February – was the month that…

By Raspberry Jim,

…flew by!

After the world’s longest January, it seems like February has whizzed by faster than Raspberry Jim on rollerskates.

With only a few short weeks to cram in our usual busy schedules, our jammers spent the month out and about, playing Cupid, and consuming far too much sugar.

Here’s what we got up to… … Continue reading

Manufacturing leader Sony UK TEC searches for graduate and apprentice talents

By Raspberry Jim,


Engineers of the future are getting the chance to join one of the world’s leading manufacturing facilities.

Sony UK Technology Centre is launching its graduate and apprentice recruitment schemes for a fourth consecutive year with applicants able to apply online or through a graduate career link on Twitter.

The programme will see successful applicants join the international brand’s award-winning Welsh site, based in Pencoed.

The facility, based just off the M4, has developed a world-renowned reputation thanks to its high-end broadcast and professional camera manufacturing operation, along with its contract manufacturing business which has created industry-leading products including the Raspberry Pi.

Graduates and apprentices applying to the schemes will get the opportunity to develop their skills across Sony UK TEC’s diverse professional facility, which enables them to experience all the challenges and rewards of working in a modern manufacturing facility.

As part of their role they will utilize skills including technical, creative, and problem solving in a bid to revolutionise the facility’s existing manufacturing processes.

During the schemes they will work across Sony UK TEC’s core broadcast camera manufacturing business, which sees thousands of high specification cameras produced at the site and shipped around the world annually. These are then utilised across the film making industry, sporting events, and live news coverage.

Alongside this they will also develop experience in the facility’s highly successful contract manufacturing business, which combines the skill of Sony UK TEC’s team players with its state-of-the-art on-site capabilities to create products for clients around the world.

Over the past three years 13 graduates have successfully undertaken the programme going on to specialise in various areas across the business. The apprenticeship programme is well established having run since 1978, however it has run continually in its current format since 2010 with 18 apprentices currently on site.

Director of Professional Services at Sony UK TEC Gerald Kelly said the training programmes would create more well-rounded and knowledgeable professionals in the long-term.

He said: “We are extremely excited to be starting the search for the next generation of engineers and business leaders at Sony UK TEC.

“Our graduate scheme offers a flexible and varied experience developing your skills at one of the leading manufacturing facilities in the world. While our four-year apprentice scheme sets you on the path to becoming an industry-leading engineer. Through both you’ll get the chance to learn from our world-renown team of engineers, technicians, and business leaders to get first-hand experience of best practice and develop industry-leading techniques.

“We look forward to receiving applications and welcoming the leaders of the future to Sony UK TEC this year.”

Entry requirement for the graduate scheme is a 2:1 degree in any subject, along with a passion for creating leading manufacturing solutions and the drive to continuously exceed industry standards. Entry requirements for the apprentice scheme are five GCSEs, including a B or above in Maths, and Cs or above in Science and English or equivalent. For more information visit http://www.sonypencoed.co.uk/careers/

Campaigners ‘over the moon’ after vital leisure centre saved

By Raspberry Jim,

aerial Pont Leisure Centre 1 Day

Determined campaigners are “over the moon” to have safeguarded the future of a much-loved Pontllanfraith leisure centre dubbed a “community lifeline”.

Members of the Save Ponllanfraith Leisure Centre campaign group were thrilled with Caerphilly County Borough Council’s decision to defer the closure of the much-loved community facility.

Group member Dean Jones, whose under 12s team trains at the leisure centre, said the decision would be welcomed by thousands of families, community groups, and users across the county.

The Blackwood resident, who has coached at the facility for eight years, said: “This is a fantastic result, not just for people across Pontllanfraith, but also others across the county who vitally depend on this community lifeline.

“We are absolutely over the moon with the council’s decision, which will safeguard this amazing facility for so many people for generations to come.

“Our campaign group and its dedicated members have worked tirelessly, from the minute the potential closure was announced. They have been incredible and we can’t thank them enough.”

