The Children's Trust
In a two-year partnership, Epsom College raised over £30,000 and provided vital 1-1 support for children suffering the long-term effects of brain damage.
The partnership saw Epsom College go much further than simply raising funds and making donations. The Children's Trust became a partner of our service programme, and pupils from the College would have an hour a week timetabled to support children at the Trust's rehabilitation centre.
To support children at The Children's Trust's local education and rehabilitation centre. The Trust cares for children suffering from brain injury, and many of the children in their care are severely impacted.
Important to the College was the sense that this was a meaningful partnership that went deeper than simply fundraising. We wanted our pupils to give their time and energy to the service of the children being cared for, and therefore volunteering at The CHildren's Trust became a central part of our partnership.
The Children's Trust is a well-known local charity, with its main educational and rehabilitation centre just a few miles away in Tadworth.
Our students initially chose to support the charity in 2018, donating a substantial sum of money to support its work. The 2018 leavers raised £15,000 at the annual leavers' ball.
Following this donation, closer ties were formed and our pupils began to volunteer at the charity as part of our service programme.
Monies were raised through a series of charitable events at the College, all involved the input of students. The College's Charity Committee, comprised of charity reps from each House as well as the Lower School, chose to support The Children's Trust in 2018.
The first fundraising event was the annual leavers' ball. Money was raised through an auction and raffle, with items generously donated by parents. £15,000 was raised at this event alone.
Throughout the following year, events such as bakesales, mufti days, and the week-long Charity Week in March.
In support of the financial contribution, Sixth Form students would volunteer their time to the charity. Pupils would spend an hour each week, timetable, to work with children at the Trust. Activities would range from 1-1 tutor sessions, art therapy and companionship.
In total just over £30,000 was raised, and several hundred hours of time volunteered.
Fiona Thorne, Partnerships Manager at The CHildren's Trust, said: "I am writing to you on behalf of everyone at The Children’s Trust to thank you for your wonderful donation. We are so grateful to you, and all at Epsom College, for selecting us as your charity of the year for the last two years. Your donation will help children like Blake. In January 2018, four year old Blake became unwell with flu like symptoms. His condition quickly worsened and he began slurring his words and complaining of dizziness. Blake was taken to hospital, where he was in a coma for two weeks.
Once medically stable, having spent five months in hospital, Blake arrived at The Children’s Trust for specialist brain injury rehabilitation to relearn many of the skills that he’d lost. His movement was still minimal and he was unable to communicate.
Blake started to make progress, especially during his physiotherapy sessions, gaining consistent head control and even taking small steps when assisted. Using eye movement to indicate yes and no, Blake also learnt to communicate again.
Not able to swallow anything when he first arrived, speech and language therapy played a vital part in Blake’s progress. Blake’s mum Kirsty says “His therapist Rachel always made sessions fun and kept Blake motivated. She also gave us lots of ideas to take away with us and because of this he is now able to eat foods of smooth consistency on a daily basis.”
Since being at home, Blake continues to go from strength to strength. 'It is such a joy to see Blake constantly improving and we couldn’t have got to where we are now without everything that we learnt at The Children’s Trust', explains Kirsty.
It is thanks to wonderful people like you that we are able to continue to help children like Blake. We can’t thank you enough for your support."