Category: Our Jam


Reflecting, learning, and moving forward

By Carys Bryant,


It’s been a long summer, hasn’t it?

From the start of lockdown back in March, to the ‘the new normal’ we’re living in now, we’ve all been on a bit of an emotional journey!

It’s easy to look back on the past few months and focus on the tragedies, the social limitations, and the loved ones we’ve missed and the things we couldn’t do and the people we couldn’t see.

We’ve all shared in the frustration of wanting to venture beyond five miles, had to abandon a trip to the shops after forgetting our mask and hand-sanitiser, and watched everything on Netflix in a bid to escape the daily Government briefings.

How badly did we all need a haircut, and how many of us gave or received a DIY at-home haircut? (Hands up for both over here!)

We missed our friends, our family, birthdays, and weddings got cancelled.

As a nation, we’ve shared in so much. But with the sadness, has come new lessons and a refocussing of priorities.

As some parts of the country once again face lockdown measures, here’s a look at some of the positives we’ve learned which will help us going forward.


Panic buying, priorities, and banana bread

The panic buying back in March was borderline apocalyptic.

Hand soap, dried pasta, canned tomatoes, and flour disappeared overnight! And toilet roll was basically like gold dust!

This was a startling and unnerving time which underlined the reality and panic surrounding the pandemic.

But once that had calmed down, once everyone realised we weren’t going to run out of food, things took a calmer turn.

We started prioritising buying fresh, local, and making more from scratch.

Smaller, local shops like the grocers were used to deliver a fruit and veg box, and the butchers, which would do local delivery instead of big chain supermarkets.

And who didn’t try to whip up a banana bread? The nation went into a banana bread frenzy – with Jamie Oliver reporting  that banana bread was one of the most searched recipes on his website on the weekend of 4th April.

Did anyone not make banana bread this summer?


Love is all you need

The best things in life are free – that sentiment was highlighted in abundance this summer.

With many of us unable to see loved ones or friends, we suddenly found ourselves pining for a catch up or a hug from our nearest and dearest.

From parents to grandparents, to friends to colleagues, there’s just something about human contact that no Facetime or virtual pub quiz can replace!

Our loved ones never felt so far away.

Ironically, at a time when we have all been physically separated, we have been united emotionally as a nation in our shared experiences – both happy and sad.


Thanking our everyday superheroes

We always knew the NHS was an invaluable service.

But since coronavirus struck the dedication, professionalism, and heroism of those on the NHS frontline has been on display for all to see and admire.

But the pandemic also shone a light on all the other everyday heroes, whose dedication was invaluable during lockdown.

Teachers, childminders, supermarket workers, delivery drivers, shop workers, the list goes on – we couldn’t have continued without them.

I’m sure anyone who attempted to home school has a heightened appreciation for the amazing work teachers do!

From us to all key workers – thank you so much.


Achieving a better balance

Many of us have missed a catch up cuppa with colleagues, and a lovely coffee from Costa.

But, if we’re honest working from home led us to discover a better work-life balance.

Suddenly 20 minutes of yoga at lunch, chatting to your partner, or quick cuddles with your children are all possible and make the day better.

Not many people have missed the hour daily commute, or public transport during rush hour.

In fact, research from Eskenzi suggests that 91% of the UK’s office workers would like to continue working from home at least part of the time.

With that in mind, we hope that everyone can achieve a better work/life balance as we adapt to this new normal.


Helping Mother Earth

We’ve all really come to appreciate nature this summer.

The beautiful weather has enabled us to enjoy the outdoors during lockdown, and our gardens have never looked so good!

With walks and exercise providing a sense of escapism from the pandemic messaging, we all learned to love our local communities and natural surroundings.

More importantly, the lack of traffic has seen the environment improve substantially, with air pollution levels decreasing significantly globally.

Photos were published of the smog clearing over Los Angeles, and satellite imagery from the European Space Agency shows air pollution levels have (temporarily) been reduced.

These environmental benefits have only been made possible thanks to our collective effort, so in order to maintain this progress we need to keep working together.

There’s no Earth B as they say, so let’s keep protecting the environment so that we can all continue enjoying it.


If you require any marketing or communications support during the Coronavirus pandemic, please get in touch.

