Oil 4 Wales starts 10th year of trading on a high

By Raspberry Jim,

Founder Colin Owens with his daughter Sally Williams, a director at Oil4Wales.

Wales’s leading oil distributor is starting its tenth year of trading on a high after a record year of growth.

Family-run Oil 4 Wales, which will later this year celebrate a decade in business, has announced its best year of trading.

In 2019, the Carmarthenshire-headquartered company has seen its turnover soar to over £121 million up from £114 million, customer numbers grow from 70,000 to 90,000, headcount increase from 98 to 111, and its volume of fuel surge to 160million litres per annum.

The impressive results come after Oil 4 Wales acquired the Pwllheli depot of Rix Petroleum and the Llantrisant operation of fuel supplier Thomas Silvey, enabling the brand its presence and logistics across Wales.

Since the acquisitions Oil 4 Wales has invested a further £450,000 in the new depots to improve their offerings, including the introduction a truck stop at Llantrisant selling gasoil, kerosene and diesel opening up the opportunity to supply the local commercial markets.

Oil 4 Wales now has nine depots around Wales and owns three filling stations. Its 36 tankers deliver oil to farms, businesses and domestic customers around the country.

During the past year, the Wales-wide fuel distributor has also added to its roster of ambassadors, welcoming international rugby players Aaron Shingler  and Rhys Webb, along with Go Compare’s Wynne Evans to its team, who will support the brand at charitable and farming events across the country.

The success of Oil 4 Wales was inevitable thanks to founder Colin Owens’ early determination and innovative thinking, and despite achieving no GCSEs and choosing a career in the Merchant Navy over a degree – Oil 4 Wales has grown from strength to strength.

Despite achieving early success, Mr Owens and his family were forced to start over when their original company, Owen Fuels, was sold and the values the community-focussed company stood for were lost.

Following this setback, Mr Owens launched his now beloved brand Oil 4 Wales, which is dedicated to  supporting the communities of Wales, by providing quality, transparency, and honestly, and will “never be sold”.

Mr Owens said he was “proud of how far the business has grown” and looked forward to even more growth in 2020.

He said: “Oil 4 Wales has enjoyed growth across all areas this year, and we are extremely proud as a business to have exceeded £120 million during the last financial year.

“Not only have we increased our customer numbers by 20,000, our profit has risen, and most importantly we’ve been able to invest in expanding our portfolio and enhancing facilities to support communities across Wales.

“I’d once again like to thank my family and staff, who are the driving force behind the business’s success, and also to our fantastic staff right across Wales, without whom we couldn’t achieve half as much as we do.

“Oil 4 Wales’s mantra is to be Wales’s national fuel supplier, working with the community, for the community and as we continue to grow, we continue to fulfil our ambitions. I look forward to seeing what 2020 brings for us!”

The family-run brand is now working towards achieving Welsh Government recognition over the coming year, thanks to its primary aim of not just supporting the people of Wales with its services, but also enhancing communities for families across the nation.

Annually the company hosts community events across the country alongside its brand ambassadors – rugby players Rob Evans, Ken Owens, Daffydd Jones, Aaron Shingler, Rhys Webb, Samson Lee,  Jonathan Davies, Dan Biggar, and Dan Lydiate, along with GoCompare star Wynne Evans, comedian Max Boyce, and Welsh farmer Gareth Wyn Jones.

It also supports numerous educational, agricultural and farming events across Wales every year, including the annual Classic Tractor Road Run in memory of Nick Jones, which Oil 4 Wales has raised £30,000 for. Alongside this it also hosts numerous educational initiatives for schools and young people across Wales, including a motivational event at Porth School.

Legal firm Watkins & Gunn makes three senior appointments

By Raspberry Jim,

Leading South Wales law firm Watkins & Gunn has appointed a new partner, along with two new associates, as it continues to recognise the “sector-leading talent” and “dedication” of its staff.

The award-winning firm promoted associate solicitor and childcare legal specialist Kate Roberts to partner, while solicitors Natalie Corten and Lucy O’Brien have both been appointed to associate level.

Ms Roberts, who has worked at the firm’s Pontypool office for the past 11 years, was also promoted to the head of the childcare team after developing an unparalleled reputation for her work in this area, and also for working across complex private law matters.

