Welsh Government
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Minister launches Wales Interpretation and Translation Service

Social Justice and Local Government Minister, Carl Sargeant, yesterday launched the Wales Interpretation and Translation Service (WITS) which helps people who experience communication difficulties to access public services.
The Welsh Assembly Government have provided £120,000 of funding to establish the WITS project. Cardiff Council and Gwent Police have also contributed a total of £70,000 to the project.

People arriving in Wales from other countries often face difficulties when trying to access information that would help them settle into their new community. A limited ability to speak and understand English or Welsh can restrict a person’s capability to ask for information, and can cause confusion about public services and how to access them.

The WITS project tackles this problem as professional interpreters help those with communication difficulties to access services and explains processes which may otherwise be confusing. Helping people to over come language barriers increases understanding, reduces isolation and improves community cohesion.

The WITS project also provides public authorities in Wales with an efficient and easy to use, twenty-four hour linguistic service. By providing a One-stop-shop, WITS saves staff time and public bodies’ money, which is essential in today’s difficult economic climate.

The Social Justice and Local Government Minister said,

“Wales is a culturally and ethnically diverse country - it is part of what makes us what we are.  We value this diversity and are committed to making sure that all citizens can have a full and enriching life here in Wales.

“The Welsh Interpretation and Translation Service is invaluable, helping people to understand their local community and encouraging social inclusion.

“It is important for people to understand their community and how it works. Understanding makes integration easier, and also ensures that vulnerable newcomers are not exploited or that a lack of information does not raise tensions with neighbours.

“Thank you to everyone involved in the establishment and operation of WITS. Their valuable work provides a much needed accessible translation service for the people and public services in Wales.”

Related link:Equality and diversity

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