Retirement of Lesley Robbins
22 Mar 2021
As Chair of the Trustee board I am writing to regrettably announce that our Chief Executive Officer, Lesley Robbins, has decided to take retirement this year.
Lesley has been at White Lodge for over 12 years and has overseen a significant transformation of this much loved charity.
She has been pivotal in ensuring continuity in services to the highest possible standard and adapting and creating new services to meet a continual change in needs and demand. Her leadership has been fundamental in keeping White Lodge sustainable and well placed to continue providing services of the highest standard long into the future.
Lesley has kindly agreed to stay in post until we can recruit her successor which we anticipate being in the second half of this year. The staff, volunteers, supporters and the children, adults and families who we support will all be very sorry to see her leave. However, she will leave with our warmest gratitude and best wishes for a fulfilling and happy retirement.
Lesley has been instrumental in ensuring White Lodge’s survival during the Covid pandemic and the new CEO will continue to lead us out of this situation with a strong provision in place and all services back in full operation.
If you would like to apply for this role please contact Harris Hill.
With kind regards,
Chair of Trustee Board
Delivering children's therapy has had its challenges, but still being able to support children and families has been vital
17 Mar 2021
Our Physiotherapist (Carolyn) and Emma (parent of Addie) talk about how life has been at White Lodge during the pandemic.
"This has been a challenging year, often very scary and upsetting. Especially for our families with vulnerable children and adults. The need for support, on-going therapy input, equipment, orthoses, etc was vital. It proved to be a totally different way of working for us as therapists as well . Not only dealing with the technology but also how to deliver the best service to our families."
Carolyn (White Lodge Physiotherapist)
This is an account of working with Addie aged 3 ½ years old and her Mum Emma. Addie has an elder sister who has had to shield. Emma talks about her experience of virtual child therapy.
"At first we contacted each other over the phone but soon realised that some things were very difficult to explain over a phone call. We set up work skype accounts which was new to us and Carolyn (Addies Physiotherapist). After setting it up which took time and did have us laughing – no picture then no sound, seeing only the ceiling or the floor and even having Addie switching us off. We finally managed. We did move from Skype to Zoom which proved better. Setting up a session was done via email or phone. It worked best if we had an agenda for our sessions. Carolyn would say what she wanted to work on which were very practical things such as how to enable Addie getting off the sofa independently which she could not do but has now achieved WELL DONE ADDIE!
We checked all her equipment - chairs, standing frame, and walker and her orthotics such as leg gaiters and DAFO’s for her feet. Carolyn was simply brilliant. We did all this with play and making it fun. Addie is quite a determined girl and would not have joined in otherwise, she knows what she likes and doesn’t like. This was all done via Zoom."
Emma Parent of Addie
"Emma said she looked forward to our sessions. She felt she was fully supported through this really tough time. Emma’s handling and observational skill were certainly improved as she had to do it all. Emma also commented that it was nice to not be going to lots of appointments to various different places which did take some of the pressure off her. By the September we started to work face to face again with all Covid measures in place and full PPE. Emma wanted to come in with Addie then to get her out of the house and she felt reassured that when I also worked with Addie that all had gone well and she had done an excellent job. Addie was not at all put off by me wearing PPE, she thought it was fun.
It has certainly been a very difficult time for everyone but working virtually will certainly have its place in the future along side face to face working."
Carolyn (White Lodge Physiotherapist).
My special challenge
17 Feb 2021
"White Lodge have always been there for me, even during this pandemic. I’m Hannah, I am 29 and a powerchair user following an injury playing netball aged just 14. I have Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and secondary illnesses and complications. I have been coming to White Lodge for over eight years, twice every week for hydro and physio and fitness. White Lodge has been vital help for me, especially during these challenging times where they have continued to support individuals and families"
I am fundraising to support White Lodge and two other charities to celebrate my 30th birthday in February 2021 and in memory of my dear brother, Ben and celebrate his 35th birthday in November 2021.
