West Lancashire Freemasons have donated £5,000 to a local charity called ‘Aiming Higher’ for disabled children. The grant was awarded as part of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity’s non-Masonic Community Grant Scheme.
Aiming Higher is a Blackpool based charity that supports 100s of disabled children and their families throughout Blackpool and Lancashire. Formed in 2011, the charity has an amazing multi-sensory room, interactive ball pool and soft play centre which provides weekly stay and play sessions offering a range of activities such as baking, music and movement, etc.
Its specialist team offers a family support service to ease families through the anxieties of raising a disabled child and provides support and advocacy for families to attend complex education, health and social care meetings; advice on benefits, housing and emotional support. It also offers fully accessible and adapted caravan holidays in the Lake District.
Family events are organised in which the whole family can visit exclusively hired venues adapted to meet the specific needs and requirements of various families. By making such adaptations, the charity ensures that no child misses an activity.
And it was for one of these special visits that some of the grant from the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity was used.
Approximately 130 disabled children, families and carers made their way to Chill Factore at Trafford Quays Leisure Village, opposite the Trafford Centre, and home to the UK’s longest indoor real snow slope at 180 metres to experience the thrills of skiing and snowboarding.
Seeing them off from Poulton Industrial Estate on the morning of the visit was Chairman of Blackpool Group of John Turpin and explaining to John what the day would entail was Katie Stollery, Event Organiser for Aiming Higher. Commenting on the grant from the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, Katie was overwhelmed at the generosity of the fraternity and explained what a huge difference the grant would make to the charity.
Home to Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK), a nationwide registered charity providing adaptive skiing for individuals with any disability, including physical, sensory and learning difficulties, Chill Factore provides exciting and life enhancing activities for individuals or groups who require adaptive equipment and/or special instruction and support. The area covered by snow is 10,200 sq m. This equates to around 1,632 tonnes of snow, based on a snow depth of 40 cm – and guaranteed to provide a fun-packed day for the visitors from Aiming Higher.
Making the most of their visit, the children slithered and slid on the vast area of snow – and no doubt launched a few snowballs – and to make it an even more memorable day, they met one of their favourite celebrities – none other than Father Christmas! To some of the children, Santa made it a perfect day – and it would have still been so, even if there hadn’t been any snow!