Saturday, 23 January 2021

Thanks for support, says disabled children’s centre

Thanks for support, says disabled children’s centre

A CHARITY which looks after disabled children has thanked the community for its support.

Camp Mohawk in Wargrave made an appeal for help in the summer, saying it had lost more than £50,000 in income as a result of the coronvirus pandemic.

This figure has now been halved following donations from Invesco, Group SEB, CISCO and the Buckinghamshire Coronavirus Stabilisation Fund.

The multi-functional day centre in Highfield Lane closed during the first lockdown and a limited service was offered during November.

Matt Wood, manager of Camp Mohawk, said: “We have recovered some of the money and we are very grateful but there is still a shortfall.

“We were very keen to provide a service for the families that were struggling during the first lockdown.

“We are providing essential services under exemptions to the lockdown guidelines to special schools and families on our priority booking list.

“We’ve had regular visitors from two special schools and they each bring a bubble of children, with each bubble having about 15 children.

“We are very happy to be able to offer some sort of service to those who need it most.

“We’re now scrutinising the new guidelines to determine what services we will be able to provide in the near future.”

More than 300 registered families have used the service in the last 12 months.

Although face-to-face contact has not been easy, Camp Mohawk was able to expand its online provision thanks to a grant worth £9,967 from the National Lottery. A team of 14 volunteers from the Rotary and Inner Wheel Clubs of Reading Maiden Erlegh carried out maintenance at the site.

Mr Wood gave everyone a health and safety briefing before they spent the whole day clearing the grounds, equipped with leaf blowers and rakes.

They also planted 1,000 crocus bulbs to mark Rotary’s efforts to eradicate polio worldwide.

Mr Wood added: “The Rotary club has supported us in the past with fundraising and they’ve previously supplied volunteers to help with our Christmas parties.

“We’ve got a good relationship with them and they approached us to see if we needed any help. We’ve had far fewer volunteer days this year due to the lockdowns but this is a huge woodland site, which requires a lot of maintenance and we have a very small in-house team.

“The work ensures we have safe access to the site for the children to enjoy. It also keeps the site looking smart and welcoming.

“The volunteers have made a huge difference. We are very grateful for all their hard work.”

Outdoor handwashing facilities were installed during lockdown, which has allowed the charity to open the outdoor playgrounds and pool with a reduced capacity.

The toilets are currently the only indoor facility that can be used and the children must follow a one-way system.

Scott Trathen, team leader of community service for the Rotary club, said: “We’ve had a relationship with Camp Mohawk for at least 10 years. 

“Generally, we have helped with financial contributions, but we also enjoy hands-on work and we cleared a ton of leaves.

“This year we’ve given a lot of our funds to food banks and causes involved with food poverty.”

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