I am asking family and friends to consider donating, instead of giving me a birthday gift. I know how much charities have suffered in the pandemic and would greatly benefit from this.
I am mainly a powerchair user. 2.5 years ago I took my first step in 13.5 years. I am aiming to walk a total of 30 lengths of my garden in stages, with my four wheeled walker, splints and the support of two people, before my 30th Birthday at the end of February (although it will probably be some point in March-as I am a bit over ambitious)!
I began this mission on 1st January 2021. So far, I have completed 16 out of 30 lengths. So I am over halfway.
Then, I am aiming to walk a total of 35 lengths of my garden in the 2 months before my brother's 35th birthday, on 25th November.
I have invited family and friends to get involved with their own 3530 challenge. It would be great to have you involved. You can make a difference! What could be your 3530 challenge?
If you would like to sponsor me or find out more about my challenge here is the link: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SomeoneSpecial/BenHannah3530
Love Hannah x x #BenHannah3530
Play and Youth Clubs - Latest Update
05 Feb 2021
Here is the latest status on our Play and Youth Clubs.
February Half Term
We are pleased to announce that we can run in the half term.
Please also don’t forget to purchase your childrens tshirts, lunch bag and bottles ORDER HERE
Runnymede is running with the capacity of 15 children at its usual venue and is now full.
TWINKS is running with the capacity of 8 children at its usual venue.
Please enquire about other availability.
May Half Term
Please wait for further updates.
After School Club
We are awaiting guidelines for schools to return and will be looking at starting again on the week of the 8th of March unless this date is changed by the Government.
Jets and Apollo
We are unfortunately unable to host these in February or March but will review at the end of March.
We have availability. Please get in touch if interested.
We will have an update on the Sunday Club ASAP
Once tall and strong, my hollowed-out shell of what I was once perceived to be, has brought new labels
07 Jan 2021
Philip Anderson, who has a progressive muscle condition has been coming to White Lodge for 6 years for physiotherapy and fitness sessions. He is a great wordsmith and regularly contributes pieces on the real struggles and perceptions that he faces. We thought we'd share his latest article with you all as we know it resonates with so many across the White Lodge family and beyond.
In Phillips words:
My degenerative illness has changed how I am regarded. Once tall and strong, my hollowed-out shell of what I was once perceived to be, has brought new labels. Patient, disabled, wheelchair user. None of these should define me, or replace who I am.
My prize winning poem, My Body, was stimulated by writing an ARTICLE on how we all struggle, at various points in our lives, to be true to ourselves. I shared how my condition has been an assault on my self-esteem, and wellbeing. Made much harder, by the way people regard me, and engage with me, now I have to use a powered wheelchair.
I have been shocked by the way everything changes when you become a wheelchair user. So many assumptions are made. But it is till me, the same person. As I say, ‘If I was a book, the jacket has been removed, or changed. It’s still the same book.’
Happily, I am able to laugh at some of the absurdities, and get on with my life, the best I can. Aide by the wonderful team at White Lodge, of course.
Local company understands the challenges others face and supports White Lodge this Christmas. Thank you Advantage Worldwide!
21 Dec 2020
This is a lovely story to share with you all.
Molly is studying for a social care degree and volunteered at our Play and Youth Clubs to compliment her studies. She is now employed in our Twinks club which is a play group for children with severe Autism. She loves her work and the children at White Lodge and is genuinely motivated and rewarded by the support and help she can give the children and their families.
Her dad David says she comes home buzzing about what she’s done and cannot talk highly enough of White Lodge, which made him realise the challenges some people have.
David is Managing Director at Advantage Worldwide, a company which has a long history of wanting to give back to the community and whilst they support one or two national charities he and his colleagues feel compelled to give back locally and White Lodge seemed like the perfect place.
“Advantage Worldwide are a local Company and having seen the work that you do and the specialist care you provide for those not so fortunate, we as a Company decided to make the donation to such a great organisation fully deserving our support, the work you do is truly commendable. With Molly’s experiences how could we not support White Lodge.”
