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Children's centre with 70 disabled youngsters in Goring facing closure
A children's centre that caters for more than 70 disabled youngsters is on the brink of closure.
Around 22 staff at Camelia Botnar in Goring, near Worthing, have been warned their care jobs are at risk due to lack of funding.
The venue, which opened in 1979, caters for children who have a variety of special needs and life-limiting illnesses.
Scores of children and their families regularly attend morning and afternoon sessions with a team of full-time carers.
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Bosses say funding for the centre has dried up and running costs are now at least £250,000 a year.
Parents have been told it will be forced to close in the summer if a benefactor is not found.
Philip Bush, chair of trustees, said the centre has been running on reserve funds since 2009 when the Camelia Botnar Foundation in Cowfold stopped supporting it.
Mr Bush said: “The foundation funded us until 2009 and then stopped for reasons I have not been able to ascertain. We’ve made various efforts to generate the funding we require to sustain the activities but we have had no luck. “We’ve been working on reserves since 2009.
“We were sad to have delivered the bad news to our wonderful staff who have been so dedicated and give everything to the centre – it’s more than just a job for them. I really hope that a benefactor may still come forward, but unfortunately we have to be prepared for the worst.”
Mr Bush said “all activities would cease” if funding was not found soon.
He added: “We’re looking at about 70 children, so it will have a remarkable impact. It’s a terrible thing. We need about £250,000 which will put in place a rescue package from which we can build a platform to go forward.”
The chief executive of the Camelia Botnar Foundation was not available for comment.
Mr Bush said he could not give a date for the centre’s closure because a staff consultation was still being processed.
If you can help the centre, e-mail email@example.com or call 01273 544 525
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