Co-founder of Springboard steps down 30 years after she created charity for disabled children

PUBLISHED: 14:04 24 July 2017 | UPDATED: 16:45 24 July 2017

Founder Ann Ramsey and her daughter pictured with guests at a tea party in her honor.

Founder Ann Ramsey and her daughter pictured with guests at a tea party in her honor.

Archant

The co-chairman of a Clevedon charity which helps children with additional needs and disabilities has stepped down after 30 years.

Founder Ann Ramsey is retiring after 30 years.Founder Ann Ramsey is retiring after 30 years.

Springboard Opportunity Group, which has a base in Princes Road, has helped thousands of children since it was launched in 1986.

Ann Ramsey created the charity along with a group of other mums, and went on to be its co-chairman.

She has stepped down after 30 years, and her work was celebrated with an afternoon tea attended by former parents and volunteers.

Ann said: “I feel very proud to have been part of the formation of Springboard, helping to make it the unique and cherished organisation it is today.

“I’m going to miss everyone like crazy and there will be a big Springboard-shaped hole in my life for a while.”

The inspiration to start Springboard came from Ann’s daughter Grace, who joined her at the tea party.

Co-chairman Joanne Harris said: “It is going to be a very big change for her and for us.

“The whole inspiration for Springboard was her, and she has persevered with it and supported us the whole way through.”

Chair of trustees Louise Petersen added: “What Ann has done has been absolutely phenomenal.”

Springboard works with around 100 children around North Somerset every week.

Ann said: “Life is hard with a small child with difficulties and the future can seem so uncertain. Meeting other families in a similar situation helps to lessen the isolation.

“Realising you’re not the only person going through a life changing experience can be a life saver.

“Not for a moment did I ever think we would be still here 30 years later.

“Early on we worked on our instincts and responded to the needs of growing numbers of children and families and we rarely got it wrong.

“Today we continue in the same way but using our considerable experience and knowledge and guidance from families about what they need.

“Springboard paved the way and shaped services for children with additional needs and disabilities in North Somerset.”

Liz Smith will take on Ann’s role, and more volunteers are being sought for a number of roles.

Anyone interested in volunteering can email info@springboardweb.org.uk


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