Author Archives: Cindy Chen

  1. Young People Shaping Mental Health Services

    by Cindy Chen | 17th Jan 2020

    ProMo-Cymru is searching for organisations to help facilitate consultations with young people to improve the mental health services provided for them.

    ProMo-Cymru and Hafal are coalition partners for the Youth Access project in Wales. This is a National Lottery funded project that will be delivered across the UK over five years. The aim is to improve mental health services for young people.

    Consultation with young people for Mental Health services Youth Access


    Youth Access has brought together 10 youth and mental health organisations across the 4 nations. The project will bring young people, professionals and policymakers together to co-design mental health and wellbeing services. The hope is that they will become more responsive to the needs of young people. 

    Young people will be setting the agenda for later collaboration with professionals by articulating what they believe mental health and wellbeing services should look like. The project will then empower young people to take their vision to decision makers so that they can lead change collectively. 

    The project aims to build on the momentum of the National Assembly’s Mind Over Matter report and recommendations (July 2018). Young people will inform, influence and bring about change.

    A National Charter

    During the first year, the aim is to co-produce a National Charter for Wales. This will set out the core principles and values and will form the basis of what authentic and sincere responses to young people’s mental health needs should look and feel like.

    We hope that a range of organisations and services in Wales will help us promote the project and co-facilitate consultations. We want to learn about their experiences and findings.

    If you’re interested in becoming involved with the project, contact Cindy Chen, ProMo-Cymru Development Manager at for further information.

  2. Are you 18-25 and about to enter the workforce?

    by Cindy Chen | 25th Nov 2019

    ProMo-Cymru and Youth Cymru are working in partnership on a project called Youth Checkpoints on behalf of The Money and Pensions Service (MAPS). The aim of this project is to provide money support and advice for under 25s.

    Good money management is central to a person’s health and wellbeing. Being financially capable and resilient is a significant skill for a young person to gain as they transition into adulthood.

    This is an exciting project that aims to inform the future of how good, quality, money guidance can be taught at key points in young peoples’ lives.

    We are looking to consult with young people across Wales between the ages of 18- 25, specifically targeting those who are ‘entering the workplace’ or going on to apprenticeships.

    Through focus groups, we’d like to speak to them about their relationship with money, how clued up they are, how they behave and how financially aware they are.

    Organisations/participants will be reimbursed for their time.

    Please click here to contact Cindy Chen for more information or if you are interested.

  3. GATA – A New Advocacy Service Helpline For Gwent

    by Cindy Chen | 24th Oct 2019

    A new advocacy service helpline to support people in Gwent is being launched tomorrow, (25th October). The aim is for citizens to understand their options and have more control on decisions in relation to the social care and support services they are already receiving, or they may need.

    ProMo-Cymru has developed GATA (Gwent Access to Advocacy) so that people living in Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Monmouthshire have a voice and a choice on social care support services (as defined by the Social Services and Wellbeing [Wales] Act 2014). Newport citizens will still have access to advocacy and advice from the Dewis Centre for Independent Living.

    adviser on the phone - GATA - A New Advocacy Service Helpline For Gwent

    Introducing GATA

    GATA is intended to be the first port of call for the people of Gwent. This free telephone helpline can be contacted on 0808 8010566 for advocacy-related information, advice and assistance. Open Monday to Friday, 10am to 3pm and staffed by a highly skilled professional team of Helpline Advisor Advocates.

    The service is available to Gwent residents aged over 18 who may need help to have their views heard, understand their options in relation to social care and the support services they are receiving, or think they may need, and / or exercise more control over decisions that are being made about their social care and support. Carers and practitioners can also contact the service.

    Who’s involved?

    Led by the Gwent Regional Partnership Board, with support from Age Cymru’s Golden Thread Advocacy Programme, there has been a fully co-productive approach to developing this helpline.

    Other important partners in this development are Age Cymru Gwent, Dewis Cil, Training in Mind, NYAS Caerphilly and the People First organisations within each Local Authority area.

    adviser on the computer - GATA - A New Advocacy Service Helpline For Gwent

    “Making sure that all our citizens are able to make their voices heard is vitally important if we are to truly transform and improve our health and social care services to be fit for the twenty first century. We know that the care system can be overly complex and not always easy for citizens to find and access the information and support that can best help them. Advocacy has an important part to play in making sure that all voices are heard – and we recognize that this is an important service that needs to be available equitably, where and when needed.”