Carys is our Marketing Manager here at jamjar and is responsible for developing and implementing bilingual marketing campaigns for clients.

Pivot and thrive – How to adapt and survive during a crisis

By Carys Bryant,


What’s your first reaction to sudden and unexpected change?

Really it all comes down to your fight or flight response.

For many, a change to their daily ritual can spark uncertainty and concern, or dependant on the severity of the change, panic.

However, change doesn’t always need to be negative. A sudden shift in business, for example, can present diversification and opportunity to help you not just survive but thrive.

This is the question many businesses have faced, under the most severe of circumstances, during the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

The word unprecedented really can’t be overstated enough in terms of what businesses have dealt with, but really never before have we seen a risk scenario as unpredictable and confusing as this.


Agility is key

Despite its economically devastating impact, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of agility in business.

Adapting both personally and professionally during this tumultuous time has been key to survival – whether it has been adopting remote and home working, adapting your product, or altering your service.

As demonstrated, some businesses have managed to thrive or pivot in innovative and lucrative ways – and we’re not just talking about the off-the-chart success of hand sanitiser brands!

Here are some of the best examples:


Home Workouts

With self-improvement, exercise, and wellness becoming a dominant theme throughout lockdown, online yoga saw its popularity soar.

One of the most successful online instructors is yoga queen Adrienne Mishler.  Paper magazine called Adriene (of Yoga by Adriene) ‘the patron saint of quarantine’ as her online yoga tutorials became essential viewing for the lockdown masses.

Her videos gained such popularity that if you Google online yoga, she’s top of the search results, and her already die-hard fan base of over six million subscribers before the pandemic, leapt by one million over the past few months – with her classes soaring to over 770,000 views in June.

With the pandemic driving many to exercise at home, Adriene’s online yoga classes offered an easy, accessible, and affordable solution to keep your body and mental-wellbeing in check.


Digital streaming services

Watched all of Netflix during lockdown? Then you’re not alone.

Netflix saw an additional 15.7 million subscribers sign up for the streaming service in the first quarter of the year, as lockdown measures were implemented.

And the launch of Disney+ also coincided with millions of children being told to stay home from school. And thanks to the addition of films such as Frozen 2, and Hamilton, it seems like everyone is signing up.

The addition of Hamilton to Disney+ has successfully tapped into the gap in the theatre market, with many theatres forced to close their doors during the pandemic.

Those itching to see their favourite actors tread the boards and soak in the theatre experience flocked to Disney+, with global downloads following Hamilton’s release reaching 752,451, app downloads were 46.6% higher worldwide compared to the four weekends before.

Suddenly, the hit Broadway show that no one could get tickets to pre-coronavirus, is now available worldwide for everyone’s enjoyment.

And the BBC also got in on the lockdown scheduling with Staged (available on BBC iplayer) which is a six-part TV series, filmed entirely with the cast in isolation and over a Zoom call. Featuring A-list cameos from Samuel L Jackson and Judy Dench, this captivated audiences from their living rooms.


Cooking for convenience

Hands up, who’s over-indulged during lockdown?

Yes, comfort food and cooking has reigned supreme during lockdown, with thousands of cooking enthusiasts turning their hand to a recipe or six.

TV chef, Jamie Oliver, recognised an opportunity here and launched his Keep Cooking and Carry On show, supporting the nation’s new-found love for cooking, while adapting recipes if ingredients were unavailable.

Finding that he couldn’t produce a regular TV show from his state-of-the-art studio kitchen, he enlisted the help of his wife and children to film the series on their iPhones. The result of this pivot, a great new TV show in a format we could all relate to, especially with his toddler, River, running in and out of shot.


Food on the go

Can’t cook? No problem!

The food delivery sector has boomed over the past few months, with spending on meals kits and grocery boxes sent to people’s doors rising by 114% in April, according to figures from purchase intelligence platform Cardlytics.

Pizza Pilgims, one of the best pizza restaurants in London, also got a slice of the lockdown action when it diversified its offering. After losing all custom as the pandemic took hold, they decided to pivot and began to offer £15 frying pan pizza kits. The first 50 reportedly sold out in 20 seconds.

The demand grew to such an extent, that they had to open another of their restaurants to satisfy the demand.

On a more local level, we saw the Hare and Hounds in Aberthin and the Ashburnham Hotel in Pembrey, offering delivery of their much loved Sunday Roasts.


