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Chippenham disability nursery hit by huge grant cut
Government cuts mean Springboard opportunity nursery in Chippenham faces a massive fundraising task if it is to be able to continue all of its vital work for youngsters with disabilities.
Centre manager Jane Boulton has been told by Wiltshire Council that it will receive £10,000 less in funding for 2014/15 than it did this year.
This is because central government has withdrawn its Aiming High For Disabled Children grants which have provided £10,000 a year for the nursery. Even with this grant last year the nursery had to raise around £35,000 to cover its running costs but this year it will be at least £45,000.
Mrs Boulton said: “This £10,000 used to pay for our sessions for children under two but now it has been taken away we are going to have see if we can find a new way of funding it.”
The nursery, based at King’s Rise Children’s Centre at Pewsham, caters for pre-school children with a wide range of learning difficulties or complex life threatening conditions.
Mrs Boulton said: “This grant has been taken away from us but we still want to provide the service which is expected of us. We never want to have to turn a child away as we know how important the work is to the child and to all the family.
"Our main hope of making up some of this deficit is to apply to Children In Need but we have been turned down in the past so there are no guarantees. But our motto is if you don’t ask you don’t get.
“We have a fantastic fundraising committee but there are only so many times you can ask someone to run a marathon or do a cycle ride.”
The nursery takes children from all over north Wiltshire including Chippenham, Calne, Corsham, Malmesbury, Royal Wootton Bassett and Cricklade.
Children from around 50 families a year are helped by the nursery which also prides itself on supporting parents as well as children.
Mrs Boulton said: “No parents are going to want to come across our threshold.
“They come because their child has problems but hopefully they go away glad they did come and see us.
“No parent wants to be in this position but we aim to give them as much support as possible.”
The nursery has a full team of speech and occupational therapists which help all of their children reach their full potential and give parents the tools to carry on the work at home.
The nursery knows how much it owes to all of its supporters and fundraisers and is to hold a thank-you party at the centre on March 5.
Mrs Boulton said: “We couldn’t carry on without the support of all these people so we want them to know how much we appreciate them. If there are any other companies, organisations or individuals who think they can help us we would be very grateful.”
The next fundraising event for the nursery is golf day at Bowood on March 18 organised by Mrs Boulton’s husband Chris, who is on the Friends of Springboard committee.
A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “We work closely with Springboard and two other similar groups in Wiltshire. Each of these centres are run by small local charities who provide support for young disabled children and their families.
“The council has recently committed to continue to provide support and funding to each of these groups recognising their value and close links to local communities and their efforts in active fundraising.
“We hope more people in the community will be inspired to offer their support to such a worthy charity.”
To offer support to Springboard ring (01249) 657145 or to make a donation go to mydonate.bt.com/charities/springboardchippenham