    Phil Robson, Chair of the Gwent Regional Partnership Board

    How can GATA help?

    The Helpline team can help:

    – Establish what matters and is important to the caller. Make sense of their situation and their needs. Explore options regarding any identified social care/support needs.

    – Access and understand information that is relevant to their situation. Understand how to navigate any planning, review and decision-making processes.

    – Reach the most appropriate destination as quickly and efficiently as possible, whether through direct representation or referral/signposting to face to face independent professional advocacy, other advocacy, or other support services.

    The benefits

    The model and pathway are unique; in addition to helping the individual concerned, there are other benefits too:

    – Promote a better and wider understanding of advocacy

    – Engage with a wider audience resulting in a wider take up of advocacy where needed

    – Facilitate collaborative working and networking among advocacy service providers

    Advisers on the computer - GATA - A New Advocacy Service Helpline For Gwent

    “Our expertise in developing and delivering online and digital information, advice, assistance and advocacy services, along with our reputation in valuing people’s rights, made us the perfect choice to develop and deliver this new service to benefit the citizens of Gwent.”

    Stephanie Hoffman, Head of Social Action at ProMo-Cymru

    Further information and printed materials

    If you would like further information or would like to request printed materials on Gwent Access to Advocacy (GATA), please visit, e-mail or contact ProMo-Cymru on 02920 462 222.

    The Gwent Advocacy for Adults Strategy can be downloaded here.

  4. Engagement: Listening To The Tenants

    by Cindy Chen | 7th Aug 2019

    ProMo-Cymru recently supported two projects with leading Welsh housing associations and their tenants.

    Over the past 6 months, we worked with Cadwyn and Merthyr Valleys Homes (MVH) to review their engagement and how they involve tenants.

    The voice of the people

    ProMo-Cymru believes that the best way to communicate with people is through putting their voice at the centre of services.

    The main purpose of the project with MVH was to create dialogues with tenants to identify and prioritise what activities or services provided the greatest social value to them, and what useful digital tools could be used by MVH to enhance dialogue opportunities.

    Our work with Cadwyn looked at improving the overall tenant experience. We used digital transformation and scrutiny to make services more responsive to tenants needs.

    Still from tenant video for engagement article

    Our approach

    Listening to tenants and working with them to co-design solutions formed the heart of our approach.

    We spoke with MVH tenants face-to-face and by phone and mapped the current strategies and processes used by MVH to provide social value for tenants and the surrounding communities. This mapping exercise looked at the methods MVH used to communicate with its tenants, how tenants communicate with MVH, and how information was shared internally.

    ProMo-Cymru’s approach to the Cadwyn review was to speak and listen to as many tenants and staff as possible to gain a range of perspectives of tenant participation. We uncovered the human stories behind the recent Tenant Satisfaction Survey findings through in-depth interviews.

    Working with tenants

    Through our consultation work, we put together recommendations to simplify complex information and processes that sometimes get in the way of the user.

    An example of this is how we worked with a group of Cadwyn tenants to co-produce a short animation explaining how they could get involved in tenant participation and engagement.

    With our help and support, the tenants drafted a script which they felt would be easily understood by everyone, written in a way which appealed to them. One of the tenants joined us in the recording studio to record the voiceover for the animation, which he felt was “a great experience”.

    What we can do for housing associations

    We look forward to continuing this work with more housing associations to better involve their tenants in service design, delivery, and continuous improvement.

    Our expertise lies in digital engagement. We believe in co-designing clear information and communication pathways with our clients and the people they work with. We focus on inclusion, accessibility and voice.

    We can work with you to:

    – Transform organisational culture, systems, processes to improve the customer experience  

    – Engage with tenants, understand what matters to them and allow their views to shape services

    – Communicate effectively digitally, providing tenants with quality information in addition to regularly gathering ongoing feedback as part of continuous improvement

    If you would like to find out more, please contact

  5. Effective Engagement With Local Communities

    by Cindy Chen | 21st Mar 2018

    Did you know that you could commission ProMo-Cymru to help consult with members of your local community? We’re experts at communication and engagement with different target groups. We can find out what they need and propose ways to create positive change. Let us do the legwork.

