THE ARTS SOCIETY THAMES

For 2015 we have chosen to support two charities, THE THAMES VALLEY ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND for children with special needs, and ROSIE'S RAINBOW FUND, which supports sick and disabled children in hospitals, schools and in the community.

TVAP is unique, providing a place where children from special schools can spend a day just enjoying themselves. They come with their carers in special buses from a wide area across the Thames Valley.  Despite its name, TVAP is not only a playground. There are many facilities: a music room, arts and crafts, a wonderful huge soft play room, a dressing up room, a woodwork area and a multi-sensory room. The children absolutely love coming to the playground as it has something for everyone. All are encouraged to try to be creative within their ability: they design Christmas cards every year which are sold and they also make things to sell at the annual fete. Some of the children are too severely disabled to hold any tools in their hands. One of these children spends time in the "pool" filled with ping pong balls, in which he lies and just grins! The Playground relies heavily on the support of local people, organisations and the business community, having as little as 5% support from local authority grants.

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ROSIE'S RAINBOW FUND provides music and art therapy for children in John Radcliffe, Royal Berks and Stoke Mandeville Hospitals. The charity is responsible for booking different musicians to play for the sick children, and in many cases teaches them an instrument. This therapy is hugely beneficial to a child who spends long periods in hospital. They also give little performances to the children, quite often by other children from the theatre school in Maidenhead. They provide art materials for the patients and supply art teachers to give lessons. RRF also supports disabled and sick children in the community and relies solely on donations from the public.

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Poppy Pool