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Crawley College student uses hand carving talent to raise money for local charity

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A Crawley College carpentry student has been raising money for charity – and showcasing his talent for hand carving.

Ben David, who is studying level 2 bench joinery, put his talent to the test to raise money for Crawley Open House, a local homeless charity. He raised £50 thanks to the generosity of local resident Izzy to carve his second oak sign – and donated the proceeds to charity.

Trevor Francis, lecturer in carpentry & joinery, said:

“Izzy supported Ben in his wonderful efforts and was really very pleased with the quality of Ben’s workmanship.

“Once again, Ben produced a fantastic piece of work and raised some much need funds for a local charity in a short amount of time.”

Ben put his skills to the test quickly and, before the college campus closed in March as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ben manufactured the timber using machinery in the workshops.

Ben and Izzy

He then set out the lettering and hand carved the sign before fitting fixing brackets to the back. He treated the wood with a preservative, picked out the lettering in a black paint and then varnished the sign to protect it from the rain.

Ian Wilkins, from Crawley Open House, said:

“Thank you so much to Ben and Izzy for this generous hard work and donations. It is especially appreciated in the current circumstances.”

Last year, Ben hand carved a special sign for Ifield Water Mill.

Charity

Crawley boy receives pioneering kit to help with his disabilities

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Eleven-year-old Theakston Lee-Watson is among the first recipients of innovative new equipment to provide disabled children with sensory activities in their own home.

Theakston, from Crawley in Sussex, received the equipment from Caudwell Children as part of a UK-first charity campaign to deliver sensory equipment and support to disabled children across the country.

The sensory pack will provide a range of therapeutic benefits for Theakston, who has autism and sensory processing disorder, helping him regulate his emotions and develop his motor skills. 

Theakston’s mum, Kitty Lee-Watson, has already noticed the benefits the equipment brings.

Kitty said:

“He has a lot of anxiety at the moment, I now have the sensory pack out on his bedroom floor so when he has a meltdown it’s easy to guide him to something or distract him. This has been a real help.

“Theakston’s favourite part of the Get Sensory pack is the Fibre Optic Light as it’s both visual and tactile. He likes touching the fibres.”

Caudwell Children has pledged to provide thousands of families with essential sensory equipment during the Covid-19 pandemic – with each family receiving a pack of appropriate and safe toys to support children living with a wide range of disabilities. 

Trudi Beswick, CEO of Caudwell Children, said:

“Our Get Sensory Packs are designed to support children who are likely to benefit from sensory resources – it’s so encouraging to hear that Theakston is enjoying using the equipment and his family can see the benefits already.”

“We’ve committed to provide thousands of families with a pack, because we know it’s difficult to access resources at the moment.

“To deliver on that we’re now calling for anyone who can to make a difference to the life of a disabled child by donating to our Get Sensory Packs campaign – you can make a life-changing difference from just £5.”

Caudwell Children launched its Get Sensory Packs campaign following consultation with parents to find the most appropriate and safe sensory items – selected by the charity’s Occupational Therapists.

The packs include:

  • A Liquid Cell Timer,
  • Scented Bubbles,
  • A BoBo Massager,
  • Sissle Brush,
  • 4 Ball Massager,
  • Weighted Cushion,
  • Spikey Domes,
  • Space Blanket, and
  • A Fibre Optic Lamp.

Packs are available to children who have a confirmed disability or chronic illness. Families can apply directly to Caudwell Children for support, with the charity providing 80% of the cost of each pack.

Families will be asked to contribute 20% of the cost, which is £20, and to confirm their financial status and their child’s diagnosis. More information is available at getsensorypacks.com.

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