Author Archives: Tania Russell-Owen

  1. ProMo Successfully Retenders for the Meic Helpline

    by Tania Russell-Owen | 22nd Sep 2022

    ProMo-Cymru is pleased to announce that we have been awarded the contract to run the Meic helpline service, commissioned by Welsh Government for up to £2.3 million pounds. Based on review, the service will continue to run for another five years.

    Meic is a rights-based helpline aimed at children and young people under 25 in Wales. ProMo has been running the service since 2009, delivering free, anonymous and confidential bilingual information, advice and advocacy 365 days a year. Trained Helpline Adviser Advocates are available between 8am and midnight daily through phone, text and instant messaging. 

    Meic is someone on their side, providing a safe space to turn. We enable children and young people to express their views, wishes and feelings and support them to make these listened to, heard and acted upon.

    How does Meic work?

    We use a secure virtual call centre which means the service can operate from anywhere. This was incredibly beneficial during the COVID pandemic as there was no break in service or a reduction in opening hours; the only helpline in the UK to achieve this. We also ensured that key messages and campaigns were being produced and disseminated in a youth-friendly format during this time.

    Meic also has an accessible and youth-friendly website with many informative and helpful blogs. We run quarterly information campaigns through our website and social channels, focusing on specific themes often identified through our helpline contacts. In 2018 we identified a growing trend of coercive control in relationships. This led to a Healthy Relationships campaign where Butterflies, a spoken word poem written and performed by young people, won a Best Marketing Communication award at the Wales Online Digital Awards that year.

    Information and key messages are shared regularly through various platforms, including the website, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and, most recently, TikTok. During the pandemic, we saw massive growth in online reach and engagement. Instagram saw an increased engagement of 1715% during 2020-2021. It also coincided with the redesign of Meic’s design and branding across all channels and platforms. We worked with the ProMo Communication and Multimedia teams to create fresh, attractive images and videos.

    Professionals also find the Meic helpline service beneficial as they seek advice on how to support children and young people they work with, signpost to the Meic service and use the resources we have on the Meic website and lesson plans created for schools on Hwb.

    How we operate

    Our advisers are trained in the stop, start, change model. They incorporate a brief solution-focused approach and using exploration, challenge and action planning based on each individual contact and their issue. We encourage them to articulate and consider what change they want to achieve.

    Meic operates within safeguarding parameters. We regularly receive contacts requiring referral to safeguarding authorities based on disclosure concerning themselves and/or friends or relatives. 

    We regularly pay young people for their time and insights and employ young people to work on Meic communication campaigns. ProMo has employed several young people, most recently in 2021, when a young person was responsible for creating an LGBTQ+ campaign, information and resources.

    In the future 

    We will continue improving Meic through a Service Design approach and involve children and young people to achieve this. Our main priorities going forward with the new contract is to co-design and continuously include children and young people to develop and test technical innovation. Our immediate focus will be to improve the opportunities for direct messaging via social media channels as an alternative to the website. 

    We will continuously seek to refresh and innovate Meic branding and design to support a strong online presence on social media used by children and young people. A new TikTok channel was started recently. We’ve changed some of our designs to be more video focused and create content suitable for TikTok and Reels. We aim to continue to innovate and grow social media engagement among those that may not engage with traditional services. 

    We also aim to maintain and improve collaborative working relationships with existing stakeholders and develop and sustain new ones.

    For further information about the Meic helpline please contact our Head of Social Action – Stephanie Hoffman.

  2. Join Us For Our Seminar at gofod3

    by Tania Russell-Owen | 25th Jun 2021

    ProMo-Cymru will be delivering a talk at gofod3 on 1 July to discuss how the third sector can build better digital services through a process of Human Centred Design. 

    Arielle Tye, Head of Development at ProMo-Cymru, will take you through the process, helping organisations to realise how they can use their unique strengths of involving people and apply this to new and emerging digital services.

    What is gofod3? 

    This is an event organised by WCVA in collaboration with the voluntary sector in Wales. This year’s event will take place online over five days. 

    There are over 60 free events planned between 28 June and 2 July. They include speakers, masterclasses, panel debates and workshops. Take a look at the full schedule here

    This is an opportunity for the voluntary sector to share stories, discover the sector, learn new skills and knowledge, be inspired, make connections and ask questions.  

    Details of the session 

    Arielle’s talk will take place between 10am and 11am on Thursday, 1 July 2021. 