    Invest Local Ynysowen did just that recently. They commissioned us to carry out a consultation with people living in Aberfan, Merthyr Vale and Mount Pleasant.

    invest local logo for Effective Engagement article

    What is Invest Local?

    Invest Local is a 10-year programme of funding and support for 13 communities across Wales. It is funded by the Big Lottery and managed by the Building Communities Trust (BCT). Everyone living in those areas have a chance to make it an even better place to live. Each will have £1m to spend on local priorities over the next 10 years.

    Each community therefore decides how they want their areas to develop. They decide how the money will be used, who they want to work with, and how decisions are made.

    How we engaged?

    Expanding on previous engagement efforts, ProMo-Cymru adopted a two-pronged online and offline approach. This was to engage with more community members in order to hear what they have to say.

    We set up a short online questionnaire and heavily promoted it through Facebook. We approached groups and pages in Aberfan, Merthyr Vale and Mount Pleasant. In addition to this, we emailed relevant professionals.

    This was complimented with face-to-face street surveys on different days across three months We spoke to business owners, residents, parents, children, community groups etc. in the area, in addition to carrying out a focus group session to gather in-depth insight.

    What next?

    Finally, ProMo-Cymru will collate the findings and analyse the data to produce a short summary report. This concise report will draw out meaningful data from the responses and present this in an easy-to-understand format. We will also propose recommendations to the Steering Group so that they can make informed decisions on the best way forward.

    If you’re interested in utilising ProMo-Cymru’s expertise to help consult with the public then get in touch for a chat and a quote. Email Cindy Chen, Development Manager,

    Everything starts with a conversation

    ProMo-Cymru works towards building positive change and lasting relationships between individuals, families and communities. We provide 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

  6. Developing Enterprising Communities in Wales

    by Cindy Chen | 24th Jan 2018

    ProMo-Cymru is supporting communities in Wales to develop enterprising solutions that will benefit their local areas.

    Enterprising Solutions is a three-year programme developed by DTA Wales (Development Trusts Association) with Big Lottery funding. It is a practitioner led “peer-to-peer” support programme helping 100 Welsh communities take action and become more enterprising and resilient.

    The programme will enable people to develop enterprise skills. It will help with confidence, self-reliance and connectedness. The aim is to support groups to start new enterprises and develop local solutions that can create income and be of benefit to the local area.

    Gathering ideas for Enterprising Solutions article

    Projects in development

    Cindy Chen, Development Manager at ProMo-Cymru, is one of the programme co-ordinators, covering Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. Cindy engages with community groups in Cardiff and the Vale that are interested in developing enterprising ideas. Current projects being developed with Cindy are:

    Saron Chapel, Treoes – developing a vestry into a potentially income-generating venue
    Grassroots, Cardiff – setting up a community market to sell donated items and creative work
    VCS Cymru – generating income through their community radio station run by volunteers
    Llanrumney Hall Trust – developing a community sports hall

    “The groups I am supporting are very diverse in nature but they are all so full of drive, energy and enterprising ideas,” says Cindy.

    “The beauty of the Enterprising Solutions programme is it allows me to be able to reach out to, and support different community groups in a co-productive way.”

    Group discussion for Enterprising Solutions article

    Developing a community enterprise

    Are you a community group in the initial stages of setting up your community enterprise project?

    Do you have an innovative idea to develop an enterprising opportunity?

    We can match you with experts who can provide the advice and guidance that you need.

    This is a great opportunity to learn from others who have been there, those who have set up and have practical experience of running community enterprises.

    If you are a community group based in Cardiff or the Vale of Glamorgan and are interested in getting involved, contact Cindy for further details on

    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

  7. TEC Model Interview: Richard Thomas on Bridgend Voice & Choice

    by Cindy Chen | 9th Nov 2017

    Bridgend Voice & Choice is the localised independent advocacy and support project for Bridgend. Bridgend County Borough Council supports the service.