As part of her role, she acts for parents and guardians and undertakes advocacy at all levels in the family court. Due to her expertise she is also a member of the Law Society’s Children Panel.

On her promotion Ms Roberts said she was “privileged” to be joining the senior ranks of one of Wales’s leading law firms.

She said: “I am delighted to have been promoted to partner at Watkins & Gunn, and head of the childcare team.

“I’d like to thank my fellow partners at the firm for their belief in me and for supporting me in taking this exciting new step.

“Advocating for children and families has been my professional passion for a number of years, it is so rewarding for that work to be recognised in this way.”

Also being promoted this month are solicitors Natalie Corten and Lucy O’Brien, who will both take on the role of associate.

Ms Corten joined the firm as a trainee solicitor in 2014 and qualified into the family department in 2016.

Since then, she has specialised in all aspects of family law, with a particular focus on children matters, and represents parents in both private and public Children Act matters.

Fellow associate Ms O’Brien, who specialises in Public Law, was also delighted to be taking up her new role.

She has been carrying out high profile national judicial review work and also  working alongside partner and head of Public Law Michael Imperato in representing clients in the on-going infected blood Inquiry. 

On the promotions, managing partner at the firm, Clive Thomas, said it was a pleasure to see all three progressing and strengthening the firm’s offering.

He said: “On behalf of all of the partners I would like to congratulate Kate, Natalie and Lucy on their promotions, which are very well deserved. It is great to see the role women are playing at the forefront the growth of our firm. As signatories of the Women in Law Pledge we are committed to supporting the progression of women into senior roles in the profession by focusing on retention and promotion opportunities. 

“Kate in particular has been a driving force behind the success of our childcare team and it has been a pleasure to see her grow and develop over her 11 years here. We look forward to seeing her progress further in the firm within her new role as partner.

“Both Lucy and Natalie have grown from strength to strength since joining us and we have been thrilled to see their progress too.

“These latest promotions demonstrate the sector-leading talent we have at Watkins & Gunn and we are proud to be able to recognise their dedication and to support their progression.”

Returning Osprey Rhys Webb ‘thrilled’ to be appointed as Oil 4 Wales ambassador

By Raspberry Jim,

Image: Huw Evans Picture Agency

Welsh international rugby star Rhys Webb is set to become an ambassador for Oil 4 Wales when he makes his “highly anticipated” return to the Ospreys this year.

The scrum half, who played for the British and Irish Lions in 2017, has been appointed to the prestigious role at the independent family-run oil distributor to coincide with his return to Welsh rugby.

The 31-year-old confirmed that he will be returning to play for his former side from next season, after being released from his contract with French side Toulon.

On his return the player will join a host of iconic Welsh rugby stars who support the Oil 4 Wales brand, including Rob Evans, Gareth Davies, Dan Lydiate, Ken Owens, Samson Lee, Dan Biggar, Scott Quinnell, Scott Williams, Jonathan Davies, Robin McBride, and Neil Jenkins, and recently appointed ambassadors Aaron Shingler and Sampson Lee.

On his new role at the leading oil distributor, which supplies 160 million litres of fuel per annum to 90,000 domestic and commercial customers across Wales, Mr Webb said he was delighted to be supporting a brand which supplies so many people in Wales.

He said: “I am thrilled to be returning to Wales to play for the Ospreys from next season, and look forward to again playing for the region which has been so instrumental to my success.

“Along with my return to Welsh rugby, I also wanted to give back to the fans and Welsh people who have been endlessly supportive of me over the years, while I have played both at home and overseas.

“As such I was delighted to take up the role of ambassador with Oil 4 Wales, which does so much for local communities across the country.

“Not only is Oil 4 Wales a lifeline to thousands, providing essential oil and fuel supplies come rain or shine, they also offer unrivalled support to community projects, local charitable initiatives, and schools, which really sets them apart.”

In his new role the returning Osprey will be supporting the leading brand, which supplies homes, businesses, commercial premises, agricultural and retail customers, at charitable and local farming events.

On the player’s appointment, founder of the brand Colin Owens said he was delighted to welcome him back to Welsh rugby and into the Oil 4 Wales family.

Colin and his family were especially excited to work with Rhys as they are old family friends with his partner Delyth.

He said: “I was so excited to hear that Rhys’s rumoured return to the Ospreys was confirmed, and I can’t wait to see him return to the pitch from next season.

