Author Archives: Sam Easterbrook

  1. Meet Manon, Our New EVS Volunteer

    by Sam Easterbrook | 9th Oct 2017

    Meet ProMo-Cymru’s newest edition to the team, Manon, our new EVS Volunteer from France.

    Manon - new EVS volunteer at ProMo-Cymru

    Hello, I’m Manon and I’m a young French EVS volunteer here in Cardiff.

    I will be working for 11 months at ProMo-Cymru. I’m 22 and I’ve just finished my degree in the field of communication. And before I start my masters in political communication, I wanted to take a year out for me to learn English. I confirm the legend about French people, I’m really not good at speaking English.

    Also I wanted to discover another country and culture, and I think I have made the right choice by coming to Wales! This country reminds me of my region in Brittany! And that is a very nice compliment!

    What are my first impressions of the city since my arrival? I think Cardiff is an attractive city, it has a beautiful bay, very nice people, and so many events I think I will not get bored!

    The only negative point is the weather… it is cold and wet! It is worse than Brittany! But I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

    Finally, I’m really happy to be here, because I feel good working with a nice team, in a really interesting organisation with engaging projects, in a dynamic town. All I need for a good year!

    And as we can say in French – A bientôt!

    UNA Exchange organises the EVS programme that ProMo-Cymru uses to recruit volunteers.

    Manon is the 16th European volunteer that ProMo-Cymru has hosted. We have had volunteers from Slovakia, Latvia, Spain, France, Italy, Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Russia and Estonia. All have brought ideas and enthusiasm that helps us as an organisation to grow and innovate.

    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

  2. TEC Model: TheSprout & Homophobic School Filters

    by Sam Easterbrook | 27th Sep 2017

    Innovation doesn’t come from technology alone. It comes from understanding how people interact with services. And how to be of value to an individual.

    That approach is at the heart of our TEC model.

    TheSprout is an online magazine for young people in Cardiff. It’s underpinned by a youth information section. And TheSprout is where young people can share their news, views, information, advice, opinions, and more. Logo

    One of the earliest examples ProMo-Cymru’s TEC Model was when a user shared the news that their school was blocking sites about homosexual artists. I’ll let ShroukiePoo! take it away

    School Safety Search: Homophobic?

    Today I had to research some artists for my AS Art class. One of the artists, Elizabeth Peyton, had a portrait drawing of Oscar Wilde and (his male lover) Bosie. So I then researched “Oscar Wilde and Bosie” and the RM Safety Search blocked most sites that came up with the search, so I moved on.

    Oscar and Bosie, 1998 by Elizabeth Peyton for TEC Model: TheSprout & Homophobic School Filters article

    Oscar and Bosie, 1998 by Elizabeth Peyton via Pinterest

    Then I had to research Andy Warhol and most sites were also blocked. I wanted to make sure that the RM Safety is actually blocking work because of other reasons that are un-related to their sexuality; I searched “homosexuality” and… IT WAS BLOCKED! I WAS SHOCKED!

    I went and told a teacher and she was laughing at it, then told another teacher and she told me that she will tell my art teacher that I couldn’t research my work because it was blocked, which was nice but still wasn’t the point! Nobody took it seriously! The RM Safety Search is, as far as I know, set by the council (who should be an example to Welsh youth) which sets a very bad example for blocking things like that.

    By blocking “homosexuality” from being researched it’s sending a message that it’s wrong to talk about or discuss homosexuality. I also believe that it’s actions like these that make it okay for some students to be harassed due to their sexual orientation.

    This is just wrong! I did not know where to complain since teachers offered no help and didn’t even see much of a problem! I e-mailed Stonewall about this in hope to spread the word and take the right action. You too, lovely Sprout people, should KICK OFF!

    Ta muchly.

    And kick off it did.

    I contacted the equality officer for Cardiff Council, as well as the leader of the Loud and Proud LGBT group in Cardiff, and encouraged them to respond to the article in the comments section.

    Through dialogue between concerned young people and the officials at the council, TheSprout was able to facilitate positive change. The firewall was changed. Yet we never did find out what mark ShroukiePoo! got for their homework.

    But this is what we mean by innovation and the TEC model. Highlighting how to engage and support through a human and digital approach.

