Shirley special needs playgroup receives much-needed cash boost - The Solihull Observer

Shirley special needs playgroup receives much-needed cash boost

Solihull Editorial 25th Apr, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016   0

KNOWLE and Dorridge Roundtable have made a generous £2,000 donation to the Solihull Special Needs Playgroup in Shirley.

Looking after children from the age of two to five with severe health and learning difficulties, Solihull Special Needs Playgroup is made up of 80 per cent voluntary staff – and relies on donations to keep the centre open.

The centre, which almost closed just over three years ago, regularly hosts fundraising events to attract the £30,000 target they require each year to stay afloat.

Allan Bailey, member of Knowle and Dorridge Round Table – which is currently the second largest ‘table’ in the country with 29 members – has set a target of raising £7,000 for Solihull Special Needs between the four borough groups.

Allan, whose Knowle and Dorridge Roundtable group raise £12,000 each year for charity, said: “I have been working with other Round Tables in the area and have hosted various events to raise as much money possible for what is a great cause.

“The money raised at the events goes to a great cause and the main events attract strong support from the local people.

“The money will go a long way as Solihull Special Needs receives very little support from the government and they currently can cater for ten children at most.

“To take on more children would mean to take on more staff and that’s just not possible.

“We’ve pledged £2,000 towards the cause and we’re hoping that with the support of the other tables we can in total raise near £7,000.”

Member of the Solihull Special Needs committee, Dawne Clayton-Wright told The Observer: “The building we use was built in 1964 and is in need of repair and update.

“We’ll use the generous £2,000 donation to redecorate the playroom.

“Currently we accept 12 children per day and help around 40 families over the year, but each child needs one to one care.”

Dawn added the centre is always on the lookout for new volunteers and training is provided to those who wish to use their spare time to help out at the centre.

She added: “You don’t have to have experience to be a volunteer, we provide training and have previously linked up with universities to provide valuable experience to young people – though generally people of all ages help out.

“It’s a shame because most people only realise the work we do when they actually need us and people find out through word of mouth.”

Solihull Special Needs Playgroup will host its next fundraising night tonight (April 21) as popular Eight Out of Ten Cats Does Countdown comic Joe Lycett spearheads an army of comedy talent at Solihull School – an event which last year raised £5,000.

For more information about the centre, visit


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