David came in and presented Molly on behalf of White Lodge a cheque for £2,000 which is just so amazing and will help us support our vital services. And White Lodge will become their charity of the year for 2021.
With such a challenging year for everyone we are all looking forward to 2021 and new partnerships like these that will help keep our vital services running.
Thank you Molly, David and the team at Advantage Worldwide. We wish you all a Merry Christmas!
A fantastic night of virtual wreath making!
11 Dec 2020
We all had so much fun earlier this week creating festive wonders in our virtual wreath making night!
Over 30 people zoomed in and created some amazing wreaths to be enjoyed this Christmas.
We raised £1,000 which was then doubled to £2,000 through the Big Give Christmas Challenge which is fantastic!
Just some of the wonderful comments we have received :
- Great event such a success and so much fun
- So well organised and clear to follow
- Fantastic organisation, materials and tuition
- Great event and worked really well remotely
- Loved it as a positive social experience, especially at a time when social interaction is necessarily limited
- The event created lovely memories for our Covid Christmas while helping White Lodge in some small way continue the great work they do
- Thanks to the team at Boyes Turner LLP for sponsoring this event and to Julie for her excellent instruction
We would like to extend our thanks to Sita and Julie from Boyes Turner who sponsored and did an amazing demonstration on the night!
We are asking everyone to photograph their wreaths and send to email@example.com as our nursery children will judge the best wreath winner!
The Big Give Christmas Challenge was a huge success - thank you everyone!
09 Dec 2020
We simply want to say a big thank you for all yoru support in our "Inclusion For All" appeal to help provide services and support for adults with disabilities.
We had seven days to raise £14,000 online which would then be doubled to £28,000 through the Big Give Christmas Challenge, the UKs biggest match funding platform. Well this year we reached our target in three days, and we eventually raised an amazing £32,477!
Just take a look at the good this money will achieve:
- £5,000 – 150 one-to-one hours with a Physio Assistant who deliver personalised physio programmess
- £10,000 – 450 hours of accessible sport, delivered by a mixture of external and internal providers
- £10,000 – 457 hours of creative art in our purpose built art studio dedicated to all abilities
What an amazing way to lead us all into Christmas.
Thanks again and Merry Christmas!
BIG thanks to the team at Gravytrain
16 Nov 2020
We would like to extend our thanks to the team at Gravytrain in Teddington. They have been volunteering their time and helping us over the last year with our digital marketing.
This has been really prevalent during the pandemic where we wanted to raise awareness of our services to even more people who may need us.
“It's been great working with Claire and Mike at White Lodge. The COVID-19 pandemic has been such a struggle for everyone, particularly those with disabilities and their families and carers. We're just happy to help White Lodge, in any way we can, reach those people really in need of their services.”
Jonathan Sealy, Gravytrain
Gravytrain have also supported White Lodge in events such as Tough Mudder and are always at the end of the phone when we need a bit of digital advice.
So this is just a BIG thank you from the marketing team and everyone at White lodge for your kind support!
White Lodge have always been there for me, even during this pandemic
10 Nov 2020
I’m Hannah, I am 29 and a powerchair user following an injury playing netball aged just 14.
I have Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and secondary illnesses and complications. I have been coming to White Lodge for over eight years, twice every week (once for hydro and once for physio or fitness). I am an Ambassador for White Lodge where with others I work to help spread the word about their wonderful work and encourage support.
White Lodge has been vital help for me, especially during these challenging times where they have continued to support individuals and families.
I get so many benefits from the hydrotherapy pool at White Lodge, which I'm continuing to access during this new lockdown. I am free and can move myself in the water unlike on land where I use a powerchair. It helps my pain and mobility. I can stretch out, swim and exercise within the safety and support of the water. I have relearnt to stand with support from the water. Initially, it was not safe or possible on land but was in the water. It has been amazing for me and I’ve continued to use the pool and other services throughout the pandemic, it's been such a support for me and many others.
If you can support White Lodge to ensure they can continue to provide such critical services please do donate to their Keep On Caring appeal.
