The Golden Lion Children’s Trust is a Gatwick based charity founded in 1973 by British Caledonian Airways employees and others who worked at, or were connected with, Gatwick Airport.
Completely self-financing, independent of any regular corporate sponsorship, often benefiting from the generosity and support of companies large and small mainly from around Gatwick & the South of England, this small charity supports approximately 3000 children with special needs and underprivileged youngsters per year, mainly from Crawley area, but also within Sussex plus some areas of Kent and Surrey and last year ran a total of fifty six projects for the children.
The first event run by the charity was a day trip for special needs children and their helpers from Ingfield Manor School, Billingshurst to Jersey. None had ever flown before.
Since that trip, many thousands of children have enjoyed a day out with the Golden Lion Children’s Trust. Airlines, mainly operating from Gatwick, have enabled the charity to take children to: Aberdeen, Amsterdam, Brussels, Cardiff, Cologne, Glasgow, Jersey, Le Touquet, Newcastle, Ostend, Paris, Prestwick, and Rovaneimi, Lapland.
In addition, the charity has arranged holidays for children to Majorca; Legoland Denmark; Banjul, Gambia; San Antonio, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Los Angeles and Florida, as well as holidays on the south coast for children with speech & learning difficulties.
Support given to special schools, homes and hospitals over the years has varied from sophisticated medical equipment for hospital special baby care units to curtains for a playroom at a children’s home or wood for a carpentry class; from providing a school greenhouse for older students with severe learning difficulties to sponsoring individual music lessons for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties.
In 2004 the GLCT received The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award for Voluntary Services to the Community.
The work of the Golden Lion Children’s Trust is always expanding and diversifying. The charity runs an Education and Awareness Programme through working with schools. It works on the Moving Barriers initiative linking with Crawley BC (local sports clubs working with special needs children). Other events and activities currently include taking groups to see show-jumping at the International Horse Show, Wembley & Hickstead; visiting Legoland Windsor; trips to Herstmonceux Science & Observatory Centre; chartering a steam train at Bluebell Railway to meet Santa Claus each December; holding an Annual Christmas party for 100 or so disadvantaged youngsters from Crawley area; as well as popular visits to theatre and cinema, often followed with gifts of books so children can read (or be read to) about the topic.
The charity continues to run as it did in the beginning – by fund-raising within the community to support children with special needs, underprivileged youngsters and families, from the local area.
Please read through our website to discover more … and maybe you too can help the Golden Lion Children’s Trust support the children and bring a little magic into their lives.
Contact us today on 01273 891963 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and together we can ‘bring a little magic into the life of the child with special needs’.