Toy appeal for deaf and blind kids

An ambitious target of £8,000 has been set to help bring play into the world of deaf and blind children.

Wetherby Wharfedale Rotary Club has joined with Leeds Rotarians for a major appeal to provide dozens of sensory toys for needy youngsters in the city area.

“These specialist and highly beneficial pieces of equipment are tailored to each child, with a priority placed on low income families,” said Wetherby Trust Secretary David Shackleton.

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“At up to £150 per item, they provide input to otherwise isolated school children, as a crucial aid for their development.

David Shackleton.David Shackleton.
David Shackleton.

“The aim is to purchase at least one toy for all 60 children in our district currently known to be in need, and to recycle the equipment, where possible, as children grow – handing them to the next generation and creating a library or resource bank for the future.”

The national deafblind charity, SENSE, is running a TV advertising campaign to garner public support and Rotary is working with them and Leeds City Council to give greater impact to the project.

Sandra Barlow, a Qualified Teacher of Multi-Sensory Impairment in Leeds, has worked with Rotary for many years.

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She said: “Using toys which promote touch and music in play can help young children who are deafblind, develop their senses and aid effective communication.

“Toys designed for children with sensory impairments can help parents’ bond with their children when they are not sure how to initiate play themselves.”

Wetherby Wharfedale Rotary Club has already raised over £3,000 through various methods including a charity day at Great Rail Journeys, car boot sales, charity evenings and donations from Members and Boston Spa Tennis Club.

Any donations to this appeal should be made by sending a cheque, made payable to Rotary Club of Wetherby Wharfedale, to: Mr D Shackleton (Trust Secretary), 6a North Grove Avenue, Wetherby LS22 7PZ.

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