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Last hope for play scheme

PUBLISHED: 23:59 17 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:12 03 March 2010

ORGANISERS of an Ipswich play scheme for disabled children are making a last ditch attempt to save the group.

Orwell Play Scheme has been running for 20 years but rising costs and the lack of volunteers has meant that it is under threat.

ORGANISERS of an Ipswich play scheme for disabled children are making a last ditch attempt to save the group.

Orwell Play Scheme has been running for 20 years but rising costs and the lack of volunteers has meant that it is under threat.

But remaining organisers are hoping a meeting to recruit new volunteers to the management committee could save the three weeks of respite given to parents in the summer.

"It's not terribly arduous because we are a fairly small organisation but there will be quite a bit of fundraising to do as we are quite a bit short of funds," said Eileen Underwood, chairwoman of the committee.

Since the mid-eighties the Orwell Play Scheme has given parents of children with learning difficulties and special needs the chance to rest for a few hours in the summer break.

Disabled children have in the past been given the chance to safely play and spend time with other children outside their home.

But all that is under threat since a lottery grant worth £10,000 has not been renewed this year and there are not enough committee members to keep the group going.

The group, which has been based at Belstead Special School for the last two years, has found funding the £26,000 a year scheme a struggle. They have to hire a school for the three week period and they also have to hire a bus to take the children out on all the costly outings.

The remaining committee has decided to hold a meeting to attract at least ten new members to get the group up and going again ready for next summer.

The meeting, for those interested in helping the play scheme will take place on tomorrow at 3pm in the Meeting Room, Allington House, 427 Woodbridge Road, Ipswich.

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