Fellow member Kate Alderson, who uses the leisure centre through a GP referral scheme, added: “This is amazing news and myself and the other group members are incredibly pleased with the council’s decision. I’d also like to specifically thank independent councillor Kevin Etheridge, whose motion to call-in the original decision really enabled us to fight on.”

The council’s U-turn comes after it announced plans to close the leisure centre, which features a range of amenities includes a sports hall, fitness centre, and football pitch, in December.

Following this, around 30 outraged residents formed the group with a view to challenging the “devastating” plans.

Since September members, including Ms Alderson and Mr Jones, have undertaken numerous activities including organising a petition to save the leisure centre, which attracted almost 1,700 signatures, they also held a demonstration outside the county council building in January, lobbied the Regeneration Scrutiny Committee alongside various cabinet members.

However, the turning point came when members sought the legal advice of specialist solicitor Michael Imperato at Watkins & Gunn Solicitors.

Mr Imperato, a public law specialist at the Cardiff, Newport and Pontypool-based firm, challenged the decision with the council, leading to its reversal.

He said: “The people of Pontllanfraith and its surrounding areas were rightly devastated by the threat to their leisure centre, which is used by community groups, as well as schools, and vulnerable users.

“We challenged the closure decision with the county council, citing various flaws in the consultation into its proposed closure.

“Specifically, we highlighted that the consultation may have been misleading in relation to the availability of Islwyn School, which may not have been able to cater for the displaced Pontlanfraith  users. We also highlighted the necessity of the facility for many elderly and vulnerable groups, who rely on it weekly.

“Finally, we also raised the Council’s failure to consider options put forward such as for the centre to be taken over by Blackwood Town Council;.

“When presented with these arguments the Council rapidy backed down. It was evident that the council recognised the need to reconsider its decision to ensure it reached a more fair and informed conclusion.

“We are delighted for the many dedicated campaigners whose hard work helped to save this treasured leisure centre.”

Michael Imperato is a partner at Watkins & Gunn with extensive experience covering some of Wales’s most complex legal cases. Alongside being a specialist in Public Law, he also heads up the Education and Administrative Law departments, offering his expertise in group actions to local authorities, educational institutions, and youth organisations.


January – was the month that ….

By Raspberry Jim,

We were shortlisted!

Coming back after Christmas can be difficult with January blues – but being shortlisted for a Welsh Business Award certainly made it less blue!

We were delighted to be named a finalist in the Excellence in Marketing and Communications category, alongside some other brilliant companies across Wales.

We’re looking forward to the awards ceremony in March.


We weren’t the only ones to be shortlisted…

Some of our brilliant clients were also shortlisted in this year’s Cardiff Life Awards!

Greenaway Scott and CJCH Solicitors were shortlisted in the Legal and Financial category, Techniquest was shortlisted in the Education, and Leisure and Tourism categories, and the Wales Millennium Centre was shortlisted in the Leisure and Tourism category.

Well done to all of them!


We got behind the camera…Sony vidThis month we’ve started work on a recruitment campaign for our client Sony UK TEC.

As a world-class manufacturing facility based in Wales, Sony UK TEC offers an amazing opportunity to those at the start of their careers. We asked staff what makes it such a great place to work and here’s what they had to say.

Watch the video here.

We added the finishing touches to the next phase of #joincwmtafcareerdevelopmentFollowing on from our exciting award wins for Cwm Taf UHB, we are delighted to be supporting them once again!

This month we have been working with Cwm Taf University Health Board to add the finishing touches to a new campaign targeting therapists and radiographers.

It’s due to launch next month, so watch this space.


We had even more great coverage!


Our clients have once again been making the headlines with our support this month. Here is just a snapshot of some of the coverage we have achieved for CJCH Solicitors, Greenaway Scott, Techniquest, Oil 4 Wales, Sony UK TEC, Wynne Jones IP, Verde Corporate Finance.


We said shwmae to S4C

This month we have been working with S4C to generate applications for its new programme FFIT Cymru.

