Leominster charity searching for Ledbury base to help meet demand for services

Hereford Times: Children hunting for bugs during one of the charity's fun days. Children hunting for bugs during one of the charity's fun days.

A LEOMINSTER-based charity is looking for a home in Ledbury to help meet the rising demand for its services.

Marches Family Network run 'fun days' around the county, which provide respite care for parents with disabled children.

The charity, which is based on Brunel Road, recently held a fun day in Ledbury, which proved a success with 14 children attending.

Louise Walton, charity manager, said: "I had suspected since I started in the role in 2012 that there were people in the Ledbury area who wanted our help. We received some money from The Helping Hands Company to host a fun day there and that proved that enough families were interested."

The fun days include outdoor and indoor activities, bouncy castles, visits from magicians and days out, and Louise believes they offer a "vital break" for parents.

The charity also helps families in other ways, which includes offering advocacy, advice on other services, help with filling in forms or just a chat. There are also chances for parents to go on family outings and meet others.

She said: "As a mum of a young person with special needs I'm acutely aware that there is not enough provision for youngsters with special needs in Herefordshire. I want to make our services accessible to as many families as possible.

"The fun days give parents a much-needed break and the kids really enjoy them."

Any possible venue in Ledbury must have a place to store play equipment, must be away from a main road and have at least two rooms and an outdoor area with fencing. Car parking, toilets and wheelchair access is also required.

The charity is also looking for sponsors to help with funding and for volunteers.

Opportunities for sponsorship and funding include donations of £1,200 per play day or £10,800 for 12 months, which is nine sessions.

The charity was established in 1982 and began as a small self-help parent group. From 1995 it has grown to support more than 170 families in Herefordshire, Shropshire and the surrounding areas and runs monthly play days from hired venues all around the county.

If you can help or to find out more information call 01568 614 908 or visit www.marchesfamilynetwork.co.uk.

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