On Saturday 20th December the money raised at the No Stiletto Shoes gig, organised by Franky Brooker, went to the White Lodge Children's Centre £1,500,000 re-building appeal.
The Appeal Organiser is Mrs Bernard Cribbins: Appeal Office, 11/12 Weybridge Business Centre, 66 York Road, Weybridge, Surrey, KT13 9DY.
White Lodge Children's Centre (Registered Charity No. 286238) was started in the 1960s by a group of desperate parents needing help and support for their children who had Cerebral Palsy.
Since then it has grown into a Centre renowned for the care and treatment it provides – the superb staff are experts in their field; a large volunteer staff support them. Consultants and specialists from St. Peter's Hospital and Great Ormond Street visit the Centre monthly in order to assess the needs of the children. Therapy is a way of life and runs through the daily timetable of play and lessons. Videos are made regularly to record progress and even the smallest improvement is a great achievement. Parents are supported at all times and given advice on the best way to care for and help their child. All this in a loving, caring and positive environment.
Now the buildings are old and in need of modernisation. Space is at a premium – offices used as consulting rooms, offices at different ends of building so the staff have to wall: miles to ask a question, facilities not up to the demanding current standards, etc. The re-building and enlargement mean there will be room for all and a greater number of children will receive treatment. It is estimated that there will be a saving of £50,000 in the running costs.
It has also been agreed that The Child Development Unit from St. Peter's Hospital, Chertsey, which is next door, should move into White Lodge. The children find it is less daunting visiting White Lodge for assessment than going to a hospital.
Did you know there is no sound proof room where hearing can be properly tested, in this very noisy area of England? Bad enough if your child is physically well and can speak, but if your child is unable to make sounds and is deaf and you are desperately trying to find some way to communicate, you can imagine everyone's frustration caused by aeroplanes overhead and traffic roaring by as they carry out tests to determine hearing levels. There is a sound proof room in the new plan.
Did you know that a child can feel a failure by the age of 3? Minimally disabled children who are slower than physically able children may feel this way. Continually trying to keep up can stop children wanting to make an effort. Even two days spent at White Lodge receiving special attention can make them feel more successful and boost their confidence.
White Lodge staff prefer that children and their parents attend as soon as the disability is diagnosed. The sooner physiotherapists start treatment the better, in order that good patterns of movement can be encouraged before limbs twist and set. Once routines are established general health will be improved and a better quality of life achieved.
75 families use White Lodge Children's Centre at present. The Child Development Unit will bring in another 80 families a year – that is not counting people who use the toy library or the special support groups. Disabled children come to White Lodge from Surrey, Sussex, Berkshire, Hampshire and Middlesex – families from this wide catchment area, are able to survive because of the skill, support and care the committed White Lodge staff provide.
Update, 16 December 1997: we have reached the magic £1,000,000!
The Appeal has now reached £1,220,000; a fantastic Christmas present! We have received substantial donations from four major Trusts in the last few months which, together with the generosity and hard work of a lot of other people, means we have hit the million pound mark – a great achievement.
Phase I is complete. The Offices, new Entrance Hall and Reception Area are up and running and are a resounding success.
Phase IIa is on site and should hopefully be finished by Spring of 1998. How the staff, doctors, physiotherapists and outworkers are coping with all the chaos, dust and dirt I cannot imagine, but they are!
An exciting development in the future plans for the new enlarged White Lodge Children's Centre. More and more of the statutory services have come in to support and take advantage of the excellent facilities that will be on offer to those who have a child with disabilities.
The New Children's Centre at White Lodge will offer every kind of support, advice and help to those families who need it; from first diagnosis (often at a few days old or as early as possible), to continued physiotherapy for those with minor disabilities going on into mainstream schools or the profoundly disabled children who go on into special schools. Not only will this offer a unique service to people with a disabled child but also makes sense economically.
There will also be training for the specialist staff who will be the one to one support for the children who need continuous backup in mainstream school.
The new enlarged White Lodge is being regarded as a flagship for like developments, where every variety of service is on offer to the parents and children and is available under one roof.
It is an exciting prospect!
Patrons: The Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Richard Thornton Esq, OBE, JP; The Bishop of Guildford; The Rt Rev John Galdwin; Lady Hamilton of Dalzell; The Rt. Hon. Sir Geoffrey Pattie, MP; The Rt. Hon. Dame Angela Rumbold, DBE, MP; Ian Taylor Esq. MBE, MP; The Hon. Mrs Taylor; Dame Catherine Cookson, DBE, D. Litt, MA; Sir Harry Secombe, CBE; Lady Secombe; Sir Cliff Richard, OBE; The Deputy Commissioner, Metropolitan Police, Mr Brian Hayes, CBE, QPM, BA; The Chief Constable of Surrey, Mr David Williams, QPM, LLB; Mr & Mrs Russ Abbot; Mrs Renee Alexander-Taylor; Tom Cookson Esq, MA; Nigel Day Esq; Mrs Kate Franklin, MIPR; Simon Hawkings Esq; Miss Janie Hodson; Mr & Mrs Alan Keat; Miss Josephine Langston; Mr & Mrs V Midgley; Rev. Barry Olsen; Simon Scarborough Esq; Mr and Mrs Ed Stewart; Mr & Mrs Ray Alan; Peter Batten Esq; Bernard Cribbins Esq; John Deal Esq; Miss Hannah Gordon; Mr & Mrs I Hayton; Peter Jarvis Esq, OBE, JP; Mrs & Mrs Leigh Langston; Mike Long Esq; Mr & Mrs D Morrison; Mr & Mrs Don Roberts; Alec Stewart Esq; Mr & Mrs M Woods.