“With his highly anticipated return confirmed it only felt natural that we would invite him to join us as an ambassador at Oil 4 Wales. Our ambassadors are absolutely vital in supporting the wide-ranging community work that we undertake each year, and we have been privileged to work with some of the best Welsh sports stars and entertainers in the business.

“We look forward to working alongside Rhys to further support the communities of Wales in 2020.”

Top tips for surviving Christmas with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

By Raspberry Jim,

Uncertainty, loss of routine, and insecurity are just some of the emotions likely to affect people with autism over the festive season. 

While many will be tucking into the turkey, and ripping off wrapping paper, for those living with the developmental disorder, this time of year can be a far more daunting experience. 

Dr Vaughn Price, Principal Clinical Psychologist at Beechwood College, has highlighted how the loss of routine and structure at Christmas can bring confusion and chaos to many people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). 

Vaughn, who has extensively supported patients with ASD throughout his career, says:

All holiday periods can be a particularly difficult time for people with Autism as the structure and routine that they are familiar with is taken away. Add to this all the ways in which the festive season is different, then there is a lot of uncertainty to deal with.  People on the spectrum require a very concrete, literal and predictable world to feel as secure as possible.

“Unfortunately, situations are highly changeable throughout the year, which is particularly true around Christmas time. 

“This uncertainty creates ongoing anxiety. It is this anxiety that is at the heart of many issues that people with ASD experience around Christmas.” 

In a bid to support those with autism and their families during the challenging festive season Vaughn has offered some timely advice to recognising, planning, and coping with ASD at this time of year. 

What common issues might affect someone with autism at Christmas? 

“Everyone with ASD is different. However, there are some things that seem to come up a lot for people around this time of year. 

“The main issues which have an impact are changes to routine and structure; sensory overload; different social expectations; and irregular social interactions.” 

How can families help to minimise any distress? 

“To help combat these issues, families can attempt to build structure and daily routine into the festive period.  By keeping to routines as much as possible, the person with ASD will find it easier to cope with the sudden influx of change Christmas may bring. 

“It’s also essential to map everything out, using visual information to ensure your loved one understands what is happening now, next, that day, and this week. 

“If you are planning to go somewhere new, or undertake a new activity, it is important that you prepare ahead of time to reduce uncertainty. Ensure you preview what to expect, what is expected of them, how long it is going to last, and what is coming up next/afterwards. 

“It is also essential to never assume anything. Firstly clarify very literally what to expect, and then verify the understanding. 

“Preparing thoroughly for change is also key! Give a heads up when moving through the schedule for the day. And inform the person with ASD in enough time so they can adapt to the changing schedule.” 

What are the common warning signs or triggers before a potential episode? 

“These could include visuals signs of agitation/anger, or they may involve someone dissociating from what’s happening around them or trying to escape, either physically or mentally.” 

What can families do to prevent or minimise any issues? 

“If this then ascends into a meltdown it is crucial to limit demands on the person and not to talk to them, apart from to ensure they know you are there if they need you. 

“Make sure they are safe and everyone else in the vicinity is safe, and reassure them that they are safe. The family’s priority is to support the individual back to a calm space, and to avoid asking questions, arguing or shouting.” 

What is the most stressful aspect of Christmas and New Year for someone with autism? 

“Sensory overload can be a major issue at this time of year. 

“Everyone has subjective sensory experiences, for example what I like to taste, touch, and look at will be different to others. For some people on the spectrum this is magnified hugely: they can have sensory needs that can really impact upon their anxiety/stress etc.  

“At Christmas, these can include light – tinsel, Christmas lights, candles; sound – carols, bells, crackers; touch – Christmas jumpers starching, family hugging, excess shoppers.  

“There are lots of strange sensory experiences people experience at Christmas, and unless these are made familiar, it could quickly become quite unsettling for someone with ASD. 

“Families can gradually expose the person with ASD to these new sensations ahead of Christmas to ensure they are comfortable with them. If there are sensory needs around the person with ASD, it is useful to get an Occupational Therapist’s opinion on the matter, who has worked with ASD.” 

Dr Price added: “Plan ahead; if you can predict most of what may happen during the Christmas period, you can prepare and help everyone else to avoid stressful situations or manage them appropriately to minimise anxiety and maximise security.” 

