• Update and Fundraising & Marketing Review – Philippa Stannard, Head of Fundraising and Communications

    As we approach the last few weeks of 2020, we will all be reflecting on what has been a challenging and emotional year.

    We’ve all adapted so well and effectively to our new ways of working, and I think I speak for everyone at Autism at Kingwood and beyond, who say ‘I’ve never been busier!’

    We felt that weekly updates have been vital for keeping our Kingwood community connected. It has been important that we communicate speedily about COVID-19 regulation and changes, and that we keep you informed and hopefully reassured of our response to the pandemic. It was important that we update you about any Covid-19 cases amongst the people we support and our support staff, and although we have had a low number of incidents, we have this week one person we support who has tested positive. We wish them a speedy recovery.

    It has been a difficult year in the charity sector for fundraising; for some charities it has been devastating.  Which is why we are incredibly grateful to our wonderful parents, supporters, trustees, staff and charitable trusts who have continued to support us this year.

    So, this is our big fundraising news and a really positive end to 2020 !

    A huge thanks to everyone who made a donation towards our holiday home – more detail here. We will be able to buy our mobile holiday home at Hardwicks Park, near Witney in Oxfordshire in January and so long as Covid restrictions are lifted, we plan to welcome our first holiday makers in the spring.


    Earlier this year, we were awarded a grant for 3 years to employ a Garden Coordinator. We celebrated with a socially distanced gathering, where our patron Jeremy Irons officially launched our gardening project at our allotment in Henley-on-Thames.  Adam, our Gardening Coordinator, has been supporting people to enjoy gardening and DIY at this safe and peaceful space. During the colder months, Adam is visiting some of our supported living homes, helping them get set up for the next gardening season.  We are extremely grateful to the Sobell Foundation for funding this post, and making a difference to so many.

    We remain grateful also to The Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which continues to support our work with assistance dogs charity, Dogs for Good. We are able to support a small number of people through Animal Assisted Intervention techniques, to help them overcome specific challenges and develop life skills.

    We have been urging the public to sign our online petition #BetterPay4SocialCare, calling on Government to increase local authority funding to ensure all social care workers receive the real living wage. We’re pleased that other national and local care organisations have joined our campaign: www.betterpay4socialcare.org.  We will continue to push the petition in 2021 and will present this to Downing Street on behalf of our nation’s social care workers. Please share our petition in your networks.

    The petition focuses on the incredible work support workers do. Earlier this year, we raised awareness about the wide ranging talents and skillset of our support workers, through a series of animations.  We also raised our profile as a caring care provider employer, outlining some of the employee benefits which we provide.

    We hope you feel more connected to us through our updates and on social media. We would love your views about the weekly update and what you’d like to read about. Please contact supportercare@kingwood.org.uk

    Thank you for supporting us during this year – every donation, every fundraising challenge, every story shared, every ‘like’ and every share has truly made a difference.

    Philippa Stannard

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