Anger as dis­abled chil­dren lose club

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - JUNCTION 10 - by Clare Mul­grew

Fam­i­lies are fu­ri­ous an Ash­ford sup­port scheme for dis­abled chil­dren has been ter­mi­nated with­out con­sul­ta­tion

PAR­ENTS are up in arms over the clo­sure of a play­group for men­tally and phys­i­cally dis­abled chil­dren.

Last week Suzanne and Neil Pro­drick of Park Farm re­ceived a let­ter from Kent County Coun­cil in­form­ing them the Satur­day Fun Club at East Stour Pri­mary School had been ter­mi­nated due to a poor level of ser­vice.

The cou­ple were fu­ri­ous to learn Satur­day’s ses­sion was the last time their eight-yearold son Michael, who suf­fers with Apert’s syn­drome, would be able to at­tend as they and many other fam­i­lies rely on the ser­vice for respite care and sup­port for their chil­dren.

“My son re­ally en­joys it there,” said Mr Pro­drick.

“I can­not be­lieve that an­other ser­vice was not put in place be­fore this one was with­drawn.”

Michael, a pupil at Fur­ley Park Pri­mary, has been go­ing to Fun Club for about two years.

“It’s the only time we get to spend time with our other chil­dren,” said Mr Pro­drick, also fa­ther to Ryan, three, and Alex, 12.

The play­group is run by Kids, who are also con­tracted by KCC to or­gan­ise home sup­port and play schemes which have also been lost.

Sheila Tay­lor, of Park Farm, said she re­lied on the home sup­port for help with her autis­tic daugh­ter Katy, aged nine.

“It takes her a long time to ac­cept and trust some­one,” she said.

“She was al­lo­cated a new helper at the end of De­cem­ber and they’ve been bowl­ing and swim­ming – they get on re­ally well.

“I don’t know how to tell her she’s not go­ing to see her friend again.”

Mrs Tay­lor has teamed up with two more moth­ers, Siob­han Lyell and Ni­cola Angliss, to lobby the East Kent Dis­abled Chil­dren’s Ser­vice and MP Damian Green.

The par­ents feel they have a right to have their say over the pro­vi­sion of Kids as they make a £10 con­tri­bu­tion to­wards each ses­sion.

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