Local art project makeover creates school’s new cwtsh darllen



A tired and shabby cloakroom area in a Cardiff primary school has been transformed into a reading haven, thanks to the joint efforts of the Council's Caretaking Services team, teachers and volunteer artists.

Year 5 and 6 pupils at Ysgol Y Berllan Deg, in Llanedeyrn now have a colourful and cosy 'Cwtsh Darllen' after Sean Thomas from the graffiti removal team in Caretaking Services teamed up with local artists, Gary and Amanda Piazzon to give the space a makeover.

The project was the idea of the children who had secured funding to buy new reading resources from Ffrindiau, the school's Parent and Teacher Association, and who wanted a safe and comfortable area in the school to enjoy reading and working.

The school approached City Art Project, an initiative set up by Sean in his own spare time to harness the talents of local volunteers artists and create attractive artwork throughout the city. The project has transformed rundown underpasses, utility cabinets, exterior walls on school buildings and now, this little corner of Ysgol Y Berllan Deg, using paint donated by Council contractors through their social value activities.

Travis Perkins provided the supplies for Sean, Amanda and Gary to get to work on the walls, while new carpet was donated and fitted by one of Sean's colleagues, Shaun Brady and his brother, Craig Brady.

Sian Ward, the Ysgol Y Berllan Deg teacher who co-ordinated the project with Sean, said: "The involvement of City Art Project has enabled us to develop the room beautifully and it is now the amazing place that the children and staff had wished for. The paintwork and art designs completed by Gary, Amanda and Sean has transformed the room using the children's ideas and suggestions as content.

"The school PTA has also supported the children further by providing furniture and bean bags in order to enhance the space. The new flooring has helped to create a comfortable, clean  environment. We are beyond excited to use our new Cwtsh Darllen!"

Year 6 pupils and teachers said: "We had the idea of getting our old coat room painted about a year ago. Ever since then, the idea has kept growing. We always wanted a comfortable and cosy room to work and read in. We've been looking forward to using the beautifully painted room. Thank you for painting the extraordinary room sometimes on your free weekends."

Year 5 pupils and teachers said: "Thank you so much for your time and work. We are looking forward to using our new and improved cwtsh after your help painting the walls in your spare time and arranging a carpet to be installed. We are very excited to be having a cosy and more welcoming place for students and teachers to read and learn every day. We are very fortunate to have had your help for the past few months."