Leading children’s charity Dingley’s Promise showcased 35 years of their outstanding work on Monday 17th September, with an exhibition at Wokingham Town Hall attended by local stars, businesses, community leaders and councillors. The charity, which provides life changing support to children under five years old with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), shared incredible stories of the families they have helped. One was the family of Spencer who was diagnosed with numerous conditions including Autism. They described Dingley’s Promise as “the little miracle that saved our family”.
Actors Winston Ellis and Alex Watts joined the evening, along with the Mayor of Newbury Margot Payne, Mayor of Slough Paul Sohal, Deputy Mayor of Wokingham Town Malcolm Richards. The highlight of the event was the inspirational speech delivered by the charity’s new patron, Paralympic champion Helene Raynsford. Helene, who made history in 2008 by becoming the first rowing Paralympic gold medallist for Great Britain, shared her fascinating Olympic career, demonstrating true focus and determination.
The evening concluded with the charity’s Annual General Meeting during which David Omrod, Dingley’s Promise Chair of Trustees, talked about Dingley’s Promise past year and how the Charity has grown. Not only has it strengthened its specialist services at its three centres in Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire but it has also become an advocate of children with SEND at a national level through their CEO, Catherine McLeod, MBE.
Addressing the attendees on the night, Catherine said “We are so proud of what we have been able to achieve over the past 35 years, and the lives we have touched across Berkshire. We often hear from families that we are the first people to see the promise in their children, and give them hope for the future. Knowing that our work has this kind of impact is what keeps us striving to reach more children and families every year.”