Empowering Young People through Literacy

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S&G Visit the launch of A Jewel in the Town at Flooks Café

Book Launch 

Representatives of Stephens & George attended the official launch of A Jewel in the Town, a short book written about Flooks, detailing the history of the former jewellers turned modern café in Merthyr Tydfil.

The book was developed and printed by the Stephens and George Print group, supported by its Centenary Charitable Trust whose aim is to improve literacy levels in Merthyr Tydfil and the surrounding area.

book launch

Gareth Nash and Local Historian Huw Williams

The South Wales area being notorious for having the lowest level of literacy skills in the United Kingdom, the Trust has been eager to help young people in their efforts to get their work published.

Many people were interested to see what became of their former local jewellers that meant so much to them growing up and to pledge their support for the book launch.

The name C.H Flooks still stands at the top of the café but inside things have changed, this is a modern café that now features coffees and computers as opposed to earrings and necklaces.

A Jewel in the Town focuses on the memories of this building from local figures; the book gives a voice to the former jewellers and to aspiring journalist Gareth Nash who has experienced homelessness and is supported by the Llamau charity. Nash worked alongside local historian Huw Williams to co-write the book.  

It’s not too late to purchase A Jewel in the Town, contact for more details.

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The Trust is running song writing sessions every Thursday in local establishments. The project is an innovative way to engage young people in reading and writing and will help to raise their literacy standards in the area


The sessions run from

2.30 – 3.30 Literacy song writing project at Goetre School (for the children at the school only)


4.00 – 5.30   Literacy song writing project at 3Gs


If you would like to learn to write songs in a fun, safe relaxed environment contact us on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know

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Pen y Dre – Super School

Adam Jones6th Form students from Pen y Dre High School have been working closely with S&G and the Charitable Trust to promote their involvement in the exciting Super Schools event that took place earlier this week.


Super Schools is an international event aimed at encouraging social, cultural and sporting collaboration between schools from different backgrounds. Competing with schools from England, Finland, Ireland, France and Sweden, Pen y Dre was the only Welsh representative and played host to the event. Young people had the chance to take part in sporting activities; raise funds for their school; represent their country and to meet sporting hero Adam Jones.


Stephens & George and the Trust played a major role in sponsoring the event; providing kits, funding and publicity and also offering 6th Form students the chance to work with in-house marketing and graphic design experts to create and produce the Super Schools programme. This invaluable experience was aimed to inspire the motivated participants and to introduce them to a professional standard of product development.


Picture 004Local primary school pupil Hannah Prosser from Ysgol y Pant designed the Super Schools badge for the event, which features on the front of the programme – a huge and inspiring vote of confidence for her creative work.


So congratulations to Pen y Dre for hosting such a successful and positive event, and well done to all competitors.



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Designing a Logo For the Newsletter

DSCF4444Our young journalists and writers have been busy working with art teacher Yvonne Jones to design a logo for Merthyr’s first ever young person’s newsletter Kids Rule, Rock and Do.

The young people chatted to Yvonne about their ideas and talked about what makes a good logo that people will remember. It was really important to the young people that the logo should show people what Kids Rule, Rock and Do is all about.

They created ‘mind maps’ of all their ideas, so that they could choose their

Designing in Progress!!

Designing in Progress!!

favourites from all of them. Then they got to work on drawing our logos.

All of the work was done at Dowlais library, which was really exciting, because they were then taken on a tour around the library.  The librarians showed them all how they could join and told them about all of the great things that the library has to offer.

Now that they’ve all designed our logos Vanessa Jones will choose the one that will represent Kids Rule, Rock and Do – so look out for the next newsletter and our new logo!

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Sixth Form students read at Narnia Library

Six Form Students with the pupils of Goetre School

Six Form Students with the pupils of Goetre School

During dinner time at Goetre School, the Trust Reading Support volunteers and Six Form A level students from Pen Y Dre School read to children at the Narnia Library.

