Students at the National charity Seashell Trust, which supports children and young people with complex learning disabilities and additional communication needs, received a special visit earlier this week from Welsh TV presenter and Strictly Star Gethin Jones.
The visit comes ahead of his appearance at the charities Strictly Seashell event on the 11th May, where he will compere with actress Denise Van Outen, amongst a number of local business owners and celebrities.
During his visit Gethin, who is well known for presenting Blue Peter, was shown around both the school, college and short stay and residential grounds based in Stockport.
Gethin, who set up his own charity which raises awareness for autism, was also guided around Seashell’s sports facilities which are open to the wider community, including its gym, swimming pool and new 3G sports pitch. All of which are open to all ages and abilities.
Gethin said: “I’ve just spent a lovely couple of hours at the brilliant Seashell Trust. Some of the children are very poorly with extremely complex illnesses. But the thing is, you walk away inspired by their bravely and resilience.”
Gethin’s charity, which helps to raise awareness for the complex communication disorder autism is called Nai, meaning nephew in welsh, which Gethin created following his nephews diagnosis.
He added: “A child with disability has the right to live a full and decent life and, as far as possible, independence. And to play an active part in the community. Seashell gives them that opportunity. The staff, therapists and teachers are all absolute heroes.”
Rachel McCrystal, Senior Manager for the Transforming Lives Appeal and Fundraising, from Seashell Trust, said: “It’s an honor to have the lovely Gethin visit our site, the students were really thrilled to meet him and it’s great that he’s interested in the work that we do.
“It’s also fantastic to see a celebrity raising awareness for those with complex needs as he is doing with Nai. We’re also really excited for Gethin to join us for our Strictly Seashell event which is going to be a ball!”