ScoutsCymru support Pride Month

By Raspberry Jim,


June is Pride Month, a month to celebrate gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and asexual people, plus all other sexual orientations and genders.

To coincide with this, we have caught up with Louisa Shapton, a member the Apollo 7 Explorer Scout Unit, who attended her first Pride event earlier this year.

On May 4th, 17-year-old Louisa along with 12 explorers, leaders and support members attended Swansea Pride.

Carrying the ScoutsCymru banner through the parade before manning a stall at Swansea’s Waterfront Museum, Louisa decided to take to the surrounding crowd distributing leaflets and talking to people about the difference Scouting has made to her life.

Here Louisa reflects on the event and ScoutsCymru’s inclusive approach. She said: “I took a lot from attending Pride Swansea this year.

“I didn’t know what to expect and was a bit nervous as I am an ally and felt that I may not fit in.  I was soon proved wrong. It was a festival of acceptance.

“As a member of Glamorgan West Inclusive Scouting Team, I believe that having Scouting representation at the event showed people in the community that we, as an organisation are inclusive, and we don’t discriminate.

“I think it is really important for young people to learn about the LGBT community. Attending an event such as Pride shows how sexuality and gender identity is very normal in today’s society.  At Explorer age in particular, being part of or an ally of the community can be challenging and the Pride Event showed how supportive and accepting the LGBT community is.

“The whole day was so full of energy and bursting with colour. I think the other Explorers, some of whom are openly gay, really enjoyed and it was great to experience my first pride event with them.”

Scouts Cymru were joined by other large organisations such as the NHS and various political parties who all attended to celebrate and support the LGBT community.

Louisa believes that ScoutsCymru attending Swansea Pride was important for her peers as she says: “It was somewhere that everyone could really be themselves and not worry or care about being judged.”

Louisa is confident that next year there will be an even larger group of Scouts attending to celebrate the LGBT community.

ScoutsCymru is open to all young people and adults regardless of their sexuality or gender identity. We have a clear Equal Opportunities Policy and attend Pride events to demonstrate our commitment to equality. We openly welcome LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) members, have volunteers specialising in diversity (including our national team of Specialist Advisers) and even a national unit supporting LGBT adults in Scouting FLAGS.Members of ScoutsCymru will also be at Llanelli Pride and Pride Cymru later this year.

Recruitment drive underway at Newport hospital

By Raspberry Jim,


A transition-focused healthcare provider, which is investing £1.5m in extending its specialist neuro-degenerative centre, St Peter’s hospital, has begun its recruitment drive to fill 75 roles.

Ludlow Street Healthcare is looking to strengthen its existing staff team by bringing in more nurses and support workers to work at the Newport-based facility.

Earlier this year the independent healthcare provider announced plans to extend the Newport hospital in a bid to meet the growing need for care provision for people with neurodegenerative diseases and neuropsychiatric conditions including acquired brain injury (ABI).

The extension at St Peter’s, which has been awarded the highest service ranking from the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW), will eventually add 4,542 sq ft of space and 18 new beds to the hospital.

With the building work planned in three phases, the first phase which is nearly complete will accommodate six new beds on the ground floor, adding to the 33 already available, along with spacious living and dining areas, a kitchen, and nurse’s station.

David Lawrence, CEO, of Ludlow Street Healthcare recently visited St Peter’s Hospital to view the work completed so far.

David met with Tony Griffiths, Managing Director of Ludlow Langstone Construction, the contractors for the project and visited some of the residents in the existing hospital.

During the visit, he saw some of the facilities which will be available for the new patients, all of which aim to create calm and familiar environments. These included the in-house hair and nail salon, the sensory room, and the relaxation room with its Wellness Nordic Relax Chair.

David also took the time to drop in on one of the Move it or Lose It exercise sessions specially designed to encourage less mobile patients to remain fit and active.

Among other activities available to patients at St Peter’s are animal therapy sessions. Studies show that interaction with animals can lower stress levels, alleviate depression, boost activity and provide companionship. 

St Peter’s has incorporated this popular form of therapy into their regular programming and Mr Lawrence dropped by to experience a session for himself during his visit and meet the animals kindly brought along by Walnut Tree Farm Park.

