Pupils celebrate being Welsh in St David’s Day campaign

SCHOOL children are encouraging TV viewers to celebrate being proud to be Welsh, after starring in a heart-warming campaign to raise awareness of cheese proudly made by farmers in North Wales.

A television advert filmed to raise awareness of Dragon cheese, which is made with 100% Welsh milk by Wales’s oldest dairy farming co-operative, South Caernarfon Creameries, was filmed with pupils from Aberfan primary school, and a young actress from Bangor 12-year-old Efa Roberts.

The advert, which will appear on screens in time for St David’s Day on March 1, encourages viewers to celebrate what makes them proud to be Welsh.

Carrying the tagline ‘Proud to be Welsh”, it is being run in conjunction with a social media campaign by @dragondairy and @sccwales encouraging people to say what makes them proud to be Welsh, with the hashtag #proudtobewelsh

It features children in a classroom at Aberfan primary school listening to one girl reading out a poem about what makes her proud.

Aberfan school headteacher Alun Williams said: “The whole ethos of what the advert is trying to promote fits with our ethos as a school.

“Dragon cheese is a local Welsh brand, and we try to encourage and promote the use of Welsh produce.

“The campaign and the message in it to celebrate what makes you proud, in particular being proud of being Welsh, is important to us.”

“There were lots of other benefits to the children too, it is part of the curriculum to promote literacy. It is also in our remit to encourage self-expression, self-esteem, and self-confidence through things like performing.

“It was interesting for the children to get an insight into what goes into producing something for the TV that they watch every day, and how self-disciplined and organized you have to be.

“It was also a very sociable experience for them to meet the crew and the little girl from North Wales who came down, so it all helped with broadening their horizons.”

The advert was filmed in Welsh and English, by Bafta Cymru winning Welsh film making company Copa.

The girl who reads the poem, is a young actress from Bangor 12-year-old Efa Roberts, who featured in a previous South Caernarfon Creameries ad with one of the co-operative’s farming members John Hughes of Criccieth.

Efa reads: “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.”

The advert ends with a voice over saying: “Dragon cheese, Proudly owned by our farmers.”

It is aimed at raising awareness of South Caernarfon Creameries’ popular Dragon brand of cheese.

It comes as South Caernarfon Creameries continues to expand its retail base across Wales, with a host of outlets including Sainsbury, Morrisons, Lidl, Tesco, Aldi and Waitrose.

All of the Dragon label cheese is made with 100% with Welsh milk from Welsh cows, and is produced and packed at the site SCC has occupied in Chwilog near Pwllheli on the Llyn peninsula for 80 years.

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 continually expanding our retail customer base across Wales.

“The story behind the advert was created to celebrated 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 Welsh people in the campaign. We wanted to include a school in south Wales as we are expanding our reach across Wales, and the fact it had some added value as a creative exercise for the children who took part is a welcome bonus.

“We have been producing Welsh cheese in Wales for eight decades and we think that is something to be very proud of.”

Now the children from Aberfan school have created an 8 foot by 8 foot mural inspired by the ethos encapsulated in the advert, with artist Sion Tomos Owen.

It features ten Welsh heroes including Gareth Bale, Gareth Thomas, Betsi Cadwaladr and Aneurin Bevan.

Headteacher Mr Williams said of the Dragon brand, produced by Welsh farming coo-operative SCC: “It fits with the ethos of the school to celebrate Welsh produce.”

Mr Williams added: “Being involved in the ad campaign got the children thinking about what makes us proud to be Welsh, and directly led to the mural project.”

“We are really proud to have been involved and we hope it encourages more people to celebrate loudly why they are proud to be Welsh.”