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Debbie Ashton started Sibrydion in 2008, to try and replace a church magazine, which was no longer being produced. The first issue was less than 20 pages, and 900 copies were produced for the houses within the parish. At this time, Debbie did most roles, advertising sales, gathering/writing articles, design, and distribution to the volunteers, as well as putting the magazine out around the towns, it was pretty hard work!

From then on the magazine grew organically, to have more pages and to include additional villages and towns, until the current distribution, which is from around Harlech, across to Bala, Machynlleth and all around the coast in that area. 7,500 copies are currently produced.

It took a long time to build up a client base for advertising in such a rural area, which is the sole funding for the magazine. There are many volunteers, who recognise the benefit of the magazine, offer to deliver what they are able to commit to, be it a few in the road they live in, or to take on with helpers the distribution throughout their village/town. It is hoped that the volunteers feel that their generous-spirited offer helps to give them some ‘ownership’ of the magazine. All offers of help are most gratefully accepted.

Barbara Snowball, who lived locally, joined Debbie and took on the challenge of phoning the clients to take bookings for adverts. She has made a big difference to the advertising figure and helped enormously to be able to involve a proper designer.

Several years ago, Debbie took a leap of faith and began to collaborate with a Graphic Designer, ( who had moved to the area. Whilst Debbie did her best with the design, she was very aware that she was not a designer - horses for courses! Ian Clewett, the designer made the magazine look professional and more businesses wanted to be included. So it is now working pretty well and we get a lot of really good feedback from readers and advertisers alike.

Our focus is to give local information to the readers. We have information from the local Council, the Environment Agency and anyone else we can ask. The information is presented to the readers in a great way, which means that they actually read the magazine.

I think the magazine has really matured into something that people look forward to, want to pick up and read and like to refer back to. That makes the advertising good value for money.

You've done a great job and I hope you can keep it going

Jon Pike owner of Lloyd Jones Estate Agents

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