Delight at generous donations to centre

Jim and Liz Bolton from the Karen Ball fund with members of the Rutland Rotract Family Support DCentre and members of the Cottesmore Village Players at Market Overton village hall. EMN-150125-185707009

Jim and Liz Bolton from the Karen Ball fund with members of the Rutland Rotract Family Support DCentre and members of the Cottesmore Village Players at Market Overton village hall. EMN-150125-185707009

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A valued family support group will be able to carry on its good work thanks to two donations totalling thousands of pounds.

Both the Karen Ball Fund and Healthwatch Rutland decided to lend a hand to Rutland Rotaract Family Support Centre in Oakham.

The voluntary organisation said it was “overwhelmed” by the donations, which will help to provide children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, with care and support.

Trustees of the Karen Ball Fund recently decided to wind up the charity and split any remaining funds between deserving causes. They gave £9,000 to the Rotaract centre.

And Healthwatch Rutland trustees gave £2,000 to the centre. The money was raised by the watchdog’s young people’s team, which organised a charity concert for children and young people with special needs alongside Rutland County Council.

The Rotaract centre organises regular activities to provide social, recreational, educational and therapeutic support for families, including swimming and riding lessons, film club, choir and family support drop-in sessions. The group also organises holiday activities, social events, days out and summer picnics.

Most recently, the Cottesmore Village Players gave the group an exclusive performance of this year’s pantomime Cinderella. Children got to meet the cast at Market Overton Village Hall on Sunday.

Karen Ball Fund founders Jim and Elizabeth Bolton went to meet the families of the centre and to learn more about where their donations might be used.

On behalf of the centre Kate Pickering said: “Sustaining all these activities places huge demands on our finances, as we subsidise an average of 50 per cent of the cost of each activity to ensure that parents are not financially disadvantaged by having a child with special educational needs and disabilities.

“Such a generous donation will help us sustain our core activities such as swimming and riding for the next two years and offers us ‘breathing space’ to look for other ways in which we can continue to provide the vital services and support that we do.”