There has already been considerable interest in the new hospital facilities and once the formal registration process of the new hospital unit is complete, Ludlow Street Healthcare expects to be able to welcome the first new patients in early autumn.

The increased specialist service provision means that Welsh patients who are presently being cared for outside of Wales will be able to return and live closer to home and their families.

Mr Lawrence said: “We are delighted with the work which has been completed on St Peter’s Hospital extension project.

“We feel the extension will significantly enhance the highly regarded treatment and rehabilitation service we already offer.

“There are currently 800,000 people with neurodegenerative diseases living in the UK, and due to people living longer and changing lifestyles, this is forecast to increase to one million.

“This project, along with the extra staff and facilities means we will be better able to meet the growing requirement for specialist neuropsychiatric care.

“St Peter’s Hospital has long been recognized as experts in the care of people with neurodegenerative disorders, and we feel that this significant investment and new extension will allow us to extend the excellent care provision we can offer.”

25 new staff are being recruited currently to support the opening of the 1st phase, with plans to recruit a further 50 staff at the beginning of next year to support the rest of the extension as it completes and is ready to welcome patients.

In addition to St Peter’s Hospital, Ludlow Street Healthcare operates numerous sites, including Pinetree Hospital and Heatherwood Court, which each specialise in areas including the treatment, support, and rehabilitation of people with learning disabilities and mental health disorders.

The group also operates Beechwood College a specialist further education establishment for young adults with complex Autistic Spectrum Conditions and Ocean Community Services which manages small residential step-down and rehabilitation homes within community settings.

Anyone interested in knowing more about the career opportunities on offer should visit https://www.lshealthcare.co.uk/ludlow-careers/

Japanese Ambassador visits Sony UK TEC as part of Japan – UK Season of Culture

By Raspberry Jim,


Japanese Ambassador to the UK, Koji Tsuruoka, joined Sony UK TEC in celebrating the Japan – UK Season of Culture this week, marking his first visit to the facility.

He was joined by Mr Yusuke Ishihara, First Secretary; Mr Yugi Suzuki, Director of Tri-Wall Europe; Ted Kitagawa, Market Development Manager of Tri-Wall Europe; and Keith Dunn OBE, Honorary Consul for Japan in Wales.

The purpose of the visit to Wales was to attend the reception being held by Welsh Government in celebration of the long-standing links and shared history between Wales and Japan. Following his time at Sony UK TEC, the Ambassador also paid a visit to Tri-Wall in Monmouth, before attending a reception at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

This visit follows an earlier celebration of the season in February this year where Sony hosted the first major event in Wales to launch the Japan – UK Season of Culture, which was also attended by Keith Dunn OBE. The Japan – UK Season of Culture aims to celebrate the achievements of the UK and Japan and showcase their shared cultural and technological successes.

These Welsh events are 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.

During his visit to Sony, the Ambassador was involved in a complete tour of the facility, accompanied by the senior management team. There were presentations from all areas of the business, with departmental overviews including a factory tour where the Ambassador and his guests were able to watch the manufacturing process of numerous products.

His visit to Sony UK TEC also coincided with a Japanese-themed school visit which saw the children take part in calligraphy, origami, and language workshops. Ambassador Tsuruoka joined the children of Penyfai Primary and Ysgol Plasmawr for this interactive session demonstrating Sony UK TEC’s focus on educating the next generation.

The Ambassador has a history of supporting Wales and celebrating its links with Japan. He has previously visited the National Museum of Wales to see its Japan Exhibition and has chosen to visit Sony during his latest visit due its leading position as a Japanese company contributing to the Wales economy.

Gerald Kelly, Director of Professional Services, said: “As an organisation which takes pride in its global links with Japan, we are thrilled to welcome the Ambassador and his guests.

“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.”

Britain’s Got Talent Finalist ‘X’ to perform in concert with children and young people from across South Wales

By Raspberry Jim,


Mysterious Britain’s Got Talent finalist ‘X’ was revealed to be none other than last year’s semi-finalist – magician Marc Spellman.

Spellman, a mind-reader and magician, impressed Britain’s Got Talent judges in 2018 with his emotional performances, which earned him the elusive Golden Buzzer, but this year went on to the final to scoop the runner-up prize.

