Climbing frame grant award for a new imaginative play area at the Beacon School
The state of the art, purpose built Beacon School in Folkestone offers children (3-19 years) with complex needs, profound and severe learning difficulties and physical and sensory impairments, a wide range of educational experiences.
Red Eagle recently provided a £892 grant for a new climbing frame. This was part of a new outside play area directly outside the classroom designed to provide an exciting space for imaginative play for the physically able. The play area will encourage social, physical and emotional progress, paramount to the overall learning experience for these complex children.
Juile Howell, Specialist Nursery Manager said, “Wow! This climbing frame has made such a difference to our young children in nursery and reception. They can be safe, learning and enjoying the outdoors on this amazing equipment. Thank you to the Red Eagle Foundation, you have made many children very happy.”
The Space will also be available for use within the local community.
Hextable charity, We are Beams, supports disabled children, young people and their families where they fall through the local authority net. Day trips and overnight stays are just some of the ways that We are Beams support the family.
Six of the children who attend cannot consume food orally and rely on their parents bringing in their own pumps. The pump delivers the correct nutrition and regulates what is given to them automatically.
With pumps sometimes failing or parents forgetting to bring their pump in, the charity were keen to have their own pump. The Red Eagle Foundation were pleased to provide the £440 grant for the equipment which will support six children.
Caroline Brinkman from We Are Beams said, “The food pump ensures that a child has food distributed in a manner that is comfortable for them and will save time, giving them more time to play – it also helps the support worker. This reduces any chance of indigestion, and the child feels better and fuller for longer as the food is distributed in a consistent way.”
With more referrals coming from the NHS, We Are Beams provides a valued ongoing service in our community.
Until he was 8 years old, Luke from Sittingbourne was a normal, active and happy young boy. He then developed symptoms of muscle stiffness in his legs and found difficultly in walking. The neurological condition progressively got worse - two years on and Luke now finds himself wheelchair bound.
His local school is hugely supportive, but for a healthy young boy to end up wheelchair bound has naturally had an impact on his mental health. Luke now shows signs of depression and finds it difficult opening up to therapists and his family.
Play therapy has been recommended and works well with children going through emotional circumstances in their lives. The Red Eagle Foundation have granted £950 for a series of play sessions and hope this goes some way to supporting Luke’s mental wellbeing. (Childs name changed to protect identity)
The Red Eagle Foundation were delighted to fund the £448 required for Communication Switches for Adam Newman. Adam has a diagnosis of global development delay and ASD. He is aware of people and voices but unable to access systems of communication.
Funding was not possible through the NHS, so the Red Eagle Foundation stepped in and provided the funding for a range of communication switches. These will help Adam’s understanding of cause and effect. With continued practice at home, Adam is far more likely to develop his communication skills.
Suffering from severe cerebral palsy affecting her whole body, Isabella has very little control over her movement and needs full postural support. Over the last year, Isabella has had lots of complications with her chest and respiratory system which have resulted in a number of hospital and intensive care admissions. She has not been at school since before the summer break in 2018.
Isabella trialed an Acheeva learning station, which is similar to a bed but can be used to support a child in a multitude of positions - back, front and side lying, sitting up, tilted. What’s more, the equipment is ‘adult size’ so would service Isabella for life. The bed is narrow and therefore easy to move and access the entire house. The equipment proved to be life changing, reducing the complications and minimising the physical workload by her family. They immediately applied to the foundation for a £6,688 grant to fund the equipment.
Four months on and now installed, it means Isabella has a piece of equipment which enables her to rest or sit up and move between the two with minimal handling, it also means she is now back at school.
Her teacher, Gemma Shipp, from Meadowfield School in Sittingbourne said, “ The Acheeva bed has helped support Isabella in coming back to school and joining in many activities - she is clearly enjoying the learning station and interacting with adults.”
Wayne Hodgson, Chairman of Trustees said, “This is the largest single grant award the Foundation has made to date and one that has clearly made a huge difference to both Isabella and her family – We wish them well for the future.
The Red Eagle Foundation were delighted to fund the £448 required for Communication Switches for Alex Mouchamitsin. Alex has significant visual impairment which impacts his ability to process visual information. Alex is motivated by auditory stimulation such as music and the spoken word.
The communication switches are linked to various items such as toys, a spinning globe and a pillow, all designed to develop his understanding of cause and effect. Alex is already showing signs of improvement, exploring his tray more to find items that he recalls were there previously. With continued practice at home, Alex is far more likely to develop his communication skills.
