Mums bridge sup­port gap

SPE­CIAL NEEDS: Moth­ers hope to set up own playscheme af­ter coun­cil-funded ser­vice is scrapped

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

MOTH­ERS in Ash­ford hope to set up their own playscheme for dis­abled chil­dren now the coun­cil-funded ser­vice has been scrapped.

Fam­i­lies were fu­ri­ous when Kent County Coun­cil wrote to in­form them that Kids, an or­gan­i­sa­tion of­fer­ing home sup­port, hol­i­day playschemes and Satur­day fun clubs was to be axed, and of­fer­ing no im­me­di­ate al­ter­na­tive.

Sheila Tay­lor, who has a nineyear-old daugh­ter with autism, is one of four moth­ers hop­ing to es­tab­lish an in­de­pen­dent sup­port group called Some­one Spe­cial us­ing a grant from Kent Chil­dren’s Fund (KCF).

Re­gional di­rec­tor of Kids, Brid­get Be­vis, said: “Kids suc­cess­fully se­cured a three-year grant from Kent Chil­dren’s Fund with this year be­ing the last year of de­liv­ery.

“Due to our con­tract with Kent Chil­dren’s Ser­vices com­ing to an end in mid-Kent, we were in a dilemma about the Chil­dren’s Fund Grant.

“I am at present try­ing to ne­go­ti­ate with KCF to use the grant money in sup­port of the mid-Kent fam­i­lies, chang­ing the project profile to suit the changed cir­cum­stances.”

Mrs Be­vis will be meet­ing up with par­ents in Park Farm to­day (Thurs­day) to dis­cuss the sit­u­a­tion.

Kent County Coun­cil felt the Ash­ford and Shep­way based Kids ser­vice was not up to stan­dard and closed it down, promis­ing to pro­vide a bet­ter qual­ity ser­vice in the fu­ture.

A num­ber of fam­i­lies in Ash­ford have been cam­paign­ing to have Kids re­in­stated and have even won back­ing from Cherie Blair, a pa­tron of Kids.

Mrs Tay­lor re­ceived a call on be­half of the Prime Min­is­ter’s wife, who has vowed to speak to peo­ple she knows to help the moth­ers in any way she can.

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