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Crawley students show support for homeless charity

Crawley College students demonstrated their community spirit, with a donation to a local homeless charity earlier this month.

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The students, currently studying for their Access to HE Diploma in Nursing and Healthcare Professions, collected numerous essential items including food, toiletries and clothes, which they presented to Crawley Open House.

Lecturer Senzeni Kamere said:

“It was a great, thought-provoking experience for our healthcare students.

“As part of their course, it’s important for our students to think about vulnerable people in the community and how they might work with them in the future.

“The students went out of their way to support this much needed service, and some of them confessed that they themselves had been homeless at some point.

“They are now all ambassadors for Crawley Open House, wherever they go.” 

Ian Wilkins, fundraising and relationships manager for Crawley Open House, came into the college to receive the donations.

Ian said: “We are so grateful to Senzeni Kamere and the staff and students at Crawley College, both for facilitating the lecture on the issues around homelessness, and for their amazing and unexpected big donation of goods for the homeless and disadvantaged of Crawley and the surrounding area.

“On behalf of all those who will benefit, we want to say a massive thank you. We rely heavily on such generosity from the local community, and we never take it for granted.”

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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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