Social sentiment equals success

In a time of unprecedented change and global crisis, social sentiment, or supporting a worthwhile cause, has become even more vital.

As house-bound online consumers choose which brand to support, they are drawn increasingly to socially conscious brands which stand for something and represent what they believe.

As such, many brands have made the ultimate selfless pivot and diversified to support the health service rather than generate revenue.

Renowned British brands such as Jaguar Land Rover, Burberry and The Royal Mint have adapted their offering over the past few months to produce PPE and other essential equipment for the NHS.

The Royal Mint, based in Llantrisant, started making medical visors for the NHS, and supplied them directly to The Royal Glamorgan Hospital.

Lateral, and not commercial, thinking such as this inevitably increases positive sentiment from consumers, who are then likely to demonstrate their loyalty to the brands and provide longer-term benefits for their actions.


Pivot and thrive

Clearly, a crisis doesn’t have to spell disaster for business, examine the market, look for a niche, and adapt your offering.

You never know when a pivot could be the key to success.



If you require any marketing or communications support during the Coronavirus pandemic, please get in touch.

Carys is our Marketing Manager here at jamjar and is responsible for developing and implementing bilingual marketing campaigns for clients.

The Thoughtful Marketing Movement

By Carys Bryant,


What is it to be ‘thoughtful in marketing’?

With Father’s Day coming up, we’ve all received numerous emails promoting cards, gifts and mementos to demonstrate you care.

But what if you’re estranged? Or they’ve passed away? These promotional tools could then become constant, and potentially painful, reminders of something that you’d rather forget.

This is just one of many calendar days that could be difficult for people to celebrate, which thoughtless marketing could only serve to worsen.

Companies, which are often oblivious to this level of detail about their customers, could inadvertently be sending out insensitive marketing messages to their client databases, which could create upset.

In order to become more considerate to their customers, online florist, Bloom & Wild, launched opt-out of Mother’s Day e-mails in 2019, which it has expanded to The Thoughtful Marketing Movement in 2020. It describes this shift as “an effort to make marketing a little more thoughtful”.


Reaction to The Thoughtful Marketing Movement

Bloom & Wild reported that the positive response to this was “surprising and overwhelming”.

Those who chose to opt-out of the Mother’s Day emails last year, will not receive any communications this year and, when logged in to their Bloom & Wild account, will also not see any mention of it.

Quite literally, it is putting individual customers first, which is not something that can’t be said for every retailer, especially in an online-only environment.

The movement also got a mention in parliament, with Matt Warman MP recognising its benefit. He said: “If other companies were to follow suit, the dread – and I do mean dread – around this day might be mitigated for many people.”


Growth of the movement

With listening being the key factor in the movement, other companies were quick to realise the potential of simply listening to their customers. Bloom & Wild’s gesture was quickly followed by Wagamama, Paperchase, NEOM, Papier, The Telegraph, Matalan to name just a few.

Aligning yourself with The Thoughtful Marketing Movement has the potential to show your customers you are human and that you are treating them with respect, appreciation, and sensitivity, which can go a long way in the sometimes impersonal world of online retail.


Marketing in a world of uncertainty

As we find ourselves in a world that has taken an unexpected pause due to coronavirus, adopting a more thoughtful marketing approach might be a way to take forward learnings from this tumultuous period.

By following the initiative of The Thoughtful Marketing Movement, customers are put in control of what they receive, and what they do not.

This approach ensures that a customer’s experience with a brand is not only thoughtful but personal and innovative and demonstrates that the brand cares about their world.

At a time of widespread uncertainty, now more than ever consumers need to feel that their favourite brand is a safe haven, where they are prioritised and recognised as an individual, and not a database number.

In a world which has changed substantially, consumers, their shopping habits, and needs have also significantly shifted. As such, brands must adapt to this new consumer frontier sensitively, or get left behind.

If this initiative is something you are interested in joining, you can register for The Thoughtful Marketing Movement here.


If you require any marketing or communications support during the Coronavirus pandemic, please get in touch.

Carys is our Marketing Manager here at jamjar and is responsible for developing and implementing bilingual marketing campaigns for clients.

