Derek Williams, immediate past master of Equity and Appleton Lodge No 1384 donated cheques to two local charities. The first charity to receive a donation of £200 was Halton Play Council. It was established in 1997 and is a local independent charity which supports, delivers and champions free play for all children in Halton (Runcorn & Widnes). Play is such a critical part of a child’s natural development that the United Nations has recognised this in Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). At the Play Council they recognise the importance of these rights and through play do all they can to support a child’s capacity to develop social skills, build relationships, progress as individuals and keep healthy. It is their goal to provide all children of Halton the opportunity to Play.
The Play Council delivers a wide range of services, either from its purpose built headquarters at The Play Resource Centre, Mersey Road, Runcorn, or at a variety of venues throughout the Borough. Services include: retail shop and scrounge store, equipment hire, Helps scheme, training/meeting rooms, toy library, play schemes (in school holidays), short breaks and play and leisure activities for children with additional needs, Saturday ‘open access’ play and play training. The Play Council employs a team of highly qualified staff with many years’ experience working in the sector.
The second recipient was Halton Haven who also received a cheque for £200. Halton Haven Hospice provides palliative care through a range of services to individuals and support for their families in Widnes, Runcorn and surrounding areas. The hospice aims to relieve the sickness, suffering and distress of people resulting in particular from cancer and other terminal illnesses. Halton Haven Hospice provides care for adults of all ages throughout Halton and surrounding areas who have life-limiting illnesses, and supports their families. They are a charity, and all their services are free of charge.