We employ 17 members of staff who are supported by several volunteers. The majority of the staff are trained to level 3 in childcare and all are experienced in working with a wide variety of additional needs. We use Makaton signing throughout the session and reinforce our communication with picture cards.
The playgroup is primarily for children up to the age of 5 with additional needs, although we do also take siblings and children from families in crisis. We are Ofsted registered and at our last two Ofsted inspections in 2011 and 2015 received an across the board rating of ‘‘Outstanding’. As all pre-schools, we are in receipt of Government Early Education Funding for 2, 3 and 4-year olds. The playgroup is registered to take up to 24 children per session, however we limit ourselves to a maximum of 20 to maintain our high standards of provision.
The children who attend MOP have a very wide range of needs including Down Syndrome to Autism, celebral palsy to global developmental delay. The majority of the children have profound and complex needs and it would be difficult to include them in a mainstream setting. We have several children who are tube fed and/or suctioned and/or require oxygen during the session and many with physical disabilities who require specialised handling. Several children also suffer from seizures. We ensure the children receive the necessary level of support to enable them to access all activities and to make sure their therapy aims are followed during their morning playgroup session.
The children are referred to the playgroup by Health, Education and Social Care as well as by parent word of mouth. These professionals use the playgroup facilities to assess the children and consequently set physiotherapy and speech and language programmes for individual children, which are carried out by our support workers during the sessions. We maintain strong links with the therapists and work closely together to ensure a consistent approach for the children.
The playgroup supports parents during the early days of diagnosis through signposting, advising and providing friendship. We ensure the parents are confident that the playgroup is a safe, secure and happy environment in which their children can be left to learn and develop through play.
We rely heavily on donations, grants and fundraising to raise sufficient money to remain in operation. We have to raise over £90,000 per annum to enable us to continue supporting children to access the curriculum and fulfil therapy aims during their morning sessions.
Marlow Opportunity Playgroup is a calm, welcoming and happy environment where the children feel confident and relaxed and are therefore able to learn through play. We are all very proud of the service we offer to our children and their families."
Marlow Opportunity Playgroup is Registered Charity No. 1177581
More details can be found at http://www.marlowopportunityplaygroup.org.uk
Lions Club - High Wycombe - First Responders Vehicle Fund
With the demands on emergency ambulance services continuously growing Community First Responders (CFRs) are increasingly valuable. They are called by South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) to attend potentially life-threatening incidents, such as cardiac arrests or strokes – often helping to save the lives of people in their local communities by being at a scene very quickly in those crucial first few moments before paramedics arrive.
CFRs live or work in their own ‘patch’ and can often reach a patient a few minutes earlier than an emergency ambulance. They are fully trained volunteers who have the skills and equipment to immediately begin assessing and treating the patient and those few minutes can make all the difference between life and death.
At present CFRs are expected to use their own vehicles to attend calls and this can raise various practical difficulties. The High Wycombe Lions have started a £15,000 fund raising project to facilitate the purchase of a dedicated response vehicle which will allow local CFRs to become a ‘patrolling’ asset to the ambulance service able to respond even more quickly.
Chiltern Shakespeare is pleased to be supporting the Lions in 2019 by helping to fund a new response vehicle.
Registered charity no. 1166839
Beaconsfield Musical And Operatic Society
In 2018 Chiltern Shakespeare Company (CSC) supported other local performing arts groups which need to upgrade their facilities.
CSC was formed in 1986 and performed initially in a school hall before coming to Hall Barn in 1989. Aviva and Michael Wiseman together with Sue and Dickon Thorndike were founder members and the cast was drawn from local amateur societies.
Amongst these Beaconsfield Operatic Society (now BMOS) contributed some of the early performers. Younger participants including many from Beaconsfield Young Theatre started to feature with several eventually graduating to become regular adult actors. Indeed from this pathway some have moved on to professional acting careers.
In addition to acting these local Societies collaborate on planning and resource sharing at a time when finances are increasingly under pressure from a combination of rising costs and an ever-widening choice of other entertainments. Beaconsfield Musical & Operatic Society has been producing Operetta, Opera and Musical Theatre since 1910. Young Theatre at Beaconsfield dates from 1970.
These organisations share facilities at the Curzon Centre, Beaconsfield which now require upgrading, particularly the provision of up-to-date sound amplification systems. Given the mutual co-operation between the groups described above CSC will be aiming to raise some funds to support BMOS and YT in 2018.
South Bucks Riding For The Disabled Association
South Bucks RDA provides people with the opportunity to ride to benefit their health and well-being in the South Buckinghamshire area. Riding is widely recognised as an excellent form of therapy – building self-confidence, improving core strength and concentration whilst also providing recreation, education, sport, exercise – and fun!!
The Centre works with junior and adult riders with a variety of disabilities. These include learning difficulties, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, rheumatoid arthritis, Down’s syndrome, deafness, blindness and limb amputation. Parents comment on how riding has improved their child’s physio and core strength and/or their focus and concentration.
South Bucks RDA receives no Government or Lottery funding so relies on donations and the commitment of volunteers and sponsors to offer life-changing opportunities for its riders.
The centre is based in the village of Fulmer, hosted by Diane Redfern, the Centre’s Chairman and supporter of RDA and Paralympian dressage for many years.
Chiltern Shakespeare Company supported Woodrow High House in Amersham.
Woodrow High House, located just outside Amersham, is a residential centre based in a 17th century manor house. It belongs to the charity London Youth, whose mission it is to support young people to become the best that they can be.
Every year, Woodrow welcomes over 7000 young people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, many from local schools and youth groups. We engage with children and support them to learn through the fun of outdoor activities. Our learning outcomes demonstrate that we help young people to:
Improve their self-confidence and belief Overcome challenges and see them through Develop the ability to work as a team and solve problems Take on leadership roles and reflect on their actions
"The funds raised through the generous support of the Chiltern Shakespeare Company and its customers will enable us to develop a high ropes course, specifically designed to encourage young people to work together and overcome challenges" said Martin Curtis, Head of Centre. "Young people leave Woodrow with happy memories that will stay with them forever."
Woodrow High House is a dynamic space for youth work and training, sports development, drama and dance workshops, offering opportunities for personal and social development.
Penn School was the chosen charity for 2015. Unfortunately, the school closed just after our production ended and the following half of the donation being made. The remainder of the donation that would have gone to Penn School was instead donated to SignHealth in Beaconsfield.
SignHealth campaigns to improve healthcare for Deaf people and also provide sign language services including online translation supported living and mental health therapies.
Carers Bucks is an independent charity supporting carers in Buckinghamshire. A donation of £10,000 was made as a result of the play.
Wycombe Homeless Connection, a community project of Wycombe churches which helps some 300 vulnerably housed individuals per year who do not qualify for Local Authority support. A £10,000 donation from the Company and the Lions was presented at the 2014 AGM.
A donation of £12,000 was made to Ian Rennie Grove House Hospice Care.
A donation of £8,150 was made to Macmillan Cancer Support.
2010 The Stroke Association / Buckinghamshire Community Foundation
2009 Thames Hospicecare
2008 The Friends of the Curzon Centre / Wexham Park Ventilator Fund
2007 The South Bucks Hospice / Beaconsfield Talking Newspaper
2006 The National Society for Epilepsy / The Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust
2005 The National Deaf Children's Society / Bucks Search and Rescue
2004 The Royal National Lifeboat Institution / Pets as Therapy
2003 Breakthrough Breast Cancer / Maplewood School
2002 Scannappeal / Activenture
2001 The Thames Valley Hospice / Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
2000 The Friends of the Curzon Centre / Penn School
1999 Rushymead Hospice Day Care Centre / The Spinal Injuries Association
1998 The National Society for Epilepsy / The Princess Marina Centre
1997 NCH Action for Children / The South Bucks Hospice
1996 NCH Action for Children / The Samaritans
1995 NCH Action for Children / Cancer Relief Macmillan Fund
1994 Abbeyfield Beaconsfield / St. Dunstan's
1993 The National Society for Epilepsy / The British Heart Foundation
1992 The National Society for Epilepsy / The British Heart Foundation
1991 The British Heart Foundation / Cystic Fibrosis
1990 South Bucks Hospice Appeal / The Hospice of Our Lady and St. John / Thames Valley Hospice
1989 The British Heart Foundation