    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: CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

  3. ProMo-Cymru Has A New Office

    by Sam Easterbrook | 26th Sep 2017

    ProMo-Cymru has completed its move to a new office at 17 West Bute Street.

    We’re please to share the news that all ProMo-Cymru departments are now under one roof. Apart from EVI, as they’re in Ebbw Vale. However you will find Management & Core services and Social Action alongside the Communications, Media & Arts Team in our new office in Cardiff Bay. Where in Cardiff Bay?

    17 West Bute Street
    Cardiff Bay
    CF10 5EP

    Here’s a map:

    And here’s a photo too:

    We’re down that little alley in a courtyard. We’re currently working on some videos to give you a virtual tour of our new surroundings.

    So we have waved goodbye to our Harrowby Street offices, which means we have a little bit further to walk to our good friends in The Deck. Yet we’re now a little closer to Nata & Co, so swings and roundabouts. Another consequence of moving is that we don’t have visitor parking available anymore. But there is an hour’s free parking on West Bute Street, as well as the excellent public transport links to the Bay. Our updated contact us page has parking and transport information if you so require it.

    Parking charges for West Bute Street on Contact us page and new office blog

    One final thing to add is that our telephone numbers are still the same.

    There’ll be more news to come soon, as another third sector organisation in Wales is moving into the building too. We’re also looking to co-design elements of the building with young people ahead of launching a digital academy. So it’s exciting times here at ProMo-Cymru.

    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. We’re Going To Digital 2017 – Are You?

    by Sam Easterbrook | 8th Sep 2017

    Digital 2017 is Wales’ leading Digital, Innovation & Tech event. ProMo-Cymru is going, here’s why you should too.


    Tramshed Tech, Pendyris Street, Cardiff CF11 6BH.


    Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th September 2017.

    How much?

    Registration is free.


    See above. It’s a free event on innovation and tech in Wales. Movers and shakers from the third, public and private sector all coming together to share ideas. You can check out the full agenda for both days here. Yet some of workshops we’re most excited about at Digital 2017 are:

    The Future of Technology - Jonny Voon, Innovate UK How to build a Billion Dollar App - George Berkowski, GoCompare Bidding into the Public Sector - Samantha Perkins, National Procurement Service Digital Inclusion in Rural Communities - Matthew Lloyd, Digital Communities Wales, and David Elsmere, Superfast Business Wales - for Digital 2017 article on ProMo-Cymru

    Of course there are also plenty of opportunities to network and make connections. However you don’t have to wait till the day to grab your chance. A neat little innovation upon booking means that you can see the other delegates and request a meet-up before you attend. With people from a wide range of organisations, such as Cardiff University, Welsh Government, Mind, Sport Wales, United Welsh, Arriva Trains Wales, as well as start-ups and entrepreneurs, a wide range of skills, approaches and innovators will be at Digital 2017.

    The title probably gave it away, yet just to confirm ProMo-Cymru will be there on both days. We have a stall plus we’ll be attending talks, workshops and discussions. Come say hi and find out about our TEC Model.

    “Digital’s not just about the latest tech trends, but about learnings that you can action as soon as you’re back at your desk. Thanks to ProMo-Cymru, non-profits can get free comms planning tips that can make a real difference to their organisation.”

    Katrina Cinus, Digital, Event Manager

    Sign-up for a free TEC Consultation

    Are you a non-profit and community involving organisation? Then give us 20 minutes of your time and we’ll give you some tips and tricks to help you sharpen your comms plan, whip your website into shape, and get your social media firing.

    We hope to see you at Digital 2017, remember to register, follow @TheDigitalFest and also set up a meeting with one of us at ProMo-Cymru.

    Everything starts with a conversation…

    029 2046 2222

    Transforming your communication

  5. [Position Closed] Job Vacancy: Youth Engagement Coordinator @ National Museum Wales

    by Sam Easterbrook | 14th Aug 2017

    Young people with artefacts for Job Vacancy: Youth Engagement Coordinator, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

    The National Museum of Wales is on the hunt for a youth engagement coordinator!

    Contract: 35 Hours Per Week (Temporary for 6 Months)

    Salary: Grade E: £24,523.91 – £31,143.17 per annum (Based on a full time equivalent of £25,925.28 to £32,922.78 per annum)

    Closing date: 23 August 2017 (by 5pm)

    Do you have an interest in history? Would like to work with young people across Wales? Then this could be the job for you!

    Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, in partnership with ProMo-Cymru, Barnardo’s Cymru and Llamau, are looking for someone to help them transform the way in which young people, aged 11-25, engage with, and participate in heritage and culture.

    young people doing history stuff for Job Vacancy: Youth Engagement Coordinator, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales article

    This post is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund through their Kick the Dust grant programme. Kick the Dust aims to transform how heritage engages young people with ambitious, youth-focused projects.

    The post is initially for 6 months only. You will work with young people, partners and Amgueddfa Cymru staff on the development phase of the Hands on Heritage initiative, a round two application for Kick the Dust Heritage Lottery funding.

    You can find the full job spec on, as well as the application and equality monitoring forms, and where to send them. Good luck!

    Any questions or want more info? Then contact

    Are you interested in how we work at ProMo-Cymru?

    How We Work

    While you’re here why not have a read of some of our other blogs…

    Do Personal Branding and Social Action Go Together?

    Transform, Engage and Communicate (TEC Model)

    Why did Public Service Broadcasting record at EVI?

  6. Instant Articles & AMP: Solution For The Third Sector?

    by Sam Easterbrook | 28th Aug 2017

    The web has been mobile first for a while now. Yet in the third sector, websites often aren’t set up for mobile browsing. That’s where Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP can help.

    AMP and Facebook’s Instant Articles were both created to load content much quicker on people’s phones compared to your standard webpage.

    The majority of our service users are mobile first

    In the third sector, we can be a little guilty of taking a desktop-only approach to websites. However the majority of our clients and service users are mobile first. Why? Because everyone is, since mobile browsing overtook desktop traffic in late 2016. And the digital divide is nowhere near as pronounced and widespread as you might think. During our group sessions and research for FamilyPoint, we found extensive smartphone usage amongst every sector of society. More than 76 per cent of people use a smartphone. And 58% of adults in Wales use the internet through a mobile phone.

    Yet as we sit in our offices in front of our computers are we thinking enough about how our service users will be accessing our information?

    Why you should give Instant Articles and AMP a go

    According to Kissmetrics, “47 percent of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.” The average website takes 5 to 6 seconds to load. And every second that your page takes to load, the greater the number of people who hit back and don’t view your content. Instant Articles and AMP dramatically reduces load times. And both platforms offer clean and lean layouts explicitly designed for mobile.

    The upshot is greater engagement and reach

    The upshot is greater engagement and reach. Google prioritises and promotes content on AMP within its searches over that of standard mobile web pages. Facebook also claims that Instant Articles are shared 30% more than standard mobile web pages on its platform.

    Why you should not give Instant Articles and AMP a go?

    Are visitor numbers important to you? Does your RBA focus on them? Then you might want to give Instant Articles and AMP a miss. This is because the actual content isn’t hosted on your website, but on Facebook and Google. Sure, this is what makes them load super quick, but it means they keep the traffic. If you need people to visit your site, then you might want to focus on SEO and streamlining your mobile website instead. However if your focus is getting your information out there and to where your audience is then that’s a different story.

    They keep the traffic - instant articles and AMP third sector article

    Another thing to factor in is capacity. We’re all stretched in the third sector, and utilising these platforms adds an extra task to the whole editorial process. Do the benefits of more engagement outweigh the extra resources it will take to do?

    Your analytics will also take a hit if you use AMP. Compared to the rabbit hole of data you can access through Google Analytics, you can only access limited metrics when using AMP. And both platforms suffer from generic looking, unbranded pages. This may go hand in hand with streamlining web pages for quick load time, however it’s harder to leave a distinct impression that this content is your content on these platforms.

    There is also some criticism of AMP when it comes to web freedom. Rather than using HTML, these platforms are built on custom code and the content is on their sites not yours. Some worry that we cede too much control to these already powerful companies.

    If you’re still keen, which one should you choose?

    Facebook recently announced that they’re going to make its Instant Articles compatible with AMP. This should ease capacity issues and makes it a more attractive option, as you can compose with Instant Articles layouts and easily copy over to other platforms if required. Also recent tests suggest that Instant Articles loads quicker than AMP.