ITV viewers and the judges were left in shock on Sunday night as the performer revealed his identity at the grand final missing out on the main prize by a nose to Chelsea Pensioner Colin Thackery.

At the end of his performance, ‘X’ played a video which revealed who he really was, adding: “It was always about hope and never giving up, it has been an honour sharing X with you. I am X.”

This revelation also came as a shock to hundreds of school children and young people across South Wales, involved in the Beyond Words-Hitting the Right Note concert, of which Marc is a patron.

A thousand children from 36 schools across South Wales have volunteered to sing in a musical extravaganza at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff, supported by a host of celebrity acts and professional musicians.

The Beyond Words concert, now in its sixth year, will take place on 15th July 2019 at the Motorpoint Arena and will feature local school children and young people aged between 8 and 23, with a team of young people aged 16 to 23 organising the event.

The theme of the concert will be based on the smash hit song A Million Dreams from the hugely popular musical The Greatest Showman but adapted to create a story about charity and young people’s dreams.

The concert is set to be a showcase of different talents with the children learning new skills as a result of performing alongside world-renowned artists.

Paul Zerdin, a British comedian, ventriloquist and winner of America’s Got Talent in 2015, along with his ‘dysfunctional’ puppet family including popular ‘teenager’ Sam, will also be performing alongside ‘Mystery artist’ Marc at the concert.

Paul says of his role in the project, “It’s terrific being involved with a project that can really reach out and have such a positive effect on young people. Also being a ventriloquist, I have more than one voice which does help make up the thousand voices!”

How to spot a good news angle

By Raspberry Jim,

How do you spot a good news angle?

That’s a question that I, as a former journalist turned PR professional, get asked quite frequently by clients.

Before writing an article, press release, or blog, everyone will ask themselves if the topic they are considering writing about is, in fact, interesting enough to warrant further discussion.

The term we often use to refer to a good article angle, is whether it is newsworthy or not.

Identifying a newsworthy story can be the difference between achieving great coverage, or sending an article out into the news and media abyss.

Newsworthy or not?

But how do you know if something is newsworthy?

Generally, a good news angle is deemed to be something which is genuinely new, interesting, and informative, and provides a unique perspective which promotes widespread interest and discussion.

However, when it comes to PR, this can be tricky. What a journalist deems newsworthy, and what a business believes is newsworthy may be two totally separate things.

There are many reasons for this. It can be difficult for managers or those personally invested in a business to separate what’s interesting to them, from what’s interesting to the general public.

Being realistic and truly assessing the wider news value of your company information, can often shed a light on whether something is actually newsworthy.

When deciding on news value, it’s always handy to carry out a little bit of research online into similar industry stories and gauge interest.

Tapping into the news

Then there’s current events and news.

This could be seen to be an easy win for businesses in achieving coverage.

It allows businesses to comment on a story with in-built media interest while offering their own specialist opinion and adding genuine value to the article.

Any time a company can legitimately further the discussion around a news story or widely discussed topic, they are ensuring their story is newsworthy.

Let’s be honest, if you’re talking about something in the news, chances are the public will be too.

Human interest

 

Heartfelt human interest stories are particularly newsworthy and effective in engaging with the general public in an emotive way.

Readers will empathise with articles which detail personal achievement, overcoming adversity, tragedy and triumph, and heartfelt struggles. This enables them to form an emotional attachment with the story’s subject matter increasing their engagement and understanding of your message.

But this can be challenging when you are searching for a human angle in a business story.

Ask yourself, did this promotion come after years of tireless work and personal achievement for the staff member? Has an MBO allowed a family member to continue their family’s business legacy? There could be something you haven’t considered!

Obviously, this should only be used under appropriate circumstances and when there is a legitimate story to tell.

Statistics and figures

What catches your attention more effectively – Workers taking duvet days due to stress, OR Over 1.8 million workers forced to take duvet days due to stress.

Using statistics and figures within an article, and headline, not only strengthens it and draws in the reader by quantifying what you are discussing, but it backs up your point with numerical evidence and legitimises it.

More people are likely to be engaged by an article that discusses specific figures that they can relate to, rather than something vague, such as terms including ‘large sum’, ‘significant amount’ or ‘numerous’.

