Happy New Year to you all. What a year 2023 was for us. We saw ourselves busier than ever and supporting more families than we ever have before, so much so, that we have had to start a waiting list for new families – this has never happened before!
Since August 2023, we celebrated Halloween, Guy Fawkes Night, Children in Need and also were able to enjoy swimming. The Mayoress of Dawlish, Rosie Dawson, came to see what we get up to and joined in the cooking at our Halloween session.
We have been able to enhance our music room due to the wonderful donations that keep coming in and have purchased an electronic drum kit. The children absolutely love playing this piece of equipment and luckily it comes with headphones, so it isn’t too noisy!
Once again, we were able to take over 50 people on the Sail with Santa experience offered by Stuart Line Cruises. The majority of our families were able to enjoy this seasonal experience and the children were delighted to meet Santa and to enjoy all the on board activities.
We celebrated Christmas in style and were fortunate enough to have Charlie the Elf come to entertain us. Our Christmas party really was the best way to say goodbye to 2023. The children really enjoyed the activities, and the snow machine was a big hit! We were also lucky enough to have a flying visit from Santa and his little helper.
Donations continue to flow in which allow us to offer our children the chance to cook and craft each week. This is extremely important as the children take great pride in their creations and are so proud of themselves for producing something to eat and to take home. We are overwhelmed by the continued support offered to us by the local community, it really does mean such a lot to our families. The Mid-Devon Cycle Club raised the huge sum of £3,000.00 for us from the annual Dartmoor Classic Sportive event. The Salem Masonic Lodge very kindly donated £500.00. HGRFC donated the sum of £500.00. The Boathouse at Dawlish Warren raffled a hamper and managed to raise the sum of £570.00. The Cuddly Toy Gang have donated a further £250.00 from Ashcombe Bingo sessions. Mr and Mrs Chislett very kindly donated a further £100.00 to us. The Devon Arms bingo group donated £300.00 as well as some gifts and chocolates for the children for Christmas. Mrs Adams donated £100.00 which allowed us to purchase presents from Santa for all our children. A local family, Amy and Brendan Saich decided to raise money for us by decorating their house for Christmas and managed to raise £240.00 for us. Finally, we received a further donation from Suzanne Thorne of £75.00. We also managed to raise the sum of £1382.45 from our annual Carol Concert held at Luscombe Chapel. Our families and extended families continue to support us by making donations when they can. We are extremely grateful to everyone who has made donations as the cost of running our group has almost doubled and we are still able to offer our families the invaluable support they need together with amazing trips out and exciting activities.
As a group we have been extremely busy, but we have been able to welcome some new families and to continue to support these families who often find themselves isolated and alone dealing with challenging behaviour and constant battles to achieve suitable education for their children. As always, it has been an absolute pleasure to encourage our children to flourish and enjoy themselves through music, sensory integration and play. I know that our families value the support we offer and are able to relax once a week and spend some positive time filled with laughter and smiles. This is only possible because of the amazing donations we continue to receive and to the dedication and commitment of our amazing team. Thank you all for making such a huge difference to so many families.