A HUGE thank you to Garfield Weston Foundation
03 Nov 2020
We have some great news to share with you all.
We have been awarded £25,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation. They are a family founded grant making Trust that supports charities across the UK.
This grant will be invaluable and contribute to the running of our critical services across White Lodge. This is especially welcome during these challenging times, as it's more vital than ever that we can support people with disabilities and relieve compounded fears of isolation and lonlieness. It is crucial that we continue to be there for everyone who needs us and thanks to Garfield Weston Foundation this makes it all more possible.
"We are delighted with the grant and the wonderful impact it will make to our service provison. It will make an immediate benefit to so many of the children and adults with disabilites that we provide vital support to, thank you from everyone at White Lodge"
Jenny Steptoe, Trust and Foundations Fundraisisng Manager
Check out our Autumn/Winter 2020 Newsletter
13 Oct 2020
Despite the strange and challenging times we are living in there is still so much to celebrate and be thankful for at White Lodge.
Check out our latest LodgeLife newsletter.
Virtual Vino Success!
09 Oct 2020
Last Saturday, on the 4th October we hosted our very first virtual wine tasting event in partnership with Tim Syrad Wines.
With so many events being cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic fundraising for White Lodge has become very challenging. We have therefore been embarking on new virtual ways to engage our supporters, have fun and raise some essential monies to help us Keep on Caring.
Teddington Wine merchant Tim Syrad volunteered his 25 years of experience to host the evening via what we are now calling, Le Zoom Bar!
The evening celebrated some of the french classics including Sancerre, Chablis, Champagne, Fleurie, and Bordeaux. Tim supplied the wine which he delivered to people’s houses and he also recommended french cheese pairings to complement each of the wines being tasted.
It was great fun! Tim spoke about the characteristics of each wine and even took us through the 6 S’s of wine tasting: see, swirl, sniff, sip, swish and swallow (or spit!). It was a real education and he even treated us to a quiz with the winners winning a bottle of Moet!
All in all, whilst the concept was new, Le Zoom Bar worked so well, creating a vibrant atmosphere that connected us all. What’s more the event raised over £900 for White Lodge, enough to pay for 13 x 1-2-1 hydrotherapy sessions for adults with conditions such as MS, Cerebral Palsy, Parkinsons, Stroke and brain injury.
A huge thanks to Tim Syrad for being such a brilliant host and to all the White Lodge winos for their contribution and generosity on a great evening.
Please save the date for Friday 4th December in the evening for a festive tasting and an opportunity to have your charity donations doubled as part of our Big Give Christmas Challenge!
Celebrating Back Care Week - a message from our Moving and Handling Team
07 Oct 2020
It is Back Care Week starting 7th October - throughout these challenging times we have continued supporting people and risen to new challenges.
Usually for the Moving and Handling team, we would have been providing talks or training session with the focus on our carer’s in the community. We usually do this to keep carers informed on posture, back care and moving and handling techniques and demonstrate small pieces of equipment. The talks give us the opportunity to let carers know the service we offer at White Lodge and all the other great services available here. At these events we provide information to existing carers but also those people who may not be registered with our service and are unaware of the unique service we offer in providing training and support within their home environment.
This year, as for everyone things are very different!
So what have we been doing during this pandemic? Fortunately, we have been able to continuing supporting carers throughout this difficult time. Initially from the end of March we were unable to provide home visits. However, we kept in regular contact with our existing carers, providing support and problem solving, including referring on to other services if necessary and new referrals continued to be received into the service. For the new carers we provided detailed phone assessments and the offer of Zoom or What’s app training where possible. We also referred on the new carers to other services to get equipment or provision of care in the home as necessary for those carers who could not wait for the home visits from us to be reinstated.
Thankfully after the initial few months, we were able to visit carers in their home and continue to do so. We are now providing the training and support that they so desperately need to continue to care for their loved ones. In fact, because of the pandemic, many more people have become informal carers, and referrals to us are increasing!
Olivia's determination continues to win the day!