    Register here.  

  3. Creating Conversations: Service Design in Digital Youth Work

    by Tania Russell-Owen | 22nd Jun 2021

    ProMo-Cymru are hosting an event to share knowledge and tools to design and improve digital youth information services. Creating Conversations brings people from different sectors together to talk about how to use digital technology to deliver services better.

    Creating Conversations is a regular webinar and networking event hosted by ProMo-Cymru, where we invite different speakers to share their experiences and expertise. Previous events have included digital messaging with young people; good practice in digital youth work; social media trends, tools and how usage changed during Covid.

    The next Creating Conversations ‘Service Design In Youth Work’ will be held online on 13 July 2021 at 10-11:30am. This free event will feature guest speakers Imre Simon from ERYICA and Rebecca Rae-Evans from Reply. In addition to sharing our learning and knowledge we will be sharing useful tools and e-training free to all attendees.

    What is Service Design?

    Service Design is a methodology for designing and improving digital services. The central principle is about keeping people’s needs at its core. The Service Design process is a powerful tool that can be used to support youth workers to both innovate new services and products, or to rethink and strengthen existing services.

    What can I expect from this Creating Conversations?

    ProMo-Cymru have been working on a European wide project led by ERYICA with the aim to bring Service Design into youth work.

    At this Creating Conversations, we will elaborate on the Service Design methodology and discuss its role in youth services, as well as outline the results of DesYIgn – a Service Design in Youth Information project.

    There will be an initial keynote speech, followed by a presentation of the DesYIgn project and its results. The event will conclude with an optional networking session.

    During the session, we will also be launching a tool kit and e-learning course for youth workers. Attending youth workers will get free access to these resources.

    When: 13 July 2021
    Time: 10-11:30AM
    Sign up here

  4. Sharing Crucial Safety Messages

    by Tania Russell-Owen | 15th Jun 2021

    For a number of years the Meic helpline, ran by ProMo-Cymru, has been involved in Crucial Crew. This is an event that travels into schools to share important safety information with young people. This year, because of the Covid pandemic, this has been happening via live video streaming instead.

    Crucial Crew is a network of multiple agencies, charities and organisations that deliver interactive PSE workshops in schools. The intention is to share important safety messages with Year 6 or Year 7 pupils. They reach 20,000 young people in Wales every year. Meic is one of a number of agencies invited to interact with young people in this way. Others include the Police, Food Standards Agency, Network Rail, and British Red Cross amongst many others. It’s a great opportunity to publicise and raise awareness of services and important messages.

    Still image from Crucial Crew safety video. On the left a group of adults (teachers) talking, in the middle a Meic adviser by a desk in front of computer with headset on, on the right a young girl talking into microphone with word advocacy above her head.


    Because of the lockdown, Crucial Crew sessions were not able to happen as usual last year. This year different arrangements were made so that the young people could still get this essential information. The sessions have been taking place via video link since schools reopened. Agencies travel to a central location and present their sessions to camera. This is then streamed live into the classrooms through Microsoft Teams. It is also possible to interact with the young people and allows them to ask any questions they may have.

    The session

    The Meic session has an emphasis on advocacy, and ensures that the young people are aware of their right to speak, and for their thoughts, views, opinions and wishes to be considered by professionals that are making decisions about their lives. We also tell them about the UNCRC to further inform them of their rights as a young person. We present a video that has been created especially for the Crucial Crew sessions by the ProMo-Cymru multimedia team. The video provides a scenario about advocacy and provides information about Meic, the services they offer and how to get in contact. The video is available in English or Welsh and is available on the Meic YouTube channel.

    The Meic team are looking forward to the possibility of attending face to face Crucial Crew sessions before the summer holidays.

    Further information

    Find out more about Meic on our project pages. To keep up to date on Meic activities and blogs visit the website and follow on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Follow Crucial Crew on Twitter for information about their events. If you would like to learn more about the sessions we offer through Crucial Crew, or the Meic service contact

  5. Meic Covid Resources In Mental Health Toolkit

    by Tania Russell-Owen | 24th Jun 2020

    Meic, the helpline service for children and young people run by ProMo-Cymru, has been included as a resource in a Mental Health Toolkit developed by the Welsh Government.

    For the last 10 years Meic has been a source of support and information to under 25’s in Wales. When the pandemic began, Meic stepped up to produce specific Covid content to tackle any issues arising from being in lockdown.

