Author Archives: Arielle Tye

  1. CDPS Wales

    by Arielle Tye | 8th Dec 2020

    We at ProMo were very excited to recently speak with the Centre for Digital Public Services (CDPS) Wales and hear about their Service Design approach to designing better public services. We want to talk about why this approach is so important.

    The CDPS Wales are using a Service Design methodology to think about how best to design digital services with user needs as the main consideration. Take a look at CDPS Wales standards:

    1. Focus on current and future well-being of people in Wales
    2. Promote the Welsh language
    3. Understand users and their needs
    4. Iterate and improve frequently
    5. Use data and user research to make decisions
    6. Consider ethics, privacy and security throughout
    7. Every service needs an empowered service owner
    8. Every service needs a multidisciplinary team
    9. Use scalable technology
    10. Work in the open

    More detail on the standards here

    Service Design is also the method we champion. It can be used to create digital and non-digital services. We want to share why we think this approach is so important in a real-world context.

    ProMo recently worked with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board using a Service Design approach. The Health Board wanted to find out how best to provide services that met young people’s needs. We spoke with young people who might have used the service, to see things from their perspective and understand the barriers they have when engaging with a drugs and alcohol service.

    Young people were given scenarios and asked how they would act. They were asked:

    “What steps would you take if your friend passed out drunk at a party?”

    “In what situations do you think drugs and alcohol become a problem for you or others?”

    After delving deeply into young people’s perspectives and attitudes around drugs and alcohol, and what was acceptable to them or not, we asked them how they would like to access help if and when they needed it.

    Many young people expressed that they wanted anonymous services, places they could seek advice easily, for free and confidentially.

    However, when we asked the same questions to a group of young people from a community where the use of substances was a significant problem, the findings were very different. These young people were excluded from school, some had been in trouble with the police, and many of them had first-hand experience of substance use impacting them and their families.

    The most common response from this group was that they would never consider accessing a drugs and alcohol service out of fear of being taken into care or getting into trouble with the police. The young people were very aware of the duty of care professionals have to get authorities involved, if something they say puts themselves or others at risk.

    This process highlighted a real barrier to young people accessing support. The question of how best to design a service changed from “how do we best provide drugs and alcohol services that meet young people’s needs?” to “how do we ensure young people feel safe to access support when they need it?”

    This example demonstrates the value of user research. Many services are constrained by their initial design based on assumptions of what people need and what has been delivered previously. Service Design can help begin to change how services work with and for people by centering people in the design of new and existing services.

    We are incredibly pleased that CDPS is now championing Service Design in the public sector, and we will support their progress and share their learning across the public, youth and third sector organisations we work with.

    For more information on CDPS

    To speak to us about Service Design contact

  2. Making Content Accessible

    by Arielle Tye | 10th Jan 2020

    When it comes to content, video is the most accessible format. The moving image, paired with audio and subtitles, as well as other modern interactivity and accessibility features, can engage more users than any other format.

    From snappy snap chats and YouTube shorts to multiple hour long superhero epics at the multiplex – video is king.  

    If you’re trying to convey information through the written word, especially in a digital format, you are already alienating a significant section of your audience. Those with visual impairments or low literacy levels may find a long article or document a struggle to get through. It isn’t a very accessible format for them. See if you can make your point better with video. 

    We recently did some consultation work with UCAN, a performance co-operative for visually impaired children and young people in Cardiff.

    We learned a lot about how they interpret information from the physical world, as well as how they consume information in the digital realm.  

    YouTube on phone screen for Making Content Accessible article

    Taking it online

    Famously, braille was developed as a way for the visually impaired to be able to read information. However with information rapidly digitising it’s getting used less and less. We can no longer rely on information being made available in a physical form.

    In some cases, however, this can be beneficial to the visually impaired. Modern smartphones and computers feature a wide range of accessibility features. Google has a page all about Android’s accessibility features, and Apple’s iOS equivalent.  

    Videos are best

    The young people at UCAN said that despite, or maybe because of, all the accessibility features built into smartphones, they think smartphone accessible videos are the best method of receiving information.  

    Video doesn’t require you to read. If you need them, there are subtitles or captions. If you prefer, there’s usually an audio component (and there may even be a possibility to have captions read out to you).

    Video is such a rich medium; it can be interpreted in so many ways.  

    A good video is engaging like a written piece can never be. Keep your audience interested and they will stay watching right through from the intro to the credits. 

    Magnifying glass for Making Content Accessible article

    Find out more 

    Captions v Subtitles – Our own Dayana Del-Puerto on the ProMo-Cymru blog
    Why accessibility matters to everyone – Nathan on the ProMo-cymru blog
    Apps for the visually impaired– The Macular Society
    How I Access Android, Part 1 and Part 2 – Bhavya Shah, visually impaired blogger
    How I Use Screen Reading and Magnification – Youtuber The Blind Spot

    The Social Business Growth Fund (SBGF) has allowed us to develop our skills in the area of communication and engagement. The fund supports local businesses in Wales to grow and create job opportunities. Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Administered by Social Investment Cymru, WCVA. 

