TENNIS star, Tim Henman, has heaped praise on a ground-breaking Sussex charity that cares for severely disabled children and young people. He was speaking at a hotel in the City of London hosted by Chailey Heritage Foundation highlighting its Vision Fund. The Vision Fund is the blueprint to raise donations for essential facilities and resources at the charity’s base in North Chailey.
Tim Henman said, “My wife Lucy and I visited Chailey Heritage Foundation last September. We were extremely impressed by the staff, the young people and also by the extent of the facilities and the provision of care provided to these young people with life-limiting conditions. It’s been inspiring to see what the young people at Chailey Heritage can achieve with the right support.”
The Tim Henman Foundation has been supporting Chailey Heritage Foundation for the past four years. It has contributed to the funding of specialist equipment such as the Innowalk and Eyegaze technology and a fully-accessible outdoor play area. The event in London was hosted and sponsored by the charity’s corporate partner Pan Pacific London at its recently opened luxury hotel.
The Vision Fund raises money for areas not funded by statutory services. Chailey Heritage Foundation Chief Executive, Helen Hewitt, said, “We were absolutely delighted that Tim Henman was able to join us and speak to guests. It was pleasing to hear him say how impressed he was with our staff and facilities.”
The parents of Mikey Turner, a resident at Chailey Heritage, also spoke about the excellent care provided by the charity. Mikey has a degenerative condition, and parents Andrew and Jenny, who live near Horsham, talked about ‘the exceptional facilities and expertise provided by the charity. Lorraine Sinclair, Executive Chef at Pan Pacific London, told how she had seen first-hand how Chailey Heritage transforms lives after her friend’s son, Archie, started there. This, she said, had inspired her to put Chailey Heritage forward as a charity partner.
Sally-Anne Murray, Development Director at Chailey Heritage Foundation, said, “Although we receive funding for education and health from local authorities and clinical commissioning groups, we rely on voluntary donations to update our buildings and facilities, and also to purchase the very specialist equipment that makes such a difference to the lives of our young people. Last year, the Vision Fund funded projects such as our amazing Patchwork Farm. We were able to update and develop our track platforms and install environmental controls in the young people’s on site residences.”
She said at a time when local authority budgets are tighter than ever, it is vital for charities to have a flexible income stream not restricted to a specific purpose. “While project funding is vital, charities also need the flexibility to direct voluntary income to the area of most need if they are to thrive as a ground-breaking and robust organisation.”