How Build­ing For The Fu­ture is plan­ning to build for the fu­ture

Jane Holmes, CEO and Founder of Build­ing for the Fu­ture, ex­plains about its work

The Wokingham Paper - - NEWS -

BUILD­ING for the Fu­ture was set up in 2007 by a group of par­ents of dis­abled chil­dren with the aim of launch­ing a com­mu­nity cen­tre for dis­abled chil­dren and their fam­i­lies in Wok­ing­ham and sur­round­ing ar­eas.

Af­ter seven years of fundrais­ing, along­side car­ing for their chil­dren, the par­ents achieved their dream and Our House was opened in 2014 by the Earl and Count­ess of Wes­sex.

Five years on and Our House wel­comes more than 500 chil­dren and young peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties thought its doors over the course of a year.

Ac­tiv­i­ties such as Satur­day clubs, af­ter school clubs, hol­i­day ac­tiv­i­ties, phys­io­ther­apy, a youth group and much more. The fully-ac­ces­si­ble cen­tre is also much in de­mand by or­gan­i­sa­tions run­ning events or ser­vices for dis­abled chil­dren as well as for pri­vate par­ties, which brings in around a third of the £70,000 needed each year to run it.

Vol­un­teers make up the ma­jor­ity of the work­force, with just two part­time staff on the books.

In 2017, Build­ing for the Fu­ture won the Queen’s Award for Vol­un­tary Ser­vice, a tes­ta­ment to the suc­cess­ful and ef­fi­cient run­ning of the char­ity.

Jane Holmes who was one of the founder mem­bers and cur­rently

CEO of the char­ity, said: “De­spite the hard work, run­ning Our House is hugely re­ward­ing.

“We have lots of chil­dren vis­it­ing us and as par­ents our­selves, we well un­der­stand what fam­i­lies need and what will make a dif­fer­ence.

“We are nei­ther af­fil­i­ated to the Coun­cil nor the Health Au­thor­ity and we re­ceive no grants from them or any other statu­tory body but have been amazed at the gen­eros­ity and the sup­port of our lo­cal com­mu­nity.

“I would like to thank every­one who has helped us to achieve this life­line for fam­i­lies with dis­abled chil­dren.”

The char­ity has plans to ex­pand its premises within the next five years, in or­der to in­cor­po­rate a learn­ing pro­vi­sion for young adults in our area, such as does not cur­rently ex­ist.

Jane said: “Put sim­ply, the aim is that lo­cal col­leges will be able to use the premises to run their spe­cial­ist learn­ing pro­vi­sion for young peo­ple with more pro­found dis­abil­i­ties.

“This will pro­vide the char­ity with some of the nec­es­sary in­come to op­er­ate, but we also want to pro­vide work for dis­abled peo­ple – and not just in a per­func­tory sense – but a real ca­reer, recog­nis­ing and build­ing of those skills that every­one has, en­abling them to con­trib­ute to so­ci­ety in a mean­ing­ful and ful­fill­ing way.”

The char­ity is con­stantly think­ing of orig­i­nal and ex­cit­ing ways in which to raise funds and ide­ally to raise the pro­file of dis­abled chil­dren in our com­mu­nity at the same time. One such way is through their ‘Giant Awards’. Launched in 2017 and at­tended by Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May, the Giant Awards recog­nise those he­roes work­ing with dis­abled chil­dren in our lo­cal schools, health ser­vice and com­mu­ni­ties in gen­eral.

The next Awards Cer­e­mony will be held on Fri­day, March 22 at Son­ning Golf Club.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the awards, email [email protected]

Read more about Build­ing for the Fu­ture – www.bftf.org.uk

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