The Clare Foundation and Inspire Bucks working in partnership

Gift of multi-sensory toys to brighten children’s lives

Children with additional needs, who visit Buckinghamshire Council’s Family Time Service centres in Wycombe and Aylesbury, now have special interactive multi-sensory toys to play with thanks to a £250 gift from the local charity Inspire Bucks.

The charity, better known for providing Christmas gifts to vulnerable children and young people throughout Buckinghamshire, heard of the centres’ year-round need for specialist toys and responded from its Smile fund.

Each Smile Toy Box contains interactive multi-sensory rollers and balls, a ‘magic ball’ to develop motor skills, and a multi-coloured star projector light. The sensory toys will benefit children with additional needs in supporting them to be stimulated, calm and focused.

Inspire Bucks Chairman Paul Irwin: “These Smile Toy Boxes are an example of the huge difference a targeted amount of money can make, which the professional Family Time Service teams couldn’t necessarily afford from their budget.”

Anita Cranmer, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services: “Our social care teams do such vital and specialist work, and budgets are tight, so generous gifts like this make a huge difference to the children they work with. I’m very grateful for the ongoing support from Inspire Bucks.”

The Family Time Service enables direct family time between children in local authority care and their birth families, aiming to make their time together as positive as it can be.

Paul Irwin said Inspire Bucks was able to increase the work it did beyond gifts at Christmas through the support of Buckinghamshire’s The Clare Foundation, which had offered mentoring, advice and a wide charity knowledge base, as well as operational financial support.

“As a new young charity still finding our feet, we really appreciate the support from the Clare Foundation,” said Paul. “It means that together we can do more small things that make a big difference.”

The Clare Foundation’s CEO Martin Gallagher: ‘The Clare Foundation is delighted to work with Paul and his team at Inspire Bucks. They’ve shown that they ‘get it done’, working all over the County to help vulnerable people and families, and ensure that those who need help get it. We look forward to an engaging and fruitful partnership.”

Inspire Bucks is a charitable incorporated organisation based in Buckinghamshire to serve children, young people and families throughout the county. It was formed in 2021 after several years running a successful county-wide Christmas Gift campaign for disadvantaged children under the auspices of Buckinghamshire Council. A need was identified, within the County, to extend support to vulnerable children and families beyond the scope of the Christmas campaign and Inspire Bucks was born. The charity now designs, runs and facilitates a range of projects throughout Buckinghamshire, as well as providing support to their Youth Leaders with an assortment of community projects. Inspire Bucks works in partnership with the Council and The Clare Foundation, along with a number of other local community organisations.

You can find out more about Inspire Bucks here: www.inspirebucks.charity

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