    We told our story last month of how we helped in Bridgend Voice & Choice’s creation. Now it is the turn of Richard Thomas from Bridgend County Borough Council. Richard is a Strategic Commissioning Officer in the Social Services and Wellbeing Directorate.

    Bridgend Voice & Choice Banner

    How did the Bridgend Voice & Choice project come about? What outcomes did you hope to achieve?

    Bridgend Voice & Choice is a co-produced response to the statutory need to ensure access to an Independent Professional Advocate where necessary for people in Bridgend using social services, or their carers. The Council wanted to make sure that the advocacy service was inclusive and accessible to all client groups. We benefitted from the support of the Golden Thread Advocacy Programme in supporting a stakeholder workshop where the local ‘Hub & Spoke’ service model was agreed upon. The main aim of this model is to provide a single point of access that can then signpost or refer eligible people to the most appropriate advocacy service.

    What is ProMo-Cymru’s role in this project?

    ProMo-Cymru provides the Advocacy Information Hub for the Bridgend Voice & Choice service. This means they provide a bilingual helpline accessible for 16 hours a day, as well as text and online contact options. ProMo-Cymru also support the communication link to local advocacy services who take up appropriate referrals.

    "ProMo-Cymru has excellent strategic knowledge of advocacy in Wales" Bridgend Voice & Choice Interview

    How has ProMo-Cymru brought value to this project?

    ProMo-Cymru has excellent strategic knowledge of advocacy in Wales, particularly for children and young people (CYP). While the Bridgend Voice & Choice service is intended for adults, the strong knowledge of CYP advocacy is an added strength. Also ProMo-Cymru’s technical capacity to support the Hub function of the Bridgend service is another quality. ProMo-Cymru are willing collaborators which makes a multi-agency partnership much more effective.

    Can you describe your experience working with ProMo-Cymru?

    ProMo-Cymru have been creative and proactive in engaging with local partners within the Bridgend Voice & Choice service and with other affiliated service providers. They also have strong values in promoting community solutions which is very appealing to public service commissioners.

    "ProMoCymru’s TEC model provides an extremely cost-effective solution for the public sector to engage with its target audiences." Bridgend Voice & Choice Interview

    How do you think ProMo-Cymru’s TEC model could benefit other public sector services?

    ProMo-Cymru’s TEC model provides an extremely cost-effective solution for the public sector to engage with its target audiences. The range of contact methods and technologies employed offers a robust and future-friendly service model that enables contact with public services to be as accessible and interactive as possible.

    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

  8. Tech For Good Award: ProMo-Cymru Is A Finalist

    by Cindy Chen | 11th Sep 2017

    ProMo-Cymru has been short-listed for the Tech for Good: Technology in Social Enterprise Award at the Social Business Wales Awards 2017.

    The awards celebrate the success and achievements of social businesses across Wales. They recognise the most dynamic, entrepreneurial and ambitious organisations in the field. Ultimately it celebrates the organisations that are taking the third sector forward through business growth, collaboration and innovation. ProMo-Cymru has been nominated in the Tech for Good category.

    What is the Tech for Good award?

    The Tech for Good award recognises social businesses that use technology to improve the lives of people in Wales. It is a new category for 2017.

    “We are delighted to be a finalist in the Tech for Good award category. Over the past 20 years, our focus has been on co-producing successful digital engagement. Our communications projects always place citizens at the heart of the process.”


    It is a great achievement that our innovative work is being recognised. We’d like to thank the judging panel at the Social Business Wales Awards for this opportunity.”


    Marco Gil-Cervantes – ProMo-Cymru Chief Executive

    Social Business Wales Awards 2017 Ceremony

    The winners will be announced on Monday 4th October 2017 at Llangollen Pavilion in Llangollen, Denbighshire.

    Tickets for the Social Business Wales Awards 2017 ceremony and conference are free and can be booked now from the Wales Co-operative Centre.

    While winning a Social Business Wales Award is a great achievement there is the possibility of further recognition. The winners of each category at the Social Business Wales Awards are automatically entered into UK Social Enterprise Awards 2017.

    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

    Cover photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash