Grandad Eric has used his carpentry skills to raise £10,000 in memory of his grandson Ben.

Eric Creating his bespoke crafts in his garden workshop.

Talented craftsman and retired serviceman Eric Williams, from Whitchurch, turns wood to create hand-crafted gifts and products which he sells in our Hope House and Tŷ Gobaith charity shops. His motivation is his grandson Ben Evison, who died three years ago at the age of 15.

Eric sells his crafts through the Tŷ Gobaith’s Llandudno charity shop, and as private sales. He recycles timber from generous businesses, friends and neighbours, and spends hours working in his shed, putting in his time for free. The crafts he creates are then sold with all profit going to help other local children with life-threatening conditions.

“I’ve sold £6,000 worth of products in the shop, and also sold and been gifted over £4,000 independently. Altogether I’ve made £10,000 from making bowls, birdboxes, planters, wheelbarrows, Christmas stables and reindeer, and even a pork pie for Powell’s Pies, in Whitchurch!” he says.

Every item that Eric creates is unique, including these beautiful wooden bowls.

Eric started fundraising for Hope House in 2017 when the hospice first supported his grandson Ben and family. Ben had a rare genetic muscle wasting condition which required operations to strengthen his spine, and the use of a wheelchair to get around.

During his lifetime, Hope House became a regular home-from-home, where Ben would visit for respite care, sometimes on his own and other times with mum Kathy, dad Paul, brother Luke and sister Bethany.

Ben was a happy and smiley young man.

Ben loved trips out with Hope House

“The support that Ben and the family received from Hope House was marvellous,” remembers Eric.

Due to his condition, we were told he may only live for a year or two. However, Ben was a fighter, and made it to his 15th birthday.

“Ben loved trips out and activities with Hope House. He enjoyed bowling, going to the zoo, and cooking, and would quiz staff on some of his expert subjects: He could tell you the name of every type of dinosaur there was. He was a happy, smiley boy with a bright and mischievous sense of humour.”

Ben attended secondary school in Whitchurch, he was an avid Manchester United fan and also took part in wheelchair football with Shrewsbury Town in the Community. He even took to the stage at one of the club’s Gala Dinner and wowed the audience with his incredible story.

“He looked so smart in his bowtie. We were very proud of him,” says Eric.

“There was a lot of love for Ben, and his parents received many messages of support from the community when he passed away.”

After Ben’s death, the family made use of the hospice's Snowflake Suite, a special room where family can spend time with their child and say their goodbyes together in their own way.

Hope House has also supported his brother and sister, who been able to meet other young siblings at organised trips.

“Hope House were wonderful, and I’ll support the charity for as long as I can. I’m 79 now but I’m not planning on stopping any time soon. I’m lucky to have the full support of my wife Angela.

“Everything I make is bespoke and every item is unique. I enjoy the process of handling a piece of wood, and looking at its type, size and grain to see what it could create. Some of the bowls have been made using two or even three different pieces, making the most of the different colours and grains.”

Eric has made bird boxes for Hope House Forest School.

Eric recently visited the hospice in Morda to help put up his handcrafted birdboxes and bug hotels in our new Forest School area.

He is particularly grateful to Wooden Gate Timber Products Ltd in Whitchurch, who have provided much of the wood he uses in his workshop.

“They have a little area they call Eric’s Corner where they put off-cuts that I can recycle into saleable items. If it wasn’t for donations of wood, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do.

Fundraiser Catrin Dowdeswell said: “We are incredibly grateful to Eric for all the hard work, passion and time he puts into creating beautiful handcrafted products which then go on to support other local families.

“To have raised £10,000 from the crafts he creates in his garden workshop is a wonderful thing to do in memory of Ben. And we can’t wait to see our birdboxes and bug hotels being used by wildlife in our new Forest School area for many years to come.”

Find out more about giving in memory of a loved one