When I took early retirement I decided that I’d be watching even more sport and getting involved in charity where I could.  I’m a Trustee of a local charity working with children, I do some work for Marie Curie, I try my best to spread the word of the good work carried out by The Saracens SportS Foundation and recently I’ve become involved with the London arm of Wooden Spoon, The Children’s Charity of Rugby.

The Wooden Spoon is a charity I’ve donated to for a few years, but if I’m honest I haven’t really been sure of what it is they do.  That all changed with a visit to the wonderful Grangewood School.  Here’s a description of the school from their website –

Grangewood School is a primary school for pupils aged 3-11 with severe learning difficulties.

The school is situated on a beautiful wooded site in Eastcote, Middlesex which has extensive grounds with a great range of facilities.​

The relationship between pupils and staff at Grangewood are excellent. The school is a happy and purposeful environment where children are praised and acknowledged for who they are as well as what they do.

We provide a safe and supportive environment for children with a range of special needs and strengths. We also aim to provide within the school an ethos in which regard for others is of the greatest importance.​

I arrived nice and early and was joined by Dave and Daphne Hiles and one of the founders of the charity Peter Scott, I hope to talk to him about how the charity came to be soon.  Alex Lozowski of Saracens had been due to open the playground but was called into the England squad so had been unable to make it.  He arrived with his Mother to see what he’d missed and to meet the staff and children at the school.

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We were greeted by Caroline one of the Assistant Heads at the School and 3 members of the School Council, Edward, Jodi and Barahm.  They took us on a tour of the school before we found our way out to the playground funded by the charity. The Wooden Spoon had donated £20,000 to help provide a wonderful facility for the children in the school.

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There were a number of children playing, including one very brave soul who was walking very calmly around the top of the high climbing frame.  Another, Abdimalik, was being helped to walk, he was learning with the aim of walking to to a physio who was leaving the school later in the week.

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The facility is very clearly making a difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in our society, and the Wooden Spoon in contributing the funding made it possible.

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Th afternoon was a wonderful insight into the work of this charity, I look forward to being more involved and seeing more great projects.

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