Benjamin’s Tea Rooms Creating Smiles

A charity supported by the Steve Morgan Foundation has officially opened some new tearooms which will combine raising funds with vital training for young people with autism and learning difficulties.

The Creatasmile charity, established back in 2009, has continued to expand and develop and has now opened Benjamin’s Tea Rooms, on its site at the Old School in Towyn.

Not only will that serve as an additional fundraiser for the charity, it is also going to allow young people with disabilities to gain hands-on skills and build confidence working with people from the local community.

Creatasmile has been able to launch Benjamin’s Tea Rooms having been one of the beneficiaries of Global Radio’s Make Some Noise campaign last year, and the Steve Morgan Foundation has also been with the charity every step of the way.

Having previously awarded £10,000 to the charity in 2013, the Steve Morgan Foundation is now also making a contribution to the rent of the building to help Creatasmile continue to flourish.

“Creatasmile was initially founded by Sharon and Edward Bateman and Bill Darwin, after the Bateman’s son Benjamin was diagnosed with autism at the age of four,” says Jane Harris, Regional Grants Director with the Steve Morgan Foundation.

“Finding that there was very little support and activities in North Wales at that time for children with special needs and their families, they set about establishing a wide-reaching network of support, signposting and activities.

“They have run family fun sessions, monthly support groups and outings and trips across many parts of North Wales, all run by a dedicated team of volunteers.

“Since setting up they have moved into the Old School Building in Towyn, where they have developed a series of fantastic facilities and projects, using the venue as both a workplace and a community hub for young people and their families to create awareness and acceptance, and prevent social isolation.

“They are now taking the next step on their journey with Benjamin’s Tea Rooms, named after their son, which will also offer young people with autism and other learning difficulties the chance to train in catering and hospitality.

“There is also one of the accredited AGORED qualifications available for youngsters aged between 13 and 26, who would not otherwise be able to access such training and qualifications.

“Steve (Morgan) and the trustees are delighted that we are continuing our support for Creatasmile, and I was privileged to attend last Friday’s official opening and officially wish them all the very best for another successful venture.”

Sharon Bateman was delighted with how Friday’s opening went, which was attended by a host of local dignitaries.

“We had some lovely people here, including Ben Sheppard and Alistair James from Capital Radio who helped us get the project off the ground, and Heart radio as well,” she says.

“David Jones, the MP for Clwyd West was here, and Mark Isherwood, from the Welsh Assembly.

“There were also many different organisations we have worked with along the route of helping people with autism and their families – it was an amazing day.

“And of course it was great to see Jane as well.

“Steve Morgan and the trustees have stood by us on two steps of our journey now, they have been our main funders throughout.

“Jane is a godsend for us, she has been wonderful with her help and support, and we continue to appreciate everything the Steve Morgan Foundation has done for us.”

  • We plan to bring another feature on the work of the Creatasmile charity very soon.





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