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Starting this month with a blog written by Natalie Winterton from BPS-World, who visited the Playground in April, and who is looking at the value of corporate social responsibility.

APRIL 2017

Sponsoring a local charity, volunteering in your community, or even just spreading the word - there are many ways in which you as a business can support organisations in your local community.

You will be raising awareness of various charitable events, but also sharing ideas with your network on ways to give back to the community. 

More and more companies are becoming aware of their corporate social responsiblity which has a GOOD impact on both the  community and the organisation. According to Double the Donation if a company shows themselves to be "philanthropically minded" job-hunting individuals are more likely to apply and interview for available positions. Once hired, employees who are engaged will stay with a company longer, be more productive on a daily basis, and will be more creative than disengaged workers. For the community organisation they receive more volunteer time, funding and a raised awareness of their charity.

BPS World recently visited the Thames Valley Adventure Playground with a hamper filled with chocolate Easter eggs for the children.  The “playground” is a purpose-built centre for children and adults with special needs. We were shown around the facilities by Nicky Hutchinson – the Donations Manager and it was clear how much love, effort and time had gone in to making this center what it is today, providing a safe and welcoming space for those with additional needs.

The building itself is deceptively small from an outside but the inside space is very large. Once you step inside you are welcomed by bright colours, and various areas set up for playing and learning. It is a relaxed environment for adults and children alike relaxing and enjoying the facilities and equipment that is made readily available to all who require it.

This area also contains the reception area, toilet facilities, music and soft play rooms, and a fantastic bright, open space for adults and children to enjoy the glistening views of the lake. Most recently, local MP and now Prime Minister, Theresa May commissioned a ‘glass floor’ space, to allow people to view the wonders of the lake below.

The outside playground makes fantastic use of the outdoor space, with either donated structures or those built by staff and volunteers. The playground is fully inclusive, allowing those who are wheelchair bound to enjoy the heights of the trees or simply allowing them to use the swings, which are cleverly adapted to support chairs and beds.

Places like this are invaluable to not only the local community, but as we were informed, to the people coming from miles away to enjoy this facility. Unfortunately, local grant funding only cover as little as 5% of the costs of running the Playground. This is why the support they receive from local companies and local people, is overwhelming, and is a key factor to their ongoing development and growth.  Without this support, amazing places like The Thames Valley Adventure Playground couldn’t operate. Businesses can get involved with raising funds and also donating time. Offering practical help with painting, cleaning and repairing is a good team building exercise and gives employees a chance to give something back to their community while installing a sense of pride in their own organisation.

There is so much you can do when it comes to supporting local charitable organisations such as the Thames Valley Adventure Playground. It is important that everyone uses their voice, time and available resources to support such amazing and well used facilities and the invaluable services they provide. Visiting the playground was such a rewarding experience, seeing the enjoyment the children get from the place and meeting the wonderful hardworking and caring staff. I am very excited to continue to support places like the Thames Valley Adventure Playground.

I will be joining supporters of The Thames Valley Adventure Playground on a fundraising walk around the Thames and Jubilee Rivers on 20th May – If you would like to join me please contact me on natalie.winterton@bps-world.com


October 27th 2015

Did you know that there is a TVAP COMMUNITY page on Facebook?  It's a place for people who have been to the Playground to share tips, events and experiences - the good, the bad and the helpful!  It is for those with, and without, a person with special needs in their life.  It aims to include, respect and support all who wish to be a part of it. 

Look for TVAP COMMUNITY.