Concern as disabled group funding ends

Katy Simister (right), of charity Aiming Higher, at Marton and Mereside Youth and Community Centre. The charity is faced with being unable to fund a number of projects across Blackpool.

Katy Simister (right), of charity Aiming Higher, at Marton and Mereside Youth and Community Centre. The charity is faced with being unable to fund a number of projects across Blackpool.

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A CHARITY which helps more than 700 disabled youngsters fears families will become isolated if it cannot raise funds to continue its work.

Blackpool Aiming Higher helps provide funding to a number of different clubs, groups and projects across the resort which organise leisure activities for children and teenagers with special needs.

But a year’s worth of Government funding for the charity is due to end in December, leaving staff hoping generous members of the public will step in and raise money to help it continue its good work.

The charity’s manager, Katy Simister, fears families with disabled children could become isolated again if the groups it supports are unable to provide social activities.

She said: “It’s a lifeline, it’s the difference between coping and not coping because with disabled children there’s no let up, they need constant support.

“Up until a couple of years ago there hadn’t been anything like this before.

“Families were isolated and they didn’t leave their homes.

“Parents stop being able to go out to work because they’ve got to care for their child.

“Now there’s so much uncertainty, we don’t know what’s happening after December.”

Activities and Leisure Solution, which is based at Marton and Mereside Youth and Community Centre, is one of the organisations which receives funding from Aiming Higher.

Its manager Lynda Dwornik said the group needs £25,000 annually to run.

She said: “What we do enables the children and young people who come to us to do things you would expect people to do every day.

“It’s the first time people feel accepted and it enables them to build a social life, and friends.

“If we can’t create those opportunities the children don’t do that and they end up isolated.”

To donate to Aiming Higher visit www.aiminghigher.org.uk or call (01253) 206448.