Category: Spreading the jam

Creative agency jamjar ‘thrilled’ with Cardiff Life Awards shortlisting

By Raspberry Jim,

Leading creative communications agency jamjar is “beyond thrilled” to have been shortlisted in this year’s Cardiff Life Awards.

The Cowbridge-based agency, which was founded in 2012 by communications specialist Lyndsey Jenkins, has been recognised in the Business Services category.

The Cardiff Life Awards, now in their fourth year, are a city-wide celebration of business excellence showcasing the professional achievements and innovation of companies across the Welsh capital.

Shortlisted entrants are judged by a panel of independent expert judges with the winners announced at a glitzy awards event and celebration attended by over 400 business people and industry leaders at Cardiff City Hall.

Jamjar is among those shortlisted this year thanks to its wealth of awards success and growth throughout 2018.

Last year the agency, which specialises in PR, digital, social media, marketing, and creative, was among the biggest winners at the annual Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Cymru Wales PRide Awards.

The team took home a hat-trick of accolades, including wins in the Best Use of Digital and Best Healthcare Campaign for its work with Cwm Taf University Health Board, as well as an award in the Low Budget category for its cost-effective communications campaign for Visit the Vale.

It was also the only agency in Wales to scoop a prestigious national CIPR Excellence Award in June beating international industry leaders including Facebook.

Over the past six years jamjar has claimed over 20 coveted awards from the CIPR, Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and the Welsh Business Awards.

On their successful start to 2019, managing director Ms Jenkins said it was a “pleasure” to once again be recognised among Cardiff’s elite and shine a spotlight on jamjar’s innovative work.

She said: “We are beyond thrilled to have been shortlisted in the Cardiff Life Awards’ Business Services category alongside some of the very best businesses in the city.

“Last year was such a successful year for us at jamjar, and we are thrilled that all our hard work is paying off.

“We pride ourselves on devising and delivering creative, strategic and impactful communications campaigns for our clients that make a real difference to their business and this approach is certainly paying dividends.

“Our approach has allowed us to go from strength to strength over the past few years and work with some of Cardiff’s leading businesses and brands, so to receive recognition for the work we are so passionate about really is fantastic.

“I’d like to congratulate everyone who has been shortlisted in this year’s awards and we look forward to what is certain to be a great event.”

The making of the Wild Creations promotional video

By Raspberry Jim,

Wild Creations is a vibrant, creative, energetic company with great staff, cool clients and some really weird and wonderful creations.

We wanted to bring this to life in their promotional video.

Our starting point… the company’s slogan. Through the video, we wanted to visualise all that goes into making ‘the weird and wonderful realised’.

So, how did we do it?

After spending some time with the company to understand more about what they do, it quickly became evident that it’s the ‘weird and wonderful’ team that work at Wild Creations that are at the heart of their unique creations.

We spent a day at their warehouse filming some fly on the wall footage before interviewing members of the team.

As videographers, it is our duty to make our subject feel as comfortable as we can in front of the daunting lens, in addition to doing justice to what they do by how we capture their essence on the set. It’s obvious to us that the subject matter is what really makes this video compelling. The Wild Creations team is full of fun, interesting people and this video is a showcase of their personalities and their work.

When it came to the edit, we started off with an impactful opening scene, with quick-cutting close up sequences all sound synced to an energetic drum beat.

This method is most commonly known through Edgar Wright’s films, such as “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”, but the reason why Edgar Wright inspired us to use this method is the fact that it helped set the tone of the video.

The fast paced edit sequence which shows a team member getting ready for the day portrays the fun, energetic nature of the company and the strategic use of close-ups adds to the visual intrigue.

The video is edited to a fun drum beat track, which represents the fast pace working environment at Wild Creations. This track allowed us to experiment with the edit, by having pauses to emphasize the ‘weirdness’ of the team but also to highlight their uniqueness.

We absolutely loved making this video and jamming alongside the brilliant Wild Creations team. We hope you like it as much as we do.

Legal expert offers crucial advice ahead of Divorce Day

By Raspberry Jim,

While the festive season brings joy and happiness for many who celebrate their new engagement, the first Monday of the New Year has become notorious for divorce enquiries and proceedings.

