Chippenham disability nursery hit by huge grant cut

This Is Wiltshire: Springboard key worker Paula Hall with a youngster Springboard key worker Paula Hall with a youngster

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This is because central government has withdrawn its Aiming High For Disabled Children grants which have provided £10,000 a year for the nursery.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

Comments (6)

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4:49pm Mon 10 Feb 14

kimcrawley says...

This cut puts the actions of Wiltshire Council's cabinet members into perspective. Which one of them has the gall to stand up and say "I am worth a huge rise...."
What, at the expense of the most vulnerable children.
They should be working to find a way to support this charity, not employing mealy mouthed PR spinners asking the people to donate to charity.
Big Society - We're all in it together. State subsidised bankers are about to help themselves to billions of pounds and we can't afford to support the work of a charity providing a much needed service. Welcome to Cameron's Britain, no wonder the Scots want independence.
This cut puts the actions of Wiltshire Council's cabinet members into perspective. Which one of them has the gall to stand up and say "I am worth a huge rise...." What, at the expense of the most vulnerable children. They should be working to find a way to support this charity, not employing mealy mouthed PR spinners asking the people to donate to charity. Big Society - We're all in it together. State subsidised bankers are about to help themselves to billions of pounds and we can't afford to support the work of a charity providing a much needed service. Welcome to Cameron's Britain, no wonder the Scots want independence. kimcrawley

8:23pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Viv Hodges says...

I am writing to thank your newspaper for highlighting the £10,000 cut in funding to Springboard Opportunity Nursery in your edition 6th Feb 2014. (My granddaughter was pictured on the front page.)

Our family has been supported by Springboard since Eva was six weeks old and she continues to benefit enormously from attending there. She uses Springboard's facilities to improve her mobility, communication skills, social interaction and to build her self-confidence and understanding of the world. Without this support we, as a family, would find it challenging to provide Eva with the expertise, experiences and nurturing support.

To cut £10,000 from Springboard's budget sends a message to families with children with disability that they are not worth investing in . Whatever happened to the educational philosophy of early intervention? The sooner education for our special needs children begins the better the outcomes are likely to be. This has long been understood and supported by government - until now.

Cutting £10,000 from Springboard's budget is also incredibly demotivating for private fundraisers. Throughout last year my family and close friends raised upwards of £7,000 through physically challenging activities, runs, cycles etc. To find that this funding will be clawed back seems very unfair. I have no doubt that Springboard's management will do everything in their power to make good the shortfall, but as Jane Boulton stressed in your article, Children In Need cannot be relied upon to allocate grants to Springboard in the future. As I understand it the lion's share of Springboard's funding goes on staffing and running costs and not on the new projects which Children In Need like to support. This puts Springboard at a disadvantage in the bidding process.

Locally Springboard is unique and no other facility exists there which could bring together the existing expertise in the way that it does. Didn't the government pledge no cuts to education or health budgets? How shortsighted to put Springboard's ability to deliver in such jeopardy.

Yours
A Very Angry Grandparent
Mrs Vivien Hodges
I am writing to thank your newspaper for highlighting the £10,000 cut in funding to Springboard Opportunity Nursery in your edition 6th Feb 2014. (My granddaughter was pictured on the front page.) Our family has been supported by Springboard since Eva was six weeks old and she continues to benefit enormously from attending there. She uses Springboard's facilities to improve her mobility, communication skills, social interaction and to build her self-confidence and understanding of the world. Without this support we, as a family, would find it challenging to provide Eva with the expertise, experiences and nurturing support. To cut £10,000 from Springboard's budget sends a message to families with children with disability that they are not worth investing in . Whatever happened to the educational philosophy of early intervention? The sooner education for our special needs children begins the better the outcomes are likely to be. This has long been understood and supported by government - until now. Cutting £10,000 from Springboard's budget is also incredibly demotivating for private fundraisers. Throughout last year my family and close friends raised upwards of £7,000 through physically challenging activities, runs, cycles etc. To find that this funding will be clawed back seems very unfair. I have no doubt that Springboard's management will do everything in their power to make good the shortfall, but as Jane Boulton stressed in your article, Children In Need cannot be relied upon to allocate grants to Springboard in the future. As I understand it the lion's share of Springboard's funding goes on staffing and running costs and not on the new projects which Children In Need like to support. This puts Springboard at a disadvantage in the bidding process. Locally Springboard is unique and no other facility exists there which could bring together the existing expertise in the way that it does. Didn't the government pledge no cuts to education or health budgets? How shortsighted to put Springboard's ability to deliver in such jeopardy. Yours A Very Angry Grandparent Mrs Vivien Hodges Viv Hodges

9:36pm Mon 10 Feb 14

kimcrawley says...

Viv Hodges wrote:
I am writing to thank your newspaper for highlighting the £10,000 cut in funding to Springboard Opportunity Nursery in your edition 6th Feb 2014. (My granddaughter was pictured on the front page.)

Our family has been supported by Springboard since Eva was six weeks old and she continues to benefit enormously from attending there. She uses Springboard's facilities to improve her mobility, communication skills, social interaction and to build her self-confidence and understanding of the world. Without this support we, as a family, would find it challenging to provide Eva with the expertise, experiences and nurturing support.

To cut £10,000 from Springboard's budget sends a message to families with children with disability that they are not worth investing in . Whatever happened to the educational philosophy of early intervention? The sooner education for our special needs children begins the better the outcomes are likely to be. This has long been understood and supported by government - until now.