    Prepared for lockdown

    When Wales and the UK went into lockdown on 24th March, Meic’s virtual call centre allowed the helpline service to continue without a break in service. ProMo-Cymru was well equipped to deal with all their staff making the shift to working from home. We became busier than ever preparing resources for professionals (our Digital Resources for the third and youth sector in Wales #Covid-19) and stepping up our output on the Meic website (all Covid-19 articles can be found here).

    Coer of the mental health toolkit by Welsh Government

    The mental health toolkit

    The Welsh Government has developed a toolkit which is accessible to all young people through Hwb. Hwb is the digital platform for learning and teaching in Wales. The majority of young people will be familiar with the platform as they use it to access school work.

    There are six categories to the Young Person’s Mental Health Toolkit:

    – Coronavirus and your well-being

    – Crisis

    – Anxiety

    – Keeping healthy

    – Low mood

    – Loss

    Each of these categories gives a list of self-help websites, apps, helplines and other things that can help support young people’s mental health and well-being.

    To access the toolkit click here. Anybody can access the toolkit, you don’t need a Hwb account.

    Responding to the coronavirus pandemic

    Launched for young people aged 11-25 by Education Minister Kirsty Williams and Health and Social Services Minister Vaughan Gething. The aim of the toolkit is to respond to the effect that Covid-19 may be having on young people’s emotional and mental wellbeing during this challenging time.

    The tool is simple to use and brings together a list of resources under each category. Each has a short description of what the service provides and a link to that service.

    The toolkit will be updated and will evolve to adapt to any changes as is needed.

    Contact Meic

    If you know of any children or young people who could benefit from the Meic helpline service, please pass on the contact details. Open every day, 8am to midnight for support, information and advocacy.

  6. Trustee Opportunities at ProMo-Cymru

    by Tania Russell-Owen | 6th Feb 2020

    Are you looking for a way to make a valued contribution with young people in Wales? Would you like to support a social enterprise that works to create innovative digital services and community projects?

    ProMo-Cymru is looking to recruit for trustee positions to support our vision of ensuring young people and communities are informed, engaged, connected and heard.   

    ProMo-Cymru’s Background

    ProMo-Cymru has spent the last 30 years developing services, including information websites, helplines and community regeneration projects. We are the organisation behind MeicTheSprout and the Ebbw Vale Institute. 

    In the last two years, we have delivered over 45 other projects supporting large organisations such as Public Health Wales, National Museum of Wales, The Millennium Centre and smaller grassroots organisations such as South Riverside Community Development Centre. We work collaboratively to make links between people and services using creativity and digital technology. We support the third and public sectors to imagine, test and create better services.

    Trustee Board members list

    What are we searching for?

    There are vacancies on our Trustee and Management Board. This is a voluntary role, and we meet approximately every six weeks from 5.30 – 7.30pm in Cardiff Bay. We are particularly looking for experience in media, funding in the third sector, marketing and lobbying. 

    We are eager to grow ProMo-Cymru and need the support of committed, skilled trustees to do so. If you are interested and would like to talk to us, then email our CEO 

    To find out more about some of our work, take a look at our Projects page.

  7. Welsh Language Case Study: Butterflies

    by Tania Russell-Owen | 13th Dec 2019

    Approaching work creatively, openly and consistently is something of a standard within ProMo-Cymru. These qualities have always helped us to adopt better practices and communicate more meaningfully. 

    While this may seem hard to quantify, we are proud to deliver projects that showcase the breadth of the language and culture we enjoy in Wales. 

    Creating Butterflies

    In 2018, we produced Butterflies: a shareable video that underpinned a nation-wide campaign for the Meic helpline. 

    Meic is the bilingual information, advice and advocacy helpline for young people in Wales. It provides support to under-25s on wide-ranging topics, including bullying, children’s rights, and sexual health. 

    Young spoken-word poet, Sarah McCreadie, wrote and recorded the English narrative, which focuses on healthy relationships. 

    Poetry is not a simple, word for word translation. Our Welsh Language Officer worked carefully to make sure the message of the poem, rhythm and feeling was captured in the translation. We then worked with young Welsh performer Mari for the final touches. 

    An authentic voice

    The project epitomises our attitude to working from a bilingual-first perspective. In this instance, the Welsh-language piece was organically developed from Mari’s own voice. 

