Princess Anne opens news centre in Bristol for children with autism and cerebral palsy|
BRISTOL, UK: Britain's Princess Anne has opened a centre to help children with cerebral palsy and autism. The Princess visited the new building in Henleaze, Bristol, on January 16.
The $365,000 unit was purpose-built for North Bristol NHS Trust's Paediatric Communications Aid Service (PCAS) to help children with special needs overcome communication problems.
The Wooden Spoon Society - a rugby charity of which the princess is a patron - donated $200,000. Local businesses provided the rest of the funds, also donating their time and expertise.
Princess Anne toured the centre, before declaring it officially open. She then visited disabled children at nearby Claremont School, many of whom have cerebral palsy, learning difficulties or autism.
Speech and language therapist Sally Chan, who helped set up PCAS a decade ago, said: "The building looks absolutely amazing; everyone feels at ease as soon as they enter and there is a comfortable soothing effect, which is vital for the children."
"We are so grateful to the Wooden Spoon Society. The total cost of the building would have been in excess of £250,000 [$365,000] and therefore not possible if it hadn't been for these guys.
"It was designed around the children and has a specially designed environmentally controlled room, where children can open windows, blinds and doors using a single switch. The new building will enable children with physical difficulties to be as independent as possible."
Later, Princess Anne visited a charity shop for Save The Children, of which she is also patron, and Home Farm Trust, a charity for people with learning difficulties.
(Source: AHN, January 19, 2009)