Rainbow jar – #jamjarcreations

By Lyndsey Jenkins,

Over the last few weeks during lockdown, we’ve been getting crafty here at jamjar repurposing our used jam jars. 

We wanted to share our #jamjarcreations with you in case you have some jam jars hanging around the house.

The first activity is a great one to do with kids. Not only is it fun to do and easy to make, but it involves some counting and measuring so can definitely be classed as educational!

As the rainbow has become a symbol of support for people wanting to show solidarity with the NHS as the coronavirus pandemic has swept the country, it’s a timely and fitting jar to create at the moment and pop on your windowsill.

What you’ll need

  • A large jar – we used a used 600g peanut butter jar
  • Acrylic paints in rainbow colours
  • Long skewer or prodding utensil
  • At least 60 cotton wool balls
  • Water
  • Cup for measuring
  • Mixing pots or ramekins x 6
  • Measuring spoon

How to make your rainbow jar

  • Fill each ramekin with half a cup of water. You should have six pots/ramekins in total.
  • Starting with red, add 1tsp of red paint to your first ramekin and stir in the colour to the water.
  • Repeat this process with all of your other rainbow colours until have a ramekin for each colour.
  • Divide your cotton balls into six piles of 10-15 cotton balls.
  • Start with the first pile, pull each cotton wool ball apart a little bit and place in the jar. Use your skewer or long utensil to push the cotton wool balls down to the bottom of the jar.
  • Slowly pour your purple mixture on top of the cotton balls. Try and pour your mixture so that it covers all of the cotton wool balls. Use your skewer to move the cotton wool balls around gently until they absorb all the paint. You want the cotton wool to absorb all the paint mixture to keep the colour in place without having leftover mixture that can leave into the other colours.
  • You can add more cotton balls as needed.
  • Repeat the above for each layer and colour of the rainbow in this order: Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red.

And bobs your uncle, you should have jar that resembles a rainbow!

A few things we learned along the way…

  • Don’t press down too hard with your skewer once your colour mixture has been added as the paint squeezes out of the cotton balls and may mix with the next layer
  • Keep the jar fairly still when and after assembling so the colours don’t separate
  • Eventually the colours will mix…just like a real rainbow….but they look great while they last

Our chief jammer had a great time doing this with her girls and we hope you have fun too.

If you have a go, we’d love to see your rainbow jars so please share them on your social channels using #jamjarcreations.

Supporting your mental health through coronavirus and beyond

By Raspberry Jim,

Life has changed pretty dramatically in the past two months, hasn’t it.

We’ve gone from enjoying unlimited socialising, trips away, holidays, walks, eating out and shopping, to living behind closed doors, shut away from loved ones, and limited to a few walks a day.

That drastic change is inevitably going to have an impact on anyone’s mental health.

Whether it’s moments of frustration, anxiety, stress, or just sadness for the distance between you and your family, I’m sure we’ve all felt it in our own way.

But with lockdown in Wales in this capacity ongoing for at least the next two weeks, and life beyond that predicted to be changed irreversibly due to coronavirus, how can we support our mental health to adapt to this change?

Here’s a few things our Communications Manager Gemma has been practicing over the last few weeks to support her mental health.

Be thankful

It sounds like an illogical concept when you feel like you’ve lost so much, but taking two minutes to be grateful for what you have really does go a long way.

Your health, access to food, a loving family, a garden, a safe home – whatever you are thankful for, it’s important to take a minute to remember it.

In this time of intense pressure and stress, it can be all too easy to give in to the negativity. But it’s hugely beneficial for your mental health to remember the positives.

Everyone will have moments of upset, worry, and frustration – and that’s perfectly fine. But when those creep up, just remind yourself that this too shall pass.

Take time for you

Whether you’re working from home, or juggling parenting and working, it can be easy to fall into a stressful Groundhog Day-style routine which leaves no time for you.

Creating time for yourself can be challenging when you have responsibilities, as a working parent I can totally appreciate the constant balancing act of childcare and work.

With all that in mind it can be easy to forget to recharge and relax.

That is more important than ever now, with this pandemic blurring the lines between our home and work life.

If you’re working from home create a designated workspace that you can leave behind at the end of the day and switch off from the office when your shift is done. Don’t get stuck in front of the TV for hours (although if that’s how you relax go for it), read a book, go for a walk, take a bath – enjoy some quality you time. 

