2014 Winner

2014 A&B Cymru Awards Winners

Business Adviser of the Year, sponsored by University of South Wales
Winner: Kay Walters, Pobol

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Lee Mead & Kay Walters, Pobol

The judges were unanimous that Kay’s contribution to Artis Community was strong in every area. The organisation has provided professional art experiences across Rhondda Cynon Taf for over 20 years. Kay began a Skills Bank placement in 2011 to implement new HR policies and systems. When the organisation then re-branded, it faced re-structure and Kay demonstrated further commitment by joining the board and subsequently becoming its Chair. Artis Community believes it would not have managed the organisational change without her support, advice, strength and wisdom. For Kay, the experience has brought many personal and professional benefits, developing leadership and mentoring skills and a greater understanding and appreciation of the arts.

Arts, Business & Brand Identity, sponsored by Arup
Winner: Penderyn

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Caroline Berry & Laura Davies, Penderyn

Welsh Whisky Company’s distinctive Penderyn brand found an ideal match in the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama’s first Jazz Time Festival. The sponsorship clearly aligned the business with high quality performances for an audience drawn from a key demographic.

The festival provided an exceptional opportunity for young musicians at the College to perform in an industry environment, alongside some of the best known UK jazz artists. Penderyn was delighted with the partnership and the profile it achieved, both through extensive marketing and during the weekend when over 1,000 visitors attended the festival. Thanks to A&B Cymru’s CultureStep, the RWCMD jazz students gave two performances at the Brecon distillery and there are now plans to stage a showcase in London to benefit both the college and the business. The judges were impressed by the innovative sponsorship
model which combined cash support with the provision of Penderyn products to sell in the college bar.

Arts Business & the Community, sponsored by Wales & West Utilities
Winner: Merthyr Valleys Homes

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Suzanne Packer & Iona Davies, Merthyr Valleys Homes

Merthyr Valleys Homes partnered Literature Wales to tackle literacy and well-being with residents in sheltered accommodation. Writer Mike Church set out to capture older people’s memories and collect reminiscence poetry for future generations. The business, a registered social landlord, wanted to celebrate the history of Merthyr Tydfil and pass on the memories of its older tenants to a younger generation. The project explored the problems of social isolation and health and effectively promoted community cohesion and cultural awareness. The poems composed were collected into a book and recorded on CD and launched at Merthyr’s Soar Theatre in December 2013. The book is now available in residential homes and the local library. In Spring 2014, Capturing Memories was extended to explore intergenerational creative workshops. The judges were impressed by the evident success of this partnership and the way it continues to develop.

Arts, Business & Young People, sponsored by Hospital Innovations
Winner: Sony UK Technology Centre

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Nathan Bake & Steve Dalton, Sony UK Technology Centre

Since relocating to Sony’s Pencoed base four years ago, It’s My Shout Productions has developed a deep partnership with the business. Sony’s financial support enables hundreds of young people across Wales to develop skills in drama, writing and all aspects of film making. The unique relationship between the business and It’s My Shout provides flexible training activities in a technologically advanced environment and many of the teenagers involved in the projects go on to work in the film and television industry. The judges praised the depth of this partnership and the sense of aspiration and ambition it inspires in the young people. They were also impressed that Sony’s support allows It’s My Shout to run Bridgend Youth Theatre, benefitting over 300 youngsters each year. This year theatre projects are being developed across South Wales and films, in both English and Welsh, will be shot across the country.

Arts & Small Business, sponsored by Principality Building Society
Winner: Great Orme Brewery

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Julian Lewis Jones & Jonathan Hughes, Great Orme Brewery

A fantastic sponsorship by a small enterprise was the judges’ verdict on Great Orme Brewery’s support of the Ymuno Festival of music and community arts, held annually in the hills near Abergele. The festival organisers approached the Colwyn Bay based micro brewery after attending an A&B Cymru Sponsorship Seminar and a mutually beneficial partnership was forged to effectively promote Great Orme’s artisan ales to a target audience of festival goers from North Wales and beyond. Full crediting on marketing material reached over 25,000 people and, in addition to the cash sponsorship, Great Orme Brewery donated its profits from the festival bar towards an event the organisers had planned in St Asaph. The judges were struck by the clever synergy between two small organisations working in the same geographic area and sharing ambitions to attract a wider market. Both partners are committed to developing the relationship further in 2014.

Arts, Business & the Environment, sponsored by West Coast Energy
Winner: Renault Cardiff

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Anna Ryder RIchardson & Darren Bowen, Renault Cardiff

Renault Cardiff initially approached Chapter wanting to promote its new electric car during the UK Green Film Festival held at the arts centre. Both partners soon developed a bigger opportunity to work together, highlighting the car and the environmental values important to the business and arts partner. Renault now lends Chapter an electric van 6 times a month for the arts centre to deliver its magazines and other marketing material. This has reduced the cost to Chapter and significantly lessened the impact on the environment. Renault views the partnership as a perfect way of raising the profile of the new electric vehicles to a large and environmentally concerned audience. It also underlines the business’ commitment to the local community and the arts and this in-kind sponsorship is set to continue indefinitely. The judges were unanimous that this perfect matching of objectives and clever in-kind sponsorship made it a clear winner.

Arts, Business & Employees, sponsored  by Cartrefi Conwy
Winner: Wales & West Utilities

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Huw Roberts & Sarah Hopkins, Wales & West Utilities

Wales & West Utilities extended an arts based training scheme with Act Now Creative Training to its gas engineers. Initially Adrienne O’Sullivan of Act Now trained the Customer Care teams and the business was so impressed with the results achieved through drama techniques that the partnership is now in its fifth year. Wales & West engineers who respond to gas emergencies have undergone training in listening and communication skills and the business has seen a clear increase in customer satisfaction scores as a result. It now has a reputation within the industry as the main benchmark and inspirational lead in customer care. Act Now’s training is credited as one of the main reasons for this and for the business winning a prestigious utility industry award. In 2014-15 Act Now is extending the training programme further to Wales & West staff in England and North Wales.

Arts, Business & Long Term Support, sponsored by SRK Consulting
Winner: Principality Building Society 

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Rhydian Roberts & Pat Ashman, Principality Building Society

Principality Building Society has been a key sponsor of the National Eisteddfod for 35 years. The business sees the partnership as a natural fit, celebrating Welsh heritage and a way of supporting communities across the country. The sponsorship has enabled the Eisteddfod to develop new initiatives – from children’s workshops to an interactive visitor centre – as well as providing support for the choral competitions and increasing activity on the youth site, Maes B, that promotes the Welsh language rock scene. The judges praised the business’ impressive commitment to a national event that also has a direct impact on a range of communities. They felt that this example of sustainable support demonstrated true partnership working that made it stand out in a hotly contested category.