Sparkle’s North Gwent Design a Children’s Centre Competition… The Results!


Earlier this year, after becoming the official charity partner of Nevill Hall Children’s Centre in May 2019 and consulting with families and professionals on the unmet need in the catchment area, we were able to open our specialist leisure activities in North Gwent for children and young people with disabilities and/or developmental difficulties. At Sparkle, we wanted to give the children and young people we support an opportunity to have their say on what facilities and activities they wanted to be available for them, and therefore ran a ‘Design a Children’s Centre’ competition.

The competition was open to all children and young people accessing Sparkle’s North Gwent clubs and was also advertised through special schools and the Family Liaison Service. The competition was kindly sponsored by Western Power Distribution and Tai Calon Community Housing, meaning we were able to offer prizes for the winning entries in three age categories. Karen Welch, Corporate Communications Officer at Western Power Distribution, said this:

“Western Power Distribution are delighted to support the Sparkle Design a Children’s Centre Competition. We believe it is the responsibility of large organisations like ours to play a full and active role in the communities they serve. Supporting charities such as Sparkle is a good example of our commitment to that. We are looking forward to hearing more about the designs created by the children and young people of North Gwent and look forward to congratulating the winners.”

The competition sponsors were also able to help judge the entries, and we are excited to now announce the winners!

Ryan, age 8 – The judges were very impressed with some of the suggestions Ryan included in his design, such as a feelings rooms with comfy chairs and stress balls, a giant castle play area with dressing up stations and somewhere for staff to have a cup of tea or coffee… how thoughtful!

Ava-Jayne, age 9 – Ava-Jayne did her design with her two younger brothers who both have autism. Their design included lots of different toys and play equipment and a vegetable garden with pumpkins, watermelons and an apple tree. The judges thought the art work was very good!

Mollie, age 17 – The judges thought Mollie’s design was very well presented and included some good ideas, like cooking, board games and a trampoline. Mollie also included completely new ideas, like somewhere to do face painting and nail varnish!

Each of the winners received an Amazon Fire HD tablet, and the ASD base at Glanhowy Primary in Blaenau Gwent received a £100 Amazon voucher for submitting the most entries. Well done everyone! Steven Wetten, Customer Engagement Coordinator at Tai Calon Community Housing, said this:

“It was great for Tai Calon Community Housing to be asked to sponsor this project and thank you for the opportunity. As an engagement officer I loved the idea that it was giving the children and young people the opportunity to have their say on what they would like to be included in a new children’s centre. Well done to everyone involved!”

Bethan, Sparkle’s Research and Development Officer, shared how important activities such as this competition are to Sparkle’s service development.

“We do these activities because the families and children we support are the experts and we want to learn from them; there’s no point us just guessing what the children we work with need or want to access. Through this competition we found out what is important to the children of North Gwent, what activities they want to take part in and how we can best support them. We can now take these findings and use them to help develop and grow as a charity. I would like to say a massive thank you to our competition sponsors Western Power Distribution and Tai Calon Community Housing, and to all the young people who entered the competition. You really do help shape our services.”

If you would like to know more about Sparkle’s leisure activities in North Gwent, visit Activities ( or contact the leisure team on

If you would like to know more about how we use projects such as this competition to inform our service development, contact our Research and Development Officer on