Dr Vaughn Price is Principal Clinical Psychologist at Beechwood College, a specialist residential care and further education college in south Wales for young adults between the ages of 16 and 25 with a complex Autistic Spectrum Condition, SEBD needs, as well as moderate, severe and profound learning difficulties. www.lshealthcare.co.uk/beechwood-college

Hundreds of Scouts prepare to deliver Christmas spirit across Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan

By Raspberry Jim,

Cardiff and Vale Scouts are preparing to deliver a little Christmas magic across their local communities this festive season.

For the past 35 years, Scouts have been bracing the frost and delivering Christmas cards across their local areas. In recent years Scout Post has seen a drastic reduction in numbers due to the rise of social media, however, this year will not see tradition broken with up to 750 Scouts from 45 Scout Groups, Guides, Air Cadets and even the Fire Service coming together to deliver over 600,000 cards.

Established by a group in Roath, the Scout Post service allows a Christmas card to be delivered at a fraction of the cost of other postal services while supporting local young people in the community, raising £160k each year for Scouting locally.

Scout Post Co-ordinator, Paul Willicombe, said:

“We are so proud of the way the Cardiff and Vale community has come together to keep the tradition of sending Christmas Cards alive for another year.

“Sometimes, the busy nature of the festive seasons distracts us from taking a moment to spend time with people close to us and enjoying one of the best times of the year. Sending a Christmas card adds the personal touch back into wishing someone a Merry Christmas and it can mean the world to many people.

“By sending a Christmas card, you aren’t only putting a smile one someone’s face for one day of the year but helping to keep the smiles on the faces of hundreds of young people across Wales all year round. 100% of the money raised goes towards helping our local communities and allowing young people to gain skills for life.

“We are so grateful to all of those who have joined us to help with the service this year and to everyone who chooses to use Scout Post.”

Rhian Moore, Chief Commissioner for Scouting in Wales said:

“It is fantastic to see so many Scouts, Guides, Air Cadets and Fire Service personnel coming together to keep alive the tradition of sending Christmas cards while raising money to help our young people.

“Every year it is so special to see all those involved in Scout Post come together with the local community to celebrate the festive season. We are sure this year will be another huge success and we hope that the tradition will carry on for many years to come.”

The last day for posting your cards is the 2nd December. Stamps can be purchased from a host of local retailers for 30p. Click here to see a list of local outlets – http://www.cardiffandvalescouts.org.uk/scoutpost/

New awards launched to shine the spotlight on STEM in Wales

By Raspberry Jim,

A new awards scheme has been launched to shine the spotlight on those making a difference to, and championing, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) in Wales.

Entries for the inaugural Wales STEM Awards are now open, with the ceremony due to take place on 1st May 2020 at City Hall in Cardiff.

The awards have been established to celebrate those leading the sector in Wales, those businesses creating an impact on the Welsh economy, those addressing the STEM diversity gap and skills shortage, and those inspiring and raising aspirations of the next generation.

There are fifteen categories to enter:

STEM Start-Up of the Year
STEM Scale-Up of the Year
STEM Educational Programme of the Year
STEM International Business of the Year
STEM Environmental Initiative of the Year
Innovation in Science Award
Innovation in Technology Award
Innovation in Engineering Award
Innovation in Mathematics Award
STEM Rising Star of the Year
STEM Woman of the Year
STEM Leader of the Year
STEM Company of the Year (0-25 employees)
STEM Company of the Year (26-250- employees)
STEM Company of the Year (251+)

Despite one in five new jobs in the UK being STEM jobs by 2022, research from STEM Learning shows that 89% of STEM businesses are struggling to recruit. With Wales needing more STEM professionals, the Awards have been endorsed by Welsh Government. 

Lee Waters AM, Deputy Minister for Economy & Transport, said:

“STEM is a key Welsh Government priority and we are committed to ensuring that all learners have an equal opportunity to reach the highest standards in science, technology and maths.  I welcome the inaugural Wales STEM Awards and its celebration of the importance of STEM and Wales’ STEM stars – inspiring and raising aspirations of the next generation.”

Dr Louise Bright, head judge and founder of Wales Women in STEM network, said:

“STEM subjects are vital to innovation and productivity in Wales. STEM helps us to accelerate economic development and tackle some of the biggest challenges facing us today, including sustainability and renewal energy. Our STEM skills gap needs to be addressed for Wales to reach its full potential and these awards are one way of shining a light on excellence in STEM in Wales. Addressing the shortage of STEM skills in Wales is key to a healthier and vibrant future.”