If you’ve got children, ‘me’ time is rare. Ensure you work with your partner to get the time you need to unwind and reinvigorate yourself. 

Getting outdoors

Hands up, who’s currently loving their time outside? 

One of the positives to emerge from this extremely challenging time, is that we’ve all developed a greater appreciation for the outdoors. 

Daily walks, runs, cycles, (whatever your preference) have provided an escape in more ways than one. 

Not only does this enable you to get some essential exercise, it breaks up the potential monotony of the daily routine and provides some much-needed mental relief. 

Getting out in the fresh air and stretching your legs can promote a greater sense of wellbeing, boost energy, and promote positivity and relaxation. 

And even a little bit can go a long way! 

Research shows that just two 15 minute sessions can significantly help mental wellbeing. 

Stay connected

Now more than ever it’s crucial we stay in touch with our family and friends.

With millions of people unable to see their loved ones this could lead to feelings of upset, frustration and anxiety.

Thankfully, social distancing has led to an explosion in the popularity of online video technology and apps like Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp, and House Party.

Staying connected with your family and friends in this way is vital to supporting your mental health during this time when you can’t physically be together.

A reassuring chat, a family quiz, or a quick catch up are certain to enhance your mood and help support you in the weeks to come.

Be Kind

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week’s theme is kindness and it couldn’t be more appropriate given the situation we find ourselves in. Take a moment to be kind to yourself, your loved ones and those in your wider community.

As Mark Rowland, CEO of Mental Health Foundation, says of the theme: “We have chosen kindness because of its singular ability to unlock our shared humanity. Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity. It is a cornerstone of our individual and collective mental health. Wisdom from every culture across history recognises that kindness is something that all human beings need to experience and practise to be fully alive.”

Kindness costs nothing, but to someone else it means everything. If you’re feeling low, doing one kind gesture can instantly lift your mood.

Tying in with this year’s theme jamjar has launched its Seven Day Kindness Challenge, with a different kindness-focussed task each day. We hope it’ll provide you with inspiration for some small acts of kindness that will go a long way.

We know it’s tough, at times challenging, and stressful right now, but don’t forget, you’re not alone. Being thankful for the small things, taking time for you, getting outdoors, staying connected and being kind can really go a long way.

Gemma Gwilym is  our communications manager here at jamjar. With over 10 years’ experience throughout the media industry as a journalist, production journalist, copywriter, and now a PR, Gemma is ideally placed to identify a great news angle, add a dash of creativity, and get your story published. At jamjar she oversees clients including Sony UK Technology Centre,  Cardiff Bus, ScoutsCymru, Loteri Cymru, Traveline Cymru, Oil 4 Wales, and Life Science Hub Wales. To find out more about Gemma’s jam visit https://jamjar.agency/inside/

Finding creativity in the world of COVID-19

By Carys Bryant,


For many, Covid-19 has disrupted every aspect of our professional lives. Within the marketing industry, there has never been such a fundamental shift in planning and action.

Despite this, research carried out by Kantar found that just 8% of the people surveyed thought that brands should stop advertising. However, there was a clear consensus that brands needed to address the current situation, inform customers what they were doing and not exploit the situation.

As a result, we have seen some really poignant and memorable creative work emerge from marketing and advertising departments. The reason for the success of these particular campaigns and adverts? Being sensitive to the situation and remaining relevant during this health crisis.

Here are a few of our favourite campaigns from the last few weeks:


BBC – “Don’t Quit”

A video that includes the clips from the best BBC TV shows and real footage captured over recent weeks. The voice-over is a reading of Edgar Guest’s poem ‘Don’t Quit’, read by none other than Idris Elba. It’s heartfelt, warm, emotional, thoughtful and captures the mood and heart of the country.


IKEA – “Hello, I’m your house” video

Showing your home the love and respect it deserves is very Marie Kondo (if you haven’t already, check out the Netflix series) and Ikea taps into that feeling with its “Hello, I’m your house” advert. Taking a step back to think about all the things you have done and experienced in your home really does make you think hard and appreciate the four walls around you.


IKEA – “The Stay Home Catalogue: Family Boredom Solutions”

Another great idea from Ikea was an edition of their new catalogue. The retailer worked alongside McCann to turn its famous catalogue into a workbook for bored children stuck inside during quarantine. I haven’t yet met a young child who doesn’t love Ikea so what a perfect way for them to while away some at-home hours.