Good luck Alex, we all wish you the very best for your future.
Willow has Spina bifida, Hydrocephalus and Chiari malformation. She can not walk or stand due to spinal defect and has little to no muscle tone on her glutes and hamstrings. The new trike will help strengthen these as much as possible, to try and achieve some form of mobility, even if just round the house – all in a fun way.
“Willow can now play alongside other children her age, she is no longer crawling around on the floor; instead she’s on her little bike, just like her friends, being able to go wherever she wants. The new trike gives her independence and freedom, and unlike her walker or wheelchair, the trike looks just like a ‘normal’ bike which stops the many questions from children which can create awkward moments when out and about. Now we can just focus on having fun!” This is what her mum Emmy said, a couple of weeks after receiving her new bespoke trike, funded by the Red Eagle Foundation.
The trike will last Willow for about 4 years (depending on growth). By this time other physio and activities will hopefully have her ‘walking’ to an extent with the help of a walker supplied by the NHS.
We wish Willow every success with her new trike.
Red Eagle Foundation recently received a grant application from St. Eanswythe Primary School in Folkestone for sensory equipment. The school’s support for SEN children and vulnerable children has been recognised as outstanding.
The Foundation part funded a water Play item to the tune of £270.00 to help children with sensory issues to explore and engage in new activities at the school; some exploring water for the first time.
Mrs Price commented, “The children can now carry out Scientific experiments, compare materials, measure forces and link play to math areas such as capacity. The children discovered that if they filled the higher water tray up the water would flow through the dames quicker. We’d like to thank the Red Eagle Foundation for their valued support.”
The class teacher, SENCO, and Child Liaison Officer will be involved in feedback and observations.
Fourteen year old Leanne is educated at home, to get away from the severe bullying she was subjected to, due to her cognitive disabilities (severe Dyslexia).
Her mum, Lorraine, was keen to have Leanne assessed at the Ashford Dyslexia Centre, but with her and her husband being disabled and no with NHS funding, she felt she was facing a losing battle. “The assessment will open doors, and allow her to have assistance at college where she can forge not only a career, but confidence and friends,” said Lorraine.
She approached the Red Eagle Foundation, who has since funded the £450 assessment and a further £570 to fund IGSCE’s in English and Maths.
Leanne has since had her assessment, which confirmed the Dyslexia and identified other conditions. We wish Leanne all the best.
Tyler’s new trike helps him with physical and mental wellbeing
Eleven year old Tyler, who attends Meadowfield Special School in Sittingbourne, was delighted when he received a new bespoke trike.
Tyler was born with Down’s Syndrome, does not talk and finds it difficult to communicate his needs. He is energetic and has an infectious smile. His younger sister has severe autism and with a new baby brother, his mum, Jennifer, works extremely hard to ensure they all enjoy an excellent relationship.
The new trike will help the family spend more quality time outdoors and help Tyler from a social and emotional perspective. It will also be of therapeutic benefit, helping build up Tyler’s strength and stability and maintain a healthier lifestyle.
The trike has been designed so it will adapt as Tyler grows and will serve him for a significant amount of time. The £1,338 grant was put forward by Orchards Occupational Therapist and was funded entirely by the Red Eagle Foundation.
Charlie becomes more socially and physically active with his new trike
9 year old Charlie Tottle, and his therapist at Orchards in Sittingbourne, were delighted when they received the news that they were granted the full amount of £1,066.00 for a bespoke trike, by a local charity, the Red Eagle Foundation.
Charlie suffers from Perthes Disease, Global Development Delay, Epilepsy, and visual Impairment but due to the bespoke nature of his needs the trike couldn’t be funded by the NHS.
The new Theraplay Trike will help Charlie become more mobile and both socially & physically active. He has been unable to use a standard bike with stabilisers, as he lacks the balance and co-ordination required. Regular use of this trike will have a therapeutic benefit, helping improve his strength and stability and enable him to make physical progress in a fun and motivating, social environment.
Charlie’s mum, Susan said, “The Trike has given Charlie his independence and the ability to catch up with his peers.”
The Theraplay Trike allows for growth and therefore Charlie should benefit from its use for the foreseeable future.
Gym lover, 18 year old, Reece Matheson, was surprised when a chance meeting at Cascades Leisure Centre in Gravesend led to a local charity making up the £1,650 funding shortfall to provide a bespoke wheelchair at a cost of £3,850.
