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The Stephens & George Centenary Charitable Trust has been running since February 21st 2012 in response to the incredibly low literacy levels in the local community.

The Trust's core aims are to provide future generations with the means to develop skilled, useful and fulfilling careers for themselves from within one of the UK's most disaffected areas.

In the 12 months of the Trust's existence it has initiated a Book Donation Scheme in the Borough and has collected more than 8,000 books to be distributed amongst homeless projects, women's aid refuges, community libraries established by the Trust's, schools, cancer support groups and care homes. Books are also distributed to young people unable to attend school without access to materials of their own and support is offered across the community in the form of reading groups, internships and bursaries.

The Trust works with local people and local authors to develop writing projects; the Young Person's Newsletter project in association with Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association has won the Best Youth Project Award and has enabled young people to develop a hands-on writing and journalistic experience with publications such as Plugged In magazine. These experiences allow young people to embellish their CVs and provides a real chance at internships or even employment in successful industries. Llamau Homelessness resident Gareth Nash has been offered an internship with the Arts Council for Wales as a direct result of his project work with the Trust. His is just one example of the incredible opportunities the Trust enables.

The Trust has created themed libraries within several schools in the area; its goal – to encourage reading and writing as a form of creative self-expression is perfectly embodied in the creation of the Narnia Library and the Alice in Wonderland workrooms at the Goetre school in the Gurnos Estate. Young people are provided with an imaginative, beautiful surrounding which encourages them to read and write on their own initiative and shares the power and enjoyment that the written word can bring. These libraries were created from scratch using only donated materials and the time and resources of local residents who were entrusted by the goals of the Trust.

As the Trust reaches the end of its first year it begins to expand further into the community, collaborating with the local authority in basic skills workshops for second language English speakers. He forthcoming project aims to work with the parents of children whose second language is English and who may struggle in school as a result in this. The Trust, in association with MTCBC will develop the English literacy skills of parents so they can support their children more ably in their studies.

Looking to the future the Trust's long term goals involve forming a productive alliance with other local PLCs, private companies and government agencies to tackle the educational apathy and to turn around attitudes towards self-improvement in the local community. The trust recognises that communities have the ability to turn themselves around and provide solutions to their own problems if provided with adequate resources, motivation and opportunity.