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Inspirational young Cub wins the hearts of North Wales Scout group

By Raspberry Jim,

A group of children posing for a group photo in the Snowdonia mountain range

A young Cub with complex learning difficulties has won the hearts of his leaders and fellow Scouts in Conwy.

9-year-old, David Hughes, from Betws-y-Coed has Autism & Dyspraxia, but this hasn’t stopped him from living life to the fullest and taking every Scouting opportunity in his stride.

A recent mountain activity weekend saw David stun his group with his can-do attitude and determination. 

Nine Cubs from 1st Gwydyr Scouts headed deep into the heart of Snowdonia for a weekend of exploring the abandoned slate mines.

Accompanied by two leaders and two members of the recently formed Conwy District Adventurous Activities Team, the Cubs explored the underground tunnels of the quarries and learnt about the history of slate mining.

A young boy and his friends posing for a photo is an old slate mine in the Snowdonia Mountain range

David, who has been with the group since joining as a Beaver at six years old, was not deterred by any of the activities, including the two and half hour walk through the mine to the surface of the mountain, he revelled in the experience.

The weekend was packed full of tasks that many of his fellow Cubs would have found challenging and David completed them all with a smile on his face.

Hazel Barclay, Group Scout Leader of 1st Gwydyr, who was one of the Leaders on the weekend said:

“Each and every Cub there faced big challenges, it was tough for them all. David truly stunned us with his steadfastness, courage and determination. He always wore his bright and positive attitude.  It is an absolute pleasure to take him on these trips.

“Of course, some challenges are bigger for David than for some of the others, but he just gets on with it, grinning his lovely big smile all the way, never uttering a word of complaint and enjoying every single moment! To the other Cubs he is just one of the pack.

“David was at his best on the mountain weekend – he loves being outdoors, exploring places and learning about nature.  He’s full of knowledge and his different view of the world makes us see things in a different light.  He always asks amazing questions – the curiosity and interest he has in all sorts of things is incredible.

“When he first joined Beavers, our Beaver leader and her team worked really hard with him to help him join in the activities. We usually dedicated one leader just for him.  As he’s got older, he manages the activities better but sadly does struggles sometimes as he finds the acoustics in the hall quite distressing.

“We’re currently talking to the Church who own the hall to see if we can fundraise and apply for grants to have some sound-reducing work done on it, not just for David, as we have a number of other autistic children and children with different needs who really suffer because of the noise.”

Ray Barnett from ADC Activities who led the weekend, said:

“David is no different when given the chance. He took part in everything and completed all the activities with good humour alongside his Cub friends. David and all the Cubs kept their promise and “did their best”. We are so proud of them.”

David’s mum, Gemma, knows that his disabilities have never held him back, she said:

“He just needs to be given the chance to try, and that is exactly what ScoutsCymru have given him. He absolutely loves going on the weekend trips and taking part in the various activities. The leaders don’t see him as a task, he is just another one of the Cubs and it has created an environment for him to thrive in.”

ScoutsCymru gives over 14,000 young people in Wales the opportunity to enjoy fun and adventure while developing the skills they need to succeed, now and in the future. Open to all young people in Wales regardless of faith, gender, sexual orientation, race or social background, the movement encourages its members to do more, learn more and be more.

We’ve added to our jar

By Raspberry Jim,

Following a year of growth and diversification, we’ve expanded our team.

Introducing…Rhian Richards our new Communications Manager, Ellé Holley – Senior Communications Executive, Carys Bryant our new Marketing Manager and Sophie Stephens – Junior Graphic Designer.

Rhian joins us from the communications team at Wales Millennium Centre where she was responsible for delivering the Centre’s PR and media campaigns with particular focus on its own productions and events.  With a BA in Welsh Literature and Language, Rhian will bring her Welsh language skills to the role, supporting clients who require bilingual communications.

Ellé joins the team having gained experience at another Cardiff-based PR agency where she worked with wide-ranging clients including Cintec International and Redrow Homes. With an English Literature degree from Cardiff University, Ellé will deliver communications support to jamjar’s clients including ScoutsCymru, Techniquest and Sony UK Technology Centre.

Carys joins us from the Marketing and Partnerships team at world-famous department store Harrods Ltd where she spent ten years honing her skills managing B2B and B2C relationships, as well as end-to-end management of campaigns. Graduating with honours from Cardiff University in English and Communication, at jamjar Carys will be responsible for developing and implementing bilingual marketing campaigns for clients.

Sophie joins from Mon Motors Group, one of the largest automotive dealers in South Wales, where she worked on creative artwork for the dealership’s car brands. With a BA in Graphic Communication from the University of South Wales, she will support the agency’s creative offering, providing branding, digital, and graphic design to its growing client base.