FFIT Cymru will follow five people committed to changing their lifestyle. It will be shown on S4C in April 2018. The series will be presented by Lisa Gwilym along with a team of experts; personal trainer from Penarth Rae Carpenter, a dietitian Sioned Quirke who lives in Pont-y-clun and psychologist Dr. Ioan Rees’s who lives in Pen Llŷn.

As part of our exciting campaign, we have had over 160 applications from people wanting to take part in the show. We now can’t wait for it to air later in the year.

Y mis hwn rydym wedi bod yn gweithio gydag S4C i gynhyrchu ceisiadau gan y cyhoedd ar gyfer ei sioe iechyd a ffitrwydd newydd sbon, Fit Cymru.

Fel rhan o’n hymgyrch cyffrous, rydyn ni wedi derbyn dros 160 o geisiadau gan bobl sydd am gymryd rhan yn y sioe bydd yn darlledu ym Mis Ebrill.

Ni fedrwn ni aros i weld y canlyniadau!


Welcomed new Verde Corporate Finance director Craig Blackmore


Verde Corporate Finance appointed highly experienced commercial accountant Craig Blackmore.

Mr Blackmore will lead Verde whilst also maintaining his roles as CFO at Global Welsh, a not for profit company whose aim is to connect the international diaspora of Wales, whilst continuing to coach on the Accelerated Growth Programme.


Wales Millennium Centre audience got a surprise they’ll Never Forget!

Audience members who saw The Band at the Wales Millennium Centre got far more than they expected!

After watching the fantastic musical, based on the songs of Take That, Gary, Mark, and Howard themselves took to the stage for a surprise performance.

We’re sure it was the Greatest Day of their Lives!








Top technology you didn’t know was made here in Wales

By Raspberry Jim,


This summer Sony UK Technology Centre (UK TEC) 4K cameras will be beaming the World Cup in Russia into homes worldwide.

However, many of those tuning in will be unaware that these state-of-the-art cameras have been manufactured right here in Wales.

Wales is developing a globally renowned reputation for technological, engineering and manufacturing innovation.

Medical technology, advances in computer manufacturing, and aerospace engineering, are just some of the areas which the nation is revolutionising.

To celebrate St David’s Day, we are taking a look at some of the groundbreaking products which you might not realise were created right here in Wales.


High-tech Broadcast and professional cameras
Ever watched Wimbledon? The Ryder Cup? Or the last football World Cup?

Then chances are you’ve seen a Sony UK TEC camera in action!

The Pencoed-based factory produces thousands of professional and broadcast cameras for use across outdoor sporting events, news studios and international events annually.

Last year the factory pushed the boundaries one again by becoming the only Sony factory outside of Japan to begin manufacturing the latest in broadcast technology, the 4K camera, HDC-4300.

This next generation technology provides high definition viewing at 4,000 times the definition of standard television viewing.

The latest 4K models, which have won an award at the 68th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards, are shipped from the Pencoed factory to sites around the world.


Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi, the single board computer which has taken the world by storm, is manufactured by Sony UK TEC.

The credit card sized computer, which aims to encourage computer programming skills among school-aged children, reached its 10 million manufacturing milestone in Pencoed last year.

Named Britain’s best-selling computer, it was originally manufactured in China, but founder Eben Upton moved production to Sony UK TEC in 2012 due to the facilities’ capacity and innovative automated processes.

The facility was first approached to make 10,000 of the low-cost computers annually.  However, demand quickly soared and Sony UK TEC went on to produce one million in its first year, and just last summer the site celebrated manufacturing 10 million Raspberry Pi computers in Wales.




Telensa is an award-winning wireless street lighting control company based near Cambridge.

Its wireless node devices plug into energy-efficient LED street lights to create a wireless network and a map-based central application to manage them.

The smart device controls energy efficiency, daylight savings settings and other day to day considerations which make the lighting more cost effective and practical.

The company moved production to Sony UK TEC from Malaysia last year with the Welsh site to become its sole manufacturer.

