Candlelight Carol Service

Swings & Smiles’ annual Candlelight Carol Service took place at St Mark’s Church in Englefield on Sunday 3rd December

The event was attended by patrons Chris Tarrant OBE, Mary Cameron and Richard Benyon MP. Michelle from the Matt & Michelle Breakfast Show on Heart FM and Laura Lewis, our Charity Director were also in attendance and gave readings.
It was a wonderful occasion with around 200 people present. The Castle School Choir, Englefield Primary School Choir and some pupils from Downe House all gave lovely performances.
A big thank you to Crown Water and Coffee, Warings Bakery and Sainsburys for supplying the refreshments and our sponsors WW Giles and Donnington New Homes.


We were today presented with £1000 from Psychic and Spiritual Awakenings.

Psychic and Spiritual Awakenings is a group that runs in Newbury and they chose us to be their chosen charity for 2017. They raised the money through a number of events that they have run this year and a large raffle.

They presented the cheque to us at our Mini Morning session – a playgroup that runs every Monday for our families.

The money will go towards our new outdoor play area that will hopefully be open in the next couple of months.

All Golf Swings & Smiles at Donnington Valley

On Friday 29th September 17 teams participated in the Swings & Smiles Charity Golf Day at Donnington Valley Golf Club, which was kindly sponsored by Infiniti Newbury ( and The Vineyard Group

It was an early tee off and the weather definitely did not want to play ball but a few drops of rain did not stop what turned out to be a fantastic day of golf.
The winning team was the combination of DHL and Dixons.
Donnington Valley Hotel hosted a fabulous three course lunch after which an auction was held and everyone got into the spirit of giving.
Over £3,600 was raised for Swings & Smiles. We would like to say a huge thank you to The Vineyard Group and Donnington Valley for hosting an amazing day, to Infiniti for sponsoring the event and of course to everyone who played and supported us on the day. Your enthusiasm for not only the game but also the charity is overwhelming. Thank you all.

Working Together

We are proud to have joined the Disabled Children’s Partnership – a growing coalition of more than 50 organisations – campaigning for improved health and social care for disabled children, young people and their families in England.

Research shows that 43% of the British public don’t know anyone who is disabled and that 97% of parents with a disabled children do not believe the public understands the challenges they face every day.
The campaign, Secret Life of Us developed in close partnership with parents – looks to change this.

It reveals the parts of their lives that most people simply do not see – bringing to life the realities of the challenges disabled children, young people and their families face when living a life many of us take for granted. By being a part of this, we hope to open the eyes of the public to the difficulties faced by families on a day-to-day basis, removing the barriers to people being able to relate to the lives of disabled children. For more information visit here.

Watch this space for more information about how you can get involved.

Double Donation from DoubleTree

We had a wonderful surprise last week when a team from Double Tree by Hilton Newbury North arrived to present us with a cheque.

We received an amazing donation of £1,474 which was the money raised from the past two quiz evenings – both of which were great fun and a huge success.
Watch this space for another quiz later this year.


On Friday 19th May we officially opened our play facility for families with special needs children at A Place to Play, Lower Way Thatcham. The opening event was attended by many long-standing supporters as well as representatives from local businesses, a lot of whom gave up their time free of charge to help us with our move.

Sian Cook said: “We had begun to outgrow the Phoenix Resource Centre and needed more space including outdoor and to be able to increase our opening times. Our potential demand is increasing year on year and the Lower Way building offers a good, secure outdoor space. It’s very important for the children who come to us to be able to enjoy outside play so the new base is perfect for us. Our thanks go to all those companies and individuals who helped us with the move.”
Companies who helped with the move include:
A Brush Above The Rest; Arena Security; Buildbase; Bonkers Play; Calco; David Wilson Homes; Floorcraft; The Freemasons; Grundon; ITQ; Mercedes; Marshalls Chartered Surveyors; MFG; Moore Blatch Solicitor; Opemed; Rapid Clean; Russell Evans Chartered Surveyors; Scofell; Service Master; SpaceKraft; Westronics;
Following the Open Evening, there was a weekend of action-packed fun. Saturday afternoon saw Swings & Smiles host a Harry Potter Themed Grand Opening for all its families with 106 people attending.


On 30th April the Royal Oak in Ecchinswell hosted the village May Fair for the 4th consecutive year. The event was a great success and drew in crowds from far and wide. There was a host of different activities on offer and everyone had a fantastic time. Fortunately, the rain held off all day.

The event raised an amazing £2,500 for us and we are extremely grateful to Chris and Laura from the Royal Oak, along with all the Committee members, who worked so hard to make this such a success. It is thanks to support like this that we can continue to provide our invaluable service for families with special needs children. Thank You.

Curry & Quiz Success

The Hilton Newbury North hosted yet another wonderful quiz night

The team at The Hilton did us proud yet again and raised over £950 in the process. We are delighted that Roland Gardner and his team came away with the honours of winning as well having the fewest team members on the night – no mean feat! Thank you to everyone at The Hilton for making it such a success and to all those of you who came along on the evening and supported the event.

Candlelight Carols

Swings & Smiles’ annual Candlelight Carol Service took place at St Mark’s Church in Englefield on Thursday 8th December.


The event was attended by patrons Chris Tarrant OBE, Mary Cameron and Richard Benyon MP. Victoria Fishburn, High Sheriff of Berkshire and Allen Sinclair from the BBC were also in attendance and gave readings.

It was a wonderful occasion with Swings & Smiles children providing some of the music as well as Englefield Primary School Choir.

A Golfing Triumph

Donnington Valley Golf Club Host our Annual Golf Day

A huge thanks must go to The Vineyard Group and Donnington Valley Golf Club for hosting our Annual Golf Day on 30th September. 14 teams took to the greens on a beautiful sunny day and fun was had by all. Thanks to the generosity of The Vineyard Group and the participants an amazing £2,500 was raised which will go towards our permanent site for which we are busy fundraising.