With many couples facing marital disillusionment by the New Year, the first working Monday in January is known for a spike in separation enquiries with January 7 dubbed Divorce Day by lawyers.

With over 100,000 divorce cases in 2017, according to recent figures from the Office of National Statistics, a legal expert offers crucial advice for the newly separated and recently engaged.

Sophie Hughes, head of the family law at award-winning firm Watkins & Gunn Solicitors, discusses why more couples seek a “life-changing” divorce in January and how newly engaged couples can prepare for the future.

Why is January so notorious for divorce enquiries?

In January, we see the number of divorce enquiries double. Most clients that I deal with will have been experiencing problems for a long time but will stay together over Christmas for the sake of their children and families.

Christmas is notorious for bringing problems to boiling point, with families forced to spend more time together in a confined space. While some people are only home for a few days, the home can easily feel like a pressure cooker for many, and feelings can be pushed to breaking point.

Alcohol and over-indulgence can become far less merry than expected, fueling arguments and inappropriate actions, with cracks in a relationship quickly exacerbated. With the new year presenting a fresh start, many people will look for ways to improve their lives and make a positive change. While some people do this by joining a gym or adapting a healthy lifestyle, other people do it by divorcing their significant other, identifying their relationship as a source of unhappiness.

What advice would you give to a couple contemplating divorce in January?

Don’t rush things based on a temporary emotion, make sure you’re calm and logical when considering separation and take some time to yourself to make sure this is really what you want and need.

If divorce is the route you choose, expert advice is crucial to reduce the stress of such a disruptive process. Divorce is a life-changing and heartbreaking event that needs to be carefully managed; not only for the individual, but also for any children.

Despite emotions running high, try to take a constructive approach to divorce proceedings as unnecessary acrimony can increase tension at an already difficult time, as well as increasing legal costs, making less money available for financial settlements. Consider a collaborative approach using specially trained lawyers to find a fair and honest solution to minimise the pain of family breakdowns and avoid the courts.

How can newly engaged couples prepare for the realities of marriage?

While it’s understandable that many couples enjoy the romantic whirlwind of a new engagement, it’s important to think about the realities of becoming a union, which is a legal process. With many couples celebrating saying “Yes” over the festive season, it’s a good time to start thinking about how they might want to protect themselves in the future.

Over the years, we’ve seen an increased popularity in pre-nups, and not only with more mature couples who have a fair share of assets to protect.

We are finding that more and more young couples are taking out pre-nuptial agreements before they get married to cover them if the worst happens. It might not be the most romantic thing in the world, but it’s a necessary precaution for many people entering a marriage.

Do you think couples today are more aware of pre-nuptial agreements?

Absolutely. With many people choosing to establish their careers and build foundations for a successful life, a lot of couples are marrying slightly later. Those who are entering their second marriage are also more aware of how they need to take steps to safeguard against legal complications further on down the line.

The concept has become more widely accepted due to the number of celebrity cases and has made the pre-nuptial agreement much more popular.  Though not absolutely binding in law at the moment in England and Wales they can certainly help protect one’s assets. 

It’s not all doom and gloom, young love does last but taking that extra step ensures peace of mind for both parties and makes sure they are entering marriage for all the right reasons. 

I know plenty of couples who are still happily married 30 years later, including myself, so while a pre-nup needs to be handled carefully and professionally by a family law expert, there’s no need to let this dampen your spirits. 

Sophie Hughes is head of the family team at Watkins & Gunn Solicitors and the Chair of the South Wales Region of Resolution, an association of specialist family lawyers dedicated to resolving family disputes in a constructive way. Sophie is one of a select group of lawyers in Wales trained in Collaborative Law and has extensive experience in high value divorces, often involving an international element.  

Watkins & Gunn has offices in Cardiff, Newport and Pontypool. For more advice from the family law team at Watkins & Gunn visit or call 01495 768932

Bus stop changes due to St David’s House demolition

By Raspberry Jim,

Bus stop alterations and route changes are set to come into effect from January due to the demolition of Cardiff’s St David’s House in the city centre.

