Category: Spreading the jam

Cardiff STEM leaders offer expert advice on tackling the skills gap

By Raspberry Jim,

Innovative thinking and dynamic partnerships between STEM leaders and educators are the key to reversing a “catastrophic” shortfall of over 200,000 scientific workers a year, according to Cardiff’s business leaders.

Experts from Sony UK Technology Centre, scientific educational charity Techniquest, and intellectual property firm Wynne Jones IP, are speaking out to mark British Science Week from March 8th to the 17th.

They are sharing their views after a report from Engineering UK showed that 203,000 people with higher engineering skills will be needed across the sector annually to meet demand until 2024.

In a bid to tackle this issue, the three Cardiff STEM leaders, whose businesses are at the forefront of driving innovation across the engineering, science, and technology sectors, are offering their advice to bridge the skills gap.


Wales’s leading manufacturing facility Sony UK Technology Centre is considered a global innovator when it comes to engineering excellence.

With Sony UK TEC blending both practical and educational elements into its work with schools, Director of Professional Services Gerald Kelly believes that a combination of both is the solution to solving the growing skills shortfall.

The Pencoed facility, which produces high specification broadcast cameras for worldwide distribution, is renowned for being at the forefront of technological progression, and driving innovation across the manufacturing industry.

The Welsh site has not only developed a global reputation for producing leading technology such as the 4K camera, Nimway, and Raspberry Pi, but it is also renowned for ensuring digital literacy is widely accessible for a new generation of budding scientists.

As such, the facility runs an in-house Digital competency programme, which sees Sony UK TEC work with schools across Wales to provide access to media and broadcast technology.  It also runs a Learn2Code workshop, which encourages pupils to write their own code and learn about how technology is embedded into manufacturing.

With Sony UK TEC blending both practical and educational elements into its work with schools, Director of Professional Services Gerald Kelly believes that a combination of both is the solution to solving the growing skills shortfall.

He said: “Here at Sony UK TEC we firmly believe that it is not enough, or fair for industry to rely solely on education to deliver what is needed in terms of STEM.

“So we engage with schools and the Curriculum for Wales ourselves, and deliver bespoke programmes which are both fun, and inspire curiosity among pupils, while delivering vital technology knowledge.

“I think it’s this equal blend of the practical and the educational which will ultimately drive pupils to consider STEM careers and consequently tackle the much-publicised skills shortfall in the future.

“We believe that introducing STEM through a more interactive manner will undeniably encourage pupils to reconsider STEM roles, and explore the vast variety of careers available to them throughout the industry.

“It’s fundamental that manufacturers work with schools to expose children to rewarding and enriching roles as part of their curriculum, in order to peak their interest from a younger age.

“Most importantly we believe that it is vital that children are able to easily access and learn about coding, which is undeniably shaping the future of not just manufacturing, but the future of industries globally.”


As Wales’s leading science discovery centre, Techniquest has also seamlessly combined innovative STEM engagement with educational learning for over 30 years.

Techniquest’s Chief Executive Officer, Lesley Kirkpatrick, believes it is at a fundamental educational level that the nationwide STEM skills shortage can be curbed.

The popular centre, which is based in the bay, recognises the importance of promoting rewarding STEM careers and engagement through an interactive blend of unique scientific exhibits, shows and talks, along with educational outreach at hundreds of schools across Wales.

And Techniquest’s dedication to advancing STEM skills and making science more accessible, is set to get a significant boost after a £5.7 million expansion plan, which will see the centre increase in size by over 60% , was given the go ahead.

With this in mind, chief executive officer Lesley Kirkpatrick, believes it is at a fundamental educational level that the nationwide STEM skills shortage can be curbed.

She said: “As a charity which believes passionately in the ability of STEM skills to transform career potential, we have been heavily involved in discussions surrounding the predicted shortfall and how this can be reversed.