A new bespoke wheelchair would give Reece, who has cerebral palsy, a better posture; make him more mobile; more comfortable and allow him to engage with fitness and sport.
Reduced funding from the NHS meant Reece had to raise over £3,000. A fundraising page was set up and achieved £1,400 in 6 weeks, still leaving a shortfall of £1,650.
Lisa Hankinson, Marketing Manager at Cascades Leisure Centre in Gravesend spoke about Reece’s enthusiasm, attendance at the gym and his plight to raise funds. By chance, a member of the Red Eagle Foundation’s team was in the meeting and immediately put Lisa in touch with the charity, who came up with the shortfall in funding.
Reece’s mum, Terrijayne said, “We are over the moon. The independence this gives Reece cannot be measured, we are so grateful to the Foundation; to Cascades, who facilitate and encourage people with impaired mobility; and all the people who contributed to our fundraising to make this possible.”
The Red Eagle Foundation established last year helps children in Kent with mobility, mental health and learning difficulties.
St Anthony’s School (A member of Kent Special Educational Needs Trust) in Cliftonville, nurtures children with a range of barriers to learning, principally; social, emotional and mental health challenges and Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The school recently carried out reading assessments on all pupils at the school and found that two thirds of the pupils have a delay of more than two years, when comparing their chronological age to their reading age. This is mainly due to a lack of engagement in their education and/or specific learning difficulties. Many of the pupils, understandably, have a very negative view of reading when they arrive.
St Anthony’s were keen to improve the children’s reading skills and so secured funding from the Red Eagle Foundation to create a bespoke Indoor Reading Garden - a place where children are encouraged and feel comfortable to develop their reading skills. Over 100 pupils, age 6-16 now benefit from this space. Many pupils receive one to one, weekly teaching by Reading Recovery trained teacher, Deborah Salsbury- AKA ‘The Reading Doctor’.
The Reading Garden was officially opened on Friday 7th December by Kent based author and former East Enders scriptwriter, Julie Wassmer and Red Eagle’s Wayne Hodgson, in a special whole school assembly to mark the occasion. http://www.st-anthonys.kent.sch.uk/
Foundation funds Folkestone CIC garden project
Custom Folkestone is a new restaurant concept where diners can donate ingredients or help in the kitchen in exchange for food. It is based in Folkestone Harbour and is the brain child of local artist and chef Cherry Truluck.
Cherry says her food will focus on locally sourced produce and will include fish as well as vegetarian food.
The venture has been funded by online crowdfunding as well as local businesses.
Cherry says the project will create new learning opportunities and work experience for local people, working in the kitchen and garden and is hoping to engage children with profound and severe learning difficulties and physical and sensory impairments, to give them a range of educational experiences they would not otherwise enjoy.
Red Eagle is proud to be associated with the project and has donated £1,200 to cover the annual maintenance of the community garden.
We wish them every success in the project and look forward to popping down for lunch in the future.
You can find out more about the project by visiting www.customfolkestone.co.uk
The Red Eagle Foundation have recently donated £500 towards the Strode Park Foundation ‘Space to Play’ project. This helps benefit children with complex disabilities and life limiting conditions at Footprints, their residential and respite care home in Canterbury.
The Space to Play project will provide: a wonderful new spacious indoor play room; a separate ‘state of the art’ sensory room; the incorporation of an external two bedded respite care suite into the main building and upgrading the respite care accommodation to provide two beautiful bright bedrooms and an adjoining specialist bathroom.
The primary beneficiaries will be children with disabilities from the age of 5 – 18 years across the Kent region. Children with complex and life limiting conditions including Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy and other genetic and complex conditions. Currently Footprints has 7 permanent children and 18 children coming in for regular respite care.
The project will enable the Foundation to increase the number of children who come for day care placements. The children’s family members also benefit. Respite care gives crucial support to the family, enabling them time to concentrate on siblings, time to have space for themselves and the opportunity to renew the energy required to cope with the demands of caring for a child with complex disabilities.
The Orchards Centre in Sittingbourne,set up in 2012 helps over 2000 disabled children and their families with a range of healthcare services. The Red Eagle Foundation has helped with a number of specialist funding projects over the past few months.
Jannie Pommer, a physio at the Orchards Centre said, "Red Eagle Foundation have helped support a number of projects for the children and families who use the Medway Community Healthcare services at the Orchards. This has ranged from bespoke specialist equipment for children with muscular dystrophy and more recently play therapy sessions for a child who recently underwent an amputation.
