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Donation leaves Connor beaming with delight

Donation leaves Connor beaming with delight

A 23-year-old Newcastle man has enjoyed an adventure holiday of a lifetime with his friends and colleagues from the Smile for Life charity.

Connor Wilson, who works at Café Beam in Gosforth High Street took part in the adventure holiday on the banks of the River Ardeche, in France, after being awarded a £1,000 grant from Persimmon Homes North East’s Community Champions fund.

Café Beam is run by Smile for Life and supports young people with learning difficulties and disabilities providing them with a work placement at the café where they can learn and develop work and life skills.

Dawn Wilson, Connor’s mum, said: “Connor has Down Syndrome and has a place with Café Beam as a barista through Smile for Life, which he loves.”

“The opportunity to go on the adventure trip to France allowed him to experience rock climb, abseil and try caving and canoeing.”

“The trip itself was quite challenging for Connor as he does have a few health problems along with his learning difficulties, and the insurance costs are quite high, so this very generous donation helped meet those costs and the remainder will be added to the group’s fund.”

“There were nine other young adults on the trip some of whom Connor has known from school and/or college and from the cafe. It is a fantastic opportunity for the young people to holiday with friends in a controlled and safe environment allowing them to experience many things that otherwise may not be accessible to them. The group are very supportive of each other.”

Debbie Zaben, sales and marketing director for Persimmon Homes North East, said: “We’re so pleased to support Smile for Life with its work. The opportunities it offers through Café Beam are humbling, and we are delighted to be able to help in this way.”

“This is exactly what our Community Champions scheme is all about, supporting good causes to make a positive change. We are pleased that we have been able to offer our support.”

For more information or to apply for funding through Persimmon’s Community Champions please visit

Persimmon Homes has a range of homes available at Elmwood Park Court and Great Park.


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