Anger as disabled children lose club
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“I cannot believe that another service was not put in place before this one was withdrawn.”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.