3:46pm Friday 28th March 2014
By Julie Tickner
A group which helps teenagers with disabilities could meet for the last time today if more funding cannot be found to continue its work.
Shine Together meets every Saturday and gives families of young people with conditions such as autism and aspergers a place to meet and relax.
But the youth group’s funding, from the Short Breaks for Disabled Children Grant Fund, ran out a few weeks ago and although the sessions has been limping on, the group will now have to close completely until more money can be found.
Shine Together is part of the Landmark Centre which runs many groups from its base at All Saints Church, in Little Horton Lane, Bradford.
Centre co-ordinator James Clayton said: “Sadly, the funding for the group ran out at the end of February, and it has been running on charity reserves.
“There’s been a meeting with the board of the charity where they said that wasn’t sustainable.
“We’re applying again for the same funding, but that won’t be available until April or May.
“It’s a really valuable service. For a lot of children its the highlight of their week and can be the only break their parents get from care work.”
It costs about £9,000 a year to run Shine Together, which has been established for about five years and is led by three experienced staff with support from volunteers.
“They provide a varied range of activities for about ten teenagers with additional needs each week.
Recent activities have included baking, arts and crafts, a treasure hunt and movie nights. Members also enjoyed a recent trip to a disability fun day at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre.
Mr Clayton fears that once the group closes, even temporarily, it will be difficult to get it going again.
He said: “Parents say their kids get so excited about coming to the group. It'd be a great loss to all the families if this much valued service had to close.”
l Anyone who can help the group has been urged to contact the Landmark Centre at info@allsaints-landmark. co.uk or by calling (01274) 733798.
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