Open Day success for disabled children’s charity
Over 700 people from across the UK attended an Open Day at the Caudwell International Children’s Centre on Sunday 7th July, 2019.
The centre, set within the grounds of Keele University, is the new HQ of Caudwell Children, the national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.
The £18 million facility, on Innovation Way, Keele Science & Innovation Park, is the UK’s first purpose built facility dedicated to providing assessment, support and research into neurodevelopmental conditions, including autism.
The Open Day allowed the charity to showcase its services and gave visitors the opportunity to meet the multidisciplinary clinical team who will be delivering the charity’s new autism service.
“It was a fantastic day and we were delighted by the attendance,” explained Trudi Beswick, CEO of Caudwell Children. “I got the chance to speak to many families and I think they were overwhelmed by the facilities.
“We were inundated by the parents of children waiting to have their child assessed for autism and they received invaluable information from our team of clinicians.
“We will continue to operate our usual services from the centre so we had a number of suppliers in the building demonstrating a range of specialist equipment, including powerchairs, tricycles and sports equipment.
“St Georges Knights Powerchair Football Club gave a brilliant demonstration of wheelchair football and they were delighted by the number of visitors who took the chance to try their hand at the game.”
Philanthropist and entrepreneur John Caudwell, who founded that charity in 2000, also attended the event.
Charlotte Stonier, from Leek, enjoyed the day with here nine-year-old son Jared who was diagnosed with autism at the age of four. “When my son was diagnosed I didn’t know where to turn to for support,” she exclaimed. “To have this fantastic building, with its amazing layout, and the clinical support would have been wonderful when my son was being assessed.”
Jill Slater, from Stafford, was delighted to attend the Open Day. As she explained: “We’ve waited 18 months for an assessment just to be told that the person who my son needs to see no longer works there, so it’s back to square one!
“It’s so frustrating, but thankfully I’ve had some great conversations today and I’m going to get my son referred to the new Caudwell Children Autism Service.”
Trudi says the charity’s new Autism Service will transform the way thousands of children in Staffordshire can be supported. As she concluded: “Most areas in the UK have an autism service of some description but they often come with long waiting lists and lengthy assessments.
“We are here to complement existing services and help children and their families, in Staffordshire and beyond, to get the help that they need.”
You can find out more about the Caudwell Children Autism Service here.