“It is incredibly concerning from a number of perspectives, as the STEM industry and its continued innovation plays such a vital role in the nation’s economic success. Equally, the lack of skilled workers could lead to declining levels of technological development across the UK in the coming years, and a lack of STEM uptake could see thousands of students miss out on their true professional potential.

“From our perspective it appears that the shortfall can be tackled at a fundamental educational level, by encouraging schools, universities, and science centres, such as ourselves, to work collaboratively to promote rewarding STEM careers and their diversity at all stages of learning.

“By forging dynamic working relationships, which highlight the significant benefits and exciting prospects afforded through STEM, we believe that we can embed scientific engagement into early learning and create a spark for STEM throughout Wales.

“To highlight this we have worked diligently with schools to develop and deliver an education programme that enhances and enriches the STEM curriculum and enthuses and excites pupils from Foundation phase to A level.

“We believe collaboration is key to not only curbing the shortage, but reinvigorating the sector in the years to come.”

Wynne Jones IP

Intellectual property may not be the first profession you consider when discussing STEM.

But with chemistry, biology, physics, and engineering graduates all choosing the industry, it’s evident that scientific skills are not just relevant, but essential to success in this profession.

Dr Nation believes that diversifying STEM career options and assessing business needs is crucial to attracting talent and tackling the STEM skills shortage.

Many STEM graduates may feel limited in their career options if the laboratory or research isn’t for them, however intellectual property gives them a chance to diversify and think outside the box to protect the trademarks, patents, and designs of products and companies worldwide.

Wynne Jones IP, which has offices in Cardiff, Cheltenham, London, and Telford, specialises in advising across all areas of intellectual property, with a particular focus on the STEM sector.

And when it comes to attracting STEM graduates and supporting them to achieve their potential, the firm is ahead of the curve.

It has established its own highly successful four-year training academy, which educates and shapes trainees into well-rounded, industry leading attorneys. This has seen success year on year, and commercial director Dr Jayne Nation believes it offers an exciting alternative for those looking to pursue STEM careers.

Dr Nation believes that diversifying STEM career options and assessing business needs is crucial to attracting talent and tackling the STEM skills shortage.

She said: “STEM careers not only allow you to achieve something truly worthwhile personally, they enable you to make a profound difference to vast industries and potentially change the lives of millions of people worldwide.

“It is for this reason that the STEM skills shortage is incredibly concerning and could prove to be catastrophic if it is not addressed quickly.

“From my perspective there are a number of ideas which could tackle this. Developing business and education task forces in major, strategically targeted tech sectors, could identify current business technology needs and skills that aren’t being met and which are in great demand. This could anticipate future business requirements and tech trends to ensure people have the relevant skills.

“Intervention at an educational level is also vital, and as such establishing combined academic and vocational training packages for students over 18 could really provide a boost.

“These could cover both academic training in STEM, alongside tech training within a job, that will directly fill the UK priority skills gaps. If they were run as a joint programme, combining academic and vocational learning, they could become a training experience of prestige that is sought after.

“It could also be beneficial to look at reward and remuneration of STEM jobs in key areas where there are big skill gaps. Businesses could offer bursaries, enhanced salaries and other rewards to attract people into these STEM roles in targeted sectors.”

Sony UK TEC hosts first national Japan -UK Season of Culture event

By Raspberry Jim,

Thirty Bridgend pupils, and over 600 Sony UK Technology Centre staff have come together to launch the Japan -UK Season of Culture.

Sony UK TEC’s Pencoed site has hosted the first major event in Wales aimed at celebrating the achievements of the UK and Japan and showcasing their shared artistic, economic, cultural, and technological successes.

The Welsh event, organised by the Embassy of Japan in the UK and Sony, is part of a wider global cultural exchange planned between the two nations in 2019/20, which will see Japan host the Rugby World Cup this year and the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.

As part of the global celebration, Sony UK TEC, whose headquarters are in Japan, welcomed children from Trelales Primary School, along with Keith Dunn OBE the Honorary Consul for Japan in Wales.

