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Special night for Cardiff’s disabled children


Disabled children supported by Barnardo’s Cymru were VIPs for an evening last month when they were treated to a special teddy bear making party. Everyone went home with a smile on their face and a bear under their arm following the event organised by the Build-A-Bear store in St David’s, Cardiff. One mum, Karen Lloyd, was there with her severely autistic son Joel and his brother Jude O’Driscoll.


She said: “Joel


doesn’t get invited to parties and I can’t take him swimming or to soft play because he can’t cope with the sensory overload so this was amazing. “The staff were so thoughtful. They spotted Joel’s ear defenders


and immediately asked if we needed the music turned down. We were able to have a lovely evening where the boys got to choose the bears and outfits they wanted. We usually have to leave places early because Joel cannot cope.” Twenty Cardiff


children Disability from Service


the run


by Barnardo’s Cymru took part in the workshop. Hellen Taylor, children’s services manager with Barnardo’s, said: “The children have a wide range of disabilities and the staff


catered so well


for everyone. It has been really good for the children to meet up and develop social skills and confidence and of course they absolutely


loved making their


bears.” The party coincided with the announcement that Build-A- Bear has donated £100,000 to Barnardo’s since 2015, raising money through customer and corporate donations and various campaigns including one on National Hug Day. Stores across the globe held a ‘Twice as Nice’ promotion where for every furry friend purchased, Build-A-Bear donated a teddy


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bear to children supported by Barnardo’s, a total of 6,000 over Christmas. Similar parties for a range of Barnardo’s across


services were held the UK. Javed Khan,


Barnardo’s Chief Executive said: “Christmas can often be a very difficult time for families living in poverty, or struggling with mental health problems and other challenges. So it’s wonderful that Build-A-Bear


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children create the some


wonderful Christmas memories in their shops.”


Senior Managing Director for Build-A-Bear Workshop Europe, Roger Parry, said: “We are honoured to partner with Barnardo’s for the fourth consecutive year to help fulfil Build-A-Bear’s mission to add a little more heart to life for children and families.”


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