The expansion comes on the back of a hugely successful year for jamjar after we diversified our offering to cover PR, digital, social, marketing and creative. 

Here’s what our MD, Lyndsey has to say about it: “Since I started jamjar back in 2012 the communications world has changed considerably, and consequently our services have evolved to reflect this, and the growing requirements of our clients.

 “While PR will always be a core part of our business, we now offer so much more – creative, marketing, digital and social – so we felt it was essential to bring in new people to help to continue to build the jamjar offering. We are delighted to have Rhian, Ellé, Carys and Sophie bring their expertise to the team.”

Techniquest joins forces with “ground-breaking” global initiative

By Raspberry Jim,

A worldwide initiative led by a leading US museum has selected Cardiff’s science discovery centre, Techniquest, to join its “ground-breaking” mission.

Spearheaded by Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, the OF/BY/FOR ALL Change Network recently announced the educational charity as part of its prolific list of partner organisations.

As the only science centre to be chosen as part of its First Wave initiative, Techniquest will join a prestigious international network of 20 civic and cultural organisations over the next six months to fulfil its mission of nurturing and creating robust communities.

The initiative, which started last month, aims to deepen community engagement and strengthen relationships across the globe.

The news comes after the recent announcement of crucial funding for the educational charity. In July, the centre secured a whopping £5.7million in funding which will see its Science Capital project brought to life.

The Science Capital, which encompasses a radical transformation and extension of Techniquest’s current building, aims to create a scientific literate society across Wales, inspiring people of all ages with interactive STEM learning experiences.

The OF/BY/FOR ALL Network is a long-term programme which aims to create a world where cultural and civic organisations grow of, by and for their communities, sharing resources and connecting individuals.

Clare James, fundraising manager at Techniquest said: “As we march forward on our mission to make science accessible for everyone, it is incredibly important to us to work with our local communities to bring this vision to life.

“We’re delighted to be part of this ground-breaking programme. It’s incredibly exciting to have this opportunity to work alongside such a diverse range of organisations that are on a similar mission to Techniquest. To be selected by the network as one of only two UK organisations is all the more pleasing.

“Led by the inspiring Nina Simon from Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, we’re looking forward to learning from other organisations and how their teams work to tackle different problems.

“Looking ahead, we’re working towards becoming a sustainable, vital part of the community, and ensuring that Techniquest is a welcoming, relevant space where our communities feel comfortable, confident and connected.”

Techniquest submits plans for Science Capital project

By Raspberry Jim,

Techniquest has submitted a planning application for its £5.7m Science Capital project, which will see the radical transformation and expansion of its science discovery centre in Cardiff Bay.

Planning has been submitted to extend the educational charity’s current building on Stuart Street to create an additional 900m2 of exhibition floor space.

The scheme, designed by local architecture practice HLM, will significantly increase Techniquest’s footprint providing an additional 60% exhibition space to house brand new innovative content related to, and developed with, Welsh STEM innovators, academics and communities.

The new immersive and innovative exhibition areas and experiences will help Techniquest to diversify its audiences and increase visitor numbers by at least 40%.

Lesley Kirkpatrick, CEO of Techniquest said: “Since securing funding, it has been full steam ahead in our Science Capital project. We’ve been working closely with our consultants to marry up our objectives, with the space we have available, and our ultimate goal of ensuring the charity has a sustainable and long-term future in Wales.

“We’re delighted with the final plans, which are contemporary, inclusive, flexible and eye-catching. Gaining planning consent is naturally a crucial factor in the future of this project so we’re hopeful for a positive result.”

As well as creating a new vibrant public entrance, the plans include a designated community space overlooking the Bay, a new café and shop, in addition to a roof terrace and courtyard designed to host interactive artworks and features to complement exhibitions.

Patrick Arends, leisure and culture sector lead at HLM said: “Techniquest has been providing inspiring scientific education for over 30 years and the new extension will reflect this with a contemporary design that will showcase this unique and much-loved facility in Cardiff.  The Cardiff HLM studio has been working closely with the project team, drawing on its extensive experience in designing top class educational and leisure spaces, to create a vibrant space that is flexible, active and relevant.”

The scheme is being project managed by Lee Wakemans who are working alongside HLM (architects), Hydrock (project engineers) and Wardell Armstrong (planning consultant).

Paul Wong, Director at Lee Wakemans said: “Techniquest is on a marvellous journey of renewal looking to reach a much wider audience. We feel privileged to play our part in helping to translate what the client is seeking to achieve, into an exciting design which will get built and ready for summer 2020. It’s great to have reached this milestone of submitting the planning application and we’re grateful to all team members who have helped us reach this point.”

Subject to planning permission being granted, it is anticipated that work on the extension will commence in Spring 2019, with the new space being open to the public by Summer 2020.