University-supported charity for disabled children wins Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service
Press release issued: 2 June 2017
A charity for disabled children, which has closely been associated with the University of Bristol for many years, has been awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
The Heswall Disabled Children's Holiday Fund has been one of the Manor Hall charities since 1985 and currently between a third and a half of the volunteers that run this annual camp are either past or present Manor Hall students.
The volunteers include, the president, the chairman, the vice chairman, and the secretary of the Manor Hall Association and a number of Convocation representatives on Court.
Over a third of the committee members are past Manor Hall students and this year the president of the Junior Common Room and members of his committee will be joining a group of volunteers to provide a week's holiday in August for seriously ill and disabled children held at Barnstondale camp, in Wirral, and much needed respite care for their parents.
Martin Crossley-Evans, the Warden of Manor Hall, who has been involved with the charity for 45 years, said: "The success and the continuity of our work owes a huge amount to the involvement of the University of Bristol students and staff, and without them it would not have been possible to realise the charity's aims and objectives and receive the endorsement of the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service."
The patron of the camp is Sir Bert Massie to whom the University of Bristol awarded an honorary degree in recognition of his work as the first disability rights commissioner. Sir Bert attended the camp as a boy suffering from polio in the late 1960s. The leader of the camp for 23 years was a Bristol graduate and each year the students raise on average between £800-1,000 towards the costs of running the camp, which is currently in excess of £20,000. Sir Bert says "As Patron, and formerly one of the boys at Camp, I would like to thank you all for what you do and the style with which you do it."
The camp has been judged as 'outstanding' by Ofsted in each of its last four annual inspections. Its safeguarding policies for protecting the vulnerable and its organisation are regarded as a model of their kind. Each of the annual training weekends for the volunteers since the 1980s have been held in Manor Hall.