    So Instant Articles seems the obvious choice. Except that Instant Articles are not searchable through web search or other third party sites or apps. Just Facebook. If your audience is there and your acquisition is mainly through social then go for it. If most of your acquisition is through search rather than social, is it worth dedicating resources to Facebook’s in-app only platform? AMP might serve you better.

    Everything starts with a conversation.

    There are clearly pros and cons to using Instant Articles and AMP and you have to analyse your needs and your service users’ needs.

    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

    Transforming your communication

    Cover photo credit:

  7. How We Helped With North Ely Youth Centre’s New Look

    by Sam Easterbrook | 10th Aug 2017

    Young People and their artwork for North Ely Youth Centre article

    Mix the ideas of young people, add some bright paint, and some support from ProMo-Cymru.

    Now apply to the blank canvas of a youth centre in Cardiff. What do you get? Something rather beautiful…

    Auguste, our EVS volunteer, explains how ProMo-Cymru helped North Ely Youth Centre achieve their goal…

    The aim of the project was to decorate the freshly refurbished North Ely Youth Centre, working with a group of young people who use the centre.

    North Ely Youth Centre was looking for someone who could help young people to generate, develop and implement ideas for their youth centre decoration. ProMo-Cymru was on hand to help.

    With amazing help from youth workers and youth centre manager Steve McCambridge, every Thursday was the day young people would gather to make their ideas a reality. And they gladly got paint on their hands! It was delightful to witness young people’s enthusiasm for the finished look.

    Over a course of 5 workshops we together created, as we called them, “triangle”, “chalkboard” and “bubble” walls. We also decorated benches to match the walls. The result was reviving!

    At ProMo-Cymru, we believe in co-operation, communication and engagement. How can we help you achieve your goals?

    Engaging with your social groups

    Community & cultural development

    Co-production and working co-operatively

    If you would like to contact us, you can do so via:

    029 2046 2222 or

  8. ProMo-Cymru’s New Office: Comms Team 1st In

    by Sam Easterbrook | 11th Jul 2017

    The Communications, Media & Arts Team are the first tenants of ProMo-Cymru’s new office on 17 West Bute Street.

    I’m currently sat in our new office at 17 West Bute Street. That’s right we’re still in Cardiff Bay but, vitally, we’re now much closer to Nata & Co and Pizza Pronto.

    The Communications, Media & Arts Team have left Royal Stuart Workshops for good. We’re still unpacking, though the coffee machine is up and running – it is the heart and soul of this office after all. As such we may take longer to respond to emails and calls this week as we continue to unpack.

    'Bye 12' for ProMo-Cymru move to new office blog - 17 West Bute Street

    However, Management, Core Services, and Social Action, will continue to operate as normal. This is because they will be moving to ProMo-Cymru’s new office later in 2017.

    Address for our new office

    Our phone numbers are the same and our new address is:

    17 West Bute Street
    Cardiff Bay
    CF10 5EP

    We’ve got big plans in the Communications Team for the new office. We want to utilise the space to work more directly with young people and the local community. We’ll be blogging a lot more about our plans for the new office in the coming weeks.

    In the meantime, why not swing by for a cup of coffee?

    Community & cultural development

  9. Meic: 76% of children and young people feel that adults don’t take their opinions seriously

    by Sam Easterbrook | 23rd Jun 2017

    Less than a quarter of under 25s in Wales feel that their opinions are taken seriously. This information was revealed as part of an ongoing survey conducted by Meic. Meic is the national information, advice and advocacy helpline for children and young people in Wales.

    The survey also suggests that children and young people are not provided with information to challenge people who don’t respect their rights or views. This is a right set out in the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

    Today Meic is announcing its new campaign to promote rights awareness among children and young people in Wales.

    The campaign launches on 6 July 2017 and will see the release of a new interactive video-game style film. It will empower children and young people to access accurate information about their rights. It will also boost their confidence to exercise them day-to-day.

    The Wales Observatory on Human Rights of Children and Young People provided legal advice and support for the video. It said:

    “The Observatory’s research indicates that most children and young people do not know about laws that are relevant to their everyday lives and experiences and that there is a huge gap in accessible, accurate legal information for them. We are delighted to be able to help Meic start to fill this gap, combining their creative talent with our legal and human rights expertise.”

