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Fundraiser launched to convert empty building into creative hub for kids

21 Aug 2023 4 minute read
Inset: Author and artist – Karla Brading.

Emily Price

A Welsh writer has launched a Crowdfunder to raise money to decorate and furnish a hub for creative classes to help youngsters develop their love for literature and the arts.

Children’s author and artist Karla Brading hopes to raise enough donations to hand paint and decorate a vacant community space in Merthyr Tydfil town centre where she will run book clubs, art clubs and writing groups for children.

The former primary school teacher said the room she plans to use to host the creative classes currently has no furniture and empty white walls which will offer little inspiration to avid young creatives.

The vacant building will need child friendly furnishings and Karla – who has also worked as a children’s book illustrator – plans to hand paint book-themed murals on the walls to make the space inviting and inspiring

Karla Brading in the vacant room she plans to decorate to host classes.


Karla said: “I think it’s important to have characters on the walls that children can connect with and feel eased by. The building itself, when painted, will be a place that parents can bring their children for free where their little ones can express themselves, whilst mentored by a person who is well versed in a variety of creative processes.

“But I desperately need support to make this project a reality. I have white walls that are begging for a lick of paint and an echoing room that is crying out for tables and beanbags. Any help, no matter how small, will be greatly appreciated.”

Karla, who is the author of a number of children’s books including a ghost story about the Skirrid Inn in Abergavenny, has hand painted her own home with stunning paintings of much loved characters such as the Cheshire Cat and Fantastic Mr Fox.

Karla’s own home where she has painted the Cheshire Cat and flying keys from the Harry Potter book series.


She hopes that decorating the learning space will inspire young minds and provide a safe space for children to build their creative confidence and explore the full extent of their talent away from the distraction of digital devices.

She said: “As a child, I wanted nothing more than to have a place to express myself creatively. Being one of four girls raised in poverty, there wasn’t a lot of room at home for quiet thinking without it being penetrated by the antics of siblings – there certainly wasn’t enough money for a stream of books and art supplies, other than as a birthday or Christmas treat.

“I have grown up in Merthyr Tydfil and I have worked in the schools here, the central library and at local book events. The love for literature has become swallowed up by the blinding lights of online platforms and digital games.”

The vacant building earmarked for the project has been provided by The Crown Factor which is a community branch of The Crown pub in Merthyr Tydfil.


Karla hopes that provided she can raise the necessary funds to prepare the room, creative classes will be able to begin in early winter this year.

She added: “As the room is located right in the town centre within walking distance of the shops and supermarket, parents will be able to drop the kids off for a literacy session whilst they run errands.

“A community space that caters for children to use their imaginations through books and art will encourage our youth to be unabashedly creative, putting down their screens for an hour in order to help build up their confidence, develop their vocabularies, nurture their ideas and make face-to-face connections with others their age.”

Donation to Karla’s creative sessions Crowdfunder can be made here.

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