Helping Children with Learning Disabilities Have Fun: Our 2022/23 Staff Nominated Charity Announced

18 July 2022

Our recent Staff Away Day formed the setting for the final round of pitching and voting for our Staff Nominated Annual Charity for 2022/23. And we’re delighted to announce that Kangaroos, a Mid Sussex based charity specialising in providing fun, inclusive social and leisure activities for children and young adults with learning disabilities and additional needs has been awarded our support for the coming year.

Charitable support and creating opportunities for young people have been high on the FFT values agenda since we started out in 2001. In 2020 alone, we gifted over £46K to charitable programmes.

Staff-led fundraising is openly encouraged, and the annual nominated charity is something that every member of staff is invited to participate in.

We had over a dozen charities nominated by staff, each one being awarded £50 just for being submitted for consideration. The 12 were then carefully whittled this down to six finalists, who were awarded an additional £250 each, and put forward for the final staff vote.

At our Staff Away Day at Ashtree Farm in Kent, we set up a Dragon’s Den style panel, with each member of staff who’d made it to the final given two minutes to pitch their charity and explain why they felt they deserved FFT’s support.

Following a number of impassioned pitches, the winner was announced as Kangaroos, a charity nominated by Partner Ian Richardson.

Kangaroos… creating special memories for children and young adults with learning disabilities, through a range of exciting day trips, overnight stays and mini breaks.

Kangaroos was established in 1994 by a small group of parents whose children attended a small school in Cuckfield which specialised in supporting children with learning disabilities. The parents wanted their children to be able to access similar after school activities and opportunities that mainstream school children enjoyed.

The organisation has since grown immeasurably, and currently supports over 200 members ranging in age from 6 to 35. Their vision is to ensure that people with learning disabilities can exercise their right to leisure, play and recreational activity.

The charity has exciting ambitions for the future. As well as making sure they can continue to provide the same quantity and quality of clubs and activities to their existing members, they also want to broaden their portfolio of services, including introducing a new Family Support project, and making it possible for siblings to join some sessions, as well as bringing in new activities for the 35+ age group.

Finally, Kangaroos aims to increase its membership and provide its valuable services across the whole of Mid Sussex.

FFT staff to help secure funds to help Kangaroos meet its goals

As our staff nominated charity, Kangaroos is set to receive funds and staff fundraising support over the coming year. The funds will prove a huge help. As an example of costs, a carer for a day trip costs in the region of £100. With each participant needing one-to one care, based on a party of 12, this equates to £1,200. On top of this there are all the organisational costs, insurance, driver, fuel costs and main supervisor for the day to consider too.

The funds may also be used to pay for residential activity trips, giving children and young adults the opportunity to enjoy a host of adventure activities such as zip wires and high ropes, and campfire evenings too.

Charity nominator Ian Richardson said, “I’m over the moon that Kangaroos is this year’s staff nominated charity. The charity relies on donations and sponsorship to be able to offer the services they do, and it goes without saying the more money they can generate, the more children and young adults with learning disabilities they can help.”


We look forward to supporting Kangaroos over the coming year.