Thank-you party as Chippenham group hits its target

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Children with Mayor Sylvia Gibson, Caroline Almeida and Jane Boulton          (VS216) By VICKY SCIPIO Children with Mayor Sylvia Gibson, Caroline Almeida and Jane Boulton (VS216) By VICKY SCIPIO

The Friends of Springboard Opportunity Group have surpassed their £25,000 fundraising target for this tax year.

The nursery held an event on Wednesday last week to thank all the fundraisers who have made its work with disabled children possible over the past year.

Nearly 20 supporters were given tea and cake and a tour of the nursery at King’s Rise Children’s Centre, Pewsham.

Jenny Hodges, Friends of Springboard co-ordinator, said: “We had a target of £25,000 and we’ve just exceeded it, so we wanted to say thanks.”

Andy Knight could be forgiven for getting the largest slice of cake at the table after enduring 12 months of arduous challenges for Springboard last year. He has contributed £5,040, more than a fifth of the fundraising target.

The 34-year-old’s exploits included a 100-mile continuous trail race on the river Thames in November.

He wanted to help the charity as it provides support for his friend Russell Hodges, whose two-year-old daughter Eva has Downs Syndrome.

Manager Jane Boulton said: “It’s amazing that Andy not only achieved these things but took the time and trouble to put Springboard in his life. It is so important to us that people know how much we value their help and support.

“All of our donations have enabled us to continue the work we do for families in partnership with the local authority.”

Also at the open day were Calne Lions, as Springboard supports six families in Calne, and Norman E Webb Transport, which supplies water for its sensory room bubble tubes. A Lego representative was unable to attend but the company raised nearly £2,000 in an activities day at Chippenham Sports Club last summer.

The coming tax year brings challenges for Springboard as an extra £10,000 must be found after the Government withdrew its Aiming High For Disabled Children grants.

Support in the past fortnight has come from: a £500 donation from Polydeck Resins, a flooring company at Sheldon Business Park; the Lysley Arms on London Road, which held a PartyLite night on February 27; and Roz Chandler who runs the Rosemary Conley Chippenham and Devizes group and will hold an aerobathon on March 29 at Hardenhuish Hall, 9-11am.

The next Friends event is a golf day at Bowood in Calne on Tuesday, March 18, costing £50. To get involved, email boultonkris@gmail.com before tomorrow.

Mrs Boulton said: “All these activities are crucial not only for fundraising but to raise awareness.”

To help, call (01249) 657145.

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