I have written before on the site about the work of two charities I support, Niños Tercer del Mudo and the Rose Road Appeal.
But this year wanted to find out a little more about the people involved. Having already written about Christopher David, the lovely man behind Niños Tercer del Mundo, I emailed Rose Road with some ‘interview’ questions for a couple of the personalities behind this incredible service.
Here’s the answers I got from Con, who is the current chair of the trustees, and Neil, who has a huge hand in helping keep the centre running day-to-day;
Alan: “Con, how did you get involved with Rose Road, and what does it mean to you”?
Con: “I did a presentation at the Bradbury Centre for Rose Road called ‘Living with Autism’ as part of an Autism Awareness day, that charity was hosting. My daughter, Katie, is autistic. I got to see the fantastic work Rose Road do and when approached to be a trustee I jumped at the chance.
I have been involved with Rose Road now for about 6 years, the last year as the Chair of trustees.
My daughter Katie, now 17 years old, has been using the Rose Road services for about 5 years. She attends the Oaks and Acorns short break facility at the Bradbury Centre as well as receiving ‘Outreach’ care to help her access the community. Katie also attends an after school play scheme. Katie is really flourishing and Rose Road is certainly making a big difference and is proving to be an invaluable service to both Katie and family! My wife Julie also has a disability and so when Katie, who can be very demanding at times, is with Rose Road this enables me to give much needed dedicated time to Julie even it is just to sit and watch telly together in peace and quite”.
I also had a couple of questions for Neil at Rose road about the day to day running of the centre…
Alan: “Are there any particular issues the centre faces and/or have funds been cut in the current climate”?
Neil: “So far childrens services in Hampshire have been relatively protected from the funding cuts announced. Things have become far more challenging however, and we have had to cancel our music therapy sessions for example which is a real shame and we have over 1,000 short breaks that we cannot provide even though we have the facilities to do so. The next 2 or 3 years will be extremely difficult and we are doing all we can to ensure we can provide the quality services we do in light of the high demand from children and families, and that is why fundraising is becoming increasingly important for the Association”.
Alan: “What percentage of the centres costs come from fund-raising and donations”?
Neil: “Last year we generated c. 15% of our running costs through voluntary fundraising. In essence this allows us to do what makes Rose Road so special – providing the extra services and specialist equipment which the children who come here really benefit from in relation to their development and education. As mentioned above however, as other sources of funding come under increasing pressure, fundraising will become ever more important to ensure we can maintain our services and deliver these for local families, free of charge at point of delivery”.
I’m just giving up a little bit of my time, doing a little bit of walking, and hopefully help raise a few quid for the two charities. To say I admire all the people who keep the two charities (and all others) running from day-to-day and continue to provide such wonderful projects and services is an understatement!!