One of the patients treated at the Children’s Trust is 13-year-old Josh. He was knocked down by a lorry while doing a paper-round. His doctors expressed little hope of recovery, but after three weeks, when Josh came out of his coma, he was unable to walk, talk or eat. Six weeks after going to the Trust, Josh made a significant breakthrough and began to talk again. Through intensive sessions in the gym, hydrotherapy pool and horse-riding, he also began to walk.
Josh worked extremely hard to recover from his injuries, but it might have been a different story without the team of physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, play therapists, nurses and care staff.
"Bakers help raise money to improve the lives of severely injured and disabled children through National Doughnut Week," says Liz Haigh-Reeve, director of fundraising for the charity. "The funds raised go directly towards providing care, education and therapy, helping children and their families nationwide rebuild their lives following an accident or serious illness."
National Doughnut Week 2007, sponsored by ingredients supplier BakeMark, is running from 5-12 May. Last year, the week raised over £35,000 for the charity and more than 600 bakeries took part from all over the UK. "We are really hoping for over £50,000 this year. This will help make life-changing differences to some of the children," says Haigh-Reeve. "Most of the children at the Trust cannot walk or talk and many have impaired hearing or vision. Some cannot breathe independently and most have profound learning difficulties, epilepsy and complex medical needs."
She explains: "The Children’s Trust offers 16 of the 20 beds in the UK for children who need rehabilitation following acquired brain injury. Over the next couple of years the trust will spend up to £8m on new accommodation to provide 22 beds in a purpose-built home-from-home setting. All the money must be raised through donations. We need bakers to help make this the most successful National Doughnut Week ever!"
The Children’s Trust site, based in Tadworth, Surrey, offers short, medium and long-term residential care and therapy to children with multiple disabilities and complex health needs. St Margaret’s School provides special education for children aged 5-19 with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD).
Says Haigh-Reeve: "Statutory funding meets the cost of providing for the child’s educational or health needs, but fundraising must provide everything else, including the cost of social workers to support families, the cost of play, outings and activities, specialist equipment and all buildings, buses and capital purchases. This year, the fundraising team must raise over £5 million and, without generous support, the trust just couldn’t manage. The Trust works hard to make sure every child can take part in activities that they enjoy, including playing computer games, hockey, going to Scouts or Brownies and wheelchair football."
Also to help raise funds, in December 2006, the trust launched its very own lottery. Winners receive a £1,000 jackpot, and runners-up can win anything between £10-£100. All the proceeds go to helping the trust. Bakers can request these forms to put in their shops, or take part in the lottery themselves.
PLEA FOR HELP
Liz Haigh-Reeve adds: "I would say to any bakers, please, please register for National Doughnut Week. It is a fun way to raise money, drive sales and to get publicity for your store."
Sponsor BakeMark UK is offering free doughnut concentrate mix to make 900 doughnuts to any bakers who register for the week before 24 March. There’s a point-of-sale pack for all participating craft bakers with a selection of bright, eye-catching posters and banners, price tickets and counter-top cards to entice customers, as well as advice on how to attract local publicity through the press. n
l To register for National Doughnut Week, go to [http://www.fundraising.thechildrenstrust.org.uk/nationaldoughnutweek] or call Christopher Freeman on 020 8340 1614 or 07776 480032
=== What bakers can do for the children ===
£40,000 - could finance a height-adjustable kitchen
£30,000 - could provide a fully furnished bedroom in the family accommodation
£20,000 - could pay for a medical store room
£15,000 - could buy and equip a multi-sensory bathroom
£3,000- could buy a child’s spa bath
£1,500 - could buy a special height-adjustable ’volker’ bed
£1,135 - could buy an interactive fibre-optic lightboard
£600 - could buy an adjustable-height child’s table
£250 - could buy bed linen and curtains