The area, which is located on Wood Street opposite the new Central Square development, is being redeveloped and will see the withdrawal of the existing bus stops on that street from Sunday 6th January.

These include service 4, which will depart from the Royal Hotel bus stop on Westgate Street; and service 18, which will follow the same route as service 17 entering the city centre via Westgate Street, not serving Wood Street, Tudor Street or Clare Street.

Additionally, from 6th January, services 54 (to Cyncoed), 95A, 95B and 95C (to set-down) will use bus stop JV on Wood Street which is located outside Southgate House.  Services 92/93/94 will start and end at stop JQ,a new bus stop located on the opposite side of the road, outside the new BBC Wales building.  Service 95 to UHW Heath Hospital will move to Westgate Street stop KP.

Finally, services 96 and 96A will enter the city via Westgate Street and set-down at stops KD and KH; service X45 from Cardiff Bay Retail Park towards St Mellons will travel straight to Westgate Street (Royal Hotel); and Capital Links service X91 will start from Canal Street instead of Customhouse Street.

Commercial manager at Cardiff Bus Gareth Stevens said “With the demolition of St David’s House set to take place in January, we are alerting our customers to a small number of bus stop and route changes.

“From January 6th services from Wood Street will be departing from different stops while this work is undertaken.

“We’d like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, and would encourage customers to visit our website, Facebook, and Twitter pages to find out more.”

Cardiff Bus’s information centre will also be relocating from the city’s library to Westgate Street in 2019, with more details on the date set to be released in the new year.

Alongside this the trial extension on service 98 will end and the service will revert back to its pre-September 2018 timetable. 

Mr Stevens added: “We have worked with the Vale of Glamorgan Council and existing customers to raise the awareness of the trial afternoon service.  Regrettably, despite best endeavours, we have not seen the level of usage increase to support the afternoon timetable on a permanent basis.”

Cardiff Bus delivers Christmas presents to dementia patients

By Raspberry Jim,

Cardiff Bus took over from Santa’s sleigh in December when it made a special festive delivery to dementia patients at a local hospital.

Cardiff Bus staff transported an abundance of donated gifts to Llandough hospital on December 21st.

Gifts including chocolates, perfume, socks, books, and nail varnish, which have been collected by Cardiff Bus staff throughout December, were delivered to patients during the day.

They were gifted to those being treated on Ward East 18, which provides specialist support to people living with dementia and other progressive brain diseases.

The donations are part of Cardiff Bus’s ongoing charitable support of the ward, with staff having hiked up Penyfan, and undertaken the Cardiff Half Marathon to support its vital work and its facilities.

Earlier in 2018 it also donated one of its bus stop signs and timetable displays to the hospital, in a bid to prevent patients living with dementia from becoming unsettled and anxious during their stay.

Cardiff Bus commercial manager Gareth Stevens said they were delighted to support the “invaluable” ward and its patients during the Christmas period.

He said: “Christmas is such a special time of year for everyone, so we were pleased to bring a little bit of festive cheer to the patients at Ward East 18.

“Ward East 18 and Llandough Hospital provide such invaluable care to people living with dementia across south Wales and their families, so we are only too happy to support their work.

“We are delighted to have been able to offer ongoing support to this fantastic ward, and we aim to continue doing so in 2019.”

Welsh manufacturing leader Sony UK TEC produces “next generation” 4K cameras

By Raspberry Jim,

The next generations of world-renowned 4K cameras and equipment are set to be manufactured at Wales’s leading facility Sony UK Technology Centre.

The innovative new higher specification HDC3170 and HDC3500 broadcast camera models are now being manufactured and shipped from the Pencoed-based site.

Both new cameras, which will be utilised in some of the world’s leading sporting, news, and entertainment events, will support premium HDR picture quality, utilise a higher frame rate than previous models, and are backwards compatible with old camera control unit models.

Alongside these, Sony UK TEC’s expert production team is also set to manufacture the new Triax Camera Control Unit, HDCU3170, which will build on the capabilities of the previous model launched earlier this year.

