Royal Patron The Countess of Wessex, joins a video call with student, family and Treloar’s staff
On Tuesday 7th July HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO joined a video call with Treloar School student, Poppy, and her family at their home in Wales. Shortly after, The Countess joined Treloar’s staff to support and congratulate them all for their outstanding work during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Poppy has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and set herself the goal to do a half-marathon of laps in her garden to raise money for Treloar’s in Alton, Hampshire. Poppy’s dad, Rob, and her eldest brother, Sam, joined HRH on the call too. Sam has been involved in Poppy’s previous challenges for Treloar’s including the Brighton Marathon in 2017, where he pushed Poppy around the course.
During the conversation with Her Royal Highness, Poppy and her family discussed topics as diverse as Poppy’s feelings on lockdown, her cooking expertise – Poppy shared her recipe for CocaCola Cake, the use of PPE by Treloar’s staff on her return to School and how it will affect Poppy’s communication methods as Poppy lip reads, vegetable growing, her dog, Stanley – who joined the call at one point – and virtual quizzes.
Rob, Poppy’s dad said: “Treloar’s focus on enablement has made the world of difference to Poppy, building her confidence and independence.
Poppy has been very good at organising her time during lockdown and is great at her school work. She has not missed out at all and Treloar’s is such a great school and she has really been able to achieve such a lot. Treloar’s has really had to think on its feet and had a very difficult job.”
The Countess later joined a video call with members of staff from the charity who have been working relentlessly during the pandemic, and thanked them for their hard work, fortitude, selflessness and kindness shown during this difficult time adding “I am always so impressed with the work of Treloar’s and this just shows that you have stepped up and coped with what has been hurled at us all out of the blue. The families must be so pleased that their children are lucky enough to go to Treloar’s and so grateful. This makes me even prouder to be part of Treloar’s. Thank you so much.”
Since the pandemic began in March 2020, Treloar’s has continued to provide high quality education, care, therapy and medical support for young disabled people. Despite this difficult time, students’ needs have remained at the heart of Treloar’s work and staff have worked tirelessly to ensure their needs have been met as fully as possible.
Provision has been given through a mix of on-site support and care services, virtual teaching and in some cases, staff have provided door to door support for the most complex and vulnerable students. The Treloar’s campus remained open, even in the Easter holidays, at the height of the pandemic to support residential students living on site.
Yvette Walker, Paediatric Senior Staff Nurse: “We ordinarily operate 24hrs, 365 days a year. During the pandemic it has been necessary to additionally have a back-up rota in place should there be any suspected COVID-19 cases. This would ensure 1:1 nursing to keep
infection rates down. Due to our exceptional care and nursing staff we have had no cases at Treloar’s which considering how close and intimate we have to be with student care this is amazing.”
Treloar’s CEO, Simon Birch, thanked The Countess of Wessex and said “it has meant a lot that Her Royal Highness has been thinking of us.”