Gaynor Jones

Mid and West Wales

I stood for election as Director of YesCymru for a number of reasons.

Firstly because I have come to believe totally that independence is the only way Wales as a nation can survive. This has become even more apparent since the full scale onslaught of the current UK Conservative government on our democratic institutions and rights here in Wales. It has blatantly dismantled devolution and undermined the powers of our elected representatives in the Senedd, and its corruption and misrule is a recipe for disaster not just for us but for the wider UK populace. It's time for us as a nation and for our politicians and leaders to grow up, take responsibility and start making plans to leave this dysfunctional union.

Secondly, because I think that the best way to win support on a grass-roots level is via non-partisan campaigning because people do not hold the same affinity to political parties or ideology as they once did. What has made YesCymru successful is its party political neutrality, as it shows that the organisation welcomes a cross representation of our people who are happy to work together to achieve an independent Wales. I myself am not affiliated to any political party.

Thirdly, to keep a slick show on the road, YesCymru needs a hard working and resourceful Directorate with a range of good organisational, auditing, creative, networking and communications skills to keep that show rolling for the long haul. I think that my past commitments and work ethic show that I would be a valuable asset to such a team.

I am a 59 year old woman, who currently works in Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen. I moved back to the Tywi valley, where I grew up, when it became apparent that there was a pandemic, in order to support my parents. Within a week I had found a place to live and a minimum wage job working as a hospital domestic and continued working throughout the pandemic. Recently I have become a family liaison officer, supporting patients on wards and which is less physical as I suffer from a chronic illness.

Being so far removed from my degree in European history and secretarial diploma I don't think my qualifications mean anything now. Life has taught me, like many, a far wider repertoire of skills and experiences, accelerated by my natural curiosity and willingness to be open to new experiences and a variety of people.

Prior to 2020, most of my working career has been spent in TV and radio production, mainly factual, working in a self-employed capacity or contracted and more recently working in the PR and events sector. However saying that,  I have worked in Westminster and the Assembly; in a school and hospitality; in an old peoples' home and with young offenders in Dudley; run a shop; taught TEFL in Greece, temped at CAMHS and a call centre; promoted sustainable food networks and managed to scrape an existence on the dole when I had to, which was quite a struggle.  

One of my most successful freelance PR contracts was a grass roots concept devised to promote the Welsh language. In 15 days and on a shoestring budget Diwrnod Shwmae Sumae was rolled out from my kitchen table and took Wales by storm, through hard work and networking. It has since grown and is celebrated throughout the country and beyond, by individuals, schools and colleges, the public and private sector. Inspiring people to try out their Welsh in a fun way, use it and learn it.

With regards to voluntary work: I was a director of Gŵyl y Cenhedloedd Bychain/Small Nations Music Festival Ltd based in Cilycwm and helped  organise, promote and programme the three day weekend of Welsh and international artists. For 3 years I was one of the main organisers and a trustee of award winning literature festival, Hwyl Llên Llandeilo, co-ordinating the programme, locations, artists and general organisational and promotional duties.  I think that working in TV production co-ordination, teaches you a lot about multi-tasking, working to budgets, staffing, hitting deadlines, logistics, scheduling and responding to the unexpected.

Last summer I eventually got a plaque erected in Llandeilo to commemorate Wales' foremost suffragette, and campaigner for equal pay and gay rights,  Rachel Barrett; a campaign which took 3 years.

Since Covid I have been busy with YesCymru Bro Dinefwr, arranging meeting, organising events; promoting the message of YesCymru on the street and at local events, opening the conversation with the uninitiated. I also kick-started the Bro Rhydaman group, interacted with other groups to encourage co-operation and helped start up YesCymru Llanbed in the last month. In 2021 I  decided to re-start recording Radio Yes Cymru as a podcast, to fill in the void created by Covid. With the help of Sion Lewis and Sion Jobbins we have managed to produce a series of informative, interesting and stimulating conversations about independence and an alternative version of Wales, you won't find on MSM. This is done when our spare time allows. Please check them out on Radio YesCymru, available as a podcast on Anchor and if you want to help or suggest an idea, get in touch.

Political Affiliation: None