In total, the Welsh manufacturing site will oversee the creation of two new 4K cameras and seven additional pieces of supporting camera equipment, which will then be shipped to customers worldwide.

Sony UK TEC was chosen as the only manufacturer outside of Japan to undertake the prestigious project, thanks to its success in manufacturing the previous 4k last year.

Since November 2017, it has gone on to produce 404 4K camera units from its state-of-the-art site, and even configured, upgraded, tested and sent 371 4K camera systems to Russia earlier this year to be used during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

On Sony UK TEC’s latest 4K launch, director of professional services Gerald Kelly said it was an honour to be selected to manufacture the latest generation of 4K technology.

He said: “We are delighted to once again be playing such a vital role in the creation of the next generation of 4K broadcast camera technology, which places us at the forefront of manufacturing innovation and excellence globally.

“We feel that our selection for this project underlines the world-leading capabilities of our expert teams and state-of-the-art facility here in Pencoed and we look forward to supporting its continued growth and success over the coming years.

“The decision to manufacture the latest 4K models and peripherals here also reinforces Wales’s reputation as a manufacturing leader on the global stage, which we hope will translate into greater investment and growing economic prosperity across the nation in the future.”

Expert advice on managing mental health at Christmas

By Raspberry Jim,

Christmas is frequently referred to as the most wonderful time of the year.

However, financial pressures, increased family tension, overindulgence with food and alcohol, and the pressure to socialise are all likely to create added stress during the festive season.

This can be overwhelming for most people, but how do you cope if you’re living with mental health issues?

To help people navigate the inevitable pressures Dr Sian Hughes, a Registered Forensic Psychologist at Ludlow Street Healthcare’s specialist mental health facility, Heatherwood Court, offers advice on how to effectively manage your own, or a loved one’s, mental health this Christmas.

What issues commonly face people with mental health at Christmas?

Balancing the disappointment of expectation versus reality, along with various pressures, can be difficult at Christmas, but when you are already struggling with emotions it can be overwhelming. In addition, for some people they have never had the ‘magical’ Christmas featured in the films. In fact, for some it has been a painful time for them.

These mixed feelings can affect a person’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. Some people may talk about hearing voices or seeing things, while others may feel as though things are ‘unreal’ around them. People may have nightmares or thoughts about past difficult times that they cannot get out of their mind. Most people can feel overwhelmed by sadness, shame, or anxiety, whilst others may feel an absence of emotion.

As a result, people suffering with mental health problems may have very mixed feelings about Christmas and New Year.

Managing these emotions can be difficult, and unsafe behaviours may increase.  Some people may choose to avoid this time of year and the feelings it brings, maybe by sleeping more, avoiding family, becoming irritable, over using prescribed or unprescribed medication, or drinking more alcohol.

What can families do to minimise or prevent any distress?

Families are often aware that Christmas and New Year can be difficult for their loved ones, especially if they are in hospital.

They may avoid talking about their Christmas plans to minimise upset, however, this can often make the person feel more excluded. Talking openly with them about this can help reduce distress.  People with mental health have the best idea of what is most helpful for them and treating them as the ‘experts about their own mental health’ is the best approach.

Where possible, families should include the person in their plans, but these may need to be adapted to prevent distress. For example, it may be better to host a quieter family party at New Year rather than invite lots of unknown guests which could add to the person’s social anxiety.

If a loved one is in an inpatient setting over Christmas and New Year, if you can’t be with each other on Christmas Day, it might be useful to arrange a special family lunch in the days before or after Christmas when some of the family traditions can be shared.

What can people with mental health concerns do to minimise distress?

It is really important to develop a ‘Coping Ahead Plan’ for how you are going to deal with this period. This would identify potential stressors, and where and when they are going to peak. Within this, should also be ideas on how you could cope with the emotions caused.  Self-soothing can be used to help cope with distressing emotions, such as taking a warm bath, walking the dog, or indulging in your favourite dessert.

Assertiveness can be very helpful if you anticipate family tension. Asking for what you want or saying no to something, can be a way of preventing stress.

