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Grant Supports Disabled Children Across Three Counties

Nearly two thousand disabled children and their families from across three counties will receive help and support thanks to a grant from Berkshire Freemasons.


The £15,000 grant to the charity Swings & Smiles will support children with a wide range of conditions, including learning disabilities, autism and Down’s Syndrome, as well as a number of life-limiting illnesses.


Swings & Smiles offer a timetable of respite, family play sessions, youth clubs, sibling support and parental support. They also deliver outreach sessions in the community to groups, schools and individuals across Berkshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire.


The charity is committed to improving the quality of life for disabled children and their families. They want to see a world where ‘everybody has the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential.’ Their play centre in Thatcham, Berkshire, has a range of resources including a large sensory room and therapy space, activity room and a brilliant garden with accessible play equipment. 


The grant from Berkshire Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, across England and Wales.


“We’re hugely grateful to Berkshire Freemasons for their generous grant which will allow us to offer disabled children and their families the help they need,” said Rhonda Nicklin, CEO of Swings & Smiles.

“There is a large and growing demand from families and carers for our services and thanks to the Freemasons we’ll be able to reach many more of them.  This grant will go towards part funding a Play Leader over three years.  Play Leaders have specialist communication skills to support our complex disabled and SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) children to play.”

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Pictured from left to right: Berkshire Freemason's Provincial Grand Charity Steward W.Bro. Mickey Labana, Play Leader Grace Larby, a young service user, CEO of Swings & Smiles Rhonda Nicklin, and W.Bro. Gerry Preston, Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Berkshire.



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