Cash to support people with blindness or special needs

Pam and Kelvin Nash, centre, with, from left, Betty Newman, manager of Devizes Opportunity Centre; Susan Hiscock, secretary of Kennet Gateway Club; Leanne Hubbard, chief executive of Wiltshire Blind Association; and Maggie Hemmings, co-ordinator of Wiltsh

Pam and Kelvin Nash, centre, with, from left, Betty Newman, manager of Devizes Opportunity Centre; Susan Hiscock, secretary of Kennet Gateway Club; Leanne Hubbard, chief executive of Wiltshire Blind Association; and Maggie Hemmings, co-ordinator of Wiltsh

First published in News

Children and adults with special needs will be helped by money raised through last year’s mayoral appeal.

Councillor Kelvin Nash almost doubled his target by raising donations in the region of £12,000.

He and his wife Pam chose to help Devizes Opportunity Centre, Kennet Gateway Club and Wiltshire Blind Association’s Friday Craft Club and presented the money to them at the town hall last week.

He said: “There are so many worthy causes to choose and we wanted to support local charities. We felt they don’t necessarily get the same profile as other charities. We set out to raise our own private target of £6,000, so thank you to so many people who have helped us raise money.”

Kennet Gateway Club received a cheque for £4,500 but it has also received the free use of a minibus for a year, pledged by a participant who met Coun Nash on the Beating the Bounds annual walk. The minibus loan is the equivalent of up to £2,000.

It is a social club for adults with learning disabilities across the former Kennet area and meets fortnightly at Woodborough Social Club.

Secretary Susan Hiscock said: “I couldn’t believe it when we were told how much we would be receiving from the mayor’s appeal.

“It will put a smile on everybody’s face. Our main cost is getting people to and from events so we will use the minibus to get members to and from the club.”

Devizes Opportunity Centre in Belle Vue Road caters for 60 pre-school children with special needs and received £3,000.

Manager Betty Newman said: “It’s amazing. We are a community organisation and Kelvin has galvanised the community into helping us. The money will go towards our general running costs – this year we need to raise £40,000.”

The Friday Craft Club for people who are visually impaired meets at the Nursteed Centre and Leanne Hubbard, chief executive of Wiltshire Blind Association, said: “As an organisation we don’t get any statutory funding and we rely on donations like this.

“Every penny makes a real difference and goes to support people.”

The Friday Craft Club received £2,000 and this will be used to buy magnifiers with lamps that clip onto tables and lanterns with LED lights.

The Wiltshire Blind Association also received £130 from Coun Nash’s appeal for deafblind people to fund mosaic making at Crammer Court in Devizes.

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