During the day attendees discovered more about traditional and modern elements of Japan thanks to special guest speaker Mr Dunn OBE, and Sony UK TEC Director of Professional Services, Gerald Kelly.

They were then given a tour of the 30,000 m² state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, which produces HD broadcast cameras and the latest 4K camera technology for worldwide distribution.

Each group then learned more about creating traditional origami and Japanese calligraphy art, and took part in a Yukata dressing up activity, with a Japanese language workshop ending the day.

Mr Kelly at Sony UK TEC said this landmark event was vital when it came to deepening cultural understanding between the UK and Japan and strengthening beneficial economic links between the two in the future.

He said: “As an organisation which takes pride in its global links with Japan, we are thrilled to have hosted the first annual Japan-UK Season of Culture event here at Sony UK TEC., which is also the first event of its kind in Wales.

“Japan’s rich culture and ethos is highly influential in the way that we operate as a manufacturing facility here in Pencoed, and we believe that by adopting its innovative and progressive vision we have achieved greater global success.

“Ultimately, we believe that the values entrenched in Japan’s technology, arts, and culture could be significantly beneficial to us here in the UK, and we are delighted to be playing a role in strengthening these links.

“We’d like to thank everyone who attended our season of culture event and made it such a success. We are confident that everyone learned a great deal and this was an effective way to kickstart this campaign.”

Mr Dunn OBE, Honorary Consul for Japan in Wales said: “I’d like to congratulate Sony UK TEC and its team on an excellent event.

“The Educational visit as part of the UK-Japan Season of Culture was first class and I compliment all concerned.”

IP expert praises one million women in STEM roles to mark International Day of Women and Girls in Science

By Raspberry Jim,

A leading intellectual property expert has said it is “incredibly encouraging” to see almost one million women in STEM roles for the first time but called for continued action to support this upwards trend.

Commercial director Dr Jayne Nation, at leading intellectual property firm Wynne Jones IP, said it was hugely encouraging to see that 908,318 women occupied core STEM roles in 2018.

The figures from the Wise Campaign show that this is up 22% from the 864,278 roles occupied by women in 2017.

The number of female engineering professionals also increased by 25% last year, which brings the total number of female engineers to nearly 58,000 – more than double the number there were in 2013.

Women also now make up 43.2% of the total science professional workforce reaching 60,039 in 2018 from 57,371 in 2017, the Wise Campaign statistics showed.

However, the number of women and men undertaking science and engineering technician roles fell sharply from 97,064 in 2017 to 90,998 in 2018.

Dr Nation, who has over 25 years’ experience as a scientist specialising in chemistry and psychology, along with a wealth of experience in senior management in scientific fields, is speaking out about gender equality to mark International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11th.

The international initiative, from the United Nations, aims to recognise the vital contribution of women and girls throughout the scientific community.

Dr Nation said the increase in female representation across STEM professions was a significant step in the right direction, however she added it was “vital” that businesses across the sector continued to invest in, and support talented women.

She said: “As a woman who has proudly worked across the science and intellectual property fields for more than two decades it is immensely thrilling and encouraging to see female representation in these sectors rise to almost one million for the first time.

“It essential that gender equality in STEM professions is consistently recognised as the norm, as this will inevitably filter down through the generations and encourage more young women into undertaking fulfilling STEM degrees and pursuing rewarding careers.

“This can only be positive when we look at predictions of a forthcoming STEM skills gap, which will no doubt be narrowed by the greater inclusion of women throughout the industry.

“However, as we celebrate the fantastic progress that is being made as part of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we must also ensure this momentum continues in order to support an ongoing upwards trajectory when it comes to female representation in STEM.

“It is vital that businesses at all levels of the STEM sector continue to actively encourage and recruit women into the industry, and ensure they occupy not just apprentice and entry level roles, but that they are given opportunities at management and director level too.”

