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Student creates online directory to support local businesses in lockdown

Samuel Rossiter

A student from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has helped to create a new local shopping website for Carmarthen to enable people to support their local businesses during lockdown.

The Carmarthen Online website lists dozens of local businesses along with their websites and contact details, enabling potential customers to quickly locate the goods and services they need. The project was initiated by Carmarthen Town Council, and Samuel Rossiter, a student in his second year on the BA Business and Management degree course at UWTSD in Carmarthen, was given the task of creating the site as part of an internship.

“The site is an online directory which pretty much brings all local businesses in Carmarthen to one space online,” he says. “It’s a bit like an online shopping centre online, bringing businesses and consumers together.”

The project came about after Sam decided to seek an internship to improve his job prospects after graduation and to help his studies. His lecturer Jessica Shore linked him up with Carmarthen Town Council, who needed someone to create the website. He has been engaged in the work placement since the autumn of 2020, working from home due to Covid-19 restrictions.

As part of the project Sam designed a logo, designed the website and collated all the information on it. He also created social media accounts for the site and used these to share useful and inspiring information about the local community and its businesses.

“I’ve been learning a lot of new skills in marketing and web design,” he says. “I’ve also gained experience in consulting with people in order to gather feedback on what they thought of my logo and their ideas for the website. The work has helped me apply a lot of what I am learning in my degree and develop a lot of skills in business that I can related back to my assignments.

“The work has increased my confidence in the skills I’m learning on my degree, and it’s been great to work with the Town Council, who are very engaged even though we currently can’t meet in person.”

Carmarthen Town Council Town Clerk Alun Harries said he is delighted with what Sam has achieved.
“I am very pleased with the work that Sam has been doing alongside Carmarthen Town Council,” he says. “He has taken to this project very well and he has contributed greatly to improving the quality of our online information about local businesses, and how it can be shared more effectively with the local community. This has been particularly relevant during the lockdown periods we have experienced.

“This is only the second year that undergraduates from UWTSD have been undertaking these internships with Carmarthen Town Council, and the quality of the work carried out by Sam – and others – demonstrates the importance of our sectors working together for the benefit of the people of Carmarthen.”

Sam’s lecturer Jessica Shore also praised Sam’s work.

“I am delighted that Sam has taken the opportunity to work with Carmarthen Town Council,” she said. “Sam is an excellent student with many skills that he has been able to apply to his placement. The arrangement with Carmarthen Town Council has enabled our students to add experience of a live project to their academic journey and we are incredibly grateful to them.”