If a story said: People in Wales were consuming 100 chocolate bars per hour – I’d definitely want to read it! And be honest, you might too …

Finally …

Overall assessing whether a story is newsworthy or not is really about being realistic, doing a little bit of research, using some news savviness, and exercising honest non-biased judgement.

If in doubt, the PR team at jamjar are always here to help steer you in the right direction! As content and media specialists, we have a ‘nose for news’ and are happy to advise you on what has news value.

 

FFIT Cymru: five lives changed forever, with a staggering 13 stone total weight loss

By Raspberry Jim,

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Delighted leaders of S4C series FFIT Cymru are celebrating after losing a “life-changing” 13 stone between them in just eight weeks.

Staggering results were revealed about the five leaders’ improved health and fitness levels as they took to the scales for the last time in the S4C series finale, which is now available to watch along with the rest of the series online at s4c.cymru and other platforms.

Over the past two months viewers have tuned in as leaders Nic Davies, from Penygroes, Carmarthenshire; Mathew Thomas from Gaerwen; Catherine Lewis, from Caernarfon; Judith Owen, from Llanwnda; and Leon Welsby from Bridgend, have overhauled their health and fitness routines in a bid to transform their lives.

During that time, the leaders have received expert support from fitness trainer Rae Carpenter, psychologist Dr Ioan Rees, and nutritionist Sioned Quirke; with detailed plans shared online for everyone to follow.

Nic, Penygroes, Carmarthenshire

Nic, who works at Glangwili Hospital, has seen his weight plummet from 18 stone 4lbs to 15 stone 0.5lbs. His cholesterol levels have halved since the beginning of the series, and the fantastic news is he no longer needs to take tablets to combat high blood pressure. After enjoying the 5k parkrun challenge in week 7 of the challenge, he has now started training for this year’s Cardiff Half Marathon.

Leon, Bridgend

Meanwhile, Urdd youth worker Leon, from Bridgend, has lost a phenomenal 48% of his fat mass: a result which saw his weight plummet 3 stone 11.5lbs. Now weighing 17 stone 10.5 pounds, he has a much lower risk of having a heart attack, a very real threat due to family history. And he has completed what he set out to achieve, and will now be able to ride on the rollercoaster which he was previously turned away from because of his size.

Judith, Llanwnda, near Caernarfon

After years of health problems, former head teacher Judith was determined not to let Crohn’s disease hold her back any longer; it was time to get in shape. Not only has she shed the pounds – shrinking from 13 stone 1lb to 11 stone 8.5lbs – she also no longer needs to undergo an operation for a hernia. She has joined a weekly running club and her fitness age is now 10 years younger that at the beginning of the series… and is actually younger that her current age!

Catherine, Caernarfon

Young mother, and bride-to-be, Catherine had a crippling lack of self-confidence caused by her weight. She has lost a total of 2 stones and 2.5lbs, and over 12 inches from her hips, which has seen her grow in confidence, becoming more outgoing and active, which has seen massive benefits for her and her young daughter. This is a journey she vows to continue; with a wedding to plan, nothing will hold her back now!

Mathew, Gaerwen, Anglesey

The series saw proud dad-of-three Mathew return to the rugby field and training with boxing legend Joe Calzaghe! That certainly did the trick, and Mathew has caught the fitness bug once again. His fitness age is now 20 years younger than at the beginning of the series, with a total loss of 2 stones and 10 pounds and an impressive 10 inches off his waist. He’s also quit smoking, and the fresh air has reduced the age of his lungs by 10 years too!

FFIT Cymru presenter Lisa Gwilym, who also vowed to get active as part of the series, said: “I’d like to congratulate our fantastic five on their amazing weight loss results which are very well deserved.

“Their dedication and hard work has been absolutely inspirational to witness during the show’s run, and they’ve really thrown themselves into every aspect of the FFIT Cymru journey.

“We are thrilled to have spurred them on in their life changing weight loss transformation and we wish them every success for the future as they embark on happier, healthier lifestyles.”

The benefits to their health have been assessed during a series of tests at Bangor University’s School of Sport, Health & Exercise Sciences, which were undertaken by the leaders at the start and at the end of the eight weeks.

