Musical opportunities for Norwood’s Buckets and Spades

3 December 2013

Last Thursday, Talya Jacobson officially opened Norwood’s new Music Garden at the Buckets and Spades short break residential service in Finchley which brings together communication and music in an innovative and imaginative way. The opening was also attended by other children and young people who enjoy short breaks at Buckets and Spades, their parents, family and Norwood Trustees.

Through the tremendous cycling efforts and significant sponsorship from three of Norwood’s dedicated International Challengers, Douglas Silas, Paul Tuhrim and Stephen Harrison, an incredible £40,000 was raised to help fund the development of the Music Garden and provide some of the specialised equipment.

Following his first Norwood ride in Israel in 2011, Douglas, who has Cerebellar Ataxia, a rare, degenerative disorder, also completed an incredibly difficult coast-to-coast challenge across Sri Lanka last year – and if that wasn’t enough he has recently taken part in consecutive 5 day rides in Israel and Madagascar, raising further significant funds for Norwood along the way.

The children and young people who use Norwood’s Buckets and Spades short break residential service have a range of learning disabilities and physical impairments and this Music Garden will provide an essential way for them to communicate and express themselves if they are non-verbal, bringing an extra and much needed dimension to the respite service.

Throughout the development of the project, the children and young people who benefit from Buckets and Spades were actively consulted and given the opportunity to hand-pick the range of special garden equipment and music toys themselves.

During a short ceremony, Gary Sacks, Norwood’s Fundraising Chair, invited Talya Jacobson to cut the ribbon before Rabbi Alan Plancey, a member of Norwood’s Advisory Council lit the Chanukah candles. Guests were then invited to try for themselves, all that the new garden has to offer.

Douglas Silas said: "It was a wonderful feeling to see first-hand the Music Garden and to tangibly see how the money we have raised is already benefitting children there which will be enjoyed by so many other children in the years to come."

Norwood’s Chief Executive, Elaine Kerr said: "We are delighted that, thanks to the significant sponsorship and generous support of Douglas, Paul and Stephen, we are now able to offer such an enjoyable musical experience through this new brilliantly equipped garden area. What makes it even more special is that the children and young people who regularly benefit from Buckets and Spades were actively involved in bringing the project together."

The garden will be used regularly by the children and young people who use Norwood’s Buckets and Spades short break residential service.

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