Telensa’s devices have been deployed in over 40 cities across the UK, with five in Wales, with a global footprint of over one million wireless streetlight controllers, including one-in-ten of the UK’s streetlights.


LED Roadway Lighting


LED Roadway Lighting is a tenant at Sony UK TEC creating sustainable, energy efficient lighting solutions.

Their sustainable LED lights provide long-term savings and ongoing maintenance savings, reduce energy consumption, and light pollution, while providing 60% energy savings compared to traditional street lighting.

Sony UK TEC’s team players have worked with the LED Roadway team to help manufacture these sustainable lighting solutions in Wales since 2010.




CyDen creates IPL (intense pulsed light) hair removal products for use in the home.

This type of technology converts light energy into heat to prevent the hair follicle from growing any further and gradually reduce the need for shaving.

The company distributes its products to 11 international markets and has recently opened its first overseas office in Tokyo.



Welsh IP firm among top sponsors at CoInnovate 2018

By Raspberry Jim,

Leading intellectual property firm Wynne Jones IP is among the top sponsors at a prestigious Cardiff event championing worldwide technological innovation.

The firm is “thrilled” to be supporting the annual CoInnovate 2018 conference, which encourages industry-leading collaboration between established and developing innovators in the technology sector.

Wynne Jones IP, which advises businesses on all aspects of patents, trade marks, design rights and copyright, is sponsoring the IP Management Expert Corner at the event at Mercure Holland House Hotel on January 24.

They will be joining sponsors including European Regional Development Fund, The University of Manchester Intellectual Property Limited, Innovate UK, and Endeavr.

Commercial director at Wynne Jones IP, Jayne Nation, said it was a privilege to be supporting this international event which has the potential to create unparalleled technological advancements.

She said: “Wynne Jones IP is thrilled to be sponsoring the IP Management Expert Corner at this year’s CoInnovate event.

“We are delighted to be able to support an event, which plays such a vital role in bringing together some of the world’s leading innovators with the aim of driving technological change.

“One aspect of innovation that we, as patent attorneys, feel is vital in supporting the development of any innovation is intellectual property.

“With that in mind, we will be on hand to provide expert advice to participants during the event, to ensure they are able to grow and enhance their products with maximum effect.”

Wynne-Jones IP is a UK firm of intellectual property specialists, with offices in Cardiff, London, Cheltenham and Telford. Trading for over fifty years, the firm advises businesses and inventors in a wide range of sectors worldwide on all aspects of IP rights, strategy and renewals.

Cardiff IP experts smash Headway fundraising target

By Raspberry Jim,

Generous intellectual property experts have raised over £2,000 in the last year for people fighting to rebuild their lives after a traumatic brain injury.

Staff at Wynne Jones IP generated the funds for brain injury association Headway, after it was selected as their charity partner for 2017-2018.

Initially the firm, which advises businesses on all aspects of patents, trade marks, design rights and copyright, set a fundraising target of £1,500 over the two years.

However, thanks to the determination of staff across its Cardiff, Cheltenham, London, and Telford offices, over £2,127 has been raised to date.

Fundraising activities have included staff climbing the roof of the O2 Arena in London on June 15.

The funds will help to support the charity’s work to improve the lives of people who have suffered a brain injury, by offering support, services and information to survivors, their families and carers.

Amy Kasprzyca, Senior Marketing Executive at Wynne Jones IP, said it was a privilege to support the charity which provides priceless support to thousands of people across the UK.

Miss Kasprzyca said: “Headway is a charity which has made such a vast difference to the lives of thousands of people who have sadly suffered a traumatic brain injury.

“Not only does it offer invaluable support to those directly affected to help them rebuild their lives, it also guides their families through a potentially challenging time, and even offers advice and information to professionals in support services and legal fields to ensure the continued care of survivors across the UK.

“It has been a pleasure to raise vital funds for Headway’s fantastic work this year. Our staff have united behind this cause and we hope that the money raised will enable them to continue their amazing work.”

