Writing this is not easy.

Today, The National is closing despite our best efforts as an editorial team. No words can express how sad and disappointed that makes us. 

I started writing for The National as a freelancer at its inception, covering the environmental issues which are so close to my heart. Six months after the service was launched on Dydd Gŵyl Dewi 2021, I joined the staff as digital editor before taking over from Gavin Thompson as editor in April this year.

What an 18 months it's been. I will always look back upon them with a smile. 

It has been my greatest pleasure to be a part of The National and I'm proud of the work we have accomplished over the past year and a half.

We have collated some of our favourite articles, from our opinion pieces, to sports coverage, historical events, campaigns and investigations. We loved telling each and every tale. 

Wales deserves a strong, national media to continue to tell those stories, to hold power to account and to document what happens in our nation on a day to day basis - it's the first draft of history, after all.

Wales needs this if it is to be the confident country it promises to be. I urge you therefore to value and invest in trusted media - there are plenty of examples to choose from and there are hard working journalists in every corner of Wales. 

I'd like to extend a massive thanks to the original editorial team of Gavin Thompson, Gareth Axenderrie, Mike Sweet and the late Rachel Nurse for launching this service on March 1 2021; and also to former staff members, Sarah Hughes, Shane Brennan, David Williams and Nicholas Thomas who all worked so hard to keep the newspaper and website going.

Thank you also to the legion of freelance writers and photographers - you know who you are - who contributed so much of their valuable work. One of the biggest privileges of my job is getting to read and enjoy this work before anybody else; I will never not cherish it. 

Finally, my colleagues Twm Owen, Rebecca Wilks and I would like to extend our thanks to everyone who has supported us, read our work, spoken to us and trusted us with their stories. We hope we did you justice. 

Cymru am byth.