This Easter, Bluetree wanted to support a local charity by donating Easter eggs, and one charity immediately sprung to mind. Cherry Trees is an amazing place, providing a home from home environment for children with a variety of special needs.
When I contacted Debbie at Cherry Trees, she was very grateful for the gesture and asked if I would like to come for a visit. I was delighted! On arriving at their facilities in East Clandon I was immediately overwhelmed by Debbie and the rest of the staff I met at how much the children and families they support evidently mean to them. The whole house and grounds are designed to make not only the children but also parents and siblings feel calm, safe and at ease.
During my tour of the house, Debbie explained that they cater for children and young adults from birth to 19 years. The children can come for anything from an after-school visit to up to a fortnight. Debbie was keen to emphasise that Cherry Trees aimed to be a place for the whole family. They hold regular events and parties throughout the year where parents and siblings are encouraged to attend. It is for one such event that we have been collecting Easter eggs – their annual Easter party on 8th April.
Debbie described some of the problems that the children they care for face. The children have a range of disabilities, including learning, physical and sensory impairments. She told me that some are gluten- and dairy-intolerant and others are unable to eat solid food at all. Debbie said that they are often short of gluten- and dairy-free eggs at Easter as people tend to forget to donate these. Also, for those who can’t have chocolate, sensory gifts such as bubble wands, textured balls and soft toys are always greatly received.
It was a huge pleasure to meet Debbie and the rest of the team at Cherry Trees. I’ve completely fallen in love with the place and can’t wait to do more with them in the future.
We are collecting for Cherry Trees up to Friday 7th April – if you would like to donate please get in touch. Find out more about Cherry Trees here.
By Annie Fairweather