A GROUP of Bradford on Avon Freemasons have donated £2,500 to a West Wiltshire charity that helps children and young people with special needs.

The Broade Forde Lodge of Freemasons in Bradford on Avon presented the cheque to Jacob’s Ladder in Warminster in November.

Jacob’s Ladder is a community interest company providing after school clubs and holiday activities. The charity relies on donations and fundraising.

Kirsty Holdsworth, the charity’s founder and manager, said: “This huge, generous donation will really help Jacob’s Ladder with continuing to provide the children with more activities and exciting opportunities.

“Without donations like this, Jacob’s Ladder would not be able to provide all it does for the children. From all at Jacob’s Ladder, we want to say a big thank you to the Freemasons for the money they have raised for us.”

The children who attend Jacob’s Ladder have a wide range of needs including learning difficulties, autism, Downs Syndrome and global delay, some also have medical conditions including epilepsy.

Kirsty added: “Children can join Jacob’s Ladder from the age of two to 19 years, this provides continuity for the children and their families and a place that they can come to through many transitional points in their lives.

“At the heart of Jacob’s Ladder sessions is enjoyment, fun and relaxation. Many of the children that attend Jacob’s Ladder are unable to access regular groups and may miss out on childhood activities such as swimming and trampolining.”

Children attending sessions have their own playworker to help them interact, ensure they have someone to play with and make them feel special.

Many of the playworkers are volunteers from Kingdown Secondary School which have been supportive of Jacob’s Ladder with helping recruit volunteer playworkers and with fundraising.

Kirsty added: “We are very grateful for the support Kingdown have given us. During the summer holiday and October play scheme they helped us out with minibus transport to enable us to take the children to different places.”

The money was raised by the Broade Forde Lodge of Freemasons over the last year through a number of raffles organised at meetings.

Broade Forde Lodge Master Nick Riley said: “All the money raised comes from the Lodge members themselves, who want to support some of the smaller, local charitable organisations who are in real need of financial support to continue their valuable work with people in our local community.”