Wynne Jones IP, which specialises in advising businesses and inventors in a wide range of sectors worldwide on all aspects of IP rights, strategy and renewals, is a proud founding signatory of the IP Inclusive Charter.

The charter was set up to promote equality, diversity and inclusion within the UK’s IP sector, ensuring accessibility and support to all those who have the necessary aptitude, regardless of their age, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, physical ability, wealth or background.

How apprenticeships could save the ‘crisis-hit’ STEM workforce

By Raspberry Jim,

According to recent figures the UK’s crisis-hit STEM sector is currently facing a “worrying” shortfall of over 170,000 workers, with leading manufacturer Sony UK Technology Centre (UK TEC) claiming apprenticeships could be the future.

Statistics from STEM Learning reveal a discrepancy of 173,000 skilled workers across the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) sectors, which is reportedly costing companies around £1.5 billion annually in recruitment costs.

This comes as nine in ten STEM businesses revealed they struggled to employ staff with the necessary skills between 2017 and 2018, according to the STEM Skills Indicator.

However, Gerald Kelly, the director of professional services at leading manufacturer Sony UK TEC, said apprenticeships could be “a fundamental stepping stone” to solving the growing issue.

Mr Kelly, who started his career as an apprentice, spoke out about the benefits of such schemes as figures from the Department for Education showed that over 341,000 people elected to start an apprenticeship between 2017 and 2018.

It was also revealed that over 74,000 starts between 2016 and 2017 were in engineering and manufacturing sectors, House of Commons’ findings show.

Mr Kelly said: “Apprenticeships really are a highly effective way to kickstart your career, and acquire unparalleled hands-on experience in the real world, all while continuing your studies.

“In particular I believe that an engineering apprenticeship can be beneficial, as it can offer an in- depth insight into what an engineer’s working life really entails and the diversity that the profession can offer.

“Over the years we have taken on a number of apprentices through our in-house Apprentice Scheme and we consistently find that this first-hand exposure enables them to become well-rounded, confident, and dedicated members of staff.

“Having started as an apprentice myself when I first joined Sony UK TEC, and worked my way up to director of professional services, I can attest to the wide-ranging and rewarding career that an apprenticeship can lead to.

“If our apprenticeship success is anything to go by, I believe that this could be a fundamental stepping stone towards solving the predicted STEM skills shortage that the industry is bracing itself for.”

Here Mr Kelly of Sony UK TEC, which is renowned worldwide for producing high-specification HD broadcast cameras, explains his top three benefits of an engineering apprenticeship.

Incredibly diverse

An apprenticeship offers a unique opportunity work across all areas of the business and develop an in-depth understanding of the profession.

From month to month an apprentice could be working on different industry-leading projects, alongside different teams, and ultimately acquiring a host of diverse skills, which enable them to choose the most rewarding career path.

This is particularly relevant to those seeking to work in manufacturing or engineering, with roles varying from Software Engineering, to Production Engineering, to Development Engineering and Robotics.

Earn as you learn

One of the greatest advantages of an apprenticeship is the ability to earn a wage as you study. Not only will you acquire the direct skills you need to actually perform the role, you can develop the knowledge that enables you to achieve and progress within the profession. You’ll develop meaningful relationships with colleagues and experts throughout the industry, and gain invaluable industry insights, while enhancing your academic understanding.

Hands on experience

One of the most vital aspects of an apprenticeship in engineering is the unique ability to get hands- on experience in a manufacturing setting.

While learning about the theory of engineering is vital, there is no substitute for directly using the required tools and seeing innovative technology created.

This unparalleled experience teaches apprentices a great deal about the potential safety considerations and real-life implications of working in an engineering setting, and also enables them to enjoy the rewards and inevitable sense of achievement.

Sony UK TEC has launched its latest Apprenticeship Scheme recruitment drive, with applicants having until February 28th to apply. Applicants require a minimum of 5 GCSEs, including a B or above in Maths, and Cs or above in Science and English.

