Joy as premises is found for new centre for vulnerable children in Wigan
Parents and staff devastated by the closure of a centre supporting vulnerable children have moved a step closer to opening a new hub.
There was shock when Hop, Skip and Jump, on Parsons Walk in Wigan, shut last March as the firm which ran it went bust.
The centre catered for youngsters with special educational needs and its closure was a blow for families across the borough, as well as the staff employed there.
But they joined forces and, after a successful fund-raising campaign, have now secured premises for a new centre.
Emma Eastham, whose 15-year-old son Alex has complex health needs and disabilities, said: “We have been looking out for premises and have been to-ing and fro-ing between different buildings and finally set out hearts on this one. It has been derelict for a few years so has quite a lot of work that needs to be done.”
They have already started gutting the building ready for work to transform it into a vibrant centre. The team of volunteers hope to provide the same service previously available at Hop, Skip and Jump and it will be run by the same staff.
Emma said: “As soon as the building is ready to go, we will be opening the doors. We have already had parents contacting us wanting sessions. We will be trying to build it back up to the service we had before, but bigger and better.”
Brighter Dayz will be registered as a charity and local businesses have already offered to help with the work on the building.
Emma, who lives in Shevington, is now looking for more help from companies so the centre can open as soon as possible. She said: “We are looking for things like sensory equipment for the sensory room, kitchen units, tables and chairs - it’s basic stuff to fit it out.
“We need a washing machine too. I have managed to get a fridge-freezer, a microwave and a cooker, but there is so much we still need while keeping the costs as low as possible.”
Emma hopes the centre could be ready within a matter of weeks and is looking forward to seeing the smiles of young people as they arrive for the first time.
She said: “Hop, Skip and Jump meant a lot to us, especially my youngest Alex. He absolutely adored the place and he misses everyone. We have been without the service for 12 months and it has been a struggle, especially with lockdown. There are a lot of families that have suffered because there has been nowhere for them to go.”
Businesses able to support Brighter Dayz are asked to email [email protected] or call Emma on 07703 571003.
Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here