Integrated, multi-discipline professional advisory business GS Verde Group, which comprises law firm Greenaway Scott, corporate finance boutique Verde Corporate Finance and patent attorney firm Alchemie IP, has become headline sponsor of the awards. Director Rhian Osborne said:

“Our work with STEM businesses proves there is a lot to be celebrated here in Wales. The industries are moving at a fast pace and there is a great deal of talent here. If we want to put Wales on the map, we need to promote the STEM businesses, initiatives, careers and education on offer here and these awards are a great way of doing that. We’re delighted to be sponsoring the inaugural Wales STEM Awards. We’re looking forward to celebrating all those championing STEM in Wales.”

Other sponsors include Box UK, Cardiff Metropolitan University, CPS Group, Development Bank of Wales and Rolls-Royce.

The inaugural Wales STEM Awards are being jointly organised by Grapevine Event Management and communications agency jamjar. Liz Brookes of Grapevine Event Management said:

“We need to be in a better position to home-grow our STEM talent in Wales but it cannot be left to government or schools alone – businesses have a crucial role to play too. We felt that while there is some great work being done to champion STEM in Wales, there was nothing being done to shine the spotlight on this work to inspire the next generation. These Awards aim to do this, by bringing the business community together for the first time to recognise those entrepreneurial and innovative ventures that are making a difference to the STEM sector.”

The deadline for entries into the Wales STEM Awards close on 28 February 2020.

For more information visit www.STEMAwards.Wales 

ScoutsCymru team up with six charities to launch social impact project in Wales

By Raspberry Jim,

15,000 young people in Wales have pledged to tackle Wales’ biggest social issues with the launch of ScoutsCymru’s A Million Hands project.

Over the next four years, Scouts from across the country will work with the support of charity experts taking part in community action activities

Working with Crisis, WWF, Mind Cymru, National Autistic Society Cymru, British Red Cross and Save the Children, young people will address and tackle six issues of national importance that are representative of young people’s concerns. These include ending homelessness, promoting better mental health, disability, refugees and displaced children, kindness and the environment.

The initiative was launched this week at the Senedd where charity ambassadors, ScoutsCymru and local AMs gathered to share the work they do and to discuss the national impact A Million Hands will have.

Rhian Moore, Chief Commissioner for Wales, concluded:

“Our young people are the change-makers and make-it-happen-ers for tomorrow. Their optimism and enthusiasm to do good in the world is truly inspiring. We want to help them to make a positive impact on the issues that matter to them and with the support of the charities they have chosen I believe that the pledge they have will make a huge impact in our local communities in Wales.

“By working together on A Million Hands, we can help bring people together, connect communities and live out our promise of leaving the world a little better than we found it.”

Scouts social impact project – A Million Hands – was launched four years ago and since then over 135,000 Community Impact badges have been ordered, representing over 960,000 hours of action.

Campaign champion, Scout Ambassador and astronaut, Tim Peake, praised the latest campaign and encouraged more Scouts to get involved by saying:

“I’ve had the privilege to see Planet Earth from 400 kilometres up. It’s an incredible sight. Through the space station’s cupola window, you can see clearly for thousands of miles across the Earth’s surface in all directions. The campaign is about raising awareness across six themes. And what’s so exciting is that they’re chosen by young people themselves. Over the last one hundred years, the issues we’ve tackled have changed, but our young people’s drive to make a positive impact remains as strong as ever.”

Joyce Watson AM sponsored the Wales launch and said:

“Scouts have been making a positive impact for over a hundred years, and I was proud to be a part of celebrating the next step forward with the launch of the A Million Hands programme.

“This will help young people take action to improve their communities, and to develop their skills to shape a better future for us all.

“I support all their chosen themes, which complement the priorities of our Youth Parliament – protecting the environment, kindness in the community, better mental health, understanding disability, ending homelessness and supporting refugees and displaced children.

“They are partnering with excellent organisations to take this forward, and I look forward to seeing how A Million Handschanges lives throughout Wales and the UK.”

ScoutsCymru is the national body for Scouting in Wales. Each week, 5,186 volunteers give 14,194 young people in Wales the opportunity to enjoy fun and adventure while developing the skills they need to succeed, now and in the future.

