A PENARTH charity wanting to build a cafe especially for disabled children held a masquerade ball as part of its launch.
Oshi’s World is run by the Penarth family of 17-month-old Osian Liddell, who suffers from the rare Aicardi-Goutieres Syndrome.
They raised £2,805 at the ball which was attended by about 100 people at the Angel Hotel last Friday. The event involved an auction which included a Wales football shirt signed by Gareth Bale.
The launch ball was held to raise awareness of the plans to open a cafe designed to accommodate children with learning difficulties and disabilities.
Such a cafe would be built with features such as a sensory room, soft play, technology area and an appropriate playroom. It would be the first of its kind in the Vale and one of few in the country.
Osian’s mother, Anna Murphy, said the family took inspiration from the Little Miracles charity in Peterborough, which launched its own purpose-built centre to run sessions for families with disabled children.
That centre offers services such as sensory rooms, food banks and counselling which would be difficult to find elsewhere.
Oshi’s World has already raised money with a plant and cake sale, an Easter raffle and coffee mornings every Saturday at Ysgol Y Deri Special Educational Needs School.
Fundraisers have also taken part in the past three Cardiff Half Marathons and released a song on YouTube.
Anna said her family began planning for a “fully accommodating” cafe soon after Osian’s birth.
“When I had Osian I found I was isolated almost straight away because I couldn’t access normal, everyday cafes – especially if I wanted to meet up with my sister and her children,” she said.
“We were rearranging a cafe just to go and have a cup of tea.”
She added that she couldn’t take Osian to play centres because he is really sensitive to sound which makes it stressful.
Anna said the cafe would be inclusive for everyone, not just families with disabled children.
“It’s not about isolating those individuals. It’s about creating an environment that suits them and then saying to everyone else ‘come and be involved’.”
- Oshi’s World can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.