The work Red Eagle Foundation has done with services at the centre has really made a huge a positive impact on the children’s lives and their families and friends around them. We are very fortunate to have such great support from Red Eagle Foundation and have always found them to be very responsive when a need arises both large and small."
The Foundations looks forward to continuing their help by funding additional projects in the future.
Seven year old Scarlett has been house bound for one of the hottest summers on record after out-growing her previous buggy.
Scarlett from Sheerness was diagnosed at a young age with severe, non-verbal, autism and suffers from extreme anxiety when out of the house. She has been known to have violent outbursts or attempt to run away when not in a buggy and her lack of danger awareness has made leaving the house extremely dangerous and difficult for Scarlett and her family.
The NHS does not fund buggies for children with autism and after out-growing her previous buggy Scarlett’s Mum, Dawn sought advice from Scarlett’s Occupational Therapist who suggested applying to various charities for assistance.
After applying to a different charity and waiting four months only to receive a rejection letter Dawn reached out to the Red Eagle Foundation for help.
Less than a month later we were able to provide Scarlett with a light weight buggy which has room for her to grow and is stronger than a normal pushchair. The buggy is perfect for the family’s house which has some restricted access and has enabled them to take Scarlett to the dentist.
A life changing moment for Korben. 15 year old Korben Bronger from Minster was born 13 weeks early. Within 24 hours, his lungs collapsed and he developed a bleed on brain, which in turn caused Cerebral Palsy and Hydrocephalus. This has meant his mobility has been limited and more difficult as he gets older.
“Korben was growing fast and I couldn’t lift him any more”, remarked his mum, Melissa. “Our days out with his two brothers and sister to places such as Hever castle, Leeds castle and the local play park were becoming more of a problem.” It soon became apparent that he needed an electric wheelchair to help with his mobility and independence.
16 operations at different hospitals throughout the UK has helped Korben significantly, however the NHS’s help didn’t extent to providing an electric wheelchair. He was assessed at Orchards in Sittingbourne, who put his mum in touch with a new charity, the Red Eagle Foundation, which is supported by ski celebrity Eddie ‘The Eagle’. They provided the £3,000 required for the new bespoke electric wheelchair from fundraising events involving many businessmen throughout Kent.
Wayne Hodgson, Chairman of the charity said, “It’s day’s like this that make every fundraising event worthwhile, all thanks to our generous supporters. I was delighted to meet Korben, who was passionate about his football.”
His mum said, “Korben hasn’t had it easy. He has suffered terrible physical and verbal abuse because of his disability over his lifetime, yet still manages to keep smiling, I’m so proud of him and how he copes with all the problems he faces. We are so grateful for the Foundation’s help, the electric wheelchair will have a dramatic effect on the quality of Korben’s life. It will open many doors for him both at home and at his school, Rivermead in Medway.”
Seven year old TJ from Sittingbourne suffers with Pitt Hopkins Syndrome, something that affects 4 in every million born in the UK. He also has Profound Global Development Delay, Chromosome deletion, as well as partial hearing, poor eyesight and a low immune system.
His parents first became aware something was wrong when TJ was 9 weeks old. His mum Melissa Wiseman said, “He wasn’t making the usual baby noises and something didn’t seem quite right right”. Soon after he saw a health visitor and was referred to a consultant when he was one year old. TJ didn’t walk until he was five years old and even now walks with some difficulty using specially made boots to support his legs.
Melissa previously funded a wheelchair to provide some mobility, but because of TJ’s condition, it soon became apparent that it wasn’t ideal and needed to be reclining. A Facebook page to raise awareness and funding led to a Just Giving page. Melissa even went live on Sheppey FM to help her appeal and this led to them putting her in contact with Red Eagle Foundation, a new charity that helps children with bespoke mobility equipment that is not funded by the NHS. Delivered six weeks after being measured up, TJ’s mum said, “The wheelchair is ideal for short outings, it’s lightweight, folds up easily and fits in the car boot. TJ loves it and feels snug, comfortable and with the five-point harness, feels very safe – I’m really grateful to the Red Eagle Foundation for stepping in and providing the funding for the wheelchair.”
Charity Chairman, Wayne Hodgson commented, “We recently held a golf day supported by many Kent businesses and raised over £12,000 to help young people like TJ. I’m delighted that their efforts have been rewarded.”
Melissa is still looking for people to help her raise money for a special bed costing over £10,000. If you feel you can help please visit her fundraising page and donate at: uk.gofundme.com/tj-wheelchair-amp-bed