06 Oct 2020
By Tania Gallagher, Olivia's proud mum.
50 years at White Lodge - My story in my words by Jason Vaughan
06 Oct 2020
I have been coming to White Lodge since I was 6 months old, that’s now 50 years!
When I was born my parents felt very sad that I was disabled with Cerebral Palsy. They did not know what my future would hold, what to do or how to cope.
They met a very special lady called Carol and started to talk to her about all their fears and concerns. She offered them help and support and more cups of tea then they could drink!
Carol helped my parents get me into two schools and at 19 years of age I moved to London and lived independently. This was all thanks to White Lodge.
Without all of the early support from White Lodge I would not be the happy independent person I am today, and without them people would not know how to communicate with me.
Without all of the support from White Lodge I could never have lived independently in my own home by myself since I was 23. No one will ever know how much that means. White lodge helped me to gain my independence and I thank them all the time for that.
Now as an adult my time at White Lodge is invaluable because they support me when I need them. It gives me a social life and I get to meet new people. I also like to help other disabled people and try to inspire them.
The adult classes that are run in the Rendezvous Hub really help because they maintain independence, get people thinking and talking, they teach us how to cook, create, exercise and make us feel part of life and give us a positive attitude.
There are not enough places like White Lodge that have the love and dedication to do what they do. I would be lost without them.
This is why supporting White Lodge is any way you can is so important. Especially now during this pandemic where White Lodge is finding it harder and harder to raise funds. Please support them, they are a lifeline to us!!
Lights, camera, action - White Lodge opens its very own cinema
23 Sep 2020
It’s been challenging times for us all and for White Lodge this is no exception. But despite the pandemic something really exciting has taken place this week with the opening of our very own in-house cinema!
Please visit this link to see a film of this amazing new facility being opened by White Lodge Patron Diana Moran BEM with contributions from another White Lodge Patron, Gemma Bissix.
Having this new facility is incredible as we are now bringing the power of cinema to White Lodge. We can easily accommodate 10 or more people at one time and we have the ability to manage the light and the noise levels to suit our users which is brilliant. We can share some movie blockbusters and Disney classics but also use the big screen to show some special interest nature programmes like the BBC’s Frozen Planet which so many of our members love and adore.
The cinema room is here thanks to Ian Morrish, founder of Together For Cinema, and proAV who have been supporting White Lodge for several years. We are very privileged to be Together For Cinema’s 25th Cinema installation for UK charities.
Ian says, “In 2010 I set a personal target for Together For Cinema of 25 charitable cinema room installations by 2020. I am delighted to now see this goal satisfied with White Lodge being our 25th. This also takes us well over the £½ million mark for the normal ‘paid for’ value of these cinema rooms. The Audio Visual industry’s support has been staggering and CEDIA, our trade association, has backed Together For Cinema over the years and recognised it’s achievements. The next chapter begins now and maybe we’ll look at another 25 installations by 2030…?! Enjoy your new facility White Lodge and as l’m local I may pop in for a movie and some popcorn!”
He adds, “In 2010 I set a personal target for Together For Cinema of 25 charitable cinema room installations by 2020. I am delighted to now see this goal satisfied with White Lodge being our 25th. This also takes us well over the £½ million mark for the normal ‘paid for’ value of these cinema rooms. The Audio Visual industry’s support has been staggering and CEDIA, our trade association, has backed Together For Cinema over the years and recognised it’s achievements. The next chapter begins now and maybe we’ll look at another 25 installations by 2030…?! Enjoy your new facility White Lodge and as l’m local I may pop in for a movie and some popcorn!”
It’s been a great collaborative effort with proAV and one that also involves local companies and community groups.
The installation was managed and installed by proAV, who, with Together For Cinema, worked tirelessly to make this happen in very challenging conditions.
Thanks also extend to Belron International and the Masons within the Runnymede community who helped renovate the room with extra fixtures and furniture to complete this transformational project.
