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Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue £15,000
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Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue

Originally set up in 1979 to assist the local authority in times of disaster, then expanded to include the search for highly vulnerable missing persons, Berkshire Lowland Search an...

Originally set up in 1979 to assist the local authority in times of disaster, then expanded to include the search for highly vulnerable missing persons, Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue became a registered charity in 1995. We are now partnered with Thames Valley Police, Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service and all Berkshire councils. Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue is a founding member of the National Association of Lowland Search and Rescue, being one of 36 member teams in the UK.

Our team of 60 volunteers respond to 50 – 60 callouts a year, and are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days per week – and receive no payment whatsoever.

Our activities are:
Lowland Search and Rescue – assisting the police in the search for high risk, vulnerable missing persons
Water Rescue – assisting the police and fire service in the search and rescue of those affected by flooding and those missing in the water
Local Authority Category 1 Responder – supporting the emergency services to aid in the searching for persons/survivors involved in a major emergency
We also provide civil contingencies support to all the Berkshire councils.

Building for the Future £6,000
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Building for the Future

Building for the Future is one of the largest disabled children’s charities in Berkshire. It was set up in 2007 by a group of parents of disabled children with a dream of opening t...

Building for the Future is one of the largest disabled children’s charities in Berkshire. It was set up in 2007 by a group of parents of disabled children with a dream of opening their own community centre in their local area, especially for disabled children and their families. This dream was realised in 2014 when ‘Our House’ was opened by the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

The centre contains soft play, a sensory room, a teenage zone, computer pod, several play areas, fully adapted bathroom as well as an extensive parents’ area with lounge, kitchen and toilets . Three years on and ‘Our House’ now has over 500 families who use the centre over the course of the year, hosting many different activities and clubs appealing to a vast diversity of ages and disabilities, such as Saturday Clubs, a playgroup, parents’ information sessions, therapy groups, holiday clubs and much more.

Building for the Future remains parent-led and predominantly volunteer-run. It relies purely on fundraising efforts in order to run, receiving no grants from major service providers.

No5 Young People £4,000
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No5 Young People

No5 was established in 1971 to serve the local Reading community by providing free, confidential counselling to children and young people experiencing mental health difficulties. O...

No5 was established in 1971 to serve the local Reading community by providing free, confidential counselling to children and young people experiencing mental health difficulties. Our Early Response Project offers a one off appointment within two weeks of a person contacting us. We provide up to 20 sessions to those needing more support. Counselling relieves the effects of living with poor mental health and helps people live fulfilling lives. We offer over 3,500 counselling sessions each year and in the last financial year (2015/16) the demand for our service increased by 75%. In January and February this year (2017) we added 95 children and young people to our waiting list compared to 50 in the same months the previous year.

The demand for our service has never been higher. To try and meet the increasing need we have developed an outreach program which includes counselling sessions in local schools and a Young Ambassador Program. This project supports young people to engage with their peers, both via social media and in person, to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and asking for help. It also supports mental health education. By raising awareness we aim to provide the early intervention clearly identified as vital to meeting the needs of children and young people – 50% of adult mental health difficulties are evident by age 14 and 75% by age 24. Early support can prevent these becoming more serious in later life, saving resources as well as improving lives.

Reading Association for the Blind £4,000
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Reading Association for the Blind

Founded in 1883, Reading Association for the Blind (RAB) has been serving the blind and partially sighted people of Reading for over 130 years from our centre, at Walford Hall. Our...

Founded in 1883, Reading Association for the Blind (RAB) has been serving the blind and partially sighted people of Reading for over 130 years from our centre, at Walford Hall. Our key objective is to serve and support this community with a variety of activities and services with the aim of avoiding isolation, vulnerability, loneliness and a diminished sense of self-worth which can quickly escalate into depression. We provide blind and partially sighted people easy access to opportunities to participate in a rich variety of clubs, groups and services with the aim of maintaining their physical and mental well-being and helping to build confidence to enjoy life in a world without full sight.

Many of our users suffer with physical and hearing disabilities as well as their sight impairment. The RAB empowers them to engage in and enjoy activities which many sighted people take for granted including regular twice weekly open house days where members can enjoy arts and crafts, pottery painting, felting, propagating, gardening, woodworking, a Book Club, Crossword Solvers Group, IT skills training and so much more. We run a monthly social club and bi-weekly Countryside Rambling and Young at Heart Groups – these last two groups enjoy getting out and about with sighted community guiders to help them along safely and with confidence.

We also have a team of Visiting Officers who provide a home support service, including both visits and telephone support.

The Bruce Trust £25,000
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The Bruce Trust

The Bruce Trust has been providing holidays for disabled, disadvantaged or elderly people for 27 years. Starting with just one boat in 1989, the demand for our special facilities...

The Bruce Trust has been providing holidays for disabled, disadvantaged or elderly people for 27 years. Starting with just one boat in 1989, the demand for our special facilities meant we increased our fleet to four boats, all paid for over the years by successfully fundraising over £500,000.

All the Trust’s boats have been purpose-built and include wide-access ramps, hydraulic lifts, spacious lounges, low-level bunks, specially fitted showers and toilets. Two of the boats have a remote steering device that enables someone with less upper body mobility to steer from their wheelchair, using a joystick and one of our boats has a hospital bed.

Since the Trust began, over 20,000 people with a wide variety of special needs, together with their carers, have enjoyed holidays with us. The Trust is run by a dedicated team of just two paid staff (comprising a bookings manager and an engineer) and 90 local voluntary helpers who help train the boat crews, help with turnarounds and offer skippered day trips to hundreds of local charities.

In October 2016, the Trust was awarded the prestigious Charity and Community Award at the annual West Berkshire Business Awards.

West Berkshire Therapy Centre £4,000
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West Berkshire Therapy Centre

The Centre opened in 2014 in Thatcham, using motorised equipment to provide gentle repetitive movements to help disabled people to exercise safely within their limits, under the su...

The Centre opened in 2014 in Thatcham, using motorised equipment to provide gentle repetitive movements to help disabled people to exercise safely within their limits, under the supervision of a Physiotherapist. We see 200-250 clients per week, which include stroke survivors, neurological conditions, arthritis, sight impairment, dementia, joint replacements, amputees and problems of the heart, lungs, diabetes, etc.

Each individual is helped to meet personal health and well-being targets, to be more confident and independent and therefore have less need for NHS and social care services. Often there are about ten clients in the gym at the same time.

The Centre is financed by voluntary contributions, any shortfall made up by fundraising. A salaried Physiotherapist and Gym Supervisor are supported by volunteers on reception and helping clients in the gym. The Trustees are about to raise £1 million to create a hydrotherapy pool to go alongside the gym, in response to measured demand from our clients and others.

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