World renowned software licence compliance expert joins CJCH Consulting

By Raspberry Jim,

World renowned software licence compliance expert joins CJCH Consulting Leading cybercrime firm CJCH Consulting has appointed “one of the world’s leading anti-piracy and licence compliance thought leaders” to its growing Cardiff team.

Andy Clarkson, formerly the global head of anti-piracy and licence compliance for Dassault Systems, has been appointed as a specialised executive consultant at the award-winning firm. Andy has over 40 years of experience in the world of investigation, enforcement and security.

The 59-year-old has a plethora of law enforcement experience with over 24 years in South Wales Police as a senior manager in complex investigations, as well as excelling academically with degrees in police studies, counselling and issues in crime and society.

Andy left South Wales Police to join IBM in 2002 as a senior international investigator implementing wide-ranging software piracy strategies, investigating incidents of software piracy and working with clients and law enforcement agencies globally.

In 2008 Andy joined Dassault Systèmes and tasked with building an Anti-Piracy and Licence Compliance Program from the ground up and upon his retirement from Dassault Systèmes was leading a team of over 50 people internally and an extensive partner network.

A “hard-working” and “conscientious” person, Mr Clarkson intends to utilise his expertise in his new role at CJCH to provide extensive knowledge and consultancy for its clients globally.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted to be involved in this specialist role particularly at CJCH Consulting, which is really building a reputation in the anti-piracy and software licence compliance business.

Mr Clarkson intends to utilise his expertise in his new role at CJCH to provide extensive knowledge and consultancy for its clients globally.

“It is rare to find such an effective blend of legal expertise and international anti-piracy specialists under one roof, and as such this is a great opportunity to be joining a firm as unique and diverse as CJCH.”

His appointment was also praised by Stephen Clarke, CEO at CJCH Consulting who said it would be a significant “boost” for the team to welcome someone of Andy’s experience. Mr Clarke said: “Andy is rightly and widely regarded as one of the world’s leading anti-piracy and licence compliance thought leaders, and as such we are thrilled to have him on board.

“We are confident his appointment will add to CJCH Consulting’s already impressive international reputation and further strengthen the level of professionalism and expertise our team offers.

“His hard working and conscientious attitude have consistently stood him in high regard with both colleagues and clients across the industry, so we look forward to forging a successful working relationship with him going forwards.”

Newport legal expert explains “long overdue” divorce changes

By Raspberry Jim,

A proposed change in divorce law which would allow couples to separate without assigning blame, has been praised by a Newport legal expert as a game changer.

Sophie Hughes, of award-winning local firm Watkins & Gunn, said the proposed new legislation, which would replace archaic divorce laws, would be a “turning point” for couples and present a less confrontational alternative.

Mrs Hughes, who is the head of the Family Law team at the firm, has spoken out following Justice Secretary David Gauke MP’s decision to support legislation that would introduce a “no fault” divorce last week.

Currently, unless a couple has been separated for more than two years, the law requires couples to allege fault in order to dissolve their marriage, which often causes complications and can even create long lasting devastating family feuds.

In order to rectify this, campaigners have long fought to change the current system to allow for a blameless end to a marriage.

Mrs Hughes said that when introduced, the new changes would allow for separated couples to enter divorce proceedings without assigning fault.

She said: “Divorce is an incredibly delicate process, and the current law requires couples to start on the wrong foot; having to allege blame that can become antagonistic at an already difficult time. This means that couples have to make allegations of conduct, such as adultery or unreasonable behaviour, this makes for an even more distressful process.

“For years, campaigners have been trying to persuade successive governments that the blame game serves no purpose when a relationship ends, and we are finally seeing some political will to change the status quo.”

After nearly 50 years of divorce which requires fault to be assigned, Mrs Hughes said the Government’s change of heart was “long overdue”.