    “As someone who has always attended a Welsh medium school it’s wonderful to see resources by young people for young people being made bilingually. The first time I read the poem, my worries that I might not be able to relate to it melted away,” described Mari.

    “After a discussion with Sarah about how I had interpreted the translation I felt really confident because, whilst I had my own relationship with the poem, the core message and sentiment shone through even in a different language. 

    Sarah and Mari recording the Welsh for Butterflies

    The result was not just an English-language video with a standard Welsh translation. With our help, Mari provided an invaluable, authentic voice that reflected the culture and perspectives of non-Welsh speakers. Diversifying bilingual content this way is just one benefit of getting young people on board to breathe life into our messaging. 

    As an organisation, incorporating Welsh language and culture into our work more than just getting the work translated; it’s at the very heart of everything we do from the very beginning, and this makes all the difference. 
    To us, it’s the difference between moving forwards and standing still. 

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

    Support from these funders enables ProMo-Cymru to ensure young people and communities are informed, engaged, connected and heard. 

  8. Bringing Benches Into the 21st Century

    by Tania Russell-Owen | 16th Oct 2019

    ProMo-Cymru has been working with Renew-Wales to document, in video, the creation of a Digital Bench in Pontypridd.

    Renew Wales had an exciting project in the pipeline with a group of young people from Rhydyfelin Youth Club – creating a bench that could be used to give homeless people shelter and would help to keep people connected. They wanted to record the process of building the bench and asked ProMo-Cymru to carry out the filming.

    Phone charging in digital bench photo

    The origins of an idea

    The idea first came up at Rhydyfelin Youth Club while the young people were taking part in a woodworking skills session with Sam Holt from Eggseeds, a sustainable education organisation. Sam is a mentor who shares his skills as part of the Renew Wales programme.

    The young people wanted to have somewhere to sit where they could charge their phones while they were out and about in Pontypridd. As they started planning they realised that the bench could be used for so much more, such as being a seat/shelter for homeless people. With this in mind, they approached Reverend Peter Lewis of St. Catherine’s Church and asked if the bench could be installed on the church grounds. The Reverend agreed and soon other local services and companies were keen to get involved with this innovative idea. Initial support came from Newydd Housing Association and the project had some funding from Interlink RCT.  Several other partners, including local companies, also came forward with help, support, expertise and materials. The group and lots of other local people were really excited by the idea that the digital bench could also help provide a shelter for those in need. 

    Building the digital bench

    Build day

    On the day of construction, ProMo-Cymru joined the young people at St. Catherine’s Church to film them in action. Although they were initially shy to appear on video, ProMo-Cymru encouraged and engaged the young people into opening up about how they got involved in the project. They began to reflect on their journey and shared their story. We also captured the different perspectives of those who participated in the project.  

    The footage and interviews with the young people and partners were used to create a 10-minute story about the digital bench project. The film was premiered at the Renew Wales Festival in Gregynog Hall, Powys on 10 July 2019 and was very well received. The young people travelled to Gregynog Hall to tell the delegates about their experience. 

    Interested in our video services? Check out the media production services we offer.

  9. Office Space To Rent In Cardiff Bay

    by Tania Russell-Owen | 20th Jun 2019

    Looking for office space in vibrant Cardiff Bay in a building with like-minded organisations? ProMo-Cymru has space for rent at their newly refurbished offices.

    ProMo-Cymru, a registered charity and social enterprise, works to ensure young people and communities are informed, engaged, connected and heard.  We work collaboratively to make links between people, services and authorities. We are leaders in using digital for social good, supporting the third and public sectors to imagine, test and create better services. Having delivered digital youth information projects for a number of years, we have developed of our work with communities through communications, advocacy, cultural engagement and media production. We share this knowledge through training and consultancy, forming long term partnerships to benefit people and organisations.

    Some of the ProMo-Cymru staff

    The ProMo-Cymru building is located in a courtyard just off West Bute Street, Cardiff Bay. There are excellent transport links – just a 3-minute walk from Cardiff Bay train station and a 5-minute walk to the Senedd.

    The current organisations occupying the building are ProMo-Cymru and Development Trust Association Wales.

    The shared kitchen and communal area

    Spaces available to rent

    There are various sizes of office space available to rent, each with access to our large communal kitchen and social space. There are also meeting facilities at the building with projection and video conferencing facilities and high speed broadband.

