Springboard towards better home support

Children taking part in play sessions.

Children taking part in play sessions. - Credit: Archant

A CHERISHED children’s charity is calling for the public’s backing to help it expand the assistance it provides for families of children with additional needs.

Springboard Opportunity Group, which has a dedicated facility in Clevedon’s Princes Road, as well as a second base in Weston, already helps more than 90 families each week by providing specialist play sessions for children aged up to five with additional needs.

In 2011, Springboard marked its 25th anniversary and is now looking to the future and how it can continue its important work for the next 25 years and beyond.

Along with advice and guidance for parents on issues such as benefits and available care, as well as a service to help children attend mainstream local primary schools, Springboard is hoping to expand its future offering to include support in the home.

Springboard co-founder and support officer Ann Ramsey said: “Family support is something we have only scratched the surface of.

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“We are looking at ways of not just providing day care but support in the home and more care for children out of hours. There is a real gap for family support based in the home to give families some extra time or an extra pair of hands.”

To achieve its future aims, Springboard, like most other UK charities, will be facing tough economic challenges. With Government budgets being cut, the knock-on effect means funding is much harder to come by.

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Bids for money from many pots now require applicants to be much more specific about what they plan to use the cash for, rather than simply to support the ongoing work of their organisation.

Ann said: “The funding we are able to get from charitable trusts has to be very targeted now. There is more competition out there generally and the trusts are also being hit on their investments.”

Most urgently, Springboard trustees are hoping to raise the £10,000 needed to employ an additional staff member who will work to ensure families know how and where they can get the help and support they need as well as to share skills and knowledge with staff at local schools and organisations.

In an effort to boost fundraising and promotional opportunities, the charity has also re-launched its Friends of Springboard group, with a new constitution and new members. As well as raising money, the group is now aimed at networking with other organisations and helping to develop and promote Springboard.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to Springboard or to join the friends can do so online at www.justgiving.com/springboardopps or by calling 01275 341113.

To find out more about the charity visit www.springboardweb.org.uk

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