Our partner charity for 2020 is The Golden Lion’s Children’s Trust.
The Golden Lion Children’s Trust is a Sussex-based charity founded in 1973. It is a completely independent and self-funding charity supporting children with special needs and underprivileged young people mainly from the local area. GLCT runs approximately 50 projects and events for special needs schools and units, as well as individual families and other agencies eg Police, Probation Services, domestic abuse services, etc.
In addition to various off-site visits for school groups, GLCT support for special schools, children’s homes and hospitals has ranged from donating sophisticated medical equipment for special baby care units to curtains for a playroom at a children’s home; from wood for a carpentry class to help with a gardening project; from providing a school greenhouse for teenagers with severe learning difficulties to music lessons for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties, for example.
GLCT received The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award for Voluntary Services to the Community in 2004, the highest accolade currently given to charities in the UK.
The Golden Lion Children’s Trust is always expanding and diversifying. The charity runs an Education and Awareness Programme working with SEN schools and units to cover projects where there may be a lack of resources. Activities include group visits to show-jumping at Hickstead and the International Horse Show at Wembley, Legoland, the Observatory Science Centre, Diggerland, Chessington World of Adventure, Thorpe Park, Drusillas; and Brooklands Motor Museum. GLCT charters the Bluebell Railway ‘Santa Special’ each December inviting 250 guests; holds an annual Christmas party for 100 children; delivers presents to 200+ disadvantaged children on Christmas Eve; as well as group visits to theatre and cinema, particularly arranging exclusive relaxed screenings of new-release films. GLCT started Moving Barriers with Crawley BC (local sports clubs working with special needs children) and this scheme continues today at K2 with classes always over-subscribed.
All GLCT projects are free to guests and out of school-hour projects often include siblings and other family members.
The charity continues to run as it did in the beginning – by fund-raising within the community to support children with special needs, underprivileged young people and families from the local area.
The aim of the Golden Lion Children’s Trust has always been
“To bring a little magic into the life of the child with special needs”