Tomos Jones, PhD Researcher in Cardiovascular Physiology, who conducted the tests with the five leaders, said: “It is clear to see that the leaders have worked extremely hard over the last eight weeks. As well as completing a 5k run, the tests that they have undergone here at the School of Sport, Health & Exercise Sciences, Bangor University, show an improved standard of fitness and an improvement in the state of their health.

“The leaders deserve a lot of credit for the success that they have achieved in their transformation and for inspiring others to do it for themselves.”

The entire FFIT Cymru series can be watched again as a box set, on demand, at s4c.cymru and other platforms.

FFIT Cymru will return for a second series in 2019, and if you’re interested in taking part, follow @ffitcymru on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep in touch.

To follow FFIT Cymru’s nutrition and exercise plans, visit s4c.cymru/ffitcymru

Before and after weight and inches loss for each leader

 Nic

Start End
Weight 18st 4lb 15st 0.5lb

(-3st 3.5lb)

Waist 49″ 39”
Chest 54″ 42”
Right Arm 17.5” 14.5”
Left Arm 18” 14”
Right leg 27.5” 24”
Left leg 28” 25”
Hips 47” 39”

 

Leon

Start End
Weight 21st 8lb 17st 10.5lb

(-3st 11.5lb)

Waist 51 “ 40
Chest 51.5″ 43
Right Arm 16″ 14
Left Arm 15.5″ 13
Right leg 30″ 26.5
Left leg 30″ 26
Hips 49.5 41

 

Judith

Start End
Weight 13st 1lb 11st 8.5lb

(-1st 6.5lb)

Waist 41” 33.5”
Chest 44” 42”
Right Arm 14” 12.5”
Left Arm 14” 12”
Right leg 24.5” 22”
Left leg 24” 21.5”
Hips 43.5” 35”

 

Catherine

Start End
Weight 17st 5lb 15st 2.5lb

(-2st 2.5lb)

Waist 43.5″ 36”
Chest 47.5” 43”
Right Arm 16.5” 14.5”
Left Arm 16” 14”
Right leg 32” 27”
Left leg 34” 27.5”
Hips 53.6” 41”

 

Mathew

Start End
Weight 21st 2lb 18st 6lb
(-3st 8lb)
Waist 51.5” 42”
Chest 52.5” 47”
Right Arm 19.5” 17”
Left Arm 19.5” 17”
Right leg 31” 27”
Left leg 31” 28”
Hips 14.5” 41”

Cardiff Bus supports 6th national Catch the Bus Week

By Raspberry Jim,

Untitled design-6People across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan are being urged to swap their car for the bus to celebrate the 6th annual Catch the Bus Week.

The bus operator is taking part in the UK-wide initiative, which aims to promote the ease, comfort and environmental benefits of choosing sustainable bus travel.

The week, which runs from July 2nd to July 8th, will see operators across the country hosting public information sessions and events to help promote bus travel to non-bus users.

During the initiative Cardiff Bus will be taking part in the Your Bus Matters event, at Barry King Square, on Tuesday 3rd July from 10am to 2pm.The event, hosted by Bus Users Cymru, provides the chance to discuss timetables and services.

Then on Wednesday 4th July from 10am to 4pm the bus operator will be hosting a Cardiff Bus Roadshow, on Queen Street, to enable people to learn about the benefits of bus travel and receive a free goodie bag.

Commercial manager at Cardiff Bus Gareth Stevens said the initiative was a “fantastic way” to highlight the various benefits of bus travel.

He said: “We at Cardiff Bus are pleased to be supporting the 6th annual Catch the Bus Week.

“This event is vital in highlighting the numerous benefits of bus travel, so we would encourage people to come along and find out more.

“We look forward to getting out and speaking with our valued customers and getting feedback on our services.

“Come along, say hello and take a look at our latest vehicles which are modern, comfortable and WiFi enabled, helping you get the most out of your journey with us.”

The bus operator will also be giving away daily prizes via its Twitter and Facebook channels, including weekly and monthly bus tickets.

To find out more information about Catch the Bus Week and Cardiff Bus visit its website https://www.cardiffbus.com/

Welsh UN criminal expert ‘honoured’ to be made CBE in Queen’s Honours

By Raspberry Jim,

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A Cardiff investigator who has fought international war crimes, genocide and digital piracy for over 45 years has been made a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s list.