  3. The Birth Of Radio Platfform

    by Arielle Tye | 8th Feb 2018

    ProMo-Cymru has been working on an exciting project with the Wales Millennium Centre to develop a youth-led radio station. For over a year we’ve been training young people in Radio Broadcasting. We’ve been preparing them to host their own shows and encouraging them to have a voice on what matters to them.

    What started off as a pilot over the Festival of the Voice 2016 has developed into what it is today. Since inception, we have trained over 40 young people. Of these, 19 have gained the Agored Cymru accreditation in Preparing to Present Radio Broadcasting.

    The Team at Radio Platfform

    Here’s a guest piece written by Daniel Edwards, one of the first young people to be trained back in 2016. Here’s his journey:

    10 Days in June 2016

    The unbearable heat

    What I remember most about those days was the heat. The heat in the training room, the heat at the venues, the heat outside the venues, the heat when you went to sleep at night, but most of all the heat inside the booth, which was on another level completely. The kind of heat that was only ever made mildly better when the door was left open in between segments.

    That same heat can still sometimes get to you when you’re in that booth. You’re doing your thing, presenting your show, whilst trying to concentrate on several things at once. The sound levels, the next selection on your play-list, the occasional elderly passer-by (for very few of them are youthful) having a quick glance at what you’re doing before calmly moving on.

    But we’ve kind of got used to it, especially now that there aren’t as many of us in the booth at the same time when doing a show. During those brief ten days in June 2016 when Radio Platfform first started broadcasting our only guaranteed audience were those passing through the Wales Millennium Centre (WMC), or those from Promo-Cymru, who had trained us, sitting in their offices listening over the web player.

    DJ's recording at Radio Platfform

    Radio training

    It was new, it was exciting, but most of all it was adventurous. I was into my sixth week of a work placement at theSprout, an offshoot of Promo-Cymru. One of their staff, Arielle Tye, asked me if I would like to take part in a youth radio platform course. This would involve us covering the upcoming Festival of Voice with the WMC. At the end of which we would receive an accreditation.

    I, at first, had mixed feelings about such a project. Radio, I have to admit even now, was not my first passion. Indeed I never usually listened to the radio if it could be helped. The only radio show that I had ever shown any interest in was Lou Reed’s Underground Music Show. This was a show that was usually broadcast on Radio 6 on Sundays at midnight. This just goes to show both how obscure a show it was and my own taste in music.

    But, I was easily persuaded and I haven’t looked back since. I must say that the training we had at the time wasn’t as detailed as the training the new recruits get today. Instead of taking our time over six weeks, we had to cram the entire course into two very brief, sweat-drenched days at the beginning of June.

    DJ's working at Radio Platfform with Arielle Tye

    The Festival of Voice

    Exciting as it was, the rushed nature of the training left me apprehensive. I didn’t trust my own abilities in handling the mixing desk and soundboard that we would be using. The Festival of Voice began on June 10th 2016 and finished ten days later on June 19th. It was quite an eventful ten days, not just for us in the Radio Platfform project, but for Cardiff as well.

    As I look over my diaries for that brief period of time, I come to recall many wonderful events. Some of these were humorous, some of them frustrating, but all of them marked as being worthy of remembrance. The course came to end however with the Festival of Voice.

    We marked the occasion with a nice cool drink at a nearby pub. The conversation we had was one on of the most enlightening and bizarre topics that I’ve ever had. I came away from the experience a little wiser, a little more knowledgeable, having formed a few more friendships in the process.

    Radio Platfform team meeting

    A future for Radio Platfform

    I came away from the Festival of Voice thinking, that in all likelihood, I would hear no more from Radio Platfform. Those brief ten days would be the end of it. Six months later, on a cold morning in December 2016, I got it straight from the horse’s mouth. The horse in question was Jason Camilleri, telling me that Radio Platfform did indeed have a future, and this future was at the WMC.

    It is now February 2018 and after many months of meetings, emails, Facebook groups and yet more meetings, Radio Platfform has been broadcasting since May 2017. We started off with just six people in two groups, training and recording together.

    Today we have trained 25 exceptional people who have stayed on to record shows with us. We have among our numbers: spoken word artists; poets; rappers; budding journalists; writers; artists and so many more wonderfully talented young people, We talk about the things that matter to us, play the music we love and we grow stronger with every passing day.

    Find out more

    Listen to Radio Platfform on Mixcloud.

    Follow @radioplatfform on Twitter for all the latest news.

    Like Radio Platfform on Facebook

    If you’d like to find out more about Radio Platform contact

    If you enjoyed this article and are interested in the work we do here at ProMo-Cymru then take a look at our other articles in the News section.

