PM’s wife sup­port­ing mums’ fight for Kids

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FRONT PAGE - by Clare Mul­grew

Cam­paign­ers fight­ing to save a dis­abled chil­dren’s club from clo­sure have won sup­port from Cherie Blair

A GROUP of moth­ers bat­tling to save a sup­port ser­vice for phys­i­cally and men­tally dis­abled chil­dren have taken their cam­paign to Down­ing Street.

Kent County Coun­cil has an­nounced that Kids, a na­tion­wide respite care char­ity that has been es­tab­lished for 35 years, will no longer be con­tracted to pro­vide ser­vices in Ash­ford due to a poor level of ser­vice.

Siob­han Lyell, who has a seven-year-old son with autism, is head­ing the cam­paign to per­suade KCC to re­in­state Kids, which of­fers a Satur­day Fun Club at East Stour Pri­mary School, home sup­port and hol­i­day playschemes.

Mrs Lyell wrote to Cherie Blair, who is a pa­tron of Kids, on be­half of all the fam­i­lies.

A hand-writ­ten let­ter from Mrs Blair has al­ready ar­rived on Mrs Lyell’s doorstep in re­ply to the mother’s con­cerns.

It said: “I’m so sorry to hear that Kids ser­vices in Kent are clos­ing. I can only imag­ine how hard it must be to bear.”

The let­ter went on to say that Mrs Blair had con­tacted Kids who had as­sured her that their ser­vices had only been with­drawn as “a last re­sort due to a lack of fund­ing”.

The group of Ash­ford moth­ers have sent emo­tive let­ters to all the pa­trons, who in­clude El­ton John, David Fur­nish and Liz Hur­ley, as well as mem­bers of KCC, de­scrib­ing how Kids is “the glue that sticks frag­ile fam­ily units to­gether”.

Sup­port

They have asked Mrs Blair to speak to KCC on their be­half.

Ash­ford MP, Damian Green has also of­fered his sup­port to the par­ents.

“I very much sym­pa­thise with par­ents,” he said.

“I can see why they’re so dis­turbed that the ser­vice was closed down at short no­tice and I have ex­plained those feel­ings to KCC and asked them to tell me what mea­sures are in place to pro­vide a sim­i­lar ser­vice and when this is go­ing to start.”

He said he had re­ceived no per­sonal re­sponse as yet.

Mr Green said he would be tak­ing up the mat­ter with David Cameron, who has a se­verely dis­abled son.

Cherie Blair

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