    Steph Hoffman, Head of Meic said:

    “This survey shows that most children and young people in Wales aren’t being listened to. We all need to do more to protect and amplify their voices and address their worries. It is imperative that they are provided with the right tools to recognise their right to be heard and taken seriously. This video will equip children and young people with the information about their rights. This will, in turn, empower them to stop, change or improve their situation.”

    Follow the video campaign from 6 July 2017 on Meic’s Facebook (, Twitter (@meiccymru) and Instagram (

    Children and young people in Wales up to the age of 25 can contact Meic 8am to midnight, 365 days of the year by instant message, text, call or email.

  10. From the classroom to the boardroom; how to spot and tackle bullying in the workplace

    by Sam Easterbrook | 8th Mar 2017

    It’s often assumed that bullying most commonly occurs in schools, but the harsh reality is many young women might find themselves bullied at their place of work too. The key question is, how can we spot bullying at work, and what can we do to help? In honour of International Women’s Day, Little But Fierce blogger Katy Dodds explains why bullying should be everyone’s business, irrelevant of whether it’s at school, work or anywhere else. 

    Being bullied can leave you feeling scared, lonely and anxious. I realised this when I was bullied at school. Much of the bullying that I have been subject to was emotional and verbal abuse, rather than physical forms, but this makes no difference. No matter the type of abuse, the impact it can have on someone remains the same and can be potentially catastrophic for the rest of their life.

    So, what happens if bullying doesn’t stop at school and can be experienced later in life? Well, the truth is that bullying can be found in so many places these days, whether it’s at home, at a friend’s house, your university halls, or even at work, where so many of us might assume bullying would be a thing of the past by this point in our lives.

    Katy Dodd – Blogger, Little But Fierce

    Bullying at work can take many forms, but is in no way any less distressing than the type of bullying you might experience at school, often leaving you feeling emotionally drained. In a pressured work environment, sometimes the lines between a busy work environment with high expectations and a dominant managerial style, that is actually a form of bullying, can be easily blurred. If you feel your line manager is being especially aggressive towards you, rest assured this isn’t an appropriate leadership style. Clearly this is an example of office based bullying, but work placed bullying can also happen on a peer to peer level too.

    It’s easy to make mistakes at work; quite simply, it can’t be helped. But this can open an individual up to receive unwarranted and negative comments from colleagues, causing a long lasting effect on their emotions. Repetitive incidents like this can leave many people dreading walking into their work every day, much like it might for a pupil who fears walking into the classroom. No one should dread entering their place of work, especially if they are passionate about it, and no-one should make you feel like you don’t belong or aren’t good enough.

    Spotting the signs of bullying at school and work isn’t that different. Think about the following: are colleagues being openly insulting about someone at work in front of everyone, including that person, to hear? Is someone at work being purposely left out of activities? Have you noticed a colleague looking upset, or spending lunchtime alone? You’ll find these tell-tale signs in both school and work.

    While bullying affects all genders, and none is more important than the other, there are certain types of abuse that young women might feel impacts on them more so. These translate across school and work with appearance and self-esteem playing a big part in this. Feeling self-conscious about the way you look and battling with the pressures of modern society and social media in particular can leave many girls and young women feeling like they don’t want to get out of bed in the morning to face the day.

    So what advice for helping someone who is getting bullied applies to both school and work? Just as you might tell a teacher at school, go straight to your line manager or a member of HR, to report the bullying you believe is taking place. To give yourself some proof, and to make sure you’re not forgetting about any incidents you’ve witnessed or experienced, you could keep a diary of what you see going on so that your manager feels confident they have a reliable account of what’s taken place – just like you might give to a teacher at school. To people being bullied, having colleagues and friends stay silent on the matter can feel worse than the bullying.

    On International Women’s Day, I’d encourage girls and women to speak up if they’re being bullied or think someone they know is. Bullying has never been just limited to the classroom and we should all try and be aware throughout life, making sure it’s everyone’s business. In keeping with the 2017 theme for International Women’s Day, #BeBoldForChange and speak up against bullying.

    If you’re worried about someone being bullied or would like to speak to someone confidentially about your own experiences, please call Meic on 08088 023 456.

    Katy is speaking as part of Welsh Government’s ongoing anti-bullying awareness campaign.