Sophie Hughes, head of Family Law at Watkins & Gunn
Sophie Hughes, head of Family Law at Watkins & Gunn

She said: “Over 20 years ago, the Family Law Act put onto the statute book the concept of no-fault divorce, but unfortunately, it was never introduced and resulted in repeal.

“In the intervening years organisations such as Resolution have campaigned tirelessly, but it was not really until the summer of 2018 did a ground swell of opinion form, following the case of Tina Owens.”

In a widely publicised case, The Supreme Court ruled that Tina Owens could not divorce her husband until a period of five years had elapsed since they separated. Mrs Owens alleged that her husband had behaved unreasonably but Mr Owens denied the allegations and the Supreme Court found that Mrs Owens could not prove that he had done so.

The family-law expert said: “One has to ask the question that, simply by taking their case to the highest court in the land, must have established that the marriage between Mr and Mrs Owens had broken down beyond repair. Nevertheless, whatever the court of public opinion may think, the Supreme Court had to base their findings on the law as it stands and the evidence before it.”

Before new changes can be made to transform future divorce proceedings, Mrs Hughes advises that there is much to be worked through as to what the new law looks like and how it can be best implemented.

“Whilst it seems that positive change is on the horizon for couples, there is a considerable amount of work and consultation to be done,” she said.

“However, hopefully, common sense will prevail and that, after nearly 50 years, the legislation that brings a marriage to an end can be brought into the 21st century.

“Divorce is a sensitive and complicated matter, and it’s important to use a trusted family lawyer to handle the proceedings. At Watkins & Gunn, our family law team are experts at managing such issues with a non-confrontational, jargon-free approach, making the process easier for everyone involved.”

Last call for ‘driven and innovative’ people to join Sony UK TEC apprenticeship

By Raspberry Jim,

Driven and passionate individuals are getting a last chance to apply for an apprenticeship at one of Wales’s leading manufacturers, Sony UK Technology Centre.

The Pencoed-based facility, which produces HD broadcast and 4K cameras for worldwide distribution, is searching for the latest round of talented applicants to join its Sony UK TEC Apprenticeship scheme.

The scheme, which is now in its sixth consecutive year, officially launched on February 1st with applicants encouraged to apply before the February 28th closing date this week.

The industry-leading initiative supports career-driven individuals to further their education and gain qualifications throughout the scheme. Their full studies are driven and coordinated by the company’s onsite academy, all while the apprentices gain invaluable working experience at one of the world’s leading manufacturing sites.

During the four-year scheme apprentices will get the opportunity to work across a variety of departments, including Software Engineering, Production Engineering, and Development Engineering and Robotics.

As part of their apprenticeship they will help to develop internationally renowned products including 4K broadcast technology, the Raspberry Pi, smart office solution Nimway, and smart city technology. So far over 30 apprentices have taken part in the successful internal scheme since its inception, with all participants praising its diverse offering.

Cecilia Fritz, Head of HR and Training Strategy said an apprenticeship with Sony UK TEC opens up a “vast wealth” of opportunity for any student looking to advance and develop their career.

She said: “We are looking for innovative, driven and passionate people to sign up to our industry- leading apprenticeship scheme once again this year.

“Apprenticeships really are a great pathway to developing your career, and we believe Sony UK TEC offers one of the best around.

“Our apprenticeship is a thorough and diverse programme which offers new starters an in-depth insight into all aspects of Sony UK TEC’s highly successful engineering operation.

“We believe that this varied approach creates highly skilled and well-rounded team players and opens up a vast wealth of opportunities to them within the industry as a result. At the end of their four years, they are fully equipped with the ability, and knowledge, to become some of the sector’s brightest engineering talents and to drive genuine progression in the fields of technology and manufacturing.

“As a globally recognised brand, we are passionate about creating innovative products which enhance millions of lives worldwide, and we’re looking for apprentices who are equally excited about helping us achieve that goal.”

To apply for a place in the Sony UK TEC Apprenticeship scheme applicants must have a minimum of five GCSEs, including a B or above in Maths, and Cs or above in Science and English.