Co-Op – #LocalHeroes

We’ve all had to learn the ways of video calling in recent weeks. The “can you hear me?” and “sorry, you go” that sporadically fills the conversation, the weak wifi signal, children and pets photobombing…it’s all too familiar a scene which is why Co-Op’s advert has resonated so well with its viewers. Its message struck a chord too “even though we can’t be in the same room we can still pull together and help those in need” which is what we all want to do during this difficult time.


Tesco – “Food Love Stories”

Using their existing Food Love Stories campaign now as a dedication piece, the advert is a compilation of home videos of families making and sharing their favourite recipes digitally. Tesco has created an emotional and heartfelt advert that can’t help but bring a tear to the eye and also a whole wave of nostalgia for loved ones we aren’t able to be with. It shows us that we’re all in the same boat and we’re all in this together.


Persil –“Home is Good”

Changing their famous “Dirt is Good” slogan to “Home is Good” while showing a montage of empty playgrounds and outdoor spaces from around the world, Persil thanks the public for adhering to social distancing and lockdown rules. Again, the message of we’re all in this together is loud and clear.


If you’re after a creative campaign to resonate during the Coronavirus pandemic, drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you.

Carys is our Marketing Manager here at jamjar and is responsible for developing and implementing bilingual marketing campaigns for clients.

Colouring Sheet

By Raspberry Jim,

Welcome to the first edition of #jamjarcreations


How are you spending your downtime during lockdown? We’ve been getting crafty here at jamjar repurposing our used jam jars. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing our #jamjarcreations with you in case you have some jam jars hanging around the house.

In the meantime, here’s a gorgeous colouring sheet, created by head creative jammer Anna, which might help you add a few fruits to your Welsh vocabulary. Hopefully, it’ll help those of you homeschooling and in need of some inspiration for a Welsh or Art class, or for those seeking some mindfulness colouring to relax and unwind. Follow the link in our bio to download.

We’d love to see your completed colouring sheets so please share them on your social channels using #jamjarcreations


jamjar partners with Warrior Women Events to celebrate and inspire women in Cardiff

By Raspberry Jim,


Creative communications agency jamjar has partnered with Cardiff-based Warrior Women Events to celebrate, empower, and inspire women across the city.

The Warrior Women team will be working with the award-winning agency to promote its work having successfully established a movement in Cardiff through its empowering, thought provoking, feel good events.

Bringing together like-minded women – in a relaxed, friendly and welcoming environment – the monthly events feature a range of inspiring female speakers – allowing their voices to be heard, their experiences to be shared and their stories to be told.

Last year, 865 women from across the city attended a Warrior Women Event hearing the stories of and celebrating the successes of over 40 successful female-run businesses.

Covering a variety of subjects including self-love, interior design, careers, and sustainable fashion, the monthly sell out events continue to grow in popularity.

Our very own head jammer Lyndsey was invited to speak at last year’s Careers event and has since become a big fan of what the events are about and what the movement is aiming to achieve.

Managing Director of jamjar, Lyndsey Jenkins, said that these events play a pivotal role in creating a “strong, inspiring, and united” female community across Cardiff.

“Warrior Women Events are the only events of their kind in Cardiff.

“They are such a positive and uplifting experience, giving local businesswomen the opportunity to share their experiences, inspire, learn from, celebrate and support one another.

“I absolutely loved sharing my story at an event last year and as a female-strong business we’re delighted to be supporting the Warrior Women team moving forwards. They have some really exciting plans for the future and we’re excited to be on board.”

For more information about the events visit https://warriorwomenevents.co.uk/

Getting to the heart of St Dwynwen’s Day

By Raspberry Jim,

It’s not quite Valentine’s Day yet, but did you know that people across Wales will be breaking out the heart-shaped balloons and roses this weekend too?

St Dwynwen’s Day, Wales’s very own celebration of love, will be taking place on January 25th.

Chocolates and wine are set to fly off the shelves as lovers across Wales mark an extra day of romance.

And just like St Valentine’s Day, our celebration also has a real-life person behind the flower-filled façade.

But how much do you really know about our very own Patron Saint of love?

