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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

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Respite centre charity in need of your support

A PLEA has gone out for people to come forward and get involved with a local children’s charity.

family time: The Raynor family at their Moor Row home (from left) mum Dawn, Callan, Kaine, Ethan and dad Peter

Give Us A Break – which aims to create a £1million respite centre in Copeland for children with disabilities and their families – is appealing for fundraisers, local companies and anyone with an interest to help out.

Moor Row mum Dawn Raynor and a group of others set up the organisation and campaign group, which now has charity status.

They are being helped by a group of fundraisers as well as a team from Energy Solutions, based at Westlakes Science Park, who are driving the business plan forward.

The plan is for the centre – which would allow parents to recharge their batteries while giving their children a break away – to take shape in stages and also be a facility for the whole community to use.

The group has its eye on a property in the borough which would potentially suit their needs and raising capital is an ongoing process.

Dawn, mother of two disabled twins Callan and Ethan, knows only too well the struggle which families have in getting respite. She said: “I have tried to try and make a difference but I cannot do it single-handed. We need more people to help us and get involved.

“It won’t happen all at once, it will be ongoing and take place in stages. If we can get a couple of bedrooms up and running and the kitchen, somewhere the kids can go and have fun, then that would be the start.”

The charity needs a project development manager to take the plan forward. It would be a paid position, part time to begin with, becoming full time in the future as it progresses.

The ideal candidate would need to be someone with previous experience in developing a similar service and working with a charity; good business skills; plenty of vision, motivation and creativity.

More fundraisers are also needed. Dawn said: “We need more people on the ground who can offer us help manning the phone, dealing with emails or representing the charity at different events.

Andy Drom, Tracey Little and Richard Waite, from Energy Solutions, have been helping the group on the business side, including looking for a property and attracting funding.

The group has raised £26,000 so far and needs to attract as much funding as possible for the community facility. It has already applied to Copeland Community Foundation for help and would appreciate any other companies coming forward to help out.

Copeland MP Jamie Reed has also been involved, chairing meetings and giving his assistance.

Anyone who wants to organise an event, if you are interested in the project development manager position or are a business who wants to help out telephone 01946 811163 and leave a message; go to the Facebook page Give Us A Break, or email giveusabreakfundraise@gmail.com

The Whitehaven News will be keeping up with all the latest from the charity as news and events progress.

And if you have disabled children, need respite and your family would benefit from such a centre contact The Whitehaven News to tell us your story by telephoning 01946 595128 or email news.wn@whitehaven-news.co.uk

Upcoming fundraisers include: bingo at The Stump, Kells, on February 21; a swimathon at Copeland Swimming Pool on March 3; Club Captain’s Night, Starz in Their Eyes, Whitehaven Golf Club, March 9; charity race night, Kells Rugby Club, April 6 and a bucket collection at the Whitehaven v Barrow rugby match on May 26.

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