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Businesses invited to be 'guardians' of Thames Valley Adventure Playground

Thames Valley Adventure Playground (TVAP) is relaunching a scheme aimed at the local business community to help safeguard the charity’s future.

The playground in Bath Road, Taplow, provides a safe, adapted and stimulating environment for children and adults with all types of special needs to enjoy fun, freedom and friendship.

Initially launched in 2004, the charity’s ‘guardianship’ scheme looks to secure annual donations from businesses to go towards its £350,000 annual running costs.

In return a business will become a ‘Guardian of the Playground’ and, depending on the level of contribution, be eligible for a range of benefits.

These include time spent on the TVAP billboard on the A4 and positive brand association in the form of a certificate for the office and the use of the TVAP logo.

Reama Shearman, TVAP engagement manager, said: “They obviously get the lovely glow of knowing that they’ve given back, but we also give them as much publicity about it as we can, and just forge a closer relationship with them.”

She added “We just try and be as mutually beneficial as possible.”

Reama explained that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the charity’s ability to fundraise, and a decline in donations from community groups and individuals, makes this income stream more vital than ever.

She said the next year or two is ‘going to be crunch-time’ for the charity.

“Our funding has gone down enormously – a massive percentage – and because of that we just feel that if businesses could help us at this time it would just really, really appreciated.”

A major donor of the scheme is XLCubed, a provider of financial reporting and analytics tools for business users which is based in Maidenhead and owned by Mark Scanlon.

He said after ‘being nudged quite a few times’ by the charity to visit the playground, he understood, perhaps for the first time, ‘what corporate social responsibility means and what it can do’.

Upon XLCubed being made a Guardian of the playground he noticed the positive knock-on effect felt by staff and customers.

“I think the realisation that you are helping something really worthwhile in the local community lifted morale and made people think about how they could help in a more general sense,” he said.

Mark can testify too that the guardianship benefit of having your business logo viewed from the A4 does not go unnoticed.

“A surprising number of our customers comment on seeing our logo as they head from Heathrow to sit in a traffic jam by TVAP coming into Maidenhead,” he said.

Find out more about becoming a Guardian of the Playground at www.tvap.co.uk/guardians

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