Wynne Jones IP will continue to fundraise in 2018 for Headway with events being organised throughout the year.

Miss Kasprzyca added: “Our team are more than ready to throw themselves into fundraising once again this year, and we look forward to raising as much as possible for Headway in 2018.”


Daredevil Oil 4 Wales director jumps 12,000ft for charity

By Raspberry Jim,

A daredevil Oil 4 Wales employee has plunged over 12,000ft to raise vital funds for brave patients battling cancer.

Paul Owens, a director at the national oil distributor, has undertaken a skydive to raise funds for national research and awareness charity Cancer Research UK.

 The 37-year-old, who is based at Oil 4 Wales’s Cardiff office, signed up for the challenge in a “moment of madness” after choosing to raise more funds for charitable causes in 2018.

Mr Owens, a director at the firm which supplies 65,000 domestic and commercial customers across Wales, jumped at the chance to take part when he received an email at work.

The Llantwit Major resident said: “Everyone said I must be mad to sign up for this! But it’s something I’ve always wanted to have a go at, so when we got the email I decided in a moment of madness to sign up.

 “I was quite excited and nervous before, but I just kept reminding myself it was for a great cause and that spurred me on.”

 On the day of the jump at Swansea Airport Mr Owens joined 10 other people to ascend to 12,000ft where they prepared to take part in a tandem skydive.

He said: “Sitting on the edge of the plane and looking out was both exhilarating and nerve-wracking, and is certainly a feeling I’ll never forget.

 “But it was an absolutely amazing experience and it’s something I’ll never forget. I’ve definitely ticked that off my bucket list and encourage everyone to give it a go.”

Mr Owens said what made the experience even better was raising over £500 for the charity, which helps to fund pioneering research into cancer diagnosis and treatment.

His employer Oil 4 Wales, which supplies 16,000,000 litres of fuel annually to some of Wales’ leading businesses, generously supported his fundraising efforts with a donation of £100.

The company, which prides itself on working for the community and with the community, has demonstrated its continued support for charitable and community causes throughout 2017. This has included donating fundraising prizes to local events, sponsoring community shows, and supporting school initiatives throughout Wales.

 Oil 4 Wales managing director Colin Owens said this reinforced the company’s commitment to supporting local communities across Wales.

He said: “We would like to congratulate Paul on his fantastic achievement and the great amount raise for such a worthwhile cause.

“This is just one example of Oil 4 Wales’s commitment to supporting local residents and communities across Wales, something which we as a proud Welsh business are proud to be able to do.”


New Verde CF director to ‘drive continued growth’

By Raspberry Jim,

An industry-leading accountant with two decades experience in the financial industry has been appointed as director of corporate finance boutique Verde Corporate Finance (CF).

Craig Blackmore, who joined the company as a consultant in July 2017, has been promoted to the senior role due to his input during the last six months.

Verde CF, which is part of the Greenaway Scott Group, specialises in providing advice around mergers and acquisitions, business finance and growth capital.

Mr Blackmore has over two decades of experience in the business sector as a commercially driven accountant.

Principally trained with Deloitte, an international accounting firm, he acted as a director in a mid-tier accounting practice, before moving on to take up executive and non-executive financial director positions with a number of SME businesses.

Mr Blackmore will lead Verde whilst also maintaining his roles as CFO at Global Welsh, a not for profit company whose aim is to connect the international diaspora of Wales, whilst continuing to coach on the Accelerated Growth Programme.

The role at Verde is an extension of his proven desire to connect with fast tracked and developing businesses throughout Wales and further afield internationally.

During his time at Verde CF, he has worked alongside commercial law firm Greenaway Scott, which is also part of the GS Group, in a strategic and collaborative partnership to combine services that provide a multi-disciplinary team solution. This one stop shop for corporate advisory is unique in Wales.

On his appointment Mr Blackmore said: “I am delighted to step up to the role as a director of Verde Corporate Finance, and very much look forward to working with co-director director Nigel Greenaway and integrating Verde within the wider Greenaway Scott Group.

