On 13th April, Sir Michael attended the Valence School Hill Climb, a classic and vintage car show with a hill sprint, which raises money for extra resources and trips for the students.
Valence School, a Foundation Special School and part of the Kent Special Educational Needs Trust, is a school for children and young people who have physical disabilities and complex medical needs.
Sir Michael said: “I am a huge supporter of the work that Valence School does in enabling children with disabilities to lead more independent lives, and it was a pleasure to attend the Hill Climb to raise money for educational trips to supplement their learning.”
Michael visited the Leonard Cheshire Disability care home in Chipstead last week to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of its founder’s birth.
Leonard Cheshire Disability is a major health and welfare charity working in the UK and around the world. It was founded in 1948 by RAF pilot Leonard Cheshire and works to move disabled individuals toward independent living.
Michael met Kevin Parkes, Service Manager, and Deputy Managers, Anne-Marie Pert and Shelley Conneely, who introduced him to the care home’s oldest resident. Staff were dressed in early 20th century attire in honour of the centenary and there were tea-dancers performing to live music.
‘This is a great example of what can be achieved through community effort’, Michael said. ‘The charity’s projects support the Government’s wider efforts to get more disabled people into employment. Together we will work to finally close the disability gap.’
On Saturday, Michael cut the ribbon on the first piece of disabled friendly equipment to be installed in Swanley Park. He was joined by local councillors, the Mayor of Swanley, Cllr Shanker Gaire, and local resident Kerry Rogers and her family.
Michael said: “I was delighted to open the new piece of disabled friendly equipment at Swanley Park. I am particularly pleased that even more children will now be able to make the most of what the park has to offer. With the impressive fundraising efforts of the Mayor of Swanley, Shanker Gaire, and the hard work of local councillors, I am sure this will be only the first of many improvements.”
Swanley Town Council has committed to building an extension to the existing playground in Swanley Park which will provide disability friendly and sensory playground equipment. Cllr Gaire’s fundraising efforts are supporting this commitment and the council will shortly be inviting companies to submit bids and design ideas for the extension.