Quotes from charity partners:

“This is a fantastic opportunity to create a world that works for autistic people. We know that a little understanding can go a long way, and A Million Hands is a great way to get children and young people talking about autism and disability.

“Over the next three years, we’re looking forward to working with the Scouts to develop engaging and dynamic sessions so that Scout Troops all over Wales can create real change. It’s also a wonderful way for Scout Troops to be more autism-friendly and to understand how best to ensure autistic and disabled people can participate in their communities.”

Meleri Thomas, from the National Autistic Society Cymru

“For a century now, Save the Children has been standing up for children and making their voices heard. We wrote the treaty that sets out the rights of every child and we’ve been upholding them every day since. Together with children, supporters and partners, we’re determined to help every child reach their full potential.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with the Scouts on their ‘A Million Hands’ social impact project that aims to get Scouts from across the UK to take part in community action activities, to raise awareness and change around social issues. We will be working in partnership with the Scouts to help every child become who they want to be, by showing solidarity with refugees and displaced children and building empathy within local communities.”

Tom Baker, from Save the Children

“Day in and day out our volunteers and staff see that even small acts of kindness can make a big difference to people in crisis.

“Now, the A Million Hands project aims to get Scouts from across the UK to take part in activities, to raise awareness and change people’s attitudes towards social issues. It is fantastic that young people will be driving and developing the Power of Kindness in their community by becoming Kindness Champions.

“We want to support everyone to do more kind acts, no matter how small, because these little things can make a world of difference.”

Mike Adamson, Chief Executive of British Red Cross

“We’re pleased to be working with the Scouts on A Million Hands, alongside SAMH and Inspire. Thousands of young people today live with mental health problems, or support family and friends through them.

“Alongside the partners Mind, SAMH and Inspire, The Scouts will work towards pursuing better mental health for all by equipping people with skills, resources and knowledge to help build their resilience and take care of their own mental health.

“By 2023 we want 20,000 scouts to do this by incorporating wellbeing activities regularly into their scout sessions and also by creating opportunities for their local communities to talk about mental health and how they can help to keep themselves mentally healthy.”

Louise Clarkson, Head of Children and Young People, from Mind

PTI Cymru win at inaugural Wales Transport Awards

By Raspberry Jim,

PTI Cymru is “delighted” to have won a prestigious award recognising its services to travel in Wales.

The umbrella organisation that operates bilingual customer service management, marketing support, bus data services, translation services and more, including the Welsh Government’s public transport information service Traveline Cymru, had a successful night at the Wales Transport Awards on Friday at Mercure Cardiff Holland House.

PTI Cymru won the Services to the Transport Industry Award which recognises the “outstanding performance of an organisation that has consistently delivered excellent services to the transport sector.”

The Wales Transport Awards aim to “celebrate transport excellence in Wales” by recognising “the nation’s outstanding achievements throughout the industry’s sectors”.

PTI Cymru were also sponsors of the Customer Care category on the night which was won by Euro Commercials.

Jo Foxall, Managing Director of PTI Cymru said:

“We are delighted to have won this award and hope it will raise the profile of PTI Cymru as an organisation which works on innovative, pioneering and inclusive transport projects.

“Over the last few years PTI Cymru has worked to develop a number of projects and provided a service which enhances public transport in Wales.

“Our organisation takes pride in the vital part it has to play in people’s lives, helping to make public transport accessible to those who need it.

“Public transport is a lifeline to so many people across Wales, and we’re thrilled to be working in an industry that makes such an impact on the day to day lives of the public.

“We look forward to another successful year ahead and are over the moon to be recognised for our hard work and dedication to improving services to the transport industry in Wales especially during our 20th birthday year.”

PTI Cymru employs 44 people, across a site in central Cardiff and two sites in Penrhyndeudraeth, North Wales.

Traveline Cymru provides a ‘one-stop-shop’ for travel information in Wales. The not-for-profit company is based on a partnership between the Welsh Government, public transport operators in Wales and Welsh local authorities. It provides route and timetable information for all bus, coach and rail services in the country via a bilingual website www.traveline.cymru, its Freephone telephone service (0800 464 00 00) and a suite of services for mobile phone users, including a bilingual app. 

