Progress in playtime for chlildren at Stepping Stones chlildren

This Is Wiltshire: Give us a chance appeal Give us a chance appeal

Trowbridge charity Stepping Stones provides specialised support for children with severe learning difficulties and disabilities from the time of diagnosis.

The centre, in Broadcloth Lane, helps children in west Wiltshire from birth until the age of five.

Gill Williams works in Stepping Stones’ sensory room helping the youngsters, who face challenging conditions, trying to develop their five external senses.

Mrs Williams, who has worked for Stepping Stones for 25 years, said: “The needs of every child are different.

“They come in and I do an assessment and then decide what we can do to help them.

“I think people come in and see the UV lights and think it is a pretty room, but it is so much more than that.

“Lots is done through play, but there is theory behind the work and it is important to find out what floats their boat.”

Stepping Stones’ sensory room has bubble tubes, a music cushion and books aimed at stimulating the children’s senses while Mrs Williams works with parents to help them to put together sensory areas in their homes.

Last month Stepping Stones lost £10,000 of funding from Wiltshire Council after central government withdrew its Aiming High For Disabled Children grants.

This left them needing to raise a total of £50,000 a year and prompted the Times to launch the Give Us a Chance appeal to make up £10,000 for the charity.

It has been hugely successful with many generous donations being made.

Mrs Williams said: “We have been humbled by the strength of support.

“ I love my work making a difference to young people’s lives and it is great to see that it’s appreciated.”

As part of the campaign, Stepping Stones has received so many offers from people wanting to hold fundraising events that they’ve started a committee to help schedule the activities.

One of the first to take place is a jumble sale being held at Longfield Comm-unity Centre at 2pm on Saturday, March 29.

To find out about fundraising for the charity, call 01225 350004 or email barbara@ steppingstones.plus.com

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