PM’s wife supporting mums’ fight for Kids
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The letter went on to say that Mrs Blair had contacted Kids who had assured her that their services had only been withdrawn as “a last resort due to a lack of funding”.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”.
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.