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The Baby Bookworm project is a literacy programme at the Stephens and George Charitable Trust, set up to encourage early literacy and inspire a love of words for pre-school children.

Early literacy includes speaking and listening skills such as taking turns, exploring sounds, sharing and collaboration, reflecting, following a story, looking at a book and mark making. These skills are best learnt in a social environment and pre-school children benefit from being in a sociable group where they can enjoy these experiences and become confident with their peers.



The Trust’s aim is to raise literacy standards in Merthyr Tydfil and to make books accessible to all. We are members of the Booksellers Association.

The charity run a second and new book scheme and has as outside side children’s book shop as well as a community café bookshop. Children are encouraged to read and when they achieve the milestone of reading six books, they receive a free book.

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Literacy Festival

Merthyr Tydfil Children's Literature Festival

The Merthyr Tydfil Children's Literature Festival is a biannual event due to the scale and growth of the festival. (Previously known as Spread the Word Festival).

The charity hosted the festival in 2023 celebrating Shakespeare with authors and poets including Michael Rosen in attendance. In 2025 we will celebrate the written word and literature with the theme of Wales.


The charity also host a variety of author tours which impacted on thousands of children as well as attending literature and educational events, and shows at Wales Millennium Centre.


Alternative Education 

The Charity now operates an unregistered alternative education project with young people from primary and secondary school who do not attend mainstream school. This initiative was created due to the need of the community and the educational department of Merthyr Council.


#nophonesorcomputers Afterschool and Holiday Club

Our #nophonesorcomputers Afterschool and Holiday club provision for young people is an award winning play scheme. The initiative is supporting some of the most complex young people in Merthyr Tydfil.

Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development. At our provision we also utilise the outdoors and forest school, creative writing with authors and poets, learning about culture, environment and skills such as cooking.


Chess in Schools

It is supported by The Waterloo Foundation who endorse the positive impact on young people’s development that Chess has.


The Chess initiative is delivered at seventeen schools across Merthyr Tydfil and is a flagship programme with over 580 young people across schools in Merthyr Tydfil playing.

The Chess in Schools project is run by two qualified Chess tutors.


Erasmus + Programme

In 2018 - 2023  the Stephens And George Trust took part in the Erasmus + Scheme. 

The Charity visited Serbia and Slovenia, and Wales (online) as part of the Keeping Traditions Alive final programme. 

The Erasmus+ project was developed to emphasise how important traditions are in the:

  • Youth and play-work

  • Education of young people

  • History of countries across Europe. 


The project has been developed in the youth and afterschool projects at the centre where young people have participated in welsh cake making, sheep walking, gardening, learning about myths and legends, as well as Welsh costume and clothes design over the ages.


Children and Young persons Counselling 

Stephens and George Counselling Service provides a Counselling Service for young people aged between 8 -24 years.

The service supports 280 Young People a year. Referrals are taken from the GP Practices in Merthyr Tydfil.

We have continued to grow our reputation, working in partnership with the Merthyr Tydfil Primary Care Cluster.

The most referred issues were:

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Self-Worth

  • Family

The young people attending have been able to link into the benefits at the centre such as

  • Volunteering

  • The gym and fitness classes

  • After School clubs

  • Youth Forum

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