Community centre blooms with help from Cadbury Foundation

Charity receives grant from Bournville-based fund.

A community centre which empowers and supports people with cerebral palsy in Birmingham has been given a cash boost of £3,000 thanks to the father of a service user who herself has the condition.

Harborne-based Cerebral Palsy Midlands makes a difference to hundreds of disabled people and their families every year who have cerebral palsy and other related conditions. The charity help support people learning vital life skills, promoting health and wellbeing within their community, promoting independence, effectively communicating and educating people about disability awareness.

Cerebral Palsy Midlands provide bespoke care in a supportive environment within their day centre and run a weekly programmer of activities including tai chi, music and vocal tuition, accessing the community, vocational training, IT skills, arts and crafts and parent and carer supportive groups.

The money was secured with the help of Malcolm Lilly, who is a boiler plant operative at Mondelēz International in Bournville, having applied for a donation through The Cadbury Foundation and its Your Charity, Your Choice scheme.

Each year employees from across each of its UK operations are able to nominate a charity they believe should benefit from the scheme, and Mr Lilly decided to champion one that is close to his heart.

He said: “My daughter Vicky has a close connection to the charity attending the centre on a daily basis. She has had many opportunities in her life thanks to Cerebral Palsy Midlands and I really do try and help support them in what they are doing. With the charity being small they are always looking for opportunities and ways that they can get additional funding to continue the great work they do.”

Mr Lilly’s other daughter, Sarah, works as the charity’s development officer and helps fundraise to look after around fifty clients throughout the week.

“As a family we are passionate about making a difference to Vicky and her friends there. Her physical disability means she is dependent on others to help her with daily needs such as feeding, changing, communicating, transport and much more. She does live independently now but attends the centre daily. It provides her with many opportunities to be empowered, develop new skills and go on trips. Without it, she would be more isolated and not have the same social and creative opportunities. It’s like one big family and one we are proud to be a part of,” he added.

The money will be used to support the charity’s health and well-being activites, including weekly Tai Chi and wheelchair dance sessions, a daily hot healthy meal, along with users being shown how to cook from fresh with produce grown in their recently developed garden space.

Sarah Lilly, development officer at the charity said: “This grant will enable us to enhance and develop the health and well-being of our citizens here at Cerebral Palsy Midlands and we are very grateful for all the support that we have received from The Cadbury Foundation.”

Kelly Farrell, community affairs manager at Mondelēz International, added: “We are extremely proud that The Cadbury Foundation is supporting charities close to our employee’s hearts through our Your Charity Your Choice scheme. are making a huge difference to the wellbeing of our local community and it’s fantastic to be able to support a charity that our colleagues are passionate about.”