Creative communications agency wins two new design contracts

By Raspberry Jim,

The creative division of award-winning agency jamjar has been appointed to two new public sector design frameworks.

The Cowbridge-based agency has been added to the Welsh Government’s Communication and Marketing Framework for Creative Design and Branding services and Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Framework for Graphic Design Services.

The four-year Welsh Government Framework will see jamjar provide creative design and branding services to the Welsh Government in areas including Education, Health, Business & Tourism, Natural Resources, Communities, Culture and Sport. The framework can also be used by bodies funded by Welsh Government including Local Authorities in Wales; NHS Wales health boards; Higher and further education bodies in Wales; Wales Council for Voluntary Action and associated bodies; Police and crime commissioners and police forces in England and Wales; national park, and fire and rescue authorities in Wales.

The agency will also provide creative advice, brand development and graphic design services to Bath and North East Somerset Council in a four-year framework.

These latest public sector contract wins add to jamjar’s inclusion on frameworks for Life Science Hub Wales and Social Care Wales.

Head of Creative at jamjar, Anna Taylor-Jarvis, added:

“Designing creative content for campaigns, brands and communications is becoming an integral part of the work we do here, and we are excited to have been appointed to these frameworks. We’re all really proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish this year and look forward to more of the same in the coming months.”

jamjar was established back in 2012 as a PR agency but quickly diversified its offering to include digital, social, marketing and creative as a result of organic growth and client demand.

The creative division at jamjar specialises in the design of impactful, bilingual communications, branding and campaign materials, for clients including ScoutsCymru and NHS Wales Informatics Service.

Managing Director of jamjar, Lyndsey Jenkins, said:

“We’ve invested heavily in our creative division over the last 18 months and this is paying dividends with a number of new contract wins. We’re delighted to have been added to these prestigious public sector frameworks which is testament to the team, reputation and offering we have built up.”

Cardiff nurse wins at Wales-wide awards ceremony

By Raspberry Jim,

A nurse, who works at a specialist hospital in Cardiff helping adults with learning disabilities, challenging behaviour or mental illness, has won two awards at the Wales Care Awards 2019.

Claire Wilson who works at Pinetree Hospital, part of Ludlow Street Healthcare, was awarded the Independent Nurse of the Year Award, as well as the Welsh Government’s Gold Award for Dignity in Care.

She was shortlisted in the Independent Nurse of the Year category in August, but the win of The Dignity in Care Award came as a surprise for Mrs Wilson on the night.

The highly prestigious annual awards, which took place at City Hall, Cardiff aim to recognise “commitment to the industry” and attracted 450 guests from the care sector.

Mrs Wilson has worked at Pinetree Hospital since 2012, and within the past two years has progressed from Unit Manager to Clinical Lead while making hugely beneficial changes to the running of the hospital.

Her passion and dedication for the job has helped the specialist hospital to achieve the highest QAIT rating by overseeing all the nursing, medication, first aid training and clinical standards monitoring. 

Her efforts have been crucial in implementing robust clinical practices, training both nurses and doctors, and updating the recording of medication to create a more effective and efficient system within the specialist hospital.

On her wins, Mrs Wilson said:

“I am honoured to have won the Independent Nurse of the Year Award at this year’s ceremony. It was incredibly inspirational to be surrounded by people who, like me, are so passionate about their work.

“I was really surprised, yet delighted, to be given another award – The Dignity in Care Award from the Welsh Government. I’m grateful to Ludlow Street Healthcare for giving me the opportunity to develop within my role and to suggest and implement my ideas for further improvements at Pinetree.”

Mrs Wilson’s dedication undoubtedly played a key part in her success at the annual awards, with her commenting that “Pinetree Hospital is a very important place to me, and the welfare of our patients is always at the forefront of my mind.”

CEO of Ludlow Street Healthcare, David Lawrence, said:

“Claire has truly set the standard for service provision in every respect and we as an organisation have thrived thanks to her innovative and determined attitude.

“She has impacted every aspect of care throughout the hospital, with her expertise not only enhancing the daily needs of our service users but supporting the development of her colleagues and staff too.

“We’re thrilled she has been recognised for her efforts with these two awards, which she thoroughly deserves.”

Pinetree Hospital, close to Cardiff city centre, is a specialist Learning Disability facility which aims to provide intensive treatment, therapy and active rehabilitation within a safe and therapeutic environment.

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