Publicans James and Tricia Blake, who know from personal experience the difference Devizes Opportunity Centre can make to a child’s life, have handed over £1,000 to the nursery.

The couple, who run The Cavalier in Eastleigh Road, Devizes, have been stalwart fundraisers since their autistic son Matthew, now seven, started at the centre when he was nine months old.

Now they have handed over a cheque for £1,000 to centre manager Betty Newman from events held in 2014. Much of the money came from a family fun day but regulars also boosted the total by constantly putting their change into collecting tins on the bar.

Mrs Blake said: “The opportunity centre was wonderful for Matthew and even though he no longer goes there we want to continue fundraising so other children can benefit.”

In 2014 the Gazette’s Give Us a Chance Appeal helped to raise £34,000 for the centre which cares for children with a range of special needs.