Lesley Robbins, White Lodge CEO says, “The contribution this cinema room will make to the lives of so many children and adults with disabilities is immense. Accessing cinemas can be a challenge for so many people who come to White Lodge, so they often miss out on this great visual experience that we all take for granted. Its come at a time when people have also felt more isolated than ever so this will bring happiness and joy to so many. It will be much used and much loved and we want to thank everyone involved in getting this up and running in these unprecedented times.”
Help us to Keep On Caring
21 Sep 2020
Can you help us Keep On Caring?
The statistics of people with disability in Surrey are quite startling. There are approximately 10,500 children and young people with disabilities aged 0 – 19 (“Surrey Uncovered”: 2016). Surrey Census statistics indicate that 5.7% of adults have a long term illness/disability. Behind every statistic is a story of isolation, fear, exclusion and sometimes of desperation which is why the services we provide at White Lodge are so vital.
The effects of the covid-19 pandemic have hit our services and funding hard.
We have been there for the most vulnerable disabled children, adults and their families throughout the pandemic, now can you be there for White Lodge? During these extremely challenging times we have continued to support and care for the most vulnerable children, adults and their families. Their needs are such that it’s been imperative that we have been able to provide support.
As the situation constantly changes we have to adapt our services and ways of working. We are reaching more people but subsequently our fundraising has taken a big hit. Going forward we are launching our Keep On Caring appeal to help us continue providing our essential services.
We are calling on our families, supporters, local businesses and corporate friends to come up with ways of fundraising or donate to our appeal.
Thank you to all our Stay at Home Heros
14 Sep 2020
As soon as lockdown took hold we wanted everyone to stay connected and feel positive; staff, volunteers, supporters as well as all the children and adults with disabilities who rely on our services.
At White Lodge we know that for many people living with a disability, the daily experience of isolation and exclusion is the norm. With the lockdown measures this increased the feelings of detachment and often helplessness. The effects of the pandemic hit our services hard but we knew we had to still reach and support people. We were able to adapt most of our services to give remote support through online video platforms and we were able to offer critical respite care to the most vulnerable.
We also knew we would need to continue fundraising as all our events got cancelled and everyone had different work and life challenges to face. So we needed to raise money but equally we wanted to raise morale, positivity and hope. So in the first week of April we launched our Stay at Home Hero appeal . The challenge was to use our stay at home powers to stop the spread of Covid 19 and help the NHS but also support our wonderful charity. People were tasked to simply do anything they wanted that made them feel super.
We were blown away by the unique activities everyone did to connect with their hidden super powers and also raise vital funding. This appeal simply united and engaged the whole White Lodge family. Everyone was just AMAZING and we just want to say a huge THANK YOU now the appeal is coming to a natural end. Everyone did such an inspiring range of endeavors and we raised over £35,100. We can’t thank everyone but you know who you all are!!
TWP Step Up and go the extra mile... some 5,000 of them!
08 Sep 2020
Throughout August our long-time corporate partner TWP Accounting set themselves a fantastic team challenge to complete 10 million steps in aid of White Lodge. This meant that each member of the team, based in their Weybridge and Cranleigh offices, had a target to achieve a whopping 10,000 step a day for the entire month! Some ran, some walked, some played tennis and others did a variety of other activities too.
The firm got lots of support from friends, family, clients and the local community who rallied behind the firm to support our services during this difficult time.
Paul Hawksley, Managing Partner at TWP Accounting, said: “Our team really went all out to meet this difficult challenge during the last month. We have worked with White Lodge for a number of years and have seen the difference their services make, especially during these tough times, which gave us the inspirational impetus we needed to achieve our goal.
“We are so glad that we have managed to raise so much money for this wonderful cause, which we hope will go some way to helping them as they support others. We can’t thank those people who supported us enough.”
After working hard to meet the challenge alongside their day to day work, the team managed to achieve over 10,750,000 steps – approximate to around 5,000 miles –and have beaten their original fundraising total of £2,000 to raise just short of £3,000, including gift aid, for White Lodge.
Thank you TWP – what a brilliant initiative and well done to everyone who played their part.