Alun Howard Tucker received the honour thanks to his lengthy career investing high-profile crimes both in the UK and overseas for the police service and the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (UN ICTY).

The specialist consultant for CJCH Solicitors in Cardiff said he was “incredibly honoured” to be named among the five Welsh CBE recipients, with a total of 1,350 people across the UK being recognised for the Queen’s 92nd birthday.

CEO of CJCH Solicitors Stephen Clark said the firm was delighted that Mr Tucker’s illustrious career has received recognition.

He said: “We are incredibly proud of Howard’s CBE recognition which we feel is strongly deserved after his 45 years’ of dedication to the criminal justice system both here and overseas.

“For him to have been awarded alongside some of the most courageous, dedicated, and inspirational people in the UK, is testament to his hard work.

“Over the decades Howard and his colleagues, both in the police service and UN ICTY, have worked tirelessly to enhance the justice and policing systems, and to challenge human rights abuses internationally.

“This honour recognises not just his role in fighting injustices, but the collaborative effort of the teams he has worked with during his career.”

Mr Tucker, who now acts as a specialist anti-piracy consultant to the Cardiff-based firm, was recognised after starting his career as a policeman with South Wales Police, and gaining extensive experience across the South of Wales including 24 years as a Criminal Detective.

 He then moved to the UN ICTY where he used his expertise to investigate allegations of war crimes and genocide.

This progressed into several roles within the UN investigations team to represent the UN prosecution, with Mr Tucker eventually being appointed as head of mission for the UN ICTY overseeing the Bosnia and Herzegovina offices.

After being named as the prosecutor of the ICTY he provided specialist training on all aspects of the international investigative process and supported EU and UK training initiatives of local police agencies.

In recent years he has shifted his focus to fighting international anti-piracy through his consultant role at CJCH Consulting, a leading firm working to tackle international theft of intellectual property and software infringement.

He said: “Criminal undertakings have changed dramatically during my career, with crime having migrated online in the past decade to pose new and sophisticated threats.

“This new era of digital criminals puts businesses and individuals at a greater risk than ever before of falling victim to a crime.

“Online theft and digital piracy has emerged as one of the greatest online threats, whether this is identity theft, intellectual property theft or fraud.

“With this new era of online criminals only increasing, it is essential that we concentrate our efforts in trying to eradicate this highly sophisticated and growing network of digital crime.”

First-time buyer’s guide to the highs and lows of property purchase

By Raspberry Jim,

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Buying a new home is frequently listed as one of the most stressful experiences you can go through.

In fact, a recent survey of 2,000 people revealed that the majority felt purchasing a house was even more stressful than having a baby.

While that may shock some prospective house hunters, for many others this revelation won’t be a surprise.

One such person is CJCH Solicitors’ paralegal Amy Palin.

Having bought her first home in Penarth in October 2017, Ms Palin is familiar with the highs and lows of purchasing a property.

However, thanks to her experience in conveyancing at the Cardiff-based legal firm, the 23-year-old had a unique perspective as a first-time buyer.

To mark New Homes Week, running from May 14 to the 18, she discusses her personal, and professional, experience when it comes to buying a home.

She said: “It was quite interesting to be looking into buying my own home after seeing so many of our clients go through this process with our help.

“As a new buyer your main concern is keeping the costs low, because purchasing a home can be expensive, so your aim is to keep the spending to a minimum.

“You also want to complete as quickly as possible because you want everything to be sorted so you can start getting excited about moving in.

“While I know the process thoroughly thanks to my day job, it is entirely different when you are the buyer.”

Ms Palin’s conveyancing period took around two and a half months to complete, but like many buyers, she was not immune from issues which threatened to cause unwanted delays.

Funding hurdles, paperwork problems, mortgage valuations and surveys, and disputes with a seller, are just some of the common concerns which could crop up and cause inevitable delays to the purchase.

On average the conveyancing process can take up to two months to complete, however that can stretch to up to four months or longer depending on the situation, Miss Palin said.

She added: “I was aware of the potential for delays and problems and how common this is. But when it is your own home, and you are making the purchase, it can be quite stressful.

“In our scenario, there was a tenant living in the property previously, who was due to vacate the house two days before we moved in. Unfortunately, they had not moved out as expected which we thought could delay our completion date and moving in date.

