Cheshire service for children with additional needs under closure threat

8 Aug 2019 04:57
Published by: Kian French

Ruby’s Fund, a bespoke community resource providing valuable support for children with additional needs and their families, is risking closure unless it can raise £295,000 by spring 2020 to buy the building.

Charity founder, Alison Parr, is mum to 12-year-old Ruby, who was diagnosed with a rare chromosome disorder called IDIC 15 at 6 months of age. Alison’s world turned upside down when Ruby was diagnosed as her family navigated the prospect of supporting her daughter’s complex needs, and she identified a gap in community support for others in a similar situation. 

Ruby’s Fund was set up in 2008 and found its home at Meridian House in Congleton in 2014 once sufficient funds had been raised. With no option to extend the lease in 2020, the landlord has invited the charity to confirm its intention to buy the property by the end of September 2019.

Now recognised with ‘Connected Community Centre’ status from Cheshire East Council, Ruby’s Fund welcomes 25,000 visitors per year and offers a variety of sessions, support services and activities for children and parent carers. The charity is now entering its third year as a commissioned service by Cheshire East Council to deliver short breaks to children aged 0-8 years with additional needs.

Ruby’s Fund has launched its ‘Buy Our Building Appeal’ in a bid to raise funds to acquire the property and is urging people to share this in their networks. The team has also created a moving video to raise awareness of the impact of its services entitled ‘What Ruby’s Means to Me’.

Commenting on the situation, founder of Ruby’s Fund, Alison Parr, said: “We have put our heart and soul into developing a service for families who are in need of both practical and emotional support. It feels like we have a mountain to climb to raise the money required in such a short space of time, but we know how important Ruby’s Fund is to so many people and we’re 100% committed to giving it our best shot.”

Helen Davies, who is mum to 9-year-old Megan, added: “My daughter is blind, non verbal, epileptic with no mobility and a profound learning disability. Ruby’s Fund is the only place I can take her to locally where they have the facilities in place for her to safely play with her little sister, ensuring they both have a lovely time. 

“If Ruby’s had to close we would be devastated and would have nowhere to go.”

For more details on how to contribute to the appeal, visit the dedicated Crowdfunding page: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/buy-our-building-1 

You may be interested in