Here we get to the heart of the sometimes-tragic history behind our very own Valentine …


Who was she?

According to the legend Dwynwen was a fifth century Welsh girl, who was the daughter of Brychan Brycheiniog, the son of an Irish king.

It was believed she was one of 36 children, with the large family hailing from Brecon.

Dwynwen’s story began when she fell in love with a man from the north, Maelon Dyfodrull. Despite her wishes, her father refused to let them marry as he had arranged for her to become betrothed to another man.

Maelon was furious that she wouldn’t disobey her father, and a devasted Dwynwen prayed that she would fall out of love with him.

Instead, her upset and heartbreak turned Maelon to ice.


Answering prayers

In many stories, fairies and genies appear to the heroine in her time of need.

In this story, Dwynwen’s prayers were answered by an angel who gave her three wishes.

Her first wish was for Maelon to be thawed and for her to be freed of him, after which the story goes, he disappeared.

Her second wish was to never fall in love or marry again. The third wish was to help other lovers or those who had felt the pain of heartbreak.

To show her appreciation and devotion, Dwynwen devoted herself to God’s service for the rest of her life and travelled Wales, preaching and establishing convents and churches.


Visit her church

According to the legend, when Dwynwen reached a little island off Anglesey, she established a church, which became a beacon for young women who had found God.

That place is today known as Llanddwyn (the Church of St Dwynwen) and the remains of the original church still exist.

Image of Llanddwyn by Ian Preston via Flickr


Love springs

Over the generations it has been suggested that a well on the island could be lucky for lovers.

It is suggested that sacred fish, which can predict the fortunes of couples through their movements, swim in the well.

And if people witness the water in the well boiling it could bring good luck and love.

So, whether you’re an old romantic, or a cynic, it’s hard not to fall in love with the courage and conviction of our very own St Dwynwen.

The importance of work experience

By Raspberry Jim,


Olivia Brayley recently joined us at jamjar from Swansea University as part of an internship programme. Here, she gives us her insight on why she found her work-experience at jamjar so rewarding and how it has helped her as she prepares to make the big jump onto the career ladder. For anyone about to graduate or considering a career in a creative industry, this is a must-read.

As the end of university looms, lecturers are constantly talking about employability. At first, I thought they were saying it just because they had to. But, since starting a placement at jamjar, I can see exactly why they encourage it so much.

With thousands of students graduating with media, PR and communication degrees across the UK every year, all seeking jobs in the same competitive market, the pressure is on to find a way to set yourself apart from all the other applicants.


So, why is work experience so important?

Employability plays a major part in securing jobs after university, especially in a career which can be somewhat unconventional. The media industry is ever-changing, with no two days the same, so gaining work experience prior to getting your first graduate job will prepare you for what you’ll likely be doing after university.

The tasks that media professionals carry out will undoubtedly vary, stretching from blog and social media posts to press releases and crisis communications. Working at jamjar, and being able to gain so much versatile experience, has made me so much more comfortable with the idea of what my future job will be like.


How can you benefit?

Although it’s easy to think ‘maybe next week’ or ‘I’m too busy right now’, the time, resources and University support you have at your disposal as a student makes it the perfect time to boost your CV.

Interning is such a good way to gain first-hand industry experience and is a world away from the theory and essay writing you’ll learn at university. Of course, having those written communication skills are still essential, but adapting those skills to the real working-world is exactly why work experience is key.

Working with a group of people that you don’t know also really helps to boost your confidence, as well as develop your communication skills, which will help you to be less apprehensive when you attend job interviews.


Go with the flow

Before I started my internship, I was hesitant about doing things outside of my comfort zone. But working with jamjar has taught me that stepping outside of my comfort zone is the best thing you can do. I even ended up in a promotional video! Learning lessons like this before you start work in the industry shows the need of work experience.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and take chances – it may not feel like it at the time, but it honestly helps with your progress and development.


Make sure it’s what you want out of a career

The great thing about work experience is that you get to try out an industry before you commit to it. This way, you can be 100% sure that you’re going into a career that is right for you.

I feel much more comfortable with the thought of life after university and can honestly say it is because my work experience placement has prepared me, and given me the confidence, to take the next step in my career.

So, if you get the chance to intern or gain work experience, go for it!  

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