“Thankfully, it didn’t, but issues such as this are frequent when you are buying a home and there is a chain involved.”

As a paralegal at CJCH Solicitors, which has over 35 years’ experience in handling property matters and conveyancing, Miss Palin said it was important for buyers to have realistic expectations and expect the unexpected.

She said: “Having gone through this myself, and supporting clients at work, we would advise prospective buyers not to have overly ambitious expectations. While every purchaser, and conveyancer acting for them, will work to ensure the process will run as efficiently as possible, unexpected things can occur.

“It is important to be prepared for that, so there is not too much disappointment if intended timescales are significantly altered.”

She also warned that costs can mount up quickly thanks to the various experts involved in supporting the purchase.

She said: “Many people don’t necessarily realise the cost which is attached to buying a home, especially if it is your first time. There may be many costs that you haven’t even considered.

“For example, contact with the conveyancer for constant updates on your transaction can mount up cost-wise. Quite often it may simply be the solicitor is waiting, for example, for searches to return and there isn’t anything yet to report, but a query will still be charged to the buyer.

“As well as this, it is important that home buyers, who are also selling, are aware early on of all the documents that will be required. This will help to keep costs to a minimum by, first of all, avoiding any delays which could cause costs to increase or, worse, the need to pay for indemnity insurance for their prospective buyer for the missing documents.”

But if there is an issue, particularly a legal problem, what can buyers do?

“It would depend on the problem,” said Miss Palin.

“If there is an issue which cannot be easily resolved, buyers might need to explore whether they are willing to take the time and accept the extra cost to deal with this, or whether they do not want to continue with the purchase.

“Whatever happens being prepared and flexible when it comes to this process really is key. Things can, and sometimes will go wrong, but most things can be resolved by a legal expert.

“Most commonly delays tend to be caused by waiting for answers to queries, this could be due to solicitors on the other side not responding promptly, or that they are not receiving the information needed from their clients to respond.

“In these cases, it is essential that buyers can speak openly and effectively with their solicitor or conveyancer to help ascertain what is causing the delay and resolve it quickly.

“In spite of all our efforts this type of delay is often unpredictable, as it will depend on what arises throughout searches, the reliability of all those involved, and other factors. But we always keep our clients up to date on what is happening.

“At CJCH Solicitors we are always on hand to help and have an expert conveyancing and property team who will help you unlock the door to your new home, minus the stress!”

Leading medical technology firm appoints Greenaway Scott

By Raspberry Jim,

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A Whitland-based cutting-edge medical technology company, which develops nerve stimulation and monitoring equipment, has appointed business advisory firm Greenaway Scott as it sets its sights on success in America.

Magstim, a world leader in developing neurostimulation equipment, has instructed the award-winning firm’s Swansea office to provide legal support as it looks to expand sales overseas.

Greenaway Scott, which specialises in the life science and healthcare industries, will support Magstim by providing commercial contract advice as the company expands its operations and enters into new business partnerships to continue to develop its technology.

Gareth Davies, Group CFO, said they were delighted to be working with Greenaway Scott.

He said: “Greenway Scott was a natural choice – as a global business we needed a firm that is responsive, knowledgeable and that understands the healthcare sector. The team at Greenaway Scott deliver on all three.

“They take time to understand your business and work flexibly to ensure your needs are met.”

When the company was founded in 1990, its devices were primarily used as a research tool by neuroscientists seeking to understand how the brain’s pathways are connected. Their work has yielded important insights into the diagnosis and treatment of conditions including multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease and spinal injury. Now, the company has its devices cleared by the FDA for treatment of major depressive disorder and is seeing significant demand in the US healthcare market.

Commercial director at Greenaway Scott, Rhian Osborne, said it was a privilege to be working with a company which has the potential to make such a significant impact on the lives of people globally.

She said: “Magstim are recognised as leaders in the medical technology industry and we are thrilled to be able to assist them as they develop their revolutionary TMS device.

“Their technology has the potential to change the lives of millions of people suffering with disorders including Depression, Multiple Sclerosis and Motor Neurone Disease.

“As such it is our privilege to work with Magstim to help achieve its commercial aims and expand its sales across the UK and America.”