Two talented schoolchildren brushed aside stiff opposition to win a competition which will help a property firm raise money for a children’s hospice.
Elwy owner Angela Jones organised the competition to design For Sale and To Let boards for the estate agency and the lettings sides of the business.
Schools from Denbighshire and Conwy were invited to take part as a fundraiser for the Tŷ Gobaith hospice in the Conwy Valley.
For every one of the winning boards that is put up, Elwy is pledging to donate £20 to Tŷ Gobaith which last year celebrated its 10th anniversary and needs to raise £1.4 million a year just to keep its doors open.
Angela was spurred into action following a visit to the hospice and as a result she organised the competition, which was hotly contested by scores of arty youngsters.
After much deliberation, she has just chosen the striking design by 10-year-old Ieuan Lloyd-Jones, of Ysgol Twm o’r Nant in Denbigh, as the l winner in the For Sale board category while 10-year-old Grace Carroll, of Ysgol Dewi Sant in Rhyl, came out on top in the To Let board category.
Ieuan’s prize is a family ticket to the Greenwood Forest Park in Gwynedd plus £25 in cash for spending money and Grace will enjoy a children’s party for eight at the Chocolate Shop in Denbigh.
The two youngsters went along to pick up their prizes at the branch in Bodfor Street, Rhyl. The company also has an office in Vale Street, Denbigh.
Ieuan said: “I worked on my picture, which shows a nice colourful house, at home and it only took me one evening.
“It was the first time I’ve done anything like this for a competition but I’m very glad to have won, especially as the prize is a trip to Greenwood Forest Park.
“I’ll be taking along my two brothers, that’s Osian who is 12 and Idris who is five.”
Ieuan’s proud nain, Beth Roberts said: “In a way I think artistic talent must run in the family because his mum, Nia Lloyd-Jones, does lot of design work in her job upcycling clothing and household items.”
Grace said: “I came up with most of my design for the board during an art lesson in school and then finished it off the next morning.
“It shows a nice big house with a lovely garden around it. It’s the sort of house I’d like to live in one day and I enjoyed doing it very much.
“I’m glad my picture is going to be seen by lots of people and the prize I’ve won of a children’s party at the Chocolate Shop is great. I’ll probably use it when I have a birthday party for my friends in May.”
Grace’s proud mum, Kate Richards, said: “I’m thrilled that she did so well in the competition.
“Although she’s quite fond of drawing and painting, it’s the first time she’s ever won anything like this.”
Mum of two Angela Jones, 44, explained: “Basically, I asked all the children who entered the competition to come up with a design that was bright, colourful and eye-catching.
“We had some fantastically creative entries of a very high standard and I’d like to thank everyone who entered.
“The designs by Ieuan and Grace are really colourful and outstanding and they are both worthy winners.
“The boards are already in use and are having a really great impact. We’re getting a lot of positive feedback.
“The winning designs will also be used as a key part of the general re-branding we’re doing of the company at the moment.
“That means it will appear on our website and emails and will also be prominently displayed on big boards in all our offices.
“For every board that we put up on a property we will make a donation of £20 to Tŷ Gobaith. We will also ask our landlords to match fund the donation. They don’t have to, it would just be voluntary.”
Angela added: “I think it’s wonderful that children are helping other children by supporting the hospice in this way.
“I have been very lucky because none of my children has been very ill.
“I was absolutely blown away by the visit to Tŷ Gobaith and what they do, not just for children going in to the unit but also in the community for children and families. It was a very humbling experience.
“My family members have always raised money or Tŷ Gobaith, it has always been something very close to the family’s heart.
“The staff at Tŷ Gobaith put so much into it, their heart and soul, and when you go there and you see what they do and what they give to families and children, it’s absolutely amazing.”
Tŷ Gobaith’s fundraising officer Eluned Yaxley said: “This has been is a fantastic project and for us it’s a huge privilege to be working alongside Elwy Lettings.
“I helped Angela to judge the competition so I know that entries were of a very high standard and we’ve seen some stunning works of art.
“The profile that we’re going to get through the new boards is just going to heighten awareness that we are a local children’s hospice throughout North Wales and that we depend upon such people as Elwy Lettings.
“We need over £1.4 million for Tŷ Gobaith alone annually and we depend upon voluntary donated income.
“The services that we have are vital. We care for life-threatened and life-limited babies, children and young people, young adults through to the age of 25, and support for their families.
“In addition to that, they can have care within the hospice or within the family home and we provide trauma support as well. We are there to provide a service for any family that needs our care.
“We also do a lot of outreach work in the community. We offer bereavement and counselling and trauma support to the wider community here in North Wales and beyond from Tŷ Gobaith to all the areas we cover.
“We work closely with local emergency services, coroner’s offices and we get called upon to provide community outreach care for any family that needs us who is bereaved of a child in traumatic circumstances or a child who is bereaved of any family member through any traumatic circumstance.
“We help children and families meet death with dignity, give them the dignity through death and we’re there then as the crutch at the other end as well, as a shoulder for them to lean on once the inevitable has happened.
“The service continues for as long as any family member wants it. We care for some families, especially in Hope House, because we’ve been open there for nearly 20 years, but we care for bereaved families for 15-20 years down the line.”