Charity needs £50,000 to survive

A VITAL Suffolk charity is fighting for its survival today.Suffolk School for Parents (SSP) is just two months from being forced to close unless it is able to get the £50,000 it needs simply to keep running.

A VITAL Suffolk charity is fighting for its survival today.

Suffolk School for Parents (SSP) is just two months from being forced to close unless it is able to get the £50,000 it needs simply to keep running.

Parents who have children at the pre-school, which provides care for youngsters with motor-learning difficulties, have been making huge fundraising efforts to save it and have so far raised around £5,000 but only have two months to raise the rest.

Debbie Buckingham, team leader at the school on Burstall Lane, Sproughton, said: “We've got some very proactive parents and they've been very busy.

“One of the parents did the Great North Run and raised £1,200 for us.

“A little girl baked cakes for us and we've been given £2,250 from BT because one of our parents works there.”

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Mrs Buckingham said that in total the amazing efforts of parents had raised £5,000, but added that SSP still needed £50,000 by March to continue providing support to children.

She said: “We are the only service of this type in the county and we are very oversubscribed.

“If we don't have any extra money by the end of March then we'd have to close.

“It's a vital service and it's under threat. Parents are worried which is why we've had this huge support. But we're trying to remain positive.

“We just need a nice big cheque from someone now.”

Mrs Buckingham said she even hoped the school may find enough money to expand and be able to provide a summer school, crèche and outreach programme.

But that would mean the running costs would increase from £55,000 to £120,000 a year.

To support Suffolk School for Parents call 01473 652880 or visit www.ssfp.org.uk

Suffolk School for Parents

Provides early education for pre-school children with motor learning difficulties

Aims to develop children's abilities and confidence to prepare them for life at home and for the next stage in their education

Puts parents at the forefront of children's learning and development and provides support for the parents

Sessions include play, songs, art and craft, drama and movement

The parent's view

Jo Ling's two-year-old daughter Emma is hemiplegic, which means the she is not able to use the left side of her body.

But since she started spending one day a week at Suffolk School for Parents Emma's life has been transformed and her parents are so desperate for the service to continue that her dad, Kevin, has signed up to complete the London Marathon.

Mrs Ling, 37, who lives in the Chantry area of Ipswich, said: “It's been so great. It's a lovely place and the people are lovely and the parents are lovely.

“They all have similar problems so we talk about it and there's lots of support.

“The equipment they have here is great and the sensory corner is particularly good.

“Since she started going Emma as become so much more confident.

“And for me it is great too. I can come here feeling quite low and then I talk to someone and I come away feeling better.”

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