Cutting £10,000 from Springboard's budget is also incredibly demotivating for private fundraisers. Throughout last year my family and close friends raised upwards of £7,000 through physically challenging activities, runs, cycles etc. To find that this funding will be clawed back seems very unfair. I have no doubt that Springboard's management will do everything in their power to make good the shortfall, but as Jane Boulton stressed in your article, Children In Need cannot be relied upon to allocate grants to Springboard in the future. As I understand it the lion's share of Springboard's funding goes on staffing and running costs and not on the new projects which Children In Need like to support. This puts Springboard at a disadvantage in the bidding process.

Locally Springboard is unique and no other facility exists there which could bring together the existing expertise in the way that it does. Didn't the government pledge no cuts to education or health budgets? How shortsighted to put Springboard's ability to deliver in such jeopardy.

Yours
A Very Angry Grandparent
Mrs Vivien Hodges
I feel acutely embarrassed that I belong to a society that puts money ahead of these children's needs.
I am an unemployed geriatric 59 year old, are there any people who have seen this article able to use their IT skills to provide me and I am sure many others the opportunity to donate via a website?
This is not about politics it's about a real need to put right a disgraceful wrong that we have visited upon Mrs Hodges and other parents and children.
[quote][p][bold]Viv Hodges[/bold] wrote: I am writing to thank your newspaper for highlighting the £10,000 cut in funding to Springboard Opportunity Nursery in your edition 6th Feb 2014. (My granddaughter was pictured on the front page.) Our family has been supported by Springboard since Eva was six weeks old and she continues to benefit enormously from attending there. She uses Springboard's facilities to improve her mobility, communication skills, social interaction and to build her self-confidence and understanding of the world. Without this support we, as a family, would find it challenging to provide Eva with the expertise, experiences and nurturing support. To cut £10,000 from Springboard's budget sends a message to families with children with disability that they are not worth investing in . Whatever happened to the educational philosophy of early intervention? The sooner education for our special needs children begins the better the outcomes are likely to be. This has long been understood and supported by government - until now. Cutting £10,000 from Springboard's budget is also incredibly demotivating for private fundraisers. Throughout last year my family and close friends raised upwards of £7,000 through physically challenging activities, runs, cycles etc. To find that this funding will be clawed back seems very unfair. I have no doubt that Springboard's management will do everything in their power to make good the shortfall, but as Jane Boulton stressed in your article, Children In Need cannot be relied upon to allocate grants to Springboard in the future. As I understand it the lion's share of Springboard's funding goes on staffing and running costs and not on the new projects which Children In Need like to support. This puts Springboard at a disadvantage in the bidding process. Locally Springboard is unique and no other facility exists there which could bring together the existing expertise in the way that it does. Didn't the government pledge no cuts to education or health budgets? How shortsighted to put Springboard's ability to deliver in such jeopardy. Yours A Very Angry Grandparent Mrs Vivien Hodges[/p][/quote]I feel acutely embarrassed that I belong to a society that puts money ahead of these children's needs. I am an unemployed geriatric 59 year old, are there any people who have seen this article able to use their IT skills to provide me and I am sure many others the opportunity to donate via a website? This is not about politics it's about a real need to put right a disgraceful wrong that we have visited upon Mrs Hodges and other parents and children. kimcrawley

11:42am Tue 11 Feb 14

brasstacks says...

Jane Scott and her "Cons-Cab" must be made to justify how they can spend money on what their Cabinet want instead of spending it on our Residents need ?....

It is truly appalling that David Cameron appears to have forgotten that ,whiilst he sadly lost his own Disabled Child, there REMAIN many other Disabled Children and their Families who still have a Right to Financial and Physical Support.....

38 Degree Petitions are a fabulous platform for challenging selfish decisions like that above made by Wiltshire Council...

What an appalling start to Jane Scott "new Health and Well Being Hat", eh ??.....

She cares nothing about nobody and needs to be reminded that in the Wiltshire Dictionary, "c" IS for caring and NOT "Conservative"......
Jane Scott and her "Cons-Cab" must be made to justify how they can spend money on what their Cabinet want instead of spending it on our Residents need ?.... It is truly appalling that David Cameron appears to have forgotten that ,whiilst he sadly lost his own Disabled Child, there REMAIN many other Disabled Children and their Families who still have a Right to Financial and Physical Support..... 38 Degree Petitions are a fabulous platform for challenging selfish decisions like that above made by Wiltshire Council... What an appalling start to Jane Scott "new Health and Well Being Hat", eh ??..... She cares nothing about nobody and needs to be reminded that in the Wiltshire Dictionary, "c" IS for caring and NOT "Conservative"...... brasstacks

11:48am Tue 11 Feb 14

brasstacks says...

ps....suggest Jane Scott spends some of the £50 MILLION Planning Cash Wiltshire Council have been Awarded by Government !!
ps....suggest Jane Scott spends some of the £50 MILLION Planning Cash Wiltshire Council have been Awarded by Government !! brasstacks

5:47pm Tue 11 Feb 14

kimcrawley says...

Seeing how the Gazette is now discreetly removing comments, please add a comment in order to neutralise the North Korean approach to dissent.
Each comment propels the item up the list of most commented, don't let this news item disappear!
The cabinet of Wiltshire Council should be ashamed of their disgraceful conduct since they conducted their coup (To remove the Chief Executive).
Do they really think that they are acting in the best interests of Wiltshire people?
Seeing how the Gazette is now discreetly removing comments, please add a comment in order to neutralise the North Korean approach to dissent. Each comment propels the item up the list of most commented, don't let this news item disappear! The cabinet of Wiltshire Council should be ashamed of their disgraceful conduct since they conducted their coup (To remove the Chief Executive). Do they really think that they are acting in the best interests of Wiltshire people? kimcrawley

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