Bourne family support group Galaxy of Stars needs a new home

Co-op staff and family members who took part in a walk for Galaxy of Stars, from left, Sue Thompson, Lorraine Kelby, Pam McPherson, Janette Rawding, Julie Spratt, Paula Woodland, Debbie Taylor, Barbara Parkinson, Bridget Johnson and family
Co-op staff and family members who took part in a walk for Galaxy of Stars, from left, Sue Thompson, Lorraine Kelby, Pam McPherson, Janette Rawding, Julie Spratt, Paula Woodland, Debbie Taylor, Barbara Parkinson, Bridget Johnson and family
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A GROUP which helps families of children with learning difficulties has been forced to suspend its support sessions while it looks for a new home.

Galaxy of Stars had a base in Burghley Street, Bourne, but it is no longer available to rent.

The group was founded by Annie Elliott, 36, of Broadlands Avenue, Bourne, about two years ago after her son, James, was diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder.

It provides activities and support for families with children, whatever their ages or needs and now has more than 200 members.

Mrs Elliott said: “Without a base we cannot hold group sessions, which is a real shame.

“We’re an all-inclusive group, so families with children with additional needs can also bring along their other siblings.

“It has really grown we now have over 230 families on our books, from as far afield as Grantham and Leicester, as well as the Bourne area.

“Our funds are limited, so we could not afford a huge rent and would need somewhere in Bourne for at least four hours on one day a week.

“We will still put on day trips and parties but having somewhere offering an all-inclusive opportunity to families with additional needs is so important.”

Galaxy of Stars was boosted this week by news that a group of 11 staff and family members from the Anglia Co-operative foodstore in the Burghley Centre completed a 10-mile sponsored walk raising more than £700 for the group.

Staff at the store adopted the organisation as their cause for the year, pledging to raise £1,000. The sponsored walk has now taken its fundraising total to £1,100.

The walkers completed a circuit from the store, around the edges of Bourne and back.

Store manager Gavin Price said: “It was a great effort. The staff have been so enthusiastic with their fundraising for Galaxy of Stars and our customers have been really generous with their support.”

The star performer was Debbie Taylor who raised £415.

Mrs Elliott said: “This is fantastic news. The staff are brilliant, bless them all.

“The money will enable us to take families with additional needs on day trips.

“When you have a child with additional needs, having a day out can be a real ordeal, but an outing with other families in the same boat can be very supportive.”

Mrs Elliott is appealing for anyone who can help Galaxy of Stars to find a new base in Bourne to contact her on 01778 422116 or 07712 511923.

To find out more about the group’s activities visit www.galaxyofstars123.org.uk