Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Ten years of caring for disabled children

THE Chiltern Centre for disabled children in Henley is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

THE Chiltern Centre for disabled children in Henley is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

It comes a year after its future was secured following a successful appeal to raise £350,000.

The centre, which has 22 staff and volunteers, provides respite care for more than 85 families of disabled children across the Thames Valley.It offers overnight and day care for children and young people with severe physical and learning disabilities.

Thirty local dignitaries, including Henley Mayor Stefan Gawrysiak, South Oxfordshire District Council leader Ann Ducker, trustees, staff and supporters attended the charity’s annual meeting. Paul Barrett, who is chairman of the trustees, said the next challenge was to recruit more qualified staff to help run the centre.

He said: “Formal qualifications are not necessary as training is given but personality and aptitude is important.”

He said that the past year had been very successful with the Building Our Future appeal hitting its target and the centre being rate as “outstanding” by education watchdog Ofsted for the seventh year running and receiving the Queen’s Award for voluntary service.

Three trustees had resigned and been replaced. Elaine Raven, an employment lawyer, was appointed company secretary.

Mr Barrett added: “The only sadness came with the death of Stella Haigh, a patron of the centre, in whose memory a cherry tree has been planted and the soft play room will be refurbished.”

Councillor Gawrysiak said: “The centre is brilliant. It provides wonderful respite for the parents and their children. When parents drop off their children they know they will be very well looked after and cared for.”

The centre, off Greys Road, will hold an open weekend on the weekend of September 7 and 8.



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