Here at Cherry Trees we are want to nurture, encourage and support every child that visits us, and help them to develop independence skills within a fun and safe environment. Our unique home from home provides the perfect setting for this, and the children love the soft play, games room, sensory suite, art room and holistic space. These rooms at Cherry Trees are incredibly important, and they provide space for not only the carers and children to enjoy, but for external entertainment groups to come in.

We have expanded over the years and some of these spaces are detached from the main Cherry Trees house. Our sensory, art and holistic rooms are located in The Barn, a building that is separated from the house by the garden. The garden is filled with exciting things- swings, a wheelchair accessible roundabout, even our very own Teletubby Hill- and it’s easy for the children to cross it to get to The Barn in the summer months. In the winter, however, it’s a bit more difficult. During the rainy, windy, colder months, we have to wrap the children up in all of their winter clothes just to make the trip across the garden. We often use the sensory room when children are struggling with the noise of the main house, or for those children who need some quiet time after over-stimulation. When we need to move a child to the sensory room quickly, having to get them dressed for the journey across can be a real struggle. For the children in wheelchairs, having to battle across the rain-soaked grass is not easy on 4 wheels, and those children sometimes end up missing out on the exciting activities that are available in The Barn in the winter.

We want every child that comes to Cherry Trees to be able to use all of the facilities that we have, which is why we have planned to build a walkway between the house and The Barn. This will go from the downstairs corridor of the soft play area, right across the garden and into the art room. It will be fully accessible, with extra room allocated on either end for a full wheelchair turning circle. It will be fully enclosed, providing a dry, safe and accessible route connecting two building.  This will give all of the children the ability to access every area of Cherry Trees whenever they want or need to no matter what the weather is- even in their pyjamas!

We were extremely lucky to have received some funding towards this project some time ago, but unfortunately now that surveys and structural engineers have devised the plans to make it happen the costs have increased significantly. This build is due to start in our closure period during September to ensure minimal inconvenience to the children so when they return it won't effect them in the house, but build work will take several months to complete.  In that time we need to raise £20,000 to meet the cost.  We have considered delaying this build but it would need to be a whole year as September is our longest closure period, plus it is being tied into a major bathroom renovation so to carry out the work separately will increase costs. 

We are looking to our wonderful supporters and donors to help us reach our target, and to share this appeal to companies, friends, and colleagues to help us make this vital walkway a reality for our children to enjoy not just now, but for many, many years to come. Every pound you donate is a step or a wheel towards our children having all the fun they deserve throughout the year.

To donate, please visit our appeal page at https://www.cherrytrees.org.uk/appeal/walkway-appeal 

As part of our appeal we will be offering a mark of recognition for anyone who is able to support with a donation of £500 upwards; a Cherry (as below) with your name on it which would go into the walkway as a permanent feature for the children to see.  We appreciate every donation and extend in advance our grateful thanks for your support.