This provides extra literacy education for the children outside school hours.
The children choose books that the Trust has donated to the Library and they read for half an hour to they designated reading volunteer.

Denise, the Headmistress at Goetre School, stated:

This project is helping to improve the young people’s reading abilities and the young reading support mentors act as role models for the young people. It is a beneficial and inspirational project and we cannot thank Stephens & George Centenary Charitable Trust enough for what they are doing in the community to raise literacy standards.”

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Trefechan Nursery Library Project

Hard at work on the new project

Hard at work on the new project

The Trust is working with three GCSE pupils from Pen Y Dre School to transform the Trefechan Nursery library into a “forest” theme for the children.

We will be working in partnership to run story time sessions at the nursery every week with the help of our reading support volunteers.

We are really excited about this new project. Stay tuned for more pictures soon!


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Our Wonderful Volunteers

Reading together in the Trust's Narnia Library

Reading together in the Trust’s Narnia Library

The Stephens and George Charitycurrently have 95 Reading Support Volunteers in your Community helping to raise Literacy Standards across Merthyr Tydfil.

Our wonderful volunteers read in schools across Merthyr Tydfil last week for a total of 43.5hrs!

So a huge, massive, enormous, gigantic THANK YOU to our volunteers. For more information on how YOU can join our Reading Support family email

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Working Together in Merthyr

Reading brings people together

Reading brings people together

We are so excited to report that pupils from Merthyr Tydfil’s Pen y Dre high school have been giving up their lunch times to read with with children at the Trust’s Narnia Library the Goetre School!



The Trust is passionate about bringing local people together to form an interactive community with mutual interests and goals at heart.



We’re so pleased that our message is coming through to the young people in the community and that they’re so keen to help one another. Pen y Dre art students have been invaluable to the Trust in creating the many imaginative library spaces across the area. Huge thanks to you all and please keep up the good work
Helen Hughes, Trust Coordinator


Sharing a bookBy volunteering as Trust Reading Mentors, high school students are broadening their range of experience and improving their own employability as well as helping the younger children.


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Author Inspires Budding Journalists

Helen and Phil in the Press Office!

Helen and Phil in the Press Office!

To celebrate World Book Day author and Poet Phil Carradice ran a writing  workshop with the young people involved in the Kids Rule, Rock and Do Newesletter project at the Trust’s Narnia Library.


Writing stories together

Writing stories together

He explained to the group how he had learnt to write following the ‘Three P’S’: Places, People and Problems and spoke to the young people about what writing meant to him.




Sharpening up creative writing skills

Sharpening up creative writing skills

Thanks so much Phil for sharing your invaluable experience. Look out for the next edition of Kids Rule, Rock and Do to see the work inspired by Phil from our budding journalists and writers.




The Black Chair

The Black Chair

Phil Carradice has written 45 books and his new novel, The Black Chair, about the poet Hedd Wyn is probably the first significant piece of writing (albeit fiction) about Hedd Wyn in English. The title was short-listed for the 2010 Tir na n-Og Award.



If your children are interested in attending the Newsletter project, them you can find us every Tuesday evening from 5.30pm to 8.00pm at the Narnia Library, Goetre School.

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Story Time Ahoy!

Pirate bill 14

We celebrated the swashbucklingly wonderful World Book Day with a nautical twist in Dowlais and Goetre Primary schools


Pirate bill 11With the help of his pirate teddy, Captain Bill brought the seven seas into our Narnia library, with familiar friend Captain Pugwash and an interactive Story Time session.






Pirate bill 6

Bill engaged the children (dressed as pirates, princess and in their pyjamas) in the story, re-creating the adventures of the pirates right down to the sea-sickness and deliciously gruesome details. With costumes, actions and involvement with each individual child Captain Bill brought the book to life.




Pirate Bill 2


Bringing the children into the story, in the creative Narnia environment drew the children into the magical world of reading. Encouraging active participation and engagement with literacy from a young age undoubtedly perpetuates an active interest in literature as education progresses.





So ye sea-dogs – keep up the good work YAAAARGH!