    There are three different options, with varying costs:

    1 – A ground floor room with it’s own separate entrance. 355 square foot. Rental costs of £3,550 plus VAT per annum.

    2 – Small office on the third floor. 161 square foot. Rental costs of £1,610 plus VAT per annum.

    3 – Small office on the third floor. 140 square foot. Rental costs of £1,400 plus VAT per annum.

    Meeting room with projection and video conferencing facilities

    As a guide, rental costs £10 per square foot plus VAT. Services charges are approximately £3 per square foot plus VAT.

    Rooms can be rented individually or as a group.

    Broadband is available and voice over Internet phones can be added as part of package.

    We can offer flexible license arrangements with easy in and easy out arrangements.

    Get in touch

    If you are interested, or if you would like further information about the building check out the Venue Hire page or contact John Mckernan on 07968 111636 or

    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

  10. Using Air To Heat the EVI

    by Tania Russell-Owen | 24th May 2019

    In an age where saving money and being aware of your carbon footprint is more important than ever, the Ebbw Vale Institute has been through it’s very own energy efficient makeover.

    We’ve already told you about changing all the lighting in this historic building to LED lights after receiving funding from the Landfill Disposals Tax Communities Scheme. In this article we’ll tell you about the changes made to improve draught exclusion and the heating source.

    The Grade II listed EVI is ProMo-Cymru’s landmark community venue dating back to 1849. It provides a programme of creative activities, learning and social enterprise developments. It is home to a variety of third sector organisations and welcomes over 5,000 people a month..

    Banishing the drafts

    It’s inevitable that a big historic public building like this has draughts and this was a big problem when it came to the EVI’s energy bills. Doors were left open all the time so it took more energy to heat up rooms, empty rooms were being heated when it wasn’t needed and tenants were using electric heaters to warm their rooms.

    Following receiving £32,523 through the WCVA funded scheme we decided to use some of this to try banishing the drafts and improving the energy efficiency of the building.

    Automatic door closers were fitted on top of the doors and automatic controls on the radiators, meaning they activate only when the room is occupied saving energy on unnecessarily heating an empty room.

    “We identified that the kitchen and the recording studio were the areas with the highest energy consumption,” explains Samantha James, Operations Coordinator at the EVI.

    “So we had energy meters installed and we took corrective action to reduce the power requirements in the kitchen.”

    Cold air and warm rooms

    The hand driers in the toilets were replaced with eco-driers, which use cold air rather than warm air. This should reduce energy consumption and reduce the use of hand towels.

    “Many of our tenants and hirers had been using electrical heaters to warm cold areas of the building, we’ve now installed energy efficient wall heaters which ensure safety and efficiency.” adds Samantha.

    “The heaters are on 10 minute timers and are invaluable when it comes to eradicating cold spots.”

    Using air to heat

    ProMo-Cymru took over the running of the historic building over ten years ago, saving it from demolition. The building went through a huge regeneration and energy efficiency was top priority back then too and two state of the art air heat pumps were installed.

    The 40kW air source heat pumps were installed at the rear of the building and provided low-grade heat. These would work with the original cast iron radiators as well as installing SmartRads to keep the building warm. A gas boiler was also installed to supplement the heat pumps in extremely cold weather.

    Problems and solutions

    We carried out an inspection of the heat pumps when we were looking at making further energy efficiency changes and found that one was not operating. The pumps had been running at significantly different times on the compressors, there was a blocked condensate pipe with fluid leaking and the piping was too small and poorly insulated. The pumps were also operating at 50 degrees, which is expensive to run, it made up 41% of the EVI’s energy consumption.

    But the EVI didn’t have the funds to fix these issues and repair the heat pumps, resulting in having to use the back up gas boiler in the winter. This caused a spike in energy usage, while the inefficient heat pumps were still running and increasing consumption further.

    “The funding received through the Landfill Disposal Tax Community Scheme came to the EVI’s rescue and allowed the repairs to go ahead,” says a relieved Samantha.

    “The EVI is once again being heated primarily through the energy efficient heat pumps.”

    Check out our other article looking at the changes made to the lighting at the EVI to help cut costs and become more energy efficient.

    This is a WCVA supported project made possible through the Landfill Disposals Tax Communities Scheme.

    If you’re interested in hiring facilities at the EVI then check out the EVI website to find out more.