Trowbridge school indebted to work of special needs nursery

Former Stepping Stones pupils William, Jaxon, Finley, Lewis and Carter with Larkrise staff Rachel Humphrey and Janette Stabb plus Teresa Blake, staff member at Stepping Stones

Former Stepping Stones pupils William, Jaxon, Finley, Lewis and Carter with Larkrise staff Rachel Humphrey and Janette Stabb plus Teresa Blake, staff member at Stepping Stones

First published in Trowbridge by

Larkrise headteacher Phil Cook believes Trowbridge charity Stepping Stones provides an essential service for children with disabilities and learning difficulties preparing to go to his school.

Larkrise, in Ashton Street, Trowbridge, caters for children with learning difficulties and disabilities from the age of four to 19.

Mr Cook said: “A lot of children who come to us start at Stepping Stones then come on to us and we really value the input and care they have received at an early age.

“We are good friends and our staff from our youngest classes go to Stepping Stones to provide help near the children’s transition.“ Last month, Stepping Stones lost £10,000 of funding from Wiltshire Council, after central government withdrew its Aiming High For Disabled Children grants.

This has left Stepping Stones needing to raise £50,000 a year to survive. In response the Times launched the £10,000 Give Us a Chance campaign to make up some of the shortfall. In just three weeks £5,930 has been raised.

Mr Cook said that in appreciation of the service the charity provides, Larkrise is looking to help raise funds for it. Since the appeal launched, Stepping Stones has received dozens of offers from people wanting to hold fundraising events for them.

Jane Wickham runs a children’s playgroup at Trowbridge Salvation Army HQ, in Castle Street, and on May 15 she is holding a coffee morning and sports day in aid of Stepping Stones.

She said: “I’ve previously done the event in aid of Dorothy House and when I heard Stepping Stones had lost funding I wanted to do something to help. I’m really pleased our children can help those less fortunate than them.”

Teresa Blake, Stepping Stones’ communications co-ordinator, said the charity has been overwhelmed by the public support it has received.

She said: “We want to thank everyone who has sent in donations to us and offered to hold fundraisers.”

Stepping Stones is putting together a committee to help schedule and organise fundraisers and would welcome more members.

To volunteer to help out call 01225 350004 or visit www. steppingstonestrowbridge.co.uk

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