GENEROUS Gazette readers have started to really get behind our campaign to raise £10,000 for Devizes Opportunity Centre.

The special needs nursery in Bellevue Road, Devizes, lost this amount of funding after the Government stopped paying a grant from its Aiming High For Disabled Children fund to Wiltshire Council.

This means the centre, which caters for children aged from birth to five years with a wide range of health, learning and mobility problems, will have to raise a total of £50,000 this year to cover its costs.

It will receive £73,705 from Wiltshire Council for 2014/15 but the actual cost of running the service is more than £120,000.

But thanks to your help the future is already looking brighter for the nursery. So far a total of £2,075 has been received in cheques and another £280 has been given online at The money has come from all over the Devizes and Marlborough areas and from people of all different ages. Some have enclosed little messages of support and thanks for the work carried out at the centre.

A lady from Winterbourne Monkton, who enclosed a cheque for £100, wrote: “This is a small contribution towards your valuable work. Good luck.

Another from Devizes wrote: “Best wishes and good luck with your opportunity centre.”

Opportunity Centre manager Betty Newman said: “I have been overwhelmed with the amount of support we are getting. A number of people have been in touch to say they will be holding fundraising events.

“The amount in cheques includes £1,000 from Wadworth. I thought it was very kind of Charles Bartholomew to round up the figure from the £825 collected in a raffle. We are very grateful to everyone.”

The next fundraising event organised by the centre’s own committee is a quiz night from 7.30pm on March 7 at St Joseph’s Primary School, Devizes. It costs £12 for a team of four. Ring (01380) 726077 to reserve a place for your team.