On Thursday 9th October 2014 a new Tesco store opened in the Bishop Centre Taplow, Tesco's wanted to support a local charity and chose our charity, Taplow Traffic Charity Trust, they invited representatives of the charity to the opening and donated £1,000. Martin was able to attend and cut the ribbon for the opening.
A charity created by former traffic police has helped put a smile back on the face of bereaved children for 15 years.
The Taplow Traffic Charity Trust was formed after officers based at Taplow traffic base in Bath Road the village held a Christmas raffle in 1998 and looked for a worthy cause for the proceeds.
Founders - Traffic Inspector Steve Thwaites and current chairman Roads Policing Sergeant Martin Harper - suggested the money could be used to support the families of car-crash victims they encountered through their work.
Their aim was to provide something to put a smile on the faces of children who had been left without a parent. "In my work normally you deal with the adults but not the children," said Martin. "You need to make them realise we do think about them and make sure they are not left out." Their idea was for officers to take a group of youngsters who had lost family in car accidents to Disneyland Paris for a day. To do this, the charity relies on the support of fundraisers and sponsors - including the Louis Baylis (Maidenhead Advertiser) Charitable Trust - which donated £1,000 in December. "We've gone back [to the trust] for many years," added Martin. "It's always been very supportive to us." As donations increased over the years they were able to make the trip bigger and better - from a coach-trip on a shoestring to a three-day, all-expenses-paid trip at a luxury hotel. Since Insp Thwaites retired, former sergeant Mick Mayne has taken over trustee duties and now about 40 children and their families from across the Thames Valley are flown out to France every year. "It gives the family time to get away from it all," added Martin. "It's almost become a self-help group as well as [the families] get talking and good friendships come out of it.
Hurricane Way, Axis Park,
Langley, Slough, Berkshire,
SL3 8AG, United Kingdom.
TEL: + 44 (0) 1753 589200
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Langley, November 30th 2001
Formula 1 stars, including three world champions, have come
together in the name of helping bereaved children.
In a unique feat, organised by Bridgestone Motorsport which supplies tyres to Formula 1, twelve of the world's top drivers have signed-up to a charity run by traffic officers from Thames Valley Police.
At races around the world during the 2001 F1 season, the drivers autographed a Bridgestone t-shirt which will be auctioned to raise money for Taplow Traffic Charity Trust, based not far from Bridgestone Motorsport's headquarters at Langley, Berkshire. The shirt will be sold to the highest bidder in an on-line auction.
The charity was set up in 1997 by traffic police officers based at Taplow, Berkshire and raises money to send children who have lost close relatives - parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters - in road accidents on special holidays to Disneyland Paris.
Police Constable Martin Harper, of Taplow Traffic Charity Trust, explained: "While a holiday can never make up for losing your mum or dad or another close relative, it can help bring a little happiness. It's a chance for families to have a break, relax together and hopefully try to find a way to move on."
Inspector Steve Thwaites, who is also involved, added: "Eventually we would like every police traffic office in the country to have their own version of the Trust. Every day ten people die on our roads. That means that every day children lose parents, grandparents and siblings."
So far three trips have taken place, and about 60 children aged from 18 months to 18 years have been helped. By raising at least £8,000 a year, the charity can also allow for a surviving parent or carer of each child to accompany them.
It is hoped that auctioning the shirt will raise thousands of pounds for the charity. The drivers who have signed it are: four-time world champion Michael Schumacher and his Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello; double world champion Mika Hakkinen and Scottish driver David Coulthard; Jarno Trulli, who drove for Jordan Honda in 2001, and his former teammate Heinz-Harald Frentzen; 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve and teammate at Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda, Olivier Panis; 2001 Sauber Petronas drivers Nick Heidfeld and Kimi Raikkonen of Sauber Petronas; and Jos Verstappen and Enrique Bernoldi from OrangeArrows.
Bridgestone Motorsport Press Officer Sarah French said: "I can guarantee the authenticity of the signatures - since the start of the 2001 Formula 1 season in Australia in March, I carried the t-shirt around the world, collecting autographs among all 12 drivers who raced on Bridgestone tyres last season."
"Of course, this would not have been possible without the support of our teams and their drivers and Bridgestone wishes to thank them all for their help. No one hesitated in giving their support. We're delighted that Bridgestone has been able to help the charity in this way because, as a manufacturer of passenger car tyres as well as tyres for Formula 1, road safety is our priority."
"Now we hope that since the drivers have given their support so generously that people will be equally generous in their bids. The more money that this unique t-shirt raises, the more children who have lost loved ones will benefit."