Friday, 12 August 2022

Why I love the Chiltern Centre

THE Chiltern Centre has always been a piece of my life. I have met numerous

THE Chiltern Centre has always been a piece of my life. I have met numerous unforgettable friends there: memories have been constructed and will remain as strong as a brick wall.

As many people know, Marian Lee saved the Chiltern Centre from closing in 2004 after previously working there. However, not many people know that she is my grandmother.

So, as you can imagine, many family trips have been made to the Chiltern Centre, run by my granny. Ever since I was a toddler my mum has worked at the centre and my dad helped out with the maintenance and supports the Breakaway group for 18– to 35–year–olds with learning disabilities.

My gran has recently retired from her position of director of services. This newspaper referred to her as “Wonder Woman” in the article they wrote about her retirement in February. She was nominated for the Sue Ryder Lifetime Achievement Award for all that she has done for the centre and she went to the ceremony on Thursday last week and won! We think that she really deserved it for all her hard work.

As a family, we participate in fund–raising events. For example, I recently shook a bucket at the Henley House & Garden Show. The bucket shake raised about £900 towards a new soft play room at the centre.

Last year I raised £30 by painting people’s nails for them at the Chiltern Centre stall at the Regatta for the Disabled. A popular choice of colour was I Love Juicy, a coral shade. Last year the centre also held its first Day to Remember â?? it was really fun. I participated by becoming a lifesize Buzz Lightyear and also a Peppa Pig! This year we are holding another one on September 12 which is being funded by Henley Lions Club.

The theme is the seaside and there will be donkeys, candy floss, ice cream, seaside arts and crafts and magic shows â?? I’m looking forward to helping again.

Each year members of the Chiltern Motorbike Club visit the centre to deliver Easter eggs to the young people there â?? it really makes their day!

Last year the families received tickets from the Stageworks drama group for their performance of Cinderella.

This year they have already asked the centre if the children would like tickets for their Wizard Of Oz performance.

For the past couple of years Circus Starrs have offered the centre tickets for their circus shows, which are breathtaking!

Some young people are due to have a go at boating in May at Bisham Abbey, thanks to R4D and Boatability at Bisham Abbey.

So even though you may not hear about the events tailored for our disabled youth, now you know that there are plenty of activities in the local area for them to participate in.

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