The Bluestone Foundation’s collaboration with Action for Children

The National Children of Wales Awards are delighted to be supporting The Bluestone Foundation – a foundation that works with several children’s charities to support children and their families in Wales.

The Bluestone Foundation works with Action for Children to support families from before the child is born, right up until they enter their twenties. The Foundation helped The Hawthorne Project with their start-up costs towards opening up a coffee shop at the Haverfordwest Magistrates Court.

The Hawthorne Project was established by Action for Children in August 2000, and has been supporting children and their families for almost 20 years.

The popular coffee shop, called The Hatch, was founded because there was a stark lack of opportunities for people with learning disabilities in the area to gain work experience.

The Hatch will enable young people with disabilities to gain work experience and training possibilities, allowing them to socialise with other people their age and gain confidence.

However, this is not just any other coffee shop. It is run by young people with special needs, which ensures that the young people visiting the shop will feel more comfortable and safe.

Angharad Murray, Youth Person Practitioner, has seen a huge improvement in the confidence of the young people working at The Hatch.

She said: “You can really see how their confidence has grown in even just a month. At first most didn’t even want to go near the till but now they are fighting over who serves a customer.”

Those who aren’t confident in dealing with customers can take an office role, working on stock control, management, menus, and more.

Angharad hopes that the money generated by The Hatch can be fed back into the project.

The coffee shop has had such a positive impact on the lives of the young people who work there.

Charlotte Sandford, a 17-year-old, has said that working at The Hatch is her “favourite day of the week”.

She says: “It makes me feel proud and happy when people take things I have made. And I like wearing a uniform, it makes me feel professional.”

The Hatch is clearly so important to the young people who work there. We hope that the proceeds from The Awards will help the Project reach more vulnerable young people, and help boost their confidence by gaining valuable work experience.

The National Children of Wales Awards are thrilled to be supporting The Bluestone Foundation – a foundation that works with several children’s charities to support children and their families in Wales.

The Bluestone Foundation has funded The Tanyard Youth Project. This Project was established as a charity in 2005, and aims to provide a safe, welcoming and supportive environment for the children and young people of Pembroke and its surrounding areas.

Situated in an area that is high on the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivations, the Project provides five drop-in sessions a week, aiming to allow young people to make positive and constructive use of their leisure time.

Those working in these drop-in sessions also provide young people with information, advice and support on a wide range of issues that affect them.

The Tanyard Project provides young people with the opportunity to develop a variety of skills, including arts and crafts, sports and games, drama, cooking, music, film making, and the opportunity to achieve a Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Practical help is also provided, offering assistance with IT skills, CV writing, job applications, revision, and homework.

When school is in session, the Project helps pupils in years five and six with the tricky transition to senior school. This is done through classes centred on confidence and improved social interaction.

The Tanyard Project also helps teenagers by offering work experience placements. This is excellent experience, gives young people a chance to update their CVs, and provides them with something valuable to do with their time.

A successful application to the Bluestone Foundation has secured an Autistic Spectrum Condition Youth Outreach Worker to plan and lead weekly sessions for children and young people with extra-curricular education and leisure activities.

This will help children with learning difficulties fully engage with the fun and games at the Project.

The Bluestone Foundation, founded in Pembrokeshire, works with several children’s charities to support children and their families in Wales. It offers respite for the families of children that need intensive caring, and supports families going through incredibly difficult times.

A bespoke design by acclaimed international fashion designer Jayne Pierson, the use of a super yacht for three days and a box at the Royal Albert Hall are just some of the prizes that will be available at the National Children of Wales Awards thanks to the generosity of the business community.

The National Children of Wales Awards will take place at the Celtic Manor on April 3, 2020. The organisers aim to raise £100,000 at the event, which will be distributed to four charities in Wales that help children: The Teenage Cancer Trust, Dreams & Wishes, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and the Bluestone Foundation.

The event has already attracted remarkable support from the business community with all award categories now sponsored for the evening – though opportunities remain for businesses to get involved by supporting other aspects of the event.