“Verde Corporate Finance has seen solid growth over the past year, acting on a number of interesting transactions including MBO’s and growth funding.

“It has been a privilege to contribute to its growth over the past six months along with our talented team. I am excited to take on this new role and look forward to working towards driving further growth in Verde CF in 2018.”

Director of Greenaway Scott, Nigel Greenaway, said Mr Blackmore’s appointment would provide a more in depth and expert service for Verde CF’s growing client base and to build on the solid start since its inception in 2017.

He said: “Craig has been phenomenal in his role as consultant since starting at Verde CF last year. As such we were delighted to appoint him to the role of director to help drive Verde’s continued business ambitions even further this year. We look forward to working with him to make this a fantastic offering supporting businesses across the UK.”

Verde has also welcomed Joanna Porgozelska, who will act as a financial analyst for the corporate advisory firm. Director of Verde Craig Blackmore said he was thrilled to welcome Ms Porgozelska to the team.

He said: “The addition of Ms Porgozelska to the team reinforces the impressive growth that Verde has seen this year. We look forward to working with her on future projects and we are sure her experience will strengthen our offering.”

Verde Corporate Finance operates as an advisory boutique within the Greenaway Scott Group, a multi-disciplinary professional advisory business within the mergers and acquisition sector.


Cardiff experts recover over £20m for international piracy victims

By Raspberry Jim,

Experts at Cardiff’s CJCH Consulting recovered over £20 million for companies which fell victim to international intellectual property theft last year, it has been revealed.

Consultants at the specialist firm, which offers industry-leading anti-piracy and compliance services, recovered the “significant sum” for its clients throughout 2017.

The figure includes recoveries for industries ranging from engineering, to oil and gas, and film, which faced severe copyright, primarily software, infringements over the 12-month period.

In order to recover any funds lost as a result of intellectual property theft, CJCH Consulting’s experts combine their technical knowledge, research and legal enforcement skills to recoup any losses.

Antony Crampton, Compliance and Investigations Director at CJCH Consulting, said the vast sum recovered was fantastic news for hundreds of businesses whose intellectual property was illegally targeted in 2017.

He said: “As a team we are thrilled to have recovered this significant sum of money for our clients across the UK and internationally.

“This achievement reflects the determination and skill demonstrated by our dedicated teams, who have worked tirelessly to recover these funds for our clients.

“Our Anti-Piracy and Compliance Team is developing an international reputation thanks to its expertise in this area, and with impressive results such as these it’s easy to see why.

“We are proud to be supporting the fight against international intellectual property infringement and look forward to supporting our existing and new clients further in 2018.”

The figure comes on the back of a successful year for the consulting firm’s anti-piracy team, which attracted investment from the Welsh Government in March to create a global IP Anti-Piracy Unit at its Cardiff head office.

Alongside its Anti-Piracy achievements, CJCH Consulting and its legal arm CJCH Solicitors also recruited 36 new members of staff across both businesses in a bid to further strengthen its client offering last year.

And this year will bring even more good news, as 2018 marks the five-year anniversary since Colin Jones Solicitors merged with Clarke & Hartland to form CJCH Solicitors in its current form.

The merger took place in 2013 when founding partners Stephen Clarke, Tim Hartland, and Jacqui Seal, brought together the two established firms with over 30 years’ experience in the Welsh legal sector.

They chose to combine Mr Clarke’s expertise in intellectual property and criminal law, Mr Hartland’s specialism in criminal law and conveyancing, and Ms Seal’s skills in criminal and military law to create a fully comprehensive legal and consulting firm which met the evolving needs of people across Wales.

Now, CJCH is a Wales top-20 law firm with headquarters in Cardiff, which has grown to more than 100 members of staff. Its expertise covers the full range of legal services including commercial, corporate, dispute resolution, intellectual property, mental health, employment law, motoring, property, family, child care, crime, wills & probate.