young teenagers to bring a grandparent, a neighbour or friend (over 60 years old) to enjoy and participate in the workshop woth them. The workshop will explore some of the themes in the production Finding Joy in a playful and interactive way, giving the participants an opportunity to develop skills and confidence through communicating without language and using masks
‘Finding joy’ .Vamos will be leading an intergenerational mask workshop 11.30-12.30 May 30, followed by a performance in the theatre as part of our TONIC strand at 2.30 pm. There will also be an evening performance of ‘Finding Joy’ at 7pm 29th of May

Posted Saturday, May 25th, 2013

“One love, one heart, let’s get together and feel alright” – Bob Marley
Bristol Reggae Orchestra is one of the UK’s most unique, inspiring and uplifting community projects – and they are coming to the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff to give a rousing finale to the 2013 Gwanwyn Festival. Set up in early 2010, its debut sold out St George’s in Bristol, a renowned classical music venue, and turned it into a seething dance hall. Since then, performances at local festivals, in the St Paul’s community and around the southwest have confirmed the Reggae Orchestra as one to watch.
It is a collective of 40 local musicians of all ages, drawing influences from reggae, ska, jazz and classical music, and include in our ranks professional musicians, students, hobbyists and session players, as well as those who have rarely played in public before. They feature a selection of singers who can draw on many years of experience.
They play a compelling repertoire drawn from bravely crafted originals, many from talented composers in St Paul’s and the wider Bristol area, as well as reggae and ska classics from the likes of Bob Marley and Lord Tanamo. Listen out for their particular blend of toe-tapping, crowd-pleasing world music with verve, commanding solos and an infectious beat. This will be happening on the Glanfa stage at the Wales Millennium Centre at 1:00pm on Saturday 25th May. Free admission
If your experience of Reggae is all from records you need to hear this. You will also get the chance to see the world premiere of a new piece of music specially commissioned by the Gwanwyn festival featuring Dylan Fowler (Guitar) and Adam Doughty on the Kora (An African harp).