Applications close at midnight on February 28 th , with assessments due to take place on March 21st.

To apply visit Sony UK TEC’s website:

Communications expert appointed to CJCH Solicitors growing senior team

By Raspberry Jim,

A communications and strategic specialist is “proud and privileged” to have been appointed to the expanding senior leadership team at Cardiff’s CJCH Solicitors.

Luke Heydenrych, who has been at the leading legal and anti-piracy consulting firm since 2016, has been promoted to the role of chief of staff.

The 34-year-old originally joined the software anti-piracy consultancy three years ago and excelled within his role to become the head of operations in 2017.

During this time, the Cardiff University graduate has also undertaken a doctorate in law at Swansea University, specialising in international cyber crime and anti-piracy practices.

Before joining CJCH Solicitors, Mr Heydenrych worked for leading management consultancy Accenture where he accumulated a wealth of experience in corporate strategy, communication and organisational efficiency.

Luke Heydenrych, who has been at the leading legal and anti-piracy consulting firm since 2016, has been promoted to the role of chief of staff.

In his new role he will oversee all operational management at the Welsh Top 20 law firm, including strategic direction, business development, and the progression of the firm’s specialist consulting and anti-piracy division.

Mr Heydenrych said he relished the challenge ahead of him and thanked the firm’s executive board for the opportunity.

He said: “I am proud and privileged to have been appointed to the role of chief of staff at CJCH Solicitors and Consulting.

“This is a truly fantastic opportunity to drive the strategic direction and business development of this highly successful firm which I have no doubt will continue to thrive in 2019.

“CJCH is renowned for being a leader, both in the Welsh legal, and global anti-piracy industry, and continues to drive innovation in a dynamic global field.

“As such it is incredibly exciting from a professional perspective to be appointed to this newly created senior role, and I relish the challenges and opportunities it will bring. Once again I’d like to reiterate my thanks to the fantastic executive board at CJCH, and I look forward to working with the senior management team more closely going forwards.”

CJCH Solicitors is Wales Top 20 leading legal firm with over 30 years’ experience in offering expert advice across criminal law, family law, child care law, and public sector law.

Exciting new Techniquest appointment will ‘transform’ engagement and participation opportunities

By Raspberry Jim,

Educational charity Techniquest has appointed an expert new Community Engagement Officer who will transform engagement and participation opportunities as the charity steps into an “exciting” new era.

Kelsey Barcenilla has joined the leading science discovery centre to spearhead engagement with new audiences and community members, whilst also creating new volunteering opportunities as the charity embarks on its multimillion-pound Science Capital project.

Mrs Barcenilla, who will support the Partnerships and Engagement team, will work closely with local communities, delivering events, participation research sessions and collaborative projects which will help the organisation embed a rewarding, inclusive culture of community engagement.

With a wealth of experience which includes international teaching in China and a role with Cardiff Institute for the Blind, she will also be responsible for developing robust relationships with local communities by shaping exciting volunteer opportunities.

The appointment comes at an exciting time for the charity, which will see its innovative Science Capital project brought to life this year.

The new Techniquest is set to open by 2020

The Science Capital, which encompasses a radical transformation and extension of Techniquest’s current building in Cardiff Bay, aims to redevelop the site into a contemporary science hub by 2020.

With interactive and immersive STEM learning experiences designed to pique curiosity and increase interest in the STEM industries, the project is part of the charity’s commitment to developing a scientifically literature society across Wales.

Mrs Barcenilla said she was “over the moon” about her new role.

She said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Techniquest at such a pivotal and exciting time. I’ve over the moon to be joining such an iconic organisation, which has helped shaped my own learning over the years. Growing up, it was always somewhere which ignited excitement, curiosity and learning, and I couldn’t be happier to be involved in its journey.

