Springboard celebrates in the House of Commons

ON the evening of Wednesday 9th May, the High Sherriff of West Sussex, Andrewjohn Stephenson-Clark, joined over 150 guests of Horsham based Springboard Project to celebrate the Charity’s 20th anniversary year at a special evening reception on the River Terrace at the House of Commons.

Guests included local MP’s and dignitaries from local government. Many of the Charity’s partners were present including trusts and foundations, local authorities, voluntary sector organisations and individual supporters. Parents and children from Springboard Project’s membership groups were also invited.

The occasion was an opportunity to thank and acknowledge the invaluable generosity of everyone who has contributed to the Charity’s many successful years in supporting families and children from a wide range of background and abilities.

The event was hosted by local MP Francis Maude, who spoke warmly about the contribution of Springboard Project to the community and many hundreds of children and families who had enjoyed its facilities and opportunities throughout its 20 years. The Charity currently supports over 250 families through its Springboard House play membership and over 320 children and young people through its six disability groups, not just in Horsham District but in three other local authorities.

There were also speeches from Caroline Johnston and Tim Loughton MP, the Minister for Children and Families.

Caroline’s 9 year old son Henry belongs to the “Grasshoppers” group in Horsham and regularly attends their Saturday Club and holiday activities. She praised the dedication of the staff and young volunteers who contributed to the fun times that Henry enjoyed at Springboard House and described his sessions as being “like a party he can enjoy on every occasion”.

Tim Loughton applauded Springboard Project’s unique role in supporting the wider family through its ethos of fun and friendship. He also praised the contribution of its many young volunteers who provide mentoring and support for the disabled children and young people by helping them enjoy a wide range of activities and opportunities.

Project Manager Nigel Scott-Dickeson took the opportunity to thank its funders and partners who have given their support with fundraising events, donations and gifts in kind, as well as a wide range of support for the valuable work of the Charity. He also praised the magnificent contribution made by staff, volunteers and the trustees, especially in such difficult times.

“Without doubt…” he said “….last year in particular was financially challenging for all of us, including our funders and supporters. It was a demanding phase for our Charity, but we have pulled through all the stronger for that experience and everyone involved with our Charity must be thanked for their magnificent support”.

The speeches were introduced by trustee Elaine Jackson (pictured with Francis Maude MP) and she also thanked Hiscox Insurance who sponsored the whole event on behalf of Springboard Project.

She said “without the generosity of Hiscox Insurance and Michael Gould, their Chief Operating Officer, this event would not have been possible and we are extremely grateful to them for supporting our Charity in this way.”

Despite some inclement weather, the rain held off and the guests were able to enjoy a wonderful venue which included access to the outdoor River Terrace overlooking the Thames.