For those, who would rather avoid this time of year, finding activities to keep yourself distracted can be very useful. Find something that can help you switch off from other thoughts, such as sport, or arts and crafts.

Overall, It’s important to remember that this is just one part of the year. January will be soon be here. Try to search for those moments of happiness which will get you through.

Five hundred staff undertake training at Ludlow Street Healthcare

By Raspberry Jim,

One of Wales’s leading specialist healthcare providers is ending the year with record numbers of staff undertaking qualifications and training courses.

Ludlow Street Healthcare (LSH), which offers transition-focused healthcare and bespoke step-down services, including specialist assessment, treatment, rehabilitation and education, has invested heavily in staff training during the last year, with numbers leaping from 90 in 2016 to 500 in 2018.

The Cardiff headquartered organisation, which supports adults with neuropsychiatric and acquired brain injuries, mental health issues, learning disabilities, and autism, has enrolled staff into leadership and management courses, as well as specialist health and social care training.

Recognising that its dedicated, multidisciplinary teams are the key to the success of its service users, the organisation has made a significant investment into staff training over the last two years.

Training manager John Williams, said: “We are obviously delighted to have seen such a vast increase in the number of staff members undertaking qualifications and training.

“To have over 40% of our staff currently taking part in training courses is a huge achievement and a testament to LSH’s dedication to its staff and service users.

Better trained staff translates into better care for service users, which means better health and wellbeing and more successful outcomes for everyone overall.”

Mr Williams added: Thanks to the significant increase in training over the two-year period, we are thrilled to have been able to fill many more of our senior roles with internal candidates.”

Staff training and progression is vital to us at LSH, and is something we are proud to have been rated highly for. To see these qualifications directly benefit our staff and their careers is incredibly rewarding.”

Clinical Director, Andrew Hider added: “At Ludlow Street Healthcare the high level of training undertaken by our expert teams means we are able to utilize complex behaviour support strategies when working with our service users. These techniques have been shown to have far wider reaching and longer-term benefits than some of the controversial seclusion methods that are still being used elsewhere.”

“We believe focusing on the positive ways in which we can support and empower our service users, is more beneficial for them long term; aiding transition towards a more independent life”.

Ludlow Street Healthcare was set up in 2005 in response to a lack of appropriate NHS provision for people with mental health conditions. Ludlow Street Healthcare has developed a reputation for its person-centred approach, community-focused settings and specialist staff all of which have contributed to consistently successful outcomes for all its service users.

For over a decade, it has worked in partnership with the NHS, developing services and investing in the necessary health infrastructure and staff training, to support patients on their journey to recovery and a more independent and fulfilling life, through step-down to community living – improving social integration and inclusion.

The organisation operates a hospital for patients with neuropsychiatric and acquired brain injuries, a purpose-built secure hospital for patients with mental health issues, a learning disability rehabilitation centre, a specialist further education college for students with autism, and a portfolio of community homes accommodating residents with both mental health conditions and learning disabilities or autistic spectrum conditions.

Since its inception it has supported and cared for over 220 people and it has seen over 76% of patients progress from low secure hospitals to community step down services within 12-18 months of being placed with them, regaining self-responsibility, independence and social integration.

Expert urges care providers not to ‘accidentally impair’ vulnerable people’s rights

By Raspberry Jim,

Care home managers, local authorities, and social workers across Cardiff are being urged not to “accidentally impair” the rights of vulnerable people by failing to follow best practice.

Amy Roberts-Rees, the head of the Court of Protection team at leading firm CJCH Solicitors, is calling on professionals across the city to ensure they are “up to date” with legislations and legal developments in order to provide the best care to at-risk people.

This comes after Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan councils earlier this year revealed that they were “struggling” to keep up with the number of referrals for deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS).

These come into effect when a person is unable to make decision surrounding their own welfare and require specialist supervision.

According to the councils, they were dealing with a backlog of over 800 outstanding assessments, after seeing DoLS referral number reach more than 2,500 between 2017/18.