“I’m looking forward to creating lasting and rewarding relationships with the local communities and really discovering what matters to them. It’s incredibly important to me that I harness these wonderful relationships and create meaningful opportunities for both Techniquest and the community.”

Lesley Kirkpatrick, CEO at Techniquest, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Kelsey to the team for what is set to be a game-changing year for our organisation. With her expertise and natural talent for cultivating relationships, we’re looking forward to seeing her flourish in her new role.”

Royal Mail staff set to run Wales Marathon tied together in world record attempt

By Raspberry Jim,

Thirty daring runners from the Royal Mail are preparing to take on a marathon world record challenge in Pembrokeshire in aid of a “sport-loving and happy go lucky” colleague.

Staff from depots in Brecon, Llandrindod Wells and the surrounding areas, including 15 postmen and women – some of whom have never attempted a 10k run – will be bravely attempting to break the Guinness World Record at The Wales Marathon in aid of Cancer Research Wales.

During the 26.2-mile event at the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the runners will be attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the largest number of people to complete a marathon while linked together.

The highly unique challenge is being attempted in support of Royal Mail manager, friend and co-worker Phillip ‘Pip’ Morgan, who was recently diagnosed with cancer of the stomach.

Mr Morgan, affectionately known as Pip, is a keen cyclist who is “loved by everyone” and “makes friends wherever he goes”. Following his diagnosis, his colleagues were left so devastated that they decided to take action and were spurred on by their sport-loving friend.

Led by Mr Morgan’s colleague of over 10 years Neal Gardner, who previously broke the same world record in 2009 at the London Marathon, when 30 runners were tied together, the team is now aiming to beat the current record set in 2017 at 112 people.

With 25 Royal Mail staff and 65 extra recruits in the team so far, at least 30 more people are needed to join them to break the record and raise money for Wales’ leading cancer charity.

Delivery Office Manager Mr Gardner said: “We’ve been blown away with the response to this challenge with more people signing up to take part all the time.

“Some of these people have never even run a 10k but they’ve been inspired to take part because of Pip and the great work that Cancer Research Wales do.

“I’ve worked with Pip for over 10 years and he’s bonkers, he’s so happy go lucky and he wouldn’t think twice about jumping on a bike and cycling 120 miles. That’s just him. He’s always been incredibly supportive of me with my job and this is my way of thanking him and showing our support during a really challenging time.

“Around 40 to 50 people taking part know and love Pip and will be taking part and showing their support for this lovely man. Everyone else in the team has been affected by, or had loved ones affected by cancer in some way too, so this is a really personal cause which is close to them.

“We hope to raise as much as we can for Cancer Research Wales and to show Pip just how much he means to everyone.”

With the aim of raising around £70,000 for Cancer Research Wales, 33-year-old Mr Gardner has secured 120 places in the race, with 30 yet to be filled. He is now calling on any keen runners, or those who simply want to take part, to get in touch and sign up.

He said: “This will be an unforgettable event for an absolutely fantastic cause, so we’d urge anyone who wants to join us on the day to get in touch. It really will be a once in a lifetime event so please sign up.”

All participants will be raising vital funds for Cancer Research Wales, which is dedicated to the pursuit of a cure for cancer by making vital progress into prevention, early diagnosis and better treatment.

Dale Evans, fundraiser at Cancer Research Wales, said: “We’re delighted that Neal and his team are undertaking this incredible challenge to raise funds and awareness for Cancer Research Wales.

“The money they raise will make such a huge difference to the lives of thousands of people diagnosed with cancer across Wales annually, and we truly can’t thank them enough.

“As a charity we are reliant on the generosity of our fantastic supporters in order to fund life-saving research into the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. So it’s thanks to our amazing supporters that we are able to continue making a difference.

“I will be joining them for the World record attempt, and I look forward to crossing the finish line by their side. Everyone associated with Cancer Research Wales wishes them the very best, and  would like to thank them for helping us fight for a Wales without cancer.”

To take part in the event email or call 07841787682. For further details visit