Patch Story #2: Special needs charity hopes to raise £300,000

A charity that caters to children with disabilities needs to raise £300,000 in order to develop the empty land adjoining their new headquarters.

Fairplay was founded in 1992 and is currently situated in a small office on Chatsworth Road in Chesterfield. Come March 2010, they will move to Myplace Chesterfield on Alexandra Road West, the construction of which began in June 2009.

Built exclusively for Fairplay, the new building will house a sensory room and garden, activity rooms, a wet room for changing needs, a kitchen and offices for staff.

Fairplay received a £3.1 million grant late last year from the Big Lottery Fund for this. The grant also included funds for the refurbishment of the Donut Creative Art Studio next door. An arts centre for music, media and dance, it will be open to the public including children from Fairplay.

Fairplay’s Sustainability Development Officer, Francesca Redmore said that they would start fund-raising to develop the ‘huge derelict field’ adjoining their new building from January 2010.

“We’re funded – though not regularly – through individual projects and fund-raising activities” said Ms. Redmore.

“Not many of the children who come to Fairplay play in public parks because of various issues, so having the field developed would be ideal.”

Estimated to be about 50m2, Fairplay hopes to develop the field into a garden and informal camp-site for their children as well as the public from time to time.

Wanting to involve the community more and integrating children with special needs into the mainstream is another aim of developing the field.

Chesterfield resident, Angela Shepherd, 41, has a 9-year-old son, Joseph, who has been going for Fairplay activities since he was 3½ years old.

“I absolutely cannot wait for the new building to open as it will open up new avenues for my son” she said.

Ms. Shepherd said: “With Fairplay, you just know that your children are going to safe and have a great time.”

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