In a bid to tackle this worrying upturn and ensure that vulnerable people are getting the correct initial assessment and care, Mrs Roberts-Rees hosted a Court of Protection conference at the Novotel Conference Centre in Cardiff.

The special event aimed to better inform care providers across the industry, including local authorities, social workers, solicitors, and mental health assessors, of the legislation in this area, and prevent incorrect referrals or potentially damaging intervention.

Mrs Roberts-Rees said she felt the event would help to make a “significant impact” in the welfare of thousands of people being cared for across south Wales.

She said: “It is absolutely crucial that those working across the full spectrum of the social care industry are up to date on Court of Protection, DoLS legislation, and case law in this area.

“The law changes so quickly and so extensively that care providers can quickly become outdated and may not be providing the most effective standards within their organisations, which is not just detrimental for them, but the people they care for too.

“It is for this reason, that we felt a training day was essential to ensure the industry was fully updated on recent developments within the Court of Protection concerning a person’s deprivation in care home facilities and other general welfare matters.

“I think those who attended will really see the benefits of learning more about this, which will ultimately translate into better care for vulnerable people across south Wales.”

Mrs Roberts-Rees said the event also identified worrying trends surrounding a lack of proper implementation of the Mental Capacity Act in day to day practice.

She added: “What we have learned is that some, not all, local authorities and health boards are failing to follow best practice to ensure that individuals’ rights are not being handled incorrectly.

“It is due to this worrying trend, that the event aimed to help professionals ensure there was careful care planning at all stages when supporting people who lack the capacity to make their own decisions.”

Father Chickmas helps celebrate the launch of Slim Chickens in Cardiff

By Raspberry Jim,

Renowned US brand Slim Chickens got into the festive spirit when it launched in Cardiff this week as food artist Nathan Wyburn created a special portrait of Santa.

The Britain’s Got Talent Finalist who specialises in creating iconic celebrity portraits using non-traditional media, such as food, handmade ‘Father Chickmas’ out of Slim Chicken’s signature buttermilk marinated, hand-breaded chicken tenders and house sauces.

The new restaurant, which is located in the food quarter of St David’s, opened its doors on Tuesday December 18th.

The new 92-seater eatery brings an “unmistakable” flavour of the American south to Wales, featuring a mouth-watering menu serving up freshly made signature chicken tenders, chicken sandwiches and chicken wings, along with quintessential southern sides. Diners also able to choose from its famed 13 dipping sauces.

And while enjoying its freshly made chicken dishes, customers can also treat themselves to a range of southern sides including mac and cheese, fried pickles and Texas toast, while those with a sweet tooth can indulge in a milkshake, fried pies and jar desserts.

Adding to Slim Chickens’ Southern US ambience and relaxed vibe, there will be screenings of traditional American sports on TV along with modern blues music playing in the background.

The flagship Cardiff launch comes just six months after Slim Chickens opened its first UK restaurant in London, just off Oxford Street, to widespread success. It has also proved to be a huge hit in America serving its mouth-watering dishes across 80 US outlets.

Thanks to this success, UK franchise owners Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) is now aiming to roll out the American restaurant chain to other cities across the UK next year.

On the launch of the Cardiff restaurant CEO of Slim Chickens UK Tom Crowley said: “There is something totally unique about Slims with its freshly cooked chicken, house sauces, modern blues music and awesome hospitality.

“We can’t wait to launch our very first restaurant in Cardiff and bring a flavour of the American south to Wales. We’re sure Cardiff’s foodies will love our southern dishes, sides, and hospitality.

“And we would encourage everyone to download our app to get their hands on a free chicken sandwich when we launch!”

Now that the restaurant is open customers can claim a free chicken sandwich of their choice by downloading the Slim Chickens UK app. Once downloaded, a free sandwich token will appear in the rewards section within 24 hours and customers must show this in the restaurant to redeem their gift.

Those that download the app will also get a tasty treat on their next birthday, with a variety of different mouth-watering desserts. With every purchase made at Slim Chickens, customers can scan their app to receive awards that will mount up to even more free chicken.

For more information on promotional offers and launch updates, follow its social media channels @slimchickensuk or visit