Devizes Opportunity Centre was set up in 1978 by a group of parents with children with special needs who wanted help for their children and support for themselves.

Today it is a registered charity with premises in Bellevue Road, Devizes and a satellite centre in Tidworth.

It takes children from babies to five years from Devizes, Melksham, Pewsey, Marlborough and Tidworth with a range of problems from mild learning difficulties to life- threatening illnesses. Last year 90 children were on the centre’s books.

Children attend for two sessions each week and every child has a key worker. Staff are experienced and highly trained and speech therapists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists visit the centre to work with the children.

Parents are also taught techniques so they can continue helping their children at home.

Centre manager Betty Newman, who has been involved for 21 years, said: “We concentrate on maximising each child’s ability, we might only deal with tiny steps of progress but we celebrate every single one.”

She also said that the centre was there to support all of its parents.

“We can’t make the problem go away but we can be there to listen and understand and make it possible for them to leave here able to face another day,” she said.

You can donate to the Give us a chance appeal through at