Gwynedd schoolgirl chosen as the face of St. Davids Day

A schoolgirl from Gwynedd is the face of an inspirational TV and social media campaign celebrating pride in Wales in the run-up to St David’s Day.

Aspiring actress Efa Roberts, 12, a pupil at Ysgol Tryfan in Bangor, plays the lead role in the advert from Dragon cheese, launched by Wales’s oldest dairy farming co-operative South Caernarfon Creameries based on the Llŷn Peninsula.

Carrying the tagline ‘Proud to be Welsh”, the campaign is being launched in conjunction with a social media campaign encouraging people to share what makes them proud to be Welsh, with the hashtag #whatmakesyouproud

The advert, which is appearing on screens ahead of the big day on March 1, celebrates the fact Dragon cheese is made locally in Chwilog, with 100 per cent Welsh milk sourced from South Caernarfon Creameries’ 129 farming members across north and mid Wales.

It features Efa reading out a poem about what makes her proud. She says: “What makes me proud to be Welsh is my dad. Days with him on the farm are the best I’ve had. He gets up with the sun as the cows are grazing.

“He works so hard and his hugs are amazing. I’m never prouder to be from this land than seeing my family give a helping hand, in making the best cheese I’ve ever had. So from the bottom of my heart… Diolch dad.”

It is the second advert Efa has starred in for Dragon cheese. In the first released last autumn, she featured with her on-screen “dad”, played by real-life dairy farmer John Hughes from Ynysgain Fawr, near Criccieth, a member of the SCC co-operative.

The campaign follows a rebrand of the Dragon brand as South Caernarfon Creameries expands its retail base across Wales.

The social media campaign is encouraging people to share #whatmakesyouproud, on their social media accounts @sccwales and @dragondairy as St David’s Day approaches.

It’s the latest acting opportunity for Efa, who is in Year 8 at Ysgol Tryfan, and a former pupil at Y Felinheli primary school.

She has been a member of the SBARC drama group that meets at Galeri Caernarfon  since Year 3, and has previously done voiceover work for Paw Patrol, and a Welsh version of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, for Welsh language TV production company Cwmni Da.

Her first on-screen acting role was a one-hour Christmas special episode of popular S4C children’s show Deian a Loli, also a Cwmni Da production, in which the stars went back in time to meet their grandma played by Efa, and discovered she has magical powers.

The Dragon TV adverts were filmed in Welsh and English, by Bafta Cymru winning Welsh film making company Copa. It’s the first time Efa has taken a lead role in any broadcast production.

Efa lives in Felinheli with mum Mari, dad Gerald, and two brothers Harri and Ianto.

Mum Mari said Efa has been very fortunate to have many opportunities throughout primary school and the Urdd, to gain experience of being on stage whether in a choir, recital parties or musicals.

She said:

“Efa loves acting, she thrives on it. Doing Deian a Loli was the biggest thing she has done so far before this advert for Dragon cheese.

“This is the first time she’s played the lead role so it’s been a good opportunity for her. It all helps to developing her confidence.

The first advert was filmed on location at John Hughes’ farm while the second was filmed at Ysgol Gymraeg Rhyd-Y-Grug Welsh medium primary school in Aberfan, Merthyr Tydfil. It features children in a classroom listening to Efa reading out the poem.

Efa said:

It was great fun. I really enjoyed doing it. I liked meeting the other children.

“It made me feel very happy to be part of the advert. I enjoyed the experience and learned a lot.”

“I am very proud of being Welsh and it was great to be part of an opportunity to celebrate that. We may be a small country but we have a lot to offer and it’s good to sell that.”

“When I see it on TV I will feel like it’s very special because I helped make that advert.”

Last year South Caernarfon Creameries celebrated its 80th anniversary, following a £13.5 million investment in their new cheese production and packing plant at Chwilog, under the leadership of Managing Director Alan Wyn Jones.

The creamery’s investment has resulted in a 25 per cent increase in production in less than two years, and the winning of several major new contracts.

Sales reached a record high of £45.1 million for the year to March 2018 and are projected to hit over £50 million in the current year. This resulted in members being paid one of the best milk price in Wales for the second year running.

SCC Managing Director Alan Wyn Jones said:

“We are proudly owned by our farming members, who are all Welsh and our cheese is made with 100% Welsh milk.

“We wanted to celebrate this in the run up to St David’s Day, at a time when we are recruiting more Welsh farmers and expanding our Dragon cheese sales across our retail customer base in Wales and growing our international markets.

“The story behind the advertising campaign was created to celebrate pride in being Welsh and also in family values and good local produce, which all reflect our ethos as a company.

“It was important for us to involve local people in the campaign. Efa was fantastic in the lead role. We have been producing Welsh cheese in Wales for eight decades and we think that is something to be very proud of.”

Efa’s mum Mari added:

“We have always eaten Dragon cheese. We’ve heard about South Caernarfon Creameries we’ve got family on the Llŷn Peninsula and so we know a bit about the company and I do prefer to shop local brands.

“It’s great that they do cheese slices now and the grated cheese, so the children can make themselves a sandwich.

“It’s nice to be supporting a local company and to be involved in what they are doing. They have rebranded and it looks really good.

“The story in the adverts is lovely, it’s very family orientated.”