From a Bridge to a Bear in Ynysowen

From a Bridge to a Bear in Ynysowen

31 Jan 2017

Brendan D’Cruz from Invest Local Ynysowen talks about branding, bridges and a very special bear...

Today we are known as ‘Invest Local Ynysowen’, ILY for short. However, when we started the programme was known as ‘Invest Local Aberfan, Merthyr Vale & Mount Pleasant’. That’s a bit of a mouthful. It’s also a long web address, Twitter ID and social media identity.

 When we spoke to local residents, we identified communities such as Bryngolau that felt  excluded bythe name we were given. So we had to change it.

 Our community is defined by much more than the tragic events that took place in Aberfan  fifty years ago. One key landmark that people still talk about is the bridge in Aberfan,  somewhat ironic given that the brand new road has made that bridge obsolete. It is,  however,  what many people remember fondly. So how could we use the bridge? And what  name  could we use to get a better presence on social media?

 We asked our Facebook community and it soon became clear that ‘Ynysowen’, the Welsh  name for Merthyr Vale, still had resonance in our community. Merthyr Vale is also the name  of the council ward. The primary school in Aberfan is named after Ynysowen. The Welsh  language road signs still point to Ynysowen. So we became ‘Invest Local Ynysowen’.

 And we decided we needed a mascot to represent the programme at events such as the  Trinity Community Carnival, given we could not rely on the Trinity Bear wandering around in  an ‘Invest Local’ T-shirt for the entire ten-year duration of the programme. That would not be  fair on Trinity Childcare & Family Centre, a charity that works with families in the local community.

So, welcome to Bridget Bear, Invest Local Ynysowen’s newest asset! She’s the bridge. We think children and families will love her. Everything about her says “I Love You”. She wants to help us improve our community. And we are running a competition so that children in local schools get to design the logo that will complete our branding. It will go on the T-shirt that Bridget the Bear will wear. @ILYnysowen.

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