The event’s two main sponsors are The Trade Centre Wales, one of the largest and fastest growing used car companies in the UK, and Bidfood, one of the largest food wholesalers in the UK.

The category sponsors are: 1192 Laser & Beauty Clinic, Andrew Rees & Sons Butchers, Barclays, Bibendum Wine, DWJ Group, DWJ Wealth Management, Gower College Swansea, Iceland Foods, Joe’s Ice Cream, MGY, Mitre Linen, Princes Gate, Principality Building Society, RedKite Solicitors, Sytner BMW and Thomas Recruitment Group.

But the event hopes to add even more extraordinary auction prizes to the roster – giving it every chance of exceeding its £100,000 target for the evening.

Blanche Sainsbury, chair of the Bluestone National Park Resort and founder of the National Children of Wales Awards, said:

“Companies from across Wales have demonstarted remarkable generosity in their support for the inaugural National Children of Wales Awards through both backing the event as sponsors and by offering some extraordinary auction prizes. We have been blown away by the support for this event so far and we are delighted to still be speaking to a number of businesses and individuals about additional prices and sponsorship opportunities.”

Some 15 children will be recognised at the awards. The categories focus on diversity, bravery, sporting achievements, and will recognise children who help others through championing causes, caring and fundraising.

The prestigious event will feature male voice choir Only Men Aloud, the winners of BBC talent show Last Choir Standing; Angelicus Celtis, a choir of Welsh schoolgirls who reached the semi-final of Britain’s Got Talent in 2017; and the event will also feature performances from Motionhouse, a world-class dance-circus production company.

Anyone interested in sponsoring the awards, buying a table or donating an auction prize, please contact Mark Hillary at: mhillary@bluestonewales.com

One of the four charities the National Children of Wales Awards is supporting is the Bluestone Foundation.

The foundation was established to help people help themselves through environmental, economic and social projects in Pembrokeshire.

Its plan is to provide economic growth and social opportunities to the people of west Wales through projects funded by the money the foundation raises. The foundation’s aim is to support as many projects as possible. One of the projects the Bluestone Foundation has funded is The Fishguard Sea Cadet Unit. The Unit was founded in 1942, with its Headquarters in West Street, Fishguard. Since then, the Fishguard Cadets have expanded, both in terms of membership as well as in terms of experiences offered.

They offer exciting activities such as sailing, windsurfing, powerboating, rock climbing, camping, and music. Additionally, those who become a Cadet at Fishguard are able to take with them a wide range of qualifications once they leave.

Recently, the Fishguard Cadets applied to the Bluestone Foundation for support to purchase an additional Yole boat for the team. These boats allow Cadets to experience the sport of sliding seat rowing, and a new one would expand the organisation’s ability to let more young people try this.

Thanks to the £2000 donation from the Bluestone Foundation, the Fishguard Cadets were able to fulfil this dream.

Another project the Bluestone Foundation supports is the Patch, an organisation which gives free food parcels, clothing and household items to those in financial crisis in Pembrokeshire. The Bluestone Foundation awarded a grant to Patch in 2017 as part of the Bluestone Foundation Community Fund, so they could purchase a chilled vehicle to collect and deliver donations of fresh food around the county.

Pamela McNamara, founder of the Bluestone Foundation and Bluestone’s commercial director, said:

“The Bluestone Foundation was set up in 2010 to support economic, social and environmental projects in Pembrokeshire. Bluestone has, through direct economic benefits, contributed over £142M into the Pembrokeshire economy since opening in 2008 through its employees and supply chain and was the first hospitality business to set up an Employee Benefit Trust giving 30% of the business to its staff.

“Environmentally Bluestone has led the hospitality sector in the innovative application of renewable fuels, our Blue Lagoon Water Park is believed to be the first facility of its kind in the world to be heated using biomass, sustainably sourced from local farms.

“The heart of the Foundation lies in creating a better environment for children growing up in Pembrokeshire and Wales. It is about identifying, developing and implementing, innovative social projects to bring about a tangible and sustainable change to the lives of many. We are grateful to be able to support the National Children Awards of Wales and very proud of the many people who have made this happen.”