Dingley’s Promise, a Berkshire charity supporting children aged 0-5 with additional needs and disabilities, has welcomed Paralympic champion Helene Raynsford as their new patron. Helene made history by becoming the first rowing Paralympic gold medallist for Great Britain in 2008. Her other accolades include two Paralympic Basketball silver medals and twice winner of BBC South Sportswoman of the year.
Helene described how she was “humbled” to be asked to become a Dingley’s Promise patron, and explained why she was so keen to join them. “The charity does incredible work, really changing the lives of the children and families they work with giving them a supportive and nurturing environment to thrive”.
Helene went on to say; “Having acquired my disability later in life I experienced many people placing limitations on what they expected I could achieve and I had to overcome these hurdles of people’s perceptions. I can imagine for young people and their families these perceptions might be stronger if they have an identified additional need in their early years. Thus, it is important to me that we give children the best opportunity to excel at whatever level is appropriate for them, having an engaging life with opportunities to thrive and show the world their abilities”.
Dingley’s Promise has centres in Wokingham, Reading and Newbury. They support children across Berkshire who have a wide range of disabilities and special educational needs, providing vital care to them and their families. As Helene notes, “the early years are so important for children to set them up with the best chances in life. This is even more important for children with additional needs.”
David Ormrod, Chair of Dingley’s Promise said “We are honoured to welcome Helene Raynsford as a Patron of Dingley’s Promise. Helene is passionate about improving the lives of children with disability and, working with Chris and Naomi Khoo who joined as Patrons in May, Helene will be a valuable asset in our drive to increase our reach and impact.”