    Everything starts with a conversation

    ProMo-Cymru works towards building positive change and lasting relationships between individuals, families and communities. Providing innovative and creative solutions through meaningful conversations and digital technology. If you’d like to discuss how our TEC Model can help your organisation then get in touch.

    029 2046 2222

  4. Why did Public Service Broadcasting record at EVI?

    by Arielle Tye | 6th Jul 2017

    Public Service Broadcasting‘s highly anticipated third Album Every Valley is released today. Why is this significant for ProMo-Cymru?

    Public Service Broadcasting chose to record their new album in Ebbw Vale Institute. EVI is a regeneration project that ProMo-Cymru has been working on with the community for the last 10 years.

    Not only was their album recorded there, but in June they put on two spectacular shows, where they launched the album to a sell out crowd.

    EVI is the oldest institute in Wales dating back to 1849.

    When ProMo-Cymru took over EVI, the building had been abandoned and fallen into a state of disrepair. Like many other Institutes or community buildings in Wales, it was believed that the Ebbw Vale Institute could not be sustained. Many felt it had closed its doors for the last time.

    However, on the 8th June 2017, I stood amongst hundreds watching Public Service Broadcasting launch their album Every Valley in that very building. I was surrounded by locals, Londoners and travelling fans. In fact I was stood next to the local male voice choir that feature as guest vocals on the album.

    “Living in South Wales you can’t get away from the history, but there was something about the way PSB told the story in such a unique environment that was very special.”

    On Every Valley John Willgoose and his band take us on a journey down the mine shafts of the South Wales valleys. They use music to explore history, hence the name, using clips and archive footage in their recordings and visuals. The energy and emotion was overwhelming. We watched stills and moving image of the South Wales coalfields and young local boys working underground with faces black from coal dust. Living in South Wales you can’t get away from the history, but there was something about the way PSB told the story in such a unique environment that was very special.

    Public Service Broadcasting spent the whole of January in EVI.

    PSB hired the hall, kitted it out exactly as they wanted it, and used the space to record Every Valley. They also invited in guest vocalists from Wales including James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers and Welsh singer Lisa Jen Brown.

    Interview: J Willgoose Esq. of Public Service Broadcasting

    I was lucky to get to speak to John Willgoose following the gig. I asked him about his experience of using the facilities and why they chose this location.

    John told me that he had always been inspired by American rock band My Morning Jacket, who had hired a huge hall, kitted it out and made a record in it.

    “It felt like a really DIY way of doing it and when I saw a picture of the EVI hall it felt right.” John’s wife had actually come across EVI whilst searching for locations. The building also has its own studio, Leeders Vale, so it was the ideal location.

    I asked him why Wales, why the valleys? John said that they’d wanted to do an album about the mining industry. The record is a metaphor for much larger global issues. The Welsh mining industry was chosen as a way to, “shine a light on the disenfranchised”.

    “…when I saw a picture of the EVI hall it felt right.”

    John said that the strength of the community in Wales really impressed him. It became apparent that this album was actually very much around community.

    “Wales appealed to me, the nature of the valleys, these communities were reliant, shaped by and fuelled by the mining industry.”

    For anyone living in the area, these words are not a surprise to us. The valleys have an amazing depth and are steeped in culture. But the valleys also often struggle to have a voice in the world. However if you are lucky enough to visit, you can’t help but hear it.

    John told me that they were, “not evil vampiric Londoners, sucking history out of Wales to make an album.” They really were there to learn, listen, promote the history and be part of it.

    What is EVI?

    These experiences are what make all the hard work worth it. There are 6 staff that work at EVI. It is sustained from revenue it makes from room hire, the 1849 community café (serving amazing pizza, paninis and even tea and coffee to gig goers!), the studio, a bar and venue hire. There are classes, music rehearsal rooms and one of the best studio set ups in Wales.

    It is a surprise to find a place like this in the middle of the valleys. They were genuinely humble when I told them how much this was an iconic moment in the history of EVI. There was a mutual appreciation. They were thankful to have found us, and us in awe at what an incredible moment it had been for the community.

    Any advice for aspiring musicians?

    ProMo-Cymru is a social enterprise working to develop young people, so I took the opportunity to ask for some advice for any aspiring musicians..

    “Work very hard, practice hard, play as much as you can (and afford to), get out there. No one will come and find you. You never know what’s out there and I didn’t get anywhere until after 30. Just when I stopped thinking it would happen, it did, so stick at it.”

    Thank you John and the band, we loved having you.

    “It’s fantastic, I loved being there. It is a special place, at the centre of so many good and positive things” -John Willgoose, Public Service Broadcasting, June 2017

    If you’re interested in using some of the amazing spaces at EVI please get in touch:

    Church Street
    Ebbw Vale
    NP23 6BE

    Tel: 01495 70 8022

    And if you’d like to work with us on a community and cultural development project, then contact us on 029 2046 2222 or

    Community & cultural development