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Children’s joy as former Dame Vera Lynn School in Sproughton reopens

PUBLISHED: 14:39 12 June 2015 | UPDATED: 14:39 12 June 2015

The Bumblebee Children's Charity centre has restarted their classes for children with learning difficulties in Sproughton.

The Bumblebee Children's Charity centre has restarted their classes for children with learning difficulties in Sproughton.

The leader of a school for children with learning difficulties has spoken of the “amazing” reaction parents, children and staff gave when it was announced it would reopen.

Angela Cooke helps 20-month-old Jessica Chambers, play in the sand at Bumblebee Children's Charity centre.Angela Cooke helps 20-month-old Jessica Chambers, play in the sand at Bumblebee Children's Charity centre.

The former Dame Vera Lynn Trust School for Parents in Sproughton, now The Bumblebee Children’s Charity, closed in February because of funding problems.

After weeks of fundraising and hard work the team behind the centre are now in position to restart classes for the children, aged up to five, some of who have severe difficulties developing physical skills.

Alison Stonham, charity principal, said 13 families from across Suffolk were being supported. Speaking about the reaction to the news, she said: “It’s been absolutely amazing, the families have missed what we do and have been contacting us saying ‘have you heard anything’ about reopening. All the staff have been very keen to come and start again.

“I don’t think we thought that getting charity status would take quite so long, we thought it would be a few weeks but it’s a system which cannot be rushed.”

Kerry Bailey helps her daughter Josie Bailey, two, put her name into a box during a Bumblebee Children's Charity centre Miracles in Movement class.Kerry Bailey helps her daughter Josie Bailey, two, put her name into a box during a Bumblebee Children's Charity centre Miracles in Movement class.

The ‘Miracles in Movement’ classes run on Wednesdays and Thursdays at the centre, near Ipswich.

In February, The Dame Vera Lynn Trust said it had been unable to raise enough money to keep the school going.

John Aiton, a long-standing supporter of the centre and one of the team who applied to get charity registration, said they could open for longer if more children needed support.

The charity needs to raise around £100,000 a year to survive and keep the centre open. More than £15,000 has so far been pledged to the centre through its fundraising website.

Mr Aiton said: “It’s never easy raising money for charity but the interest and support we have had has been marvellous, we are confident that people know about us and are telling the world about us and what we are trying to do.

“If more families get to hear about us then we may be able to start opening on Thursday afternoons.”

He added a ‘big launch’ event would happen in September when the centre becomes “fully operational”.

To pledge money to the centre go to www.gofundme.com/sproughtonschool.

To find out more about the centre and the services it runs, call Mr Aiton on 07798 747611.


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