Rory’s Story


The National Children of Wales Awards are thrilled to be supporting the NSPCC (The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children), a charity campaigning and working in child protection in the United Kingdom and the Channel Islands.

The wellbeing of children and young people is central to what the NSPCC stands for. They have been operating for the past 100 years, relying on public donations for 90% of their funding.

Startling statistics show that 1 in 5 children across the UK will suffer from domestic abuse or neglect.

Rory was one of those children.

Ever since he was a young boy, Rory’s step-father would routinely abuse him.

He was a builder by trade, and his strength rendered Rory powerless.

His step-father would also sexually abuse his mother most nights, leading Rory to feel trapped and scared.

These experiences led Rory down a dark path of suicidal thoughts.

He explains one suicide attempt, saying:

“I jumped out of my bedroom window and broke my leg. He came outside, seen what I’d tried to do, laughed it off, and said I can stay there until I freeze. Then he slammed the door, and I slept outside that night with a broken leg.”

Rory explained that his step-father would give him a list of everything he had done wrong, and would force Rory to write him an apology letter.

When writing this letter, Rory had to hold one of his hands flat on the table. Whenever he made a mistake, his step-father would bend one of his fingers back until it popped. This led to Rory’s entire right hand being broken.

Throughout his abuse, Rory was told that if he said anything, his step-father threatened to murder his mother in front of him, and then murder him.

Rory’s ordeal finally came to an end when his step-father was arrested for trying to murder his mother and younger sister, as Rory’s auntie had caught him in the act.

The trauma resulted in Rory being diagnosed with severe depression, and led to another suicide attempt.

He decided to reach out to the NSPCC, and soon began regular counselling sessions which completely changed his life. Of these sessions, he said:

“If it wasn’t for the amazing counsellor at the NSPCC, I would either be dead right now, or in a very dark place.”

There are countless other children who, like Rory, have been through unimaginable trauma but who have found solace with the NSPCC.

Supporting the NSPCC is a very proud moment for us, and we hope that other children like Rory, who are too afraid to speak out, will find the help that they desperately need through this fantastic charity.

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

One in five children in the UK have suffered abuse or neglect and the NSPCC work tirelessly to protect children today and prevent abuse from happening tomorrow.

The NSPCC is driven to support children and young people who are subjected to abuse – they say, “as long as there’s abuse – we’ll fight for every childhood”. The NSPCC is a UK’s leading children’s charity fighting to end child abuse – remaining committed to their mission for over 100 years.

90% of the charity’s income comes from public donations – which just shows how important it is to help continue to raise money for charities that so heavily relies on the public’s generosity.

One of the initiatives the charity runs is their ‘Speak out. Stay safe’ programme, which was successful delivered to 8,000 schools in 2017. As part of this initiative, the charity’s specially trained staff and volunteers hold interactive assemblies and workshops, with the help of their mascot, Buddy. They cover topics like bullying and abuse, but without using scary words or adult language.

The charity holds presentations in assemblies for children aged 5-11, where pupils can learn about the different types of abuse, in a child-friendly and age appropriate way. The presentations are followed by a one-hour classroom workshop for children in Year 5 and 6 (Wales and England) and P6 and 7 (Scotland and Northern Ireland). During the workshop, pupils explore the topics in more detail using engaging exercises to look at different situations to decide what’s OK and what isn’t.

Patrick Weaver, Assistant Director of Fundraising and Engagement (Communities) at NSPCC, comments:

We are delighted to be part of the inaugural National Children’s Awards of Wales and to be supported by the Bluestone Foundation alongside other great charities working hard on behalf of children in Wales.

 One in five children in the UK have suffered from abuse and neglect. The NSPCC’s fights to change childhood by working to prevent abuse ever happening in the first place, to support children who have suffered abuse and to campaign to make safer childhoods for all. This work is only made possible through the dedication of our supporters.

 Everyone here at the NSPCC Cymru joins me to say a huge thank you for this fantastic support in fighting to keep children right across Wales safe.

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.”



One of the four charities the National Children of Wales Awards is supporting is Teenage Cancer Trust Cymru.

Made up of the Teenage Cancer Trust Unit at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, and a team of health professionals that support young people with cancer – before, during and after treatment – the Trust provides specialist care and support for teenagers and young people ages 14-24 years old with cancer from Wales.

Around seven young people aged between 13 and 24 are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK. The support and expert treatment needed is crucial to be able to help them through receiving the devastating news of hearing the word “cancer”. Teenage Cancer Trust Cymru is dedicated to making sure each young person diagnosed with cancer is supported throughout their very difficult journey.

A young person with cancer is entitled to receive support from the Trust’s specialist expert team, regardless of where they decide to have their treatment. The Trust creates world-class cancer services for young people in the UK, providing life-changing care and support so young people don’t have to face cancer alone.

Debbie Jones, regional fundraising manager Teenage Cancer Trust Cymru, said:

“We’re delighted to have been chosen as one of the four charities to benefit from the National Children of Wales awards in 2020.

“Their support will help to raise much needed awareness of the work of Teenage Cancer Trust Cymru and will enable us to continue to provide vital specialist care for young people with cancer throughout Wales. On behalf of everyone at Teenage Cancer Trust and the young people we support – thank you!”

One of the four charities the National Children of Wales Awards is supporting is the Dreams & Wishes charity.

Dreams & Wishes is dedicated to helping seriously ill children by making their dreams and wishes come true. Established in 2011, the charity has been working with families across the UK to provide vital support throughout the child’s illness, as well as helping to build happy memories by granting lifelong wishes.

Fighting life-threatening and long-term illnesses is heart-breaking for both a child and their support network. The National Children of Wales Awards aims to raise money for Dreams & Wishes to help support the children and their families to make wonderful and long-lasting memories, even at the most difficult times of their lives.

The charity understands that every child is unique with their own dreams and wishes, so their aim is to make sure that every child they work with, is able to fulfil their dreams – no matter what they are. Whether some children want to meet their favourite TV stars, fly in a helicopter, visit Legoland or to have their own playhouse – Dreams & Wishes help to make this happen.

Wendy Hobbs, Business Ambassador for Dreams & Wishes charity, said:

“Dreams & Wishes, an award-winning charity, are absolutely delighted to be part of the prestigious National Children of Wales Awards that honours inspirational children. The volunteer-based charity began in 2011 and is unique in that every penny raised with no deductions grants the dreams and wishes of seriously ill children and their families.

“These amazing awards will highlight the great work of our wonderful team of volunteers, shine a bright light on the courage and bravery of the children that we support, and help us to put plenty more beautiful smiles on faces.”