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Project Brighton: Sally-Anne Murray on local charity Chailey’s D.R.E.A.M. Centre appeal, and how companies can help support it
One Brighton company has made Chailey their chosen charity. Leading solicitors, Griffith Smith Farrington Webb (GSFW), based at the Old Steine, has agreed to support Chailey Heritage Foundation with the D.R.E.A.M. Centre appeal to raise £2.6m for a brand new centre for arts and physical activities as well as a space where all the young people can gather together in one place. As part of their commitment, the team of partners, lawyers, paralegals and admin staff will undertake a variety of events to fundraise for the D.R.E.A.M. Centre.
Chailey Heritage Foundation provides education and care for children and young adults with physical disabilities and complex needs, aged between 3-25 years old. They come to learn, play, interact with their peers, improve their physical and mental agility and become a little bit more independent. To be able to do this often means building purpose-built spaces with children and young people’s needs in mind, and this, of course costs money.
Last December, the annual Christmas festivities for the children and young people at Chailey Heritage Foundation were held, including two nativities, a panto and a carol concert. All of the celebrations were filled with laughter and smiles, yet there was one thing missing – the ability to bring all the children and young adults and their families and friends together in one place to celebrate Christmas.
Founded in 1903 by Grace Kimmins, Chailey Heritage Foundation now supports around 220 children and young people, houses a School and boarding houses for children together with three bungalows for young adults to transition into independent living as well as a Life Skills Centre with drop in sessions at its gym, multi-sensory area and multimedia suites as well as hosting living skills and arts and crafts classes. Although a lot has changed at Chailey Heritage over the years, some of the facilities, like the existing hall, are still set in the past, which is why we have launched our D.R.E.A.M. Centre appeal.
The D.R.E.A.M. (dynamic, real, experiential, amazing, magical) Centre will be a modern, purpose built space, large enough for children and young people with complex disabilities to participate in a mixture of arts and physical activities.
For example, 4 year old Lennon will be able to use the D.R.E.A.M. Centre to do power chair driving in his wheelchair. Likewise, Henry, aged 18 and Fenton aged 9 will be able to play wheelchair football in the new centre or maybe take part in a trampolining session? Or even a sensory four dimensional experience if the participants needed a bit of down time? For Holly, aged 14 and Keelie, aged 16, who love to act, the D.R.E.A.M. Centre will become their stage for plays, dances and other performances.
We launched our appeal to raise the £2.6 million to fund the project in November last year at an event at Brighton’s Sea Life Centre with the support of local business partners, Skyfall, E3, Folkington Juices and O&G. Statutory agencies only provide basic funding for each child and young adult, so without fundraising we wouldn’t be able to provide the special facilities that help nurture and grow those who pass through our care at Chailey Heritage.
We would be delighted if other local Brighton companies could help us realise this ambition – and build this amazing space for the children and young adults – by selecting Chailey Heritage Foundation as their chosen charity.
If you feel the appeal is something you or your company can help us with, please get in touch by either contacting me, Sally-Anne Murray on 01825 724752, or by visiting www.chf.org.uk/dreamcentre.