Local Face: Mark Clay, PACE

  |  Published: Mar 1st 2015
Local Face: Mark Clay, PACE

Mark Clay is just completing his first year as head of Fund Raising at PACE. He lives in Oxford and comes to Weston Turville every day to support a charity he believes in passionately. PACE is now expanding within our community and celebrates its silver jubilee, 25 years, in 2015, www.thepacecentre.org.

PACE started in 1990 when the parents of 4 severely disabled very young children organised three staff to administer conductive education for them in a barn in Dinton, near Aylesbury. This type of therapy had shown wonderful results in Hungary and the concept was now spreading to the UK. PACE is an acronym: “Positive Achievement (through) Conductive Education”. Since then, it has been the ambition to actively support children from as soon as possible after diagnosis in order to increase their mobility and capability as they grow. The greatest impact on developing improved motor function (and therefore life potential) can be achieved in a child’s early years, when neuro-plasticity (the ability of neural pathways to adapt and change) is at its greatest.

Since their first move in 1997, PACE has been continuously expanding provision for children of all ages. In early 2014 a purpose-built Early Years and Independence Centre was opened on Wendover Road, Weston Turville with specialist provision for early years and training for independence, the two ends of the age spectrum for PACE. Historic sites include Coventon Road, Riverside House and Booker Park School.

PACE has become a significant regional charity whose catchments area has extended beyond Aylesbury and Buckinghamshire to include all the bordering counties and even into North West London Boroughs.
The challenge that faces Mark and his team is to raise £1million per year to support the 100 children already benefitting from the provision and also to fund capital projects including phase 2 on the Aylesbury Road site with two more early years classrooms then phase 3 containing another classroom and offices. To support a recent event go to https://www.justgiving.com/100kmforPACE

PACE is now leading a